Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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In the classroom this fall

By the end of this weekend, I’ll have completed a draft syllabus for Security in the Americas, a course I’ll be teaching every Monday evening this fall at George Washington University.

There is a lot to talk about: the list of topics I want to cover is about 50% longer than the number of class sessions. Also, I’ve got so much great work archived in my database, it will take me a while to select just a few readings for each session. I also have to figure out how to engage and evaluate everyone.

I’ve guest-lectured countless classes, but have never taught an entire course. In fact, I haven’t been affiliated with a university since I received my M.A. in 1994. So, apologies in advance to the students who’ll be watching me figure things out in real time.

Latin America Security-Related News: August 12, 2022

(Even more here)

August 12, 2022

Argentina, Venezuela

La justicia argentina procedió el jueves a la incautación de un avión de carga de origen venezolano en repuesta a una solicitud de Estados Unidos que considera hubo irregularidades en la adquisición de la aeronave a una compañía aérea de Irán

Brazil

The second letter, published in newspapers last Friday, carries the endorsement of hundreds of companies in banking, oil, construction and transportation — sectors that traditionally have been averse to taking public political stances

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fears for Brazil’s democracy as it heads into a raucous presidential election in October, and he wants the U.S. Senate to officially stand on the side of voters — regardless of who they choose

Colombia

The 800-soldier unit racked up at least 60 misconduct offenses, including incidents with alcohol, drugs and adultery; a battalion commander was fired; members of one advising team are facing punishment for their behavior in Colombia; and another team’s actions in Honduras are under investigation

El Pnis será la primera prueba de fuego que tendrá que enfrentar la política de drogas de Gustavo Petro.

The ELN’s cards are on the table, and it seems that both the new government and illegal groups are open to exploring peace talks

What does the law mean for women and the punitive penal system? WOLA explores those questions and more

Organizaciones sociales, oficinas de Naciones Unidas y un sector del Congreso le hicieron llegar al presidente Gustavo Petro un documento con ejes y líneas de acciones urgentes para detener los asesinatos sistemáticos a líderes, lideresas, defensores de derechos humanos y firmantes de paz

Colombia, Cuba

El canciller Álvaro Leyva llegó a La Habana a la cabeza de una delegación colombiana para entablar contactos con los representantes del ELN

Colombia, Venezuela

  • Rocio San Miguel, ¿el Fin de los Tancol? (Asociación Civil Control Ciudadano (Venezuela), August 12, 2022).

Terroristas armados narcotraficantes de Colombia, en su acrónimo TANCOL, fue el término escogido por el mandatario venezolano

El Salvador

Desde que El Salvador entró en Régimen de Excepción, una madre, su hija e hijo van de casa en casa, de un hotel a otro, porque tienen miedo de terminar en la cárcel

Guatemala

Con la consigna de #NoNosCallarán, cientos de guatemaltecos salieron ayer a las calles de la capital para manifestar su rechazo a la corrupción en el gobierno del presidente Alejandro Giammattei

Guatemala arrests a crusading journalist

Mexico

El registro de los dos últimos minutos de vuelo que tienen las llamadas cajas negras será clave a la hora de determinar la causa del desplome

Si bien las autoridades de Chihuahua no han informado si hay relación entre los diversos hechos, tiendas y gasolineras de la ciudad cerraron temporalmente debido a la violencia

Por fuera de la propia Constitución que expresamente coloca a la Guardia Nacional bajo un mando civil y a la espalda del Poder Constituyente y del Legislativo, AMLO manda un mensaje político peligroso para la democracia mexicana en dos sentidos

Posterior a ese enfrentamiento, miembros del CJNG incendiaron automóviles, unidades de transporte público, tiendas de conveniencia y diversos comercios

Nicaragua

With virtually no independent journalists left inside and foreign reporters banned from entering, Nicaragua has become ‘an information black hole’

Peru

La fiscalía peruana inició una nueva investigación preliminar contra el presidente Pedro Castillo y su ministro de Transportes por presuntamente integrar una organización criminal. Esta es la sexta indagación contra el mandatario, un caso inédito en la historia peruana

Cerca de 15 aeronaves convergieron en precisa coordinación sobre la zona de Massapato y Undurabe, frente a la quebrada de Jajasmayo, en la zona de Vizcatán

U.S.-Mexico Border

Border agents improperly shared confidential information about u.S. journalists, activists and others with mexican law enforcement, putting them at risk in a country with a dismal record on human rights

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is now hiring the very people that Congress is investigating, BPCITs

Colombia’s weak peso

I just paid $46.59 per night to stay in the Holiday Inn right in the middle of Bogotá’s business district. A perfectly quiet, clean chain hotel with fast internet, hot water, and free breakfast.

The Colombian peso is so weak right now: in part because the dollar is strong everywhere, but in part because investors had a little freakout after Colombians elected a “leftist” president.

On this last trip, I found myself tipping cab drivers 50% (tips aren’t usually a thing in taxis) because the rides were so cheap (like $7 for a half-hour trip) that they barely seemed enough to cover the gas.

Latin America Security-Related News: August 11, 2022

(Even more here)

August 11, 2022

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile

A California-sized piece of South America is stifling production of lithium at a time when battery makers desperately need it

Colombia, Venezuela

Expertos consideran que el anuncio de restablecimiento de relaciones militares entre Venezuela y Colombia es positivo

Colombia

Feared Gulf Clan has unleashed terror campaign since arrest of leader in May but keen to talk to leftist president Gustavo Petro

Por ahora parece que va a haber más zanahoria que garrote

One of the world’s largest sustainable development agencies has worked with energy companies to quash opposition and keep oil flowing, even in sensitive areas

En su más reciente volumen del Informe Final, la Comisión de la Verdad puso su lupa sobre episodios en los que las entidades públicas terminaron siendo arma para la guerra. Uno de ellos es el caso del exfiscal Luis Camilo Osorio

Guatemala

Time is no longer on the side of the U.S. and of those who support democracy

Honduras

Though the roots of the country’s land battles go back decades, there is new hope that turmoil over disputed plantations — the cause of so many killings and enforced disappearances — could finally be settling down

Mexico

La secretaria de Seguridad Pública, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, hará entrega de las responsabilidades de la Guardia Nacional a la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional el próximo 16 de septiembre durante el desfile militar

>

Enviará una propuesta al Congreso, pese a que “los conservadores están en huelga y todo lo rechazan”

Members of the well-armed and brazen Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion blocked roads and lit fire to cabs, buses and stores in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato

U.S.-Mexico Border

The agent approached the area and observed the man sustained a severe head wound from an apparent fall from the secondary barrier

Texas state troopers have taken custody of and returned to the border several thousand migrants who illegally crossed from Mexico, according to the governor’s office

737 migrants per day in the Darién Gap last month

Panama’s government published data on the number of people whom its migration authorities registered coming through the dangerous Darién Gap migration route, in the country’s far east along the Colombia border.

The 22,582 migrants who came through the Darién in July (737 per day) were the fourth-largest monthly total that Panama has ever measured. The top three were in August-October 2021, when a large number of Haitian migrants took this very dangerous route.

This year, migration of Haitian citizens is reduced, but a stunning number of Venezuelans are now passing through the Darién. Three-quarters of July’s migrants in this region (16,864, or 544 per day) came from Venezuela.

In January, at strong U.S. suggestion, Mexico established a visa requirement for Venezuelan citizens arriving in the country, which sharply reduced the number of Venezuelans arriving by air, many of whom were traveling to the U.S. border to seek asylum. U.S.-bound migration of Venezuelans fell in February, but is now recovering as migrants take the far more dangerous land route.

In the first 7 months of 2021, Panama registered 45,029 migrants in the Darién. The total for the first 7 months of 2022 is 71,012.

Some photos from yesterday’s presidential inauguration in Colombia

It was an honor to be in the audience at yesterday’s swearing-in of President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez. Here is a Flickr album of 40 photos taken with my little point-and-shoot camera, which has a decent zoom lens.

Some of them came out well. Feel free to use them with attribution.

And here’s me during the break in the action while we waited for them to bring out Bolívar’s sword.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: August 5, 2022

With this series of weekly updates, WOLA seeks to cover the most important developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. See past weekly updates here.

Due to staff travel, WOLA will not publish a Weekly Border Update on August 12. The next update will appear on August 19.

This week:

  • As the Senate nears a vote on a big “Inflation Reduction Act,” a procedural quirk may provide Republican senators with an opportunity to add amendments curtailing the right to seek asylum, building more border walls, and otherwise hardening the border.
  • A month after the Supreme Court green-lighted the Biden administration’s efforts to end “Remain in Mexico,” some in the administration appear to favor keeping the program in place for now.
  • Confiscation of religious headgear, falsification of migration forms, post-midnight expulsions of small children,  a 33-hour detention of a 9-year-old U.S. citizen, and another fatal vehicle pursuit highlight continued concerns about human rights at CBP and Border Patrol.

“Vote-a-Rama” in U.S. Senate could include anti-migrant amendments

Before it leaves for its August recess, the U.S. Senate—which is divided evenly between 50 Democrats (including Democrat-leaning independents) and 50 Republicans—will debate and possibly approve the “Inflation Reduction Act,” a large budget bill reflecting Biden administration priorities, especially health care and climate provisions. The Senate’s complicated rules allow budget-only measures like this one to pass with a simple majority, avoiding the 60-vote “filibuster” threshold that prevents much legislation from being considered.

The resulting process, called “reconciliation,” requires that the bill be open to amendments on unrelated topics during a grueling, many-hours-long procedure that usually drags on until the pre-dawn hours of the next day. Called “vote-a-rama,” it offers an opportunity for senators from the body’s large Republican minority to introduce amendments that could restrict migration, codify obstacles to the right to seek asylum, or otherwise harden the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), the principal sponsor of a bill that would keep in place Title 42, the pandemic provision that eliminates the right to seek asylum at the border, told Roll Call on August 2 “that Republicans have some immigration-related amendments ‘in the queue,’ though he declined to provide specifics.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) added that “he thought border security would come up during the vote-a-rama process.”

Amendments could seek to enshrine into permanent law the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program, which forces asylum seekers to await their U.S. court dates inside Mexico, or Title 42, empowering U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to expel migrants indefinitely for public health reasons. Amendments could also seek to re-start construction of the Trump administration’s border wall, which Joe Biden halted when he assumed office in January 2021.

It is possible that some of these amendments to the spending bill could pass with a simple majority. They will have solid Republican support, and a small number of moderate and conservative Democrats, or Democrats facing tough re-election races in states where immigration is unpopular with swing voters, could end up voting for them as well. Several conservative or vulnerable Democrats are already co-sponsors of Lankford’s legislation that would keep Title 42 in place for months after the end of the U.S. COVID-19 emergency, which could last for years. (Currently Title 42, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had intended to lift on May 23, remains in place by order of a federal judge in Louisiana.)

Should such amendments succeed, however, the larger “Inflation Reduction Act” bill—which, if it passes, would do so with the slimmest of majorities—could be in jeopardy. The anti-migrant measures could lead progressive and pro-immigration Democratic senators to vote against the entire bill. If hardline “poison pill” border and immigration provisions added during “vote-a-rama” cause even a few of those senators to vote “no,” the bill will fail.

At the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent called the likelihood of Republican immigration amendments a “ticking time bomb still threatening the big climate deal.” Sargent cited an e-mailed statement from Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), who warned that “Adoption of amendments that would end access to asylum or expand Trump’s border wall…will put reconciliation at risk.” This, Sargent said, “is a not-so-veiled suggestion that adoption of such poison pills might imperil the whole climate deal.” Menendez repeated this language on Twitter.

WOLA, one of many groups to issue statements opposing harmful “vote-a-rama” amendments, warned that such provisions could usher in “a harmful regime that could cause years of real human suffering.” A letter from 286 U.S. non-governmental organizations, including WOLA, urged senators to oppose any legislation that might “end asylum at the border”; “harm immigrants’ health, economic well-being, or education”; or “further bloat enforcement or militarize the border.”

As of Thursday morning (August 4), the timetable is not clear. The Senate’s Democratic leadership is awaiting word from the body’s parliamentarian on how the rules of debate will proceed, while trying to secure the support of the remaining Democratic holdout, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona). “Several Democratic senators” cited by Roll Call said they expect the “vote-a-rama” process to begin “as soon as this weekend.”

“Remain in Mexico” is not over yet

With a 5-4 decision on June 30, the Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s ability to cancel the “Remain in Mexico” policy, an initiative begun by the Trump administration in 2019 that sent over 70,000 asylum-seeking migrants back across the border into Mexico to await their U.S. immigration hearings. Evidence that the Biden administration is preparing to end the policy, however, is scarce.

President Joe Biden began shutting down Remain in Mexico, which he regarded as cruel and ineffective, after taking office in January 2021, but a Texas federal judge in August 2021 ordered the White House to restart it. The program re-launched in December; since then, about 5,000 more migrants have been sent back to Mexico to await their U.S. hearings. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling overruled that August 2021 decision, giving a green light to “re-terminate” Remain in Mexico.

A month later, though, Remain in Mexico continues to operate, sending dozens of migrants back to Mexico each day.

Read More

At Razón Pública: Iván Velásquez, ministro de Defensa: por qué y para qué

The Colombian publication Razón Pública today published a new piece by me about the defense and security challenges the country is facing, six days before it swears in a new president. That president will be the first leftist politician in Colombia’s modern history, and his choice to lead the Defense Ministry, Iván Velásquez, is one of Latin America’s best-known anti-corruption fighters.

I argue here that Velásquez is a good choice because he at least stands a credible chance of making progress on three urgent security priorities:

  • Combating corruption within the officer corps;
  • Increasing government presence in abandoned marginal rural areas where armed groups and coca thrive; and
  • Deeply reforming and civilianizing the police.

We’ll be adapting some of the language in this column for a WOLA commentary later this week, which will have an English version.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: July 29, 2022

With this series of weekly updates, WOLA seeks to cover the most important developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. See past weekly updates here.

This week:

  • Leaked data show that 2022 is already the worst year on record for deaths of migrants on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Mayors’ complaints indicate that Texas and Arizona governors’ steady flow of migrants bused to Washington, D.C. has begun to strain local services.
  • A new report shows how a rapidly changing smuggling business is using social media to sell its services, often with highly misleading claims, to an increasingly online migrant population.

Migrant deaths: 2022 is the worst year on record

2022 is already the worst year on record for deaths of migrants on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to internal data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner obtained and confirmed data showing that, since the U.S. government’s 2022 fiscal year started in October, CBP has found 605 remains of migrants. That already exceeds the fiscal 2021 full-year total of 566, which itself was a record. It is roughly double the amount of deaths CBP recorded each year from 2014 to 2020.

Most migrants die painful deaths. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, or exposure at night in deserts and dry brushland appear to be the most common causes. An increasing number are drowning in the Rio Grande, irrigation canals, and other bodies of water. An increasing number are killed, or badly injured, trying to climb segments of 30-foot-high border wall installed during the Trump administration. This year’s 609 deaths include the 53 migrants who perished in a hot, airless cargo trailer between Laredo and San Antonio, Texas, on June 27.

In a June 28 analysis, WOLA noted that “migrants continue to die at the U.S.-Mexico border, usually of drowning, dehydration, exposure, or falls from the border wall, with a frequency that seems unprecedented.” The new data confirms that the frequency is without precedent.

The Examiner and Reuters—which published an in-depth examination of border migrant deaths this week—both reported that CBP recorded 151 “CBP-related” deaths during the 2021 fiscal year. The term refers to deaths in CBP custody, at a port of entry or checkpoint, or while trying to elude CBP personnel.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) maintains a separate count of migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border (as well as other migrant routes). The UN-affiliated agency counts 357 dead so far during the 2022 calendar year, on pace to match or exceed the 728 it counted in 2021.

“In addition to these deaths—the worst of all outcomes—there are countless other grave injuries sustained by people migrating as a result of the dangerous routes they are forced to undertake,” recalls a July 23 statement from Annunciation House, an El Paso respite center that attends to thousands of migrants released from CBP custody each month. “Many of our guests at Annunciation House are recovering from broken bones, amputations, or other injuries that were sustained because of the border wall and draconian immigration policies. In many cases, these injuries will permanently affect their mobility, well-being, and ability to earn a living.”

As WOLA’s July 28 analysis noted, border deaths increase as enforcement policies harden in an effort to deter migrants. (Today’s record levels of migration show that decades of deterrence policies have had no effect, other than increased fatalities.) Reuters cites the “towering wall” along the border, which has channeled migrants to more dangerous desert routes, and the Title 42 pandemic expulsions policy, prolonged in May by a Louisiana federal court order, that forces many countries’ asylum seekers to avoid detection rather than turning themselves in to U.S. authorities.

“The U.S. immigration enforcement system has operated under a single premise since the creation of the Border Patrol in 1924: deterrence,” wrote Jason Buch in a July 25 essay at the Texas Observer. “It’s the idea we can somehow make coming to this country more miserable than the natural disasters, civil wars, gang violence, and economic hardship that displace people in the first place.”

Border Patrol divides the U.S.-Mexico border into nine geographic sectors. According to the 2022 data, the sector with the most reported deaths this year is the easternmost one, south Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, with 173 remains found. Giaritelli wrote, “The Del Rio region of Texas followed with 154 bodies; 72 in Tucson, Arizona; and 64 in Laredo, Texas.”

Many of the deaths in the Rio Grande Valley region actually take place about 80 miles north of the border, in Brooks County, where Border Patrol maintains a highway checkpoint that migrants seek to evade by walking for miles through dry brushland where it is easy to get lost. “There have already been 60 migrant deaths so far this year in Brooks County,” Sandra Sanchez of Border Report told the Texas Standard this week. “Last year there were 119, and in the entire Rio Grande Valley sector, there have been 140. So you can see almost half of the deaths occur in this area, Brooks County.” (For more, see the award-winning 2021 documentary Missing in Brooks County and WOLA’s podcast interview with its creators.)

Just west of the Rio Grande Valley, in Laredo, the organization Texas Nicaraguan Community reported that the bodies of four men and one woman remain in the city morgue two months after they perished because of difficulties in repatriating them to Nicaragua. “The organization says that ‘there are many suspicions of more Nicaraguans in that morgue in unidentified condition,’” according to Nicaragua Investiga.

Further west in El Paso, Border Report noted, CBP has counted 56 migrant deaths since fiscal 2022 began. Of those, 20 were drownings in fast-flowing irrigation canals, most of them in the past two months. The El Paso Sheriff told Border Report that a 42-year-old Mexican man was recovered from an irrigation canal on July 22, while the El Paso Times reported the recovery of a boy’s body from a canal that same day.

Border Report this week also profiled work to recover and identify bodies, and to help bring closure to victims’ families, in Tucson, Arizona by the Pima County Medical Examiner and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights.

Though not at the border, U.S.-bound migrants are also dying in elevated numbers at sea this year. At least 17 Haitians, including a child, died on July 24 when their 30-foot speedboat, loaded with up to 60 people, capsized about 7 miles off the coast of the Bahamian island of New Providence. “The passengers paid $3,000 to $8,000 to travel on the boat,” according to Bahamian officials cited in the New York Times.

Border Patrol “rescues” data also highlight migrants’ plight. The agency counted 16,897 search-and-rescue efforts carried out during the first 9 months of fiscal 2022, up from 12,833 in all of 2021 and about 5,000 each in 2019 and 2020.

The Washington Examiner border-wide data are revealing because CBP has not updated its official count of migrant deaths since 2020. Section 5(a) of the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act ( Public Law 116-277, passed on December 31, 2020) requires CBP to produce a public annual report on migrant deaths, including—where possible—information about the decedents’ gender, nationality, and location of death. The first report was due at the end of 2021; a WOLA inquiry to congressional oversight staff found that it is still forthcoming, but the timetable for release is not clear.

Washington and New York mayors appeal for help with Texas and Arizona migrant buses

In April, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), an immigration hardliner up for re-election in November, began paying to place willing asylum-seeking migrants on buses to Washington, DC, after their releases from CBP custody. Since then, Texas has bused over 5,400 migrants to Washington, Abbott’s office told DCist this week. In May, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) began a similar operation; Arizona has bused 1,151 migrants to Washington, according to Border Report.

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: July 26, 2022

(Even more here)

July 26, 2022

Western Hemisphere Regional

South American countries are bracing for an autumn of discontent, as spiking global fuel prices threaten to provoke more protests in the upcoming months

China’s influence and Russia’s disinformation are two challenges Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will face on his first visit to Latin America

Brazil

Those expected remarks – while not specifically directed at Brazil – are likely to turn heads there ahead of its Oct. 2 election

Chile, South America, Venezuela

Venezuelan gang, Tren de Aragua, has gradually become one of South America’s main threats, with Chile its latest target

Colombia

“El narcotráfico es un negocio que paga los costos en pesos (mano de obra y precursores químicos, entre ellos la gasolina) y recibe los ingresos en dólares”

Entre los miembros imputados de la Brigada XVI están el mayor general (r) Henry William Torres Escalante, 2 coroneles, 3 tenientes coronel, y otros 10 oficiales, además de 6 suboficiales, un funcionario del extinto DAS y dos terceros civiles

Should this be interpreted as a group desperate to avoid decline or confident in its strength?

Es el director de la Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (CIJP) y fue señalado dentro de la polémica visita a la Picota durante la campaña presidencial

Colombia, Venezuela

En los acercamientos que se han dado entre empresarios y gremios del departamento y del estado Táchira, de cara a una pronta reapertura comercial de la frontera con Venezuela, ha participado Centrales Eléctricas de Norte de Santander

Cuba, Venezuela

It is absolutely unacceptable that Joe Biden stayed silent on the recent anniversary of the July 11 democracy demonstrations, and I won’t let him continue to ignore the suffering of the Cuban people

Guatemala

A lack of U.S. regulation is undermining Guatemala’s gun control laws by allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal firearms to be brought into the country

El mandatario guatemalteco, Alejandro Giammattei, se reunió con su homólogo Volodimir Zelenski, en una visita oficial en Kiev, en la que el mandatario guatemalteco expresó su apoyo a ese país

Honduras

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is traveling to Honduras this week to meet with the president over increasing migration from the Central American country

Mexico

La Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) emitió medidas cautelares hacia autoridades federales y estatales para que de manera coordinada, garanticen la atención humanitaria de urgencia al grupo de personas en contexto de migración internacional

La amenaza de Trump se hizo pública el jueves 30 de mayo de 2019. Ese mismo día, López Obrador confirmó que Ebrard viajaba de emergencia a Washington

U.S.-Mexico Border

For half a century, families living on both sides of the border have reunited at Friendship Park. Now 30ft walls threaten the experience

Several groups that were involved in the early efforts to wind down the policy say they have yet to be contacted in the wake of the court ruling

More than 1,000 migrants have died along the US-Mexico border since Biden took office, from drownings in the Rio Grande to falls from the border wall

The filing marks a change in strategy for the families who previously sought a settlement with the Biden Justice Department only to have those negotiations fall apart last fall

With demand for smugglers on the rise, organized crime has moved in, with cruel and violent results

Reuters: In Brazil, Biden’s defense chief to call on region’s militaries to respect democracy

From Reuters today:

U.S. President Joe Biden’s defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, is expected to call on militaries to respect democracy at an Americas-wide defense gathering this week in Brazil, a senior U.S. defense official said.

Those expected remarks – while not specifically directed at Brazil – are likely to turn heads there ahead of its Oct. 2 election, where Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro formally launched his re-election bid on Sunday by saying “the Army is on our side.”

This is the right, and really the only possible, move. Otherwise, a Defense Ministerial meeting in Brazil just 68 days before the presidential election risks appearing like a commercial for Bolsonaro.

Latin America Security-Related News: July 21-25, 2022

(Even more here)

July 25, 2022

Bahamas, Haiti

The number of “illegal migrants and seizures and repatriations is through the roof, frankly”

Brazil, Western Hemisphere Regional

Secretary Austin will participate in hemispheric discussions regarding integrated deterrence; cyber defense; Women, Peace, and Security; and humanitarian assistance and disaster response

Colombia

El saliente comandante del Ejército, general Eduardo Zapateiro, le contó a SEMANA por qué se retiró y le sugirió una rectificación al presidente electo, Gustavo Petro

El nombramiento del exmagistrado Iván Velásquez sacude a una institución cuestionada por episodios de abusos y violaciones a derechos humanos

They welcomed the commitment of President-elect Gustavo Petro to deepen its implementation and seek broader peace through dialogue with other illegal armed groups

Un contrato de construcción de paneles solares en zona rural de Becerril (Cesar) fue adjudicado a empresas que consolidan un “cartel” que acaparó ocho licitaciones más

Uno de los asuntos centrales para la paz total de Petro sera diferenciar de manera clara el sometimiento de estos grupos

El nombramiento del exmagistrado que logró la caída del presidente de Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina por corrupción supone un vuelco total en la jefatura de las Fuerzas Armadas

En el norte del Cauca, no muy lejos de las zonas donde renace la guerra, las montañas testifican el auge de la marihuana

Jon Finer, Consejero Principal Adjunto de Seguridad Nacional, también mencionó que la representación de EEUU en la posesión del presidente electo será Samantha Power, la cabeza de USAID

La primera reunión entre el presidente electo y una delegación del gobierno de Joe Biden dejó claro que los temas que ocuparán la agenda bilateral serán el cambio climático, el desarrollo económico, la implementación de acuerdo de paz y la lucha contra el narcotráfico

The bill would also impose terrorism sanctions on seven individuals affiliated with the group

El Salvador

Josselyn fue la persona más visible de las marchas y eventos en los que se exigió la libertad para los inocentes capturados arbitrariamente en el régimen de excepción. Eso también la hizo el blanco de difamaciones y amenazas de muerte desde cuentas en redes sociales presuntamente administradas por policías

Guatemala

El magistrado Eduardo Galván Casasola es un militar que pertenece a la promoción 80 de la Escuela Politécnica

Mexico

La Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos asegura que puede resolverse solo si los gobiernos de Estados Unidos y México se comprometen

“Acá en Honduras todos sabemos que en México hay mucho crimen organizado, que es muy peligroso para los migrantes”, dice Alicia

In 1985, US agents had a chance to stop Mexico’s top drug lord. Years later, evidence from that night proved valuable in a way no one could predict

Almost 40 years later, the case may be too old and too tainted by prosecutorial misconduct to be successfully prosecuted. There’s also the awkward allegations by several witnesses of the CIA’s involvement in Camarena’s death

U.S.-Mexico Border

Officials in Arizona, Missouri, Texas and other GOP-controlled states have convinced federal judges, all but one of whom was appointed by former President Donald Trump, to block or set aside seven major immigration policies

Some of the deaths, medical experts and advocates told Reuters, are a legacy of Trump-era policies. The towering wall – built as high as a three-storey building in some sections – has multiplied serious injuries

July 22, 2022

Brazil

A raid of Rio de Janeiro’s largest complex of favelas that left at least 18 people dead has sparked renewed complaints of excessive police violence

Read More

Quite a spending spree…

…by the populist president of El Salvador, which is one of the world’s governments most likely to default on its debt by early next year.

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