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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Some articles I found interesting this morning

Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images photo at ProPublica. Caption: “A Salvadoran army soldier on patrol in 2012 in the village of El Mozote. Tens of thousands of people were killed during the civil war in the 1980s, many at the hands of the army, its paramilitaries and death squads, according to a commission backed by the U.N.”

(Even more here)

March 22, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said Neller’s memos showed the danger in diverting Pentagon funds to build Trump’s border wall

Republicans have seized on statements from Democrats to paint them as turning a blind eye to the mounting problems and make the case that the rising numbers at the border have proved Trump right about a “crisis”

Laura Cruz, a spokeswoman for the City of El Paso, said the City cannot legally provide shelter for the immigrants

The report reflects the abundant work done between January 1 and December 31, 2018, and highlights the most relevant outcomes attained over the course of the year

In a critical moment for democracy, independent media, and freedom of expression in the Hemisphere, the report also highlights the realization of on-sight visits to Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil

Brazil

Brazil’s former President Michel Temer was arrested on Thursday in “Operation Radioactivity,” a probe of alleged graft in the construction of a nuclear power plant

Since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985 after a military dictatorship, four of the eight presidents who took office have now fallen afoul of the country’s laws, either impeached for misconduct or arrested after leaving office

Colombia

Los impedimentos que se aprueben, que modificarán el quórum, y la posición de Cambio Radical determinarán el futuro de los reparos del presidente Duque a la estatutaria de la JEP en el Congreso

El Salvador

The move by conservatives in El Salvador’s Parliament comes as 20 former senior military officers have been charged with an array of crimes, including murder, rape and kidnapping

Guatemala

El Ministerio Público tenía entre el polvo y el olvido miles de denuncias de graves violaciones a los derechos humanos que ocurrieron durante la guerra interna. En diciembre de 2018 concluyó la primera fase de un proyecto que busca rescatarlas, pero no es suficiente

Mexico

Judge Jonathan Simpson at a San Diego courthouse repeatedly asked the government’s attorney how to handle cases of applicants told to wait for their U.S. court dates in Mexican border towns

Hammered by a series of hurricanes, a chain of protests, and a surge in violent attacks by criminal groups, Acapulco’s economy is at a breaking point. Evodio took over as mayor and is tasked with the impossible

En enero y febrero pasados fueron asesinadas un total de 5 mil 803 personas en México. Esta cifra convierte al primer bimestre de 2019 en el más violento del que haya registro

South America Regional

Attempts at regional integration always seem to stumble over politics

Venezuela

If a political transition does not materialize, what policy other than a well-designed oil-for-food program would avert famine?

Caribbean Regional, Cuba, Venezuela

The only country that seems to still be receiving Venezuelan petroleum products is Cuba, which doesn’t pay for fuel in U.S. dollars but in an exchange of doctors and medical services

Venezuela

“This is the beginning of a phase in which we’ll see a more profound collapse of services in the country”

As he was ushered away, Mr. Marrero shouted to his neighbors that the Sebin officers had planted two rifles and a grenade in his apartment to justify his arrest

By detaining Mr. Marrero, Mr. Maduro was trying to gauge how far the international community is prepared to go to defend Mr. Guaidó, Hugo Carvajal, a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief who defected this year, said

“There isn’t a single major figure in the regime that hasn’t reached out to make a deal,” Rubio said. “The danger is that if Maduro is pushed aside by such a figure, international pressure could diminish”

The day ahead: March 22, 2019

I’m all booked up today. (How to contact me)

I’m guest-teaching a human rights class at the National Defense University’s Perry Center this morning. Then I’m meeting a group of students whom I’ve been advising on a year-long project. Then meeting a colleague works at a foundation. Then meeting a visiting European scholar. I’ll be hard to reach otherwise, and I doubt I’ll be posting much to this site today.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Ariana Drehsler/AFP/Getty Images photo at The Guardian (UK). Caption: “Photograph by Ariana Drehsler showing a man looking at the US/Mexico border fence from Nogales, Arizona, on 9 February.”

(Even more here)

March 21, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

The debate about immigrants’ rights, about the treatment of immigrants, about the treatment of asylum seekers, is going to be suppressed or censored

The judge’s refusal was a setback for the administration’s highly touted initiative to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts

The Trump administration this week will begin implementing its “Migrant Protection Protocols” in El Paso, requiring some migrants to return to neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Brazil

The true path to success (and popularity) would be to put the culture wars aside – and focus on turning the economy around and reducing crime in a sustainable, legal way. But don’t count on it

Brazil, Venezuela

That yesterday Bolsonaro did not unambiguously reiterate Brazil’s official position with regards to military intervention in Venezuela creates concerning levels of uncertainty

Brazil

“If this is the way forward, we might as well stay put,” said a Brazilian official directly involved in the negotiations, who requested anonymity to speak freely

Colombia

Colombia’s constitutional court said on Wednesday it cannot rule on whether potential changes to legislation that implements a peace deal with Marxist rebels are constitutional until after they are approved by congress

Since the whole package has already been approved by the constitutional court, his veto could trigger a clash between the executive and judiciary, throwing the whole peace process into the air

No llegó el Estado y las comunidades quedaron a merced del ELN y el Clan del Golfo -o Autodefensas Gaitanistas ó paramilitares como son conocidas en la zona

Colombia, Venezuela

One such speculation is that the administration will try to create a “humanitarian corridor” that would let U.S. troops enter a small area of Venezuela, possibly along the border with Columbia

Costa Rica

Rojas had survived at least one previous assassination attempt. In 2015, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the government to provide Bribri and Teribe people with protection

Guatemala

No importa si gana la aliada del sistema, Sandra Torres; la opositora Thelma Aldana; o cualquier otro candidato. Lo importante es que puedan participar opositores para que las elecciones tengan oxígeno y sean una competencia real

Haiti

What at first resembled a comedic plot about a group of ex-soldiers looking for a quick and easy mercenary score was in fact a poorly executed but serious effort by Moïse to consolidate his political power with American muscle

Mexico

The National Guard could be the beginning of the demilitarization of Mexico’s more than decade-long war on organized crime, or it could escalate it

  • Bahr Abdul-Razzak, Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Ron Deibert, Siena Anstis, Reckless Vii (Citizen Lab (Canada), March 21, 2019).

Griselda Triana, journalist and the wife of slain journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas, was targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in the days after his killing

The seven cases being heard in a downtown San Diego courtroom are among the first to advance under the Trump administration policy that calls for people seeking asylum in the U.S. to be held in Mexico

Nicaragua

El gobierno los “liberará” en un plazo no mayor a 90 días como parte del acuerdo suscrito con la Alianza Cívica, con la OEA y el Vaticano como testigos, para volver a reactivar el diálogo en el INCAE

Venezuela

El teniente Dugarte ofreció declaraciones sobre lo que sucede en las sede del cuerpo de inteligencia en Boleita, donde se han registrado numerosos casos de tortura en los detenidos

Members of the Venezuelan armed forces that abandon President Nicolas Maduro will keep their rank and be reinstated once a new government is in place, the opposition-controlled legislature said

The day ahead: March 21, 2019

I’m more available in the afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m meeting with colleagues from a big migrant-rights group this morning. Then, because of a cancellation, I have a pretty open calendar in the afternoon. Which is good because I need to finish a presentation about Colombia that I’ll be giving at the National Defense University tomorrow, and a draft memo on border policy to prepare for a big gathering of groups during my next border visit in less than three weeks. Meanwhile, we’ve scheduled a bunch of meetings for early next week with congressional staff to talk about the same topics, and need to polish our presentation. So time in the office will be well-used today.

WOLA Podcast on Guatemala’s “backlash of the corrupt”

Only a few years ago, Guatemala was making historic gains in its fight against corruption and human rights abuse. Since then, the country has suffered a severe backlash. A “pact of the corrupt” in Guatemala’s ruling elite keeps pushing legislation that would terminate trials and investigations for war crimes and corruption. A U.S.-backed UN prosecutorial body, the CICIG, has been weakened. High-court rulings are being ignored. Things have gotten so bad that the U.S. government has suspended military aid.

And today, Guatemala has incredibly surpassed Mexico as the number-one nationality of undocumented migrants being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

As a new presidential election looms, Adam talks about the situation with WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt, just returned from one of her frequent visits to the country. See more of Jo-Marie’s recent analysis at:

Download the podcast mp3 file directly

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here)

March 20, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

Trump announced that in addition to diverting money from the military reconstruction budget, he would also take $2.5 billion from the Pentagon’s counter-drug funding. But as The Washington Post reported, the counter-drug account currently has less than $100 million in it

The confusion between the two branches is long running, and HSI has struggled with a “branding problem”

Brazil, Venezuela

Bolsonaro also appeared to leave the door open to stronger measures when asked about the use of military force

Brazil

Thainã de Medeiros, a member of Coletivo Papo Reto—a favela-based media collective fighting against police brutality—reveals changes to how [off-duty vigilante police] militias are operating in Rio de Janeiro

Speaking on Fox News, Boslonaro made the polemic assertion that “the vast majority of immigrants do not have good intentions”

The attack is the latest of several violent incidents in the area where Brazil has two nuclear reactors and has raised concerns about its nuclear security

Colombia

Habría una mayoría en la Corte para responderla, y decir que las objeciones son inviables y que el Congreso debe devolver el proyecto a Duque para que lo firme, incluyendo los seis artículos que objetó

Guatemala

Another initiative that is on Wednesday’s legislative agenda could have a similar effect as an amnesty, not only for war criminals, but for those accused of corruption

La llamada ley de reconciliación forma parte de lo que abogados y activistas de derechos humanos llaman el desmantelamiento de los avances judiciales de los últimos quince años

“Esto demuestra cómo en Guatemala se utilizan las instituciones para impedir mi participación política, pero no lo lograron”, enfatiza Aldana

Mexico

Six Central American migrants who crossed from Tijuana through the San Ysidro port of entry had their cases heard at a San Diego courthouse in the program’s first day of hearings on Tuesday. All were told to return to Mexico

Nicaragua

La presión implicaría imponer más sanciones a la dictadura, entre ellos a “militares” que hayan participado directamente en la represión contra la ciudadanía

Venezuela

Support for Mr. Maduro among Venezuela’s poorest fifth of the population has gone from roughly 40% in early 2016 to 18% in February, according to Datanalisis

La idea de una intervención militar puede parecer beneficiosa al senador Marco Rubio (que busca consolidar el apoyo republicano en Florida), pero no parece estar siendo considerada seriamente por el gobierno estadounidense

That would mean a major intervention, including both air strikes and the deployment of at least 150,000 ground troops

The day ahead: March 20, 2019

I’m working on deadlines and will be hard to reach today. (How to contact me)

I’ll be in the office this morning recording a new podcast. Then I’m going to head home, shut the door to my home office, and work on a list of things that are due soon: a talk I’m giving at NDU Friday, an op-ed I’m collaborating with a colleague on, setting up meetings on Capitol Hill next week and at the border in 3 weeks, and a memo about the border. We’ll see how much I get done; either way, my responses to queries will probably be delayed.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Photo from Semana (Colombia).

(Even more here)

March 19, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

“Now that members of Congress can see the potential impact this proposal could have on projects in their home states, I hope they will take that into consideration before the vote to override the president’s veto”

At least 22 requests from U.N. special rapporteurs have gone ignored by the Trump administration, with the last response from Trump officials having come in May 2018

DHS officials have said there is no policy that targets lawyers and journalists, but they do have broad authority in who they choose to stop for screening

International Organization for Migration spokesman, Joel Millman, says since February 1, 79 deaths have been reported along this route. He says this is nearly three times higher than the numbers reported in the Mediterranean

Brazil

Among the many parallels between their administrations, Bolsonaro and Trump are both taking extreme action to strip the hard-earned rights of indigenous peoples to the benefit of extractive industries and commercial farming

Much of that rhetoric owes much to another star guest seated beside Bolsonaro at the “opinion formers” dinner: Olavo de Carvalho, a pipe-smoking rightwing Brazilian philosopher

Bolsonaro underscored the difference between his administration and that of former President Dilma Rousseff by stopping by CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to discuss “international themes in the region,” according to his son

Colombia, Venezuela

Some deserters say their small military salaries were the only source of income for their families

Colombia

“Hablar de sustitución en la región del Catatumbo se convirtió en un problema, porque prácticamente somos declarados objetivo militar”

Colombia, Venezuela

U.S. officials see a growing threat from both Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) and factions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that refuse to adhere to a 2016 peace agreement

Colombia

Al menos desde septiembre del año pasado, según una de las fuentes, Argemiro había dicho que tenía amenazas

Desde hace casi un mes, comunidades de tres zonas del Chocó viven en medio de las balas tras la creciente confrontación que sostienen el Eln y el ‘Clan del Golfo’ quienes se disputan el control territorial

El Salvador

As migrants flee the decimated Central American nation, changes in the United States could send thousands back into the chaos

Guatemala

Despite the international rebuff of the amnesty bill, including a resolution by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordering Guatemala to withdraw the proposal, its supporters say they are not giving up

Mexico

Some of the teens have been at this shelter, the Casa YMCA de Menores Migrantes (YMCA Home for Underage Migrants), for a couple of days, some more than three months

“If I continue to stay here, I am going to be killed,” said a mother of two from Honduras, who spent two months waiting in Tijuana to cross into the U.S.

Authorities are investigating what they’ve said may be a mass kidnapping, and Mexico’s top leaders have offered several possible explanations in recent days

Reading from a local newspaper report on his show, Barroso chronicled how on Thursday evening a “pollero,” or smuggler, had assembled nearly a dozen migrants at a portion of outdated fencing in the middle of the city of San Luis Rio Colorado

Nicaragua

Washington “no descarta ninguna otra opción”, entre ellas la militar, según declaró este lunes en Madrid el embajador Todd Robinson, enviado especial de Estados Unidos para Centroamérica

Peru

La República accedió a más de 70 testimonios escritos y verbales sobre estas irregularidades en el colegio militar Francisco Bolognesi. Incluso hay una denuncia por tocamientos indebidos en el Ministerio Publico

Tienen hasta cinco nuevas rutas. Ya no optan por vuelos debido a que la PNP y las FFAA cuentan con mayor capacidad en las zonas de producción. A la fecha se han incautado siete toneladas de droga en diversos puertos de Áncash, La Libertad, Lambayeque y Piura

Venezuela

Mr. Abrams favors offering a form of the Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure programs

Carlos Vecchio, delegado del presidente interino Juan Guiadó ante Estados Unidos, entró a las sedes diplomáticas de su país en Nueva York para tomar control de estas oficinas

Es claro que, desde el momento en que Guaidó abordó el vuelo en Panamá, sabía que podría ingresar sin problemas a su país, tal como ocurrió a su llegada

The day ahead: March 19, 2019

I’ll be hard to reach in the afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m guest-teaching a longtime colleague’s class at George Washington University today, talking about Colombia. Later, there’s a meeting of NGOs working on Colombia. Otherwise, I’ll be preparing my next border field-research trip, preparing a lecture I’m giving at the National Defense University Friday, drafting a memo about the border, and if there’s time (there won’t be), moving ahead on an article for a Latin American think-tank about current U.S. policy toward the region.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Photo from Proceso (Mexico). Caption: “Ataque en el municipio Los Ramones en Monterrey.”

(Even more here)

March 18, 2019

Argentina

Con la mira puesta en las elecciones de octubre, Mauricio Macri reforzó al Ejército con una millonaria inversión en equipamiento militar para la lucha contra el narcotráfico en el norte del país

Brazil, Venezuela

The dialogue is held through military attaches both countries maintain in Brasilia and Caracas

Brazil

Currently 17 countries have MNNA status. Brazil would become just the second Latin American country to join their ranks after Argentina, which received the designation in 1998

Colombia

Hoy, ante la encrucijada institucional en que se encuentra el sistema de justicia transicional por la objeción presidencial a la ley estatutaria de la JEP, sale en defensa de lo pactado con las Farc

La decisión del presidente de objetar parcialmente la ley estatutaria de la JEP ha aumentado la polarización y puede traerle consecuencias que no había dimensionado

The Ambassador’s statements are disappointing since it sends the wrong signal about consolidating peace in Colombia

Cuba, Venezuela

16 members of Cuba’s medical missions to Venezuela — a signature element of relations between the two countries — described a system of deliberate political manipulation in which their services were wielded to secure votes

Honduras

Police says Leonardo Gabriel Hernandez, a TV reporter, was shot and wounded in the street and taken to a clinic, where he died

El lunes 4 de diciembre del año 2017 un numeroso grupo de agentes Cobras protagonizaron una manifestación de fusiles caídos, rehusándose a salir a las calles para dispersar las manifestaciones públicas

Mexico

The list is managed by Mexico’s immigration officials, and thousands – like O’Farrill – are now waiting in shelters or elsewhere in Juárez until their number is called

Central America Regional, Mexico

By using the direct-bus method, smugglers can eliminate the need for stash houses along the border where they would normally keep migrants under the watch of armed guards before sneaking them across the border

Mexico

Especialistas en administración pública y en las Fuerzas Armadas advierten: en el arranque del nuevo gobierno, éste sigue sin aclarar las causas por las que otorgó al Ejército la atribución como constructor de infraestructura e incrementó su presupuesto

Al comparar el cambio de 2018 a 2019, la reducción del presupuesto para Seguridad Nacional es de 14 %

“When I arrived they told me, ‘no, here in order to get out you have to pay $3,500 U.S. dollars. Ha! $3,500!” he says

En enero y febrero de 2019 se recibieron 7 mil 941 solicitudes, la mayoría de originarios de Honduras y Venezuela; le siguen El Salvador, Guatemala y Nicaragua. En ese bimestre se concluyó el procedimiento en favor de 497 personas

Los mismos capos que ocasionaron aquella espantosa escalada criminal, son los mismos que han regresado a recuperar el terreno que habían perdido durante estos años

El Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) abrió un nuevo frente contra el gobierno de Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, en particular contra el secretario de Seguridad Pública, Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado, tras colocar narcomantas

Nicaragua

Por primera vez, desde que hace cinco meses se impuso un estado de excepción de facto prohibiendo las marchas, los protestantes se manifestaron en las calles de Managua

Venezuela

For days and nights, unruly crowds sacked 523 stores in Maracaibo as residents stood on their porches wielding weapons to guard against looters. Dozens died in hospitals

Any power-sharing deal will be extremely hard for politicians on both sides to sell. Both have led their supporters to believe that a “winner-takes-all” solution is available

El veterano halcón Elliott Abrams, representante de EE UU para Venezuela, afirma en una entrevista con EL PAÍS que algunos cargos “tienen a sus familias y su dinero en el país y querrán reunirse con ellos”

The day ahead: March 18, 2019

I’ll be reachable in the afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m recording an interview first thing in the morning for a radio show at Colombia’s National University. After that, I have more than 3 hours of internal meetings. (I should buy an extra memory-foam cushion for my chair, because I won’t be getting out of it until lunchtime.)

In the afternoon I’ll be in the office, scrambling to prepare a talk I’m giving to a class at GW University tomorrow, put together my next visit to the border three weeks from now, and finish an article for a Latin American publication that will soon be overdue.

Latin America-Related Events in Washington This Week

Monday, March 18, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

  • 8:30–11:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Buying Votes and Lining Pockets: Venezuela’s Petro-Diplomacy (RSVP required).
  • 9:00–11:00 at the Wilson Center: Nicaraguan Tragedy: From Consensus to Coercion (RSVP required).

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

  • 2:30–5:00 at the Wilson Center: The Aftermath of President Bolsonaro’s Visit to Washington and Prospects for Economic Reform (RSVP required).

Thursday, March 21, 2019

  • 9:00–11:00 at the Wilson Center: Fostering Sustainable Tourism Development in Latin America (RSVP required).

Friday, March 22, 2019

  • 9:00–6:00 at Georgetown University: Historical Political Economy of Mexico (RSVP required).
  • 9:30–11:30 at USIP: Women Leading Nonviolent Movements (RSVP required).
  • 10:30–12:30 at CSIS: Report Roll-out: Illicit Trade and the Haiti-Dominican Republic Border (RSVP required).

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press photo at The New York Times. Caption: “The killing of Ms. Franco injected a life-or-death sense of urgency into the rights movements she espoused.”

(Even more here)

March 15, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

The disapproval resolution passed the House last month, so the 59-to-41 Senate vote will send the measure to the president’s desk. Trump intends to use the first veto of his presidency

“I feel completely sandbagged. You’re going to send it to us today after the vote on the emergency declaration?”

An administration official told POLITICO that the existing surge force could not be used for a border security mission because it draws on disaster relief funds

Families held there would be issued notices to appear in immigration court and would then be released into the U.S. interior

Brazil

“Democracy and liberty only exist when your armed forces want them to,” said Bolsonaro, himself a former army captain

A year after her execution, the call for justice for Ms. Franco — a black, gay, feminist Rio de Janeiro city councilmember who was raised poor — has morphed into a rallying cry in a deeply-polarized nation

The anti-globalist, pro-Trump faction of the Bolsonaro administration, which includes his foreign minister, will clash with the more prudent generals, led by Vice President Hamilton Mourão, and the technocrats, represented by the Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and Justice Minister Sérgio Moro

Colombia

Por primera vez, magistrados y fiscales de la JEP acudieron a una instalación militar, la histórica base de Tolemaida, a recibir capacitación sobre cómo las Farc usaron minas antipersona y artefactos explosivos improvisados

La imagen del Estado para las comunidades no puede volver a ser una avioneta asperjando glifosato

Los nueve exguerrilleros entrevistados no habían manifestado un miedo tan real de que algunos de sus compañeros prefieran volver a las armas -ni cuando la Fiscalía capturó a Santrich-, especialmente por cuatro de las seis objeciones

During his seven months in office, Mr Duque has tried to strike a balance between the hard line of his mentor, Álvaro Uribe, a former president who opposes the peace accord, and Colombians who want to preserve it. Now he seems to have backed Mr Uribe’s policy

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Cuba

Cuban legal experts told The Associated Press that they expect the government to send the National Assembly between 60 and 80 new laws over the next two years to replace ones rendered obsolete by the new constitution

Guatemala, Peru

Los procesos de dignificación de las víctimas y reconciliación han sido abordados de manera diferente por los Estados

Guatemala

The U.S. Embassy said via text message that since August, Guatemala’s Interior Ministry “has repeatedly used (the vehicles) in an incorrect way”

Un vocero de la Embajada de EE. UU. en Guatemala confirmó que el Departamento de Defensa ha cesado, por ahora, la transferencia de equipos y la capacitación a las Fuerzas de Tarea debido al uso incorrecto de los jeeps J8

Mexico

La dependencia no desglosó, como se había solicitado, el municipio o entidad en que tuvieron lugar dichos enfrentamientos, ni en qué año ocurrieron

La Cámara de Diputados y el Senado emitieron la declaratoria de constitucionalidad de la reforma en materia de Guardia Nacional, luego de que fue avalada por los 32 congresos locales

“Nos preocupa que tan sólo a 100 días de su gestión ya han sido asesinados 14 defensores de derechos humanos y periodistas”

The two cases highlight the risks faced by Central American migrants in Mexico, where criminal groups have diversified well beyond drug trafficking and now help smuggle migrants north and sometimes extort or kidnap them

That he has fallen prey to his worst populist impulses bodes ill for his presidency, and for the country he governs

Venezuela

In an exclusive interview with CNN, he recounted how they prepared for the attack, and provided cell phone videos of their drones, explosives, and practice flights in the rural farmlands of Colombia

Russian oil company Rosneft spent a fortune on joint ventures in Venezuela even though it suspected it was losing out on millions of dollars, documents show. It continued investing, sources say, because the Kremlin wanted to support its ally

“I call on the colectivos; the hour of resistance has arrived, active resistance in the community,” Maduro declared in the speech on Monday

The day ahead: March 15, 2019

I’m out in the early afternoon. (How to contact me)

Other than lunch with a longtime colleague in Congress, I’m in the office with a long to-do list, as I haven’t been able to do as much writing this week as I’d hoped. I’m also going back to the border in just over 3 weeks, and need to start setting that up.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Juan Carlos Cruz photo at SinEmbargo (Mexico). Caption: “La aprobación de la Guardia Nacional se dio con 30 votos a favor y ninguno en contra en el Congreso de Michoacán.”

(Even more here)

March 14, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on the resolution to terminate the emergency. It’s a move set to have far-reaching political and legal implications

Details about the trip – his fifth to the southwestern U.S. border as president – are still unclear

GOP Sen. Mike Lee says he will vote for a disapproval resolution after Trump shot down Lee’s proposed compromise

>

Through these databases ICE has access to a large amount of data without having to get a warrant or a strong basis for searching for someone’s license plate

While this budget request is “dead on arrival” in Congress, we should still pay attention to it. It illustrates the Trump administration’s dark, reactive, and uncreative posture

Brazil, Venezuela

Gen Mourão is a member of the pragmatic faction that shares power with technocrats and ideologues in the Brazilian government. He has often contradicted Mr Bolsonaro’s outspoken sons and Ernesto Araújo, the conservative foreign minister, who want a tougher stance

Brazil

Police have arrested two former military police officers suspected of being involved in the shootings, but have yet to discover who ordered the assassination of the outspoken politician

A photograph of Brazil’s president with a suspect in the murder of Rio councillor Marielle Franco has raised disturbing questions

Colombia

Esta chocoana es la Comisionada de la Verdad para el Pacífico y desde su trabajo social de décadas se encargará de escuchar a las víctimas de la guerra en esa región del país. Abanderada de la defensa de las mujeres, María Ángela conoce en carne propia el desastre del conflicto

Fueron seis objeciones las que presentó el Gobierno y la Corte Constitucional acaba de fallar de fondo en uno de los temas: la JEP sí podrá decretar pruebas. Artículo sobre tribunal especial para militares se cayó

“Piense en los hombres y mujeres que están haciendo su proceso de reincorporación en las regiones y están mirando este espectáculo. Piense en los riesgos de seguridad nacional. Es una enorme irresponsabilidad del gobierno nacional”

Desde el 27 de octubre de 2018 hasta el 25 de febrero de este año, la Misión de Observación Electoral (MOE) reportó 107 líderes políticos, sociales y/o comunales que han sido víctimas de violencia en todo el territorio

Cinco niños han muerto por falta de atención médica debido a enfrentamientos entre el ELN y el Clan del Golfo. 5.000 personas no tienen cómo salir de un campo minado y la alimentación escasea

Guatemala

It that happens, the Guatemalan government will join other pariah governments that fail to uphold their most sacred obligation to provide security and justice for their citizens

Mexico

Tony told them that if they didn’t pay, he would take their passports and rip up their paperwork showing they could legally be in Mexico. Tony demanded $250 per person, which amounted to $1,250 for the group of five.

Los videos que exhiben una supuesta relación laboral entre el estudiante desaparecido Julio César López Patolzin y la institución castrense, “nunca fueron brindados” por la Sedena a la Procuraduría General de la República

Elementos de la Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) hicieron uso arbitrario de la fuerza contra una familia cuando dispararon desde un helicóptero en marzo de 2018 en Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, determinó una investigación de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos

Con la aprobación de Michoacán y Yucatán, la minuta será enviada a la Cámara de Diputados, donde las y los funcionarios emitirán la declaratoria de constitucionalidad

El presidente López Obrador aseguró en conferencia de prensa que los 22 pasajeros desaparecidos –y no 19 como se había informado inicialmente– son migrantes centroamericanos y podrían haber cruzado la frontera con Estados Unidos

En total, 8 guatemaltecos, 25 hondureños y un salvadoreño fueron hallados en una casa de esa localidad durante el operativo, que no dejó detenidos porque los vigilantes huyeron

ARTICLE 19 exige al Presidente de la República que se abstenga de emitir declaraciones que descalifiquen o estigmaticen a la prensa y que la ubiquen en una posición de mayor vulnerabilidad en donde puedan ser víctimas de amenazas en el ámbito digital y físico

Venezuela

“China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order. China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid”

When he was effectively missing, the human network he’d woven for years got to work

El presidente del Parlamento venezolano, reconocido como mandatario interino por más de 50 Gobiernos, asegura que todas las opciones para desalojar a Maduro están abiertas

Si las noticias son, como se ha dicho, el primer borrador de la historia, el periodismo en Venezuela, uno de los pocos bastiones que quedan de la vida democrática del país, ha sido fundamental para escribir la primera historia del chavismo

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