Adam Isacson

Defense, security, borders, migration, and human rights in Latin America and the United States. May not reflect my employer’s consensus view.


October 2022

A new (rare) “post-populist” president

With his October 30 election victory quickly recognized by the U.S. and most international governments (though not yet by current President Jair Bolsonaro), Brazil’s Luis Inácio Lula da Silva becomes a member of a very small club: that of the world’s “post-populist” presidents.

I use the term to refer a leader who, in a democratic election, defeats and succeeds a populist, institution-defying, authoritarian-trending president. The “post-populist” leader usually defeats their adversary before the authoritarian-trending leader can serve enough time in office to consolidate their rule.

As far as I can tell, the list includes:

  • Romano Prodi, a former prime minister who narrowly defeated Silvio Berlusconi in Italy in 2006, leading a broad, fragile center-left coalition.
  • Joe Biden, a former vice president who narrowly defeated Donald Trump in the United States in 2020, leading a broad, fragile center-left coalition known as the Democratic Party.
  • Lula, a former president who narrowly defeated Jair Bosonaro in Brazil in 2022, leading a broad, fragile center-left coalition.

One could add an additional member of this “club,” in Ecuador, whose path to post-populist power was different.

  • Lenin Moreno, the vice president to populist leader Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who only turned against his former political patron after winning victory (narrowly) and succeeding him.

There may be other examples, but these are the only four who come easily to mind. Most everywhere else (Hungary, Turkey, the Philippines, Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, increasingly Mexico, etc.), populists remain firmly in power, and in many cases popular enough to win new terms.

What the small number of post-populist leaders shows us, though, is at least three things:

  1. Stopping a second term is vital. Unless an elected authoritarian is popular enough to command a super-majority (as in El Salvador), it usually takes more than a single electoral term for that leader to consolidate rule. It takes several years for non-aligned officials in other branches of government (the high courts, the electoral tribunal, anti-corruption bodies, agencies that oversee the armed forces, commerce, telecommunications) to finish their terms and be replaced. A leader seeking to undermine checks and balances can’t finish the job, usually, in one term.
  2. The rise of authoritarian populism is neither inexorable nor irreversible. This isn’t quite the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The victories of “post-populist” leaders offer hopeful proof that the norms-defying, flooding-the-social-media-zone “playbook” that today’s authoritarians follow is not unbeatable.
  3. One electoral win doesn’t mean that democratic-institutionalist political movements can declare victory. When they lose, populist leaders still outperform their poll numbers and command large minorities. When forced from office, they continue to organize and take advantage of the post-populist leaders’ perceived weaknesses. (With only slim majorities and leading fractious coalitions, those weaknesses are more than “perceived.”)

Populists can win again. They’ve already done so in Italy, and are poised to do well in the November 8, 2022 U.S. midterm legislative elections. For authoritarian populists, outcomes like Brazil’s 2022 elections could turn out to be mere setbacks.

Latin America Security-Related News: October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022


We are facing one of the worst human rights crises of recent times. During the past four years, Bolsonaro has delivered on his campaign promises from 2018

“If our president isn’t elected, everyone goes to Brasília,” said Rogério Ramos, 40, owner of an automotive electronics shop, referring to the nation’s capital. “We shut down Congress, just like in ’64”

After four years in power, a movement created by elite campaigns has built a mass base

In response to Bolsonaro’s threats, I and other Members of Congress call on the Biden Administration to defend free and fair run-off elections in Brazil on Oct 30


Así lo aseveró Gloria Cuartas, encargada del gobierno Petro de la implementación del Acuerdo de Paz, en el encuentro ‘Confluencia Nacional de Líderes y Lideresas Comunitarios por la Paz’

Indigenous and other marginalized Colombians are putting pressure on the new government to follow through on land redistribution promises

We theorize that an armed group’s position relative to the state (anti-state or pro-state) and governing ideology (sharing governing responsibilities with local institutions or destroying them to govern centrally) interact to influence citizens’ later choices about political participation

Colombia, Venezuela

El presidente de Colombia, Gustavo Petro, pidió a su homólogo venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, que regrese a su país al Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, del cual se retiró hace una década, para de esta forma fortalecer la democracia en la región


Cuba’s energy crisis has once again thrust the Caribbean island into the middle of an escalating tug-of-war between its seaside neighbor, the United States, and ally, Russia. Cuba sees the need to ease U.S. sanctions at the same time that it is benefitting from an influx of Russian oil


El juez guatemalteco, que sentó en el banquillo a militares que cometieron violaciones a los derechos humanos, denuncia persecución y amenazas debido a su trabajo


The assessment, conducted between June and August 2022, identified over 113,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Haiti. Of these, 96,000 individuals fled insecurity in the capital


Investigation into the 2015 incident revealed the 0.50-caliber weapon for the Jalisco cartel was purchased in Portland, Oregon

La Guardia Nacional prepara la adquisición de una plataforma para la intervención de comunicaciones privadas

Panama, Venezuela

De acuerdo con el Servicio Nacional de Migración, este jueves ingresaron 477 migrantes irregulares, de los cuales, 54 son venezolanos, lo que indica una baja considerable

U.S.-Mexico Border

A deep look with the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the fortification of surveillance on the border. As Nogales mayor Arturo Garino asked: “Would you want to have a blimp above your house?”

Left and right agreed that migrant children shouldn’t be torn away from their parents. But they couldn’t be bothered to pass a law

At least 853 migrants died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully in the past 12 months, making fiscal year 2022 the deadliest year for migrants recorded by the U.S. government, according to internal Border Patrol data

Biden seems to be taking the lead from Clinton by pairing increased enforcement with the creation of alternative legal pathways to enter

Some tall coca bushes in Honduras

In this tweet, Honduras’s armed forces report “identifying and securing” a coca field in the country’s rural far east. These bushes are quite tall: they were planted some time ago. Certainly before the term of President Xiomara Castro began nine months ago in late January.

Latin America Security-Related News: October 27, 2022

(Even more here)

October 27, 2022


La ceremonia se llevó a cabo en la Base Antinarcóticos de San José del Guaviare

Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday approved a law to allow President Gustavo Petro to seek peace deals with leftist rebels and criminal groups tied to drug trafficking via negotiations and processes of surrender

Guatemala, Venezuela

Decenas de migrantes venezolanos ven truncado su deseo de llegar a EE. UU. y muchos de ellos quedaron varados en Guatemala, donde claman por ayuda para regresar a su país


In exclusive interviews with Courthouse News, navy sailors incorporated into the National Guard described corruption, low pay and poor quality of services since the force initiated its transfer to the Secretariat of National Defense

This summer, the government said it had uncovered what happened during the 2014 mass abduction. Arrest warrants quickly followed. But since then, the criminal case and the new account have unraveled

Organizaciones de la sociedad civil interpusieron 24 nuevos amparos contra las reformas legislativas que delegan la operación y administración de los recursos económicos de la Guardia Nacional (GN) en manos de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional

El documento al que tuvo acceso MILENIO describe que varios parientes de estos hermanos se han convertido en los coordinadores regionales y jefes de plaza de la organización criminal

Mexico, Venezuela

Atorados en Honduras, donde piden ayuda, migrantes venezolanos que intentaron llegar a Estados Unidos relatan que en el sur de México se toparon con un muro verde formado por militares y agentes migratorios que les impidieron avanzar

The plane, operated by Venezuela’s state airline, left Mexico City’s Felipe Angeles International Airport destined for Caracas


On Monday the Biden administration expanded Trump-era sanctions to the Nicaraguan economy, cutting off the country’s lucrative gold industry from U.S. markets

U.S.-Mexico Border

We investigate secretive units within the US Border Patrol that have been accused of covering up agent misconduct

On Tuesday, Chihuahua state authorities asked the migrants to move away from a migrant aid center and the railroad tracks, and a large group pitched tents nearby on the south bank of the Rio Grande

About 1,000 Venezuelan migrants have been expelled from the U.S. into the city of Tijuana since Oct. 12, well below projections of 200 per day but enough to fill shelters beyond capacity

Latin America Security-Related News: October 26, 2022

(Abridged, because I’m traveling)

(Even more here)

October 26, 2022


Once deemed unlikely, reelection would allow Brazil’s president to double down on his cultural agenda and bring an uncertain outlook for foreign policy and the economy


La Comisión Nacional de Territorios Indígenas alerta del aumento en las masacres y homicidios contra los pueblos indígenas durante el 2021

The president is reaching out to Washington on issues like energy and drug policy, yet maintaining an anti-American rhetoric to appease his voter base back home


Mi familia es una de muchas afectadas por la impunidad de la que goza la Patrulla Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos


“The United States continues to recognize Juan Guaidó as the interim government of Venezuela,” a U.S. national security official said. “If the Venezuelan opposition decides to do away with the interim government, it is their decision”

Latin America Security-Related News: October 25, 2022

(Even more here)

(Abridged version, since I’m traveling)

October 25, 2022

Western Hemisphere Regional

The head of the Organization of American States unfairly maligned the reputation of a Brazilian lawyer who he abruptly fired as the region’s top human rights watchdog, according to a new administrative ruling

Desde la perspectiva de construcción de paz, una negociación podría ser exitosa si transforma las condiciones que hacen que muchas personas se involucren en actividades ilícitas y usen la violencia entre ellos y contra las comunidades de las que forman parte

It likely plays a key supporting role in urbanization and economic development, which would become unviable if peripheries were permanently anarchic

Colombia, Venezuela

Colombia’s engagement with Venezuela should not be seen as a reason to be silent about human rights violations and the country’s humanitarian crisis

El Salvador

At least 80 people arrested under the state of exception have succumbed without being convicted of anything

Some fear that El Salvador is replicating the oppressive conditions that touched off its brutal 12-year civil war (1980-92) between leftist guerrillas and the U.S.-backed right-wing military government

U.S.-Mexico Border

The snafus suggest a pattern of Border Patrol agents, particularly in Texas, sending migrants without friends or family in the United States to offices that get no notice

U.S.-Mexico Border, Venezuela

They have sold their belongings and trekked across a deadly jungle. Now, tens of thousands Venezuelan migrants are stranded south of the United States, with nowhere to go

Traveling this week

I’m flying overnight to Chile, where I’ll be participating in a conference on security in the Americas (which will be livestreamed) organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. I haven’t been to Chile in about seven or eight years, and am looking forward to being in Santiago again.

I won’t be posting things here regularly this week, but will resume normal tempo the week of the 31st.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: October 21, 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:

  • In the wake of the Biden administration’s announcement that Venezuelan asylum seekers will now be expelled into Mexico under Title 42, this week’s Border Update reviews numbers of expelled migrants, how the U.S. offer of humanitarian parole for 24,000 Venezuelans will work, and human rights concerns voiced by numerous actors.
  • The narrative then moves to resulting humanitarian concerns and migration shifts in a long geographic arc, going north to south from Mexican border cities, through Mexico City and southern Mexico, through Guatemala and Honduras, to Panama’s Darién Gap, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Due to staff travel, WOLA will not publish a Border Update next week. The next Update will appear on November 4.

U.S. completes first week of Title 42 expulsions into Mexico

From the U.S. border to South America, migrants, service providers, and governments have been jolted by the Biden administration’s October 12 announcement that asylum-seeking migrants from Venezuela are now subject to rapid expulsion across the land border into Mexico.

Under the Title 42 pandemic authority, begun by the Trump administration and prolonged by the Biden administration and then by a federal court order, all migrants are subject to rapid expulsion regardless of their expressed need for asylum. Mexico agrees to accept land-border expulsions of its own citizens, as well as those of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and now—as of October 12—citizens of Venezuela.

The U.S. measure comes with a program allowing up to 24,000 Venezuelans to apply for humanitarian parole in the United States. (In September alone, 33,000 Venezuelan migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border.)

Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said that U.S. authorities expelled 1,768 Venezuelan citizens during the new measures’ first four days, with each day’s number fewer than the last. By the time six days were complete, Dana Graber Ladek, the Mexico chief of mission for the U.N.-backed International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that expulsions of Venezuelans totaled more than 3,000. After seven days, according to credible information seen by WOLA, they exceeded 4,000.

Expulsions of Venezuelans have been taking place from El Paso, Texas into Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; San Diego, California into Tijuana, Baja California; Brownsville, Texas into Matamoros, Tamaulipas; Nogales, Arizona into Nogales, Sonora; and Eagle Pass, Texas into Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

“According to a Mexican official, the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador demanded that the US admit one Venezuelan for humanitarian reasons for each Venezuelan it expels to Mexico,” the Mexican daily Reforma reported. “So, if the Biden Administration receives 24,000 Venezuelans, Mexico would not accept more than 24,000 Venezuelans expelled from the United States.” WOLA has heard no official information, however, corroborating this claim that expulsions are capped at 24,000.

Humanitarian parole

On October 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted details about how the humanitarian parole process will work. Venezuelans outside the United States will be able to apply online “for advance authorization to travel and a temporary period of parole for up to 2 years.” To be approved, applicants must not have been expelled before, or have entered Mexico or Panama after the new policy went into effect (the policy was published in the U.S. Federal Register on October 19). They must have “a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their parole in the United States.”

A key obstacle is a U.S. requirement that Venezuelan applicants hold a passport that is either unexpired or within five years of having expired, restricting the availability of humanitarian parole to Venezuelans who have been able to obtain a passport. This is not easy to do, WOLA noted in 2018, due to the Venezuelan regime’s passport service being in a state of “bureaucratic disarray” and reliant on a thriving black market. “The cost of a passport in Venezuela is $200, nearly ten times the country’s minimum wage,” Reuters reported. (The Mexican daily Milenio cited black-market rates “between US$700 and US$1,500.”) “Only 1% of 1,591 migrants who left Venezuela between June and August held a passport,” Reuters added, citing the non-governmental Observatory of Social Investigations.

Upon their expulsion, Mexico’s migration authority (National Migration Institute, or INM) has been giving Venezuelan migrants documents allowing them to stay in the country for only 15 days—and in some cases, 7 days. Nearly all lack the resources or security guarantees to “self-deport” back to Venezuela, and Mexico is unlikely to have the resources to detain thousands of undocumented Venezuelans or fly them to Caracas. The most likely outcome is that many expelled Venezuelans will turn to Mexico’s already overwhelmed asylum agency (National Refugee Assistance Commission or COMAR). COMAR’s coordinator, Andrés Ramírez, said he expects the agency to receive 10,000 asylum applications from Venezuelan citizens by the end of the year.

Human rights concerns

Criticisms of the Biden administration’s move came from many quarters:

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: October 19, 2022

(Even more here)

October 19, 2022

Argentina, Paraguay

La Cancillería argentina le reclamó a Paraguay que dé explicaciones sobre un acuerdo que el gobierno de Mario Abdo Benitez está llevando adelante con la División del Atlántico Sur del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de los Estados Unidos


El presidente aseguró desde Cali que esos actores pueden tener un asiento en las conversaciones que está convocando su gobierno en las regiones

A las agencias que lideran la reforma agraria se les triplicó el presupuesto de inversión, mientras que otras como la Agencia de Reincorporación o la Agencia de Renovación del Territorio tuvieron una reducción en los recursos

Ha enfocado su carrera en la promoción de la paz y los derechos humanos

El periodista se había hecho notorio en la región por sus denuncias de posibles irregularidades en contratos públicos


The assistance includes $2 million in provisions and supplies that will be delivered through independent non-governmental organizations


Este miércoles el primer mandatario recibirá a senadores de Estados Unidos con los que también tratará sobre los planes en su lucha contra actos ilícitos

El Salvador

La PNC ha entendido que su fuerza bruta es necesaria para los gobiernos autoritarios, se ha dejado usar a conveniencia creyendo que la impunidad es eterna si se mantiene del lado del poder


El decreto gubernativo 51-2022 es producto de la alianza oficialista en el Congreso, y este tendrá un costo financiero para Guatemala de Q3 mil 600 millones

The arrest of Zamora, perhaps the country’s best-known journalist with a reputation for probity and rooting out state corruption over the past 30 years, represents another step in Guatemala’s retreat from the rule of law


A U.S. Air Force C-17, based at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, transported vital security equipment, including tactical and armored vehicles, purchased by the Haitian National Police (HNP) from Canadian Forces

Haitians currently facing series of crises that are becoming deadlier by the day with gangs, hunger and cholera outbreak


El encubrimiento de los agentes de estas entidades cuando son involucrados en casos de alto impacto se ha hecho evidente y son actos destacados por diversos organismos de derechos humanos nacionales e internacionales


El secretario de Gobernación, Adán Augusto López, dijo que en la actual administración las Fuerzas Armadas han respetado los derechos humanos, por lo que “ya quedaron atrás las oscuras noches del 68, del 70” y de Acteal

En otra acción extraordinaria para evitar un brote generalizado de violencia e inseguridad, la cúpula militar decide reforzar la seguridad con el tercer embarque de militares en los primeros 18 días del gobierno de Américo Villarreal

Morena y sus aliados modificaron el acuerdo para evitar que los titulares de la Sedena, la Marina y la Guardia Nacional deban responder preguntas de legisladores cuando acudan al Senado este miércoles 19

Del lado mexicano participaron 122 soldados y del país vecino se envió a 111 para prácticas

La violencia no pone en riesgo al sistema político y económico, en realidad, este la usa como un poderoso recurso

Mexico, Venezuela

Las calles de Ciudad Juárez, en México, están llenas de migrantes venezolanos que no tienen donde dormir ni comer

Among the requirements is having a U.S.-based supporter and holding a valid passport. The cost of a passport in Venezuela is $200, nearly ten times the country’s minimum wage


Richardson visitó la provincia del Darién junto al ministro panameño de Seguridad, Juan Pino, quien destacó que más de 300 agentes del Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (Senafront) serán desplazados en la zona limítrofe con Colombia


Las graves denuncias que acusan a la Sala Penal que integró Enma Benavides de cobrar por la liberación de narcotraficantes. La investigación que fue descabezada por la actual fiscal de la Nación

U.S.-Mexico Border

Inside the trailer are the remains of unidentified migrants that are piling up as deaths mount and local funeral homes are unable to keep up


What is the importance of the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) that the Uruguayan Armed Forces carry out with their U.S. counterparts?


More than 3,000 Venezuelans have been returned to Mexico since the policy began last week

Latin America Security-Related News: October 18, 2022

(Even more here)

October 18, 2022


Experts say militias now pose a far graver threat to the city and – because of their political ambitions and connections, including to far-right president Jair Bolsonaro – to Brazilian democracy itself

Between the start of 2022 and the first round of voting on 2 October, ACLED records at least 36 instances of political violence involving party representatives and supporters across the country


Los candidatos son Roberto Vidal y Camilo Suárez, ambos magistrados de la Sección con Reconocimiento del Tribunal Especial para la Paz

Daniel Rendon Herrera, a.k.a. “Don Mario,” Ordered to Pay $45.7 Million in Forfeiture

Moreno era el director del medio digital Voces de Córdoba, y tenía un amplio reconocimiento en la región por su labor como dirigente comunal y líder social

Un operativo logró desarmar uno de los brazos más poderosos de la temida banda en Bogotá

Colombia, Venezuela

Up to 13,000 migrants are working in Tibú, attracted by a job that pays relatively well. But opportunities are drying up as sales of coca paste grind nearly to a halt


La Fiscalía reporta que Guayaquil es la ciudad ecuatoriana con mayor cantidad de denuncias de extorsiones (474 casos hasta agosto) e intimidación (2.479 casos)

El Salvador

The arrests were ordered on October 13 by Judge María Mercedes Argüello of the trial court in Dulce Nombre de María, Chalatenango, after finding sufficient grounds for the accused officers to face trial


Según las estadísticas del Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración (IGM), del 1 al 16 de octubre han sido identificados y expulsados de Guatemala, 3 mil 7 migrantes de 21 nacionalidades, de los cuales 2 mil 354 —el 78%— procedían de Venezuela


The United States and Mexico said Monday they are preparing a U.N. resolution that would authorize an international mission to help improve security in Haiti


Múltiples reportes del Centro Regional de Fusión e Inteligencia Sureste (Cerfise) y de la 30ª Zona Militar identifican a Hernán Bermúdez, secretario de seguridad de Tabasco, como integrante del Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación

Los disparos efectuados en Ocotlán por la GN en contra de manifestantes remite a otro escenario de tensiones aún más preocupante: las intervenciones de las fuerzas armadas y la GN en conflictos sociales

El secretario sostuvo, en primer lugar, que la Comisión de Defensa de la Cámara de Diputados no es el organismo ante el cual el titular de la Sedena debe rendir cuentas

San Pedro Tapanatepec had 7,000 migrants, about 75% Venezuelans, when The Associated Press visited at the beginning of October. By Monday, Mayor Humberto Parrazales estimated the number had grown to 14,000

Mexico, Venezuela

Andrés Ramírez, coordinador general de la Comar, dijo que habrá flexibilidad para los ciudadanos que solicitaron el refugio en México pero abandonaron su caso en un intento por llegar a EU

De acuerdo con sus testimonios, tuvieron que caminar varias horas de la Central de Autobuses del Norte a las oficinas de la Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados

Durante el fin de semana más de mil 200 fueron sacados de ese país; 800 pernoctan en Ciudad Juárez


El RC-12 Guardrail que incorporó a su alá aeronaval el SENAN, es una versión militarizada para misiones de inteligencia y vigilancia de la familia de aviones de doble turbohélice King Air modelo 250 de Beechcraft

Panama, Venezuela

Figueroa se despide del «sueño americano» porque en el albergue «para nadie es ya un secreto que la frontera está cerrada» y «todo el mundo ha visto las redes sociales»

U.S.-Mexico Border

They complain he is unfamiliar with some of the operations of CBP and instead is focused primarily on reforming the culture of the Border Patrol, addressing its long list of allegations of racism and violence

The Cocopah Indian Tribe in southwestern Arizona welcomed the call to take down the containers in the latest rift between the Biden administration and Republican-led border states over how to prevent illegal border crossings

“It did not originate from CDC,” Cetron told congressional investigators, saying he “refused” to sign an order to invoke Title 42 after his team did not find sufficient public health evidence to justify the move

As of March 1, 2022, about three-quarters of family unit members (nearly 140,000) had reported to an ICE field office


El gobierno de Joe Biden viene tomando una serie de medidas progresivas que avanzan hacia una «convivencia» con el gobierno de Maduro, aunque no impliquen reconocimiento

Latin America Security-Related News: October 13, 14, and 17, 2022

(Even more here)

October 17, 2022


President Gabriel Boric is still struggling to deal with a surge of violence in the Mapuche region of Araucanía


“Estrenó” su cargo no solo declarando insubsistente a una juez de policías por graves irregularidades en su despacho, sino notificando la medida a la opinión pública, mediante un comunicado

Vorágine tuvo acceso a unas filtraciones en las que se revelan las preocupaciones y recomendaciones que un agregado militar de Colombia en Estados Unidos le envía a sus superiores en Bogotá

En entrevista exclusiva con Caracol Radio, alias ‘Iván Mordisco’ se refirió a su supuesta muerte y habló de la ‘paz total’ que propone el Gobierno de Gustavo Petro

La voz de las víctimas sin duda cuenta, pero (lo más impopular de esta columna) el modelo de verdad, justicia, reparación y no repetición no puede convertirse en el palo de la rueda de la paz

The members of the Security Council welcomed President Gustavo Petro’s commitment to peace and to comprehensive implementation of the Final Peace Agreement as expressed in his inaugural speech

El 16 y 17 de octubre del 2002, cientos de personas de la Comuna 13 en Medellín fueron víctimas de desaparición, homicidio y privados de su libertad

Colombia, Venezuela

A Tibú, el municipio colombiano con más hectáreas de coca, han llegado hasta 13.000 migrantes venezolanos atraídos por un trabajo bien pagado para ellos

Some on the Colombian beach said they would seek other routes into the United States or give up the voyage after hearing the news

Guatemala, Honduras

La madrugada de este domingo también un grupo de unos 350 migrantes de diferentes nacionalidades llegó al puesto de control en el puente Motagua, Izabal


G9 and Family leader Jimmy Cherizier, who goes by the nickname “Barbecue,” read a proposed plan to stabilize Haiti that includes the creation of a “Council of Sages” with one representative from each of Haiti’s 10 departments

The United States has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution that will encourage the “immediate deployment of a multinational rapid action force” to Haiti to address the nation’s worst security and health crisis in decades


Actualmente, la Policía tiene el reto de limpiar su imagen después de la extradición de Bonilla, el enjuiciamiento de varios miembros de la institución involucrados en casos de narcotráfico investigados por la Fiscalía del Distrito Sur de Nueva York y los cuestionamientos que se siguen haciendo


Governor Greg Abbott wants to make the border safe for his state but loose gun laws allow cartels to drive to any Texas gun shop and legally stockpile guns, Mexican officials say

Animal Político denunció que el Ejército mexicano compró, en 2019, el software Pegasus, con el que espió a dos periodistas, uno de ellos de esta casa editorial, y a un defensor de derechos humanos. Hasta el momento, las autoridades no han abierto una investigación al respecto

El Secretario de la Defensa se negó a ir a la Cámara de Diputados y solo aceptó hablar con legisladores en las instalaciones de la Sedena hasta que este sábado se conoció la suspensión del encuentro

Read More

Latin America-related events online and in Washington this week

Monday, October 17

Tuesday, October 18

  • 1:00-2:30 at Zoom: Abuse, Accountability, and Organizational Culture at U.S. Border Law Enforcement Agencies (RSVP required).
  • 2:30-4:00 at Zoom: Human Rights and the Changing Colombia-Venezuela Relationship (RSVP required).

Wednesday, October 19

Thursday, October 20

  • 1:00 at PUCP Zoom and Facebook Live: El legado del fujimorismo (RSVP required).

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: October 13, 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:

  • Mexico has agreed to a U.S. request to accept expulsions of Venezuelan citizens into its territory, using the Title 42 pandemic authority. The DHS announcement comes with the launch of a small program to allow up to 24,000 Venezuelan citizens to apply for humanitarian parole from outside the United States. Venezuelan migration to the U.S.-Mexico border, nearly all of it overland, totaled 33,000 people in September.
  • Over 48,000 people, 80 percent of them Venezuelan, transited Panama’s Darién Gap wilderness in September. The barely-governed region, once regarded as impassable, remains very dangerous for migrants who seek to walk its 60-mile-plus length.
  • A foreign ministers’ meeting alongside the OAS General Assembly session in Peru followed up on 21 countries’ commitments to improve migration management. The State Department announced in recent weeks $817 million in new migration-related assistance.
  • Mexico’s attorney general has proposed giving the National Guard, a new branch of the armed forces, a direct role in apprehending and detaining migrants, and requiring the government’s migration agency to maintain a registry of human rights defenders.
  • Texas’s troubled “Operation Lone Star” anti-migration policy was the subject of several lengthy pieces in the U.S. media over the last week, including the CBP Commissioner’s view that Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) busing of migrants has become a “pull factor” encouraging migrants to come to the border.

Mexico will now accept Title 42 expulsions of Venezuelans

“Effective immediately,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 12, “Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico.” A release from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that these returns will be expulsions across the land border under Title 42.

Title 42 is a measure that U.S. authorities, in the name of limiting COVID-19’s spread, have used to quickly expel migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border over 2.2 million times. Often, these expulsions deny migrants the right to ask for asylum in the United States. Land ports of entry along the border remain closed to most asylum seekers.

The Trump administration first implemented Title 42 in March 2020. The Biden administration maintained it, then planned to suspend it in May 2022 amid declining COVID cases. A lawsuit brought by Republican state attorneys-general prevented that May suspension. Now, the Biden administration is fighting for the right to suspend Title 42 even as it expands its application to Venezuelan citizens.

As of October 12, Mexico is accepting U.S. Title 42 land-border expulsions of citizens of five countries: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and now Venezuela. Citizens of those first four countries have made up 99 percent of recent months’ Title 42 expulsions, since land-border expulsions are cheaper and easier—both logistically and diplomatically—than expulsions by air.

As the first reports emerged of disoriented, homeless migrants returned to Mexican border cities, human rights and migrants’ rights defenders were quick to criticize the new measure. Migrants expelled to Mexico under Title 42 have been subjected to thousands of known cases of assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery, and other violent attacks. WOLA called out the Biden administration for a policy that “seeks to bring the numbers down at all costs rather than adopting measures to reopen the border to access asylum or other forms of protection,” and faulted the Mexican government for a step that “once again demonstrates its willingness to do the U.S. bidding on migration enforcement, even at the expense of the safety and well-being of migrants and asylum seekers.”

The Biden administration pushed to include Venezuelan citizens because of a sharp recent rise in arrivals of Venezuelan citizens at the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. border authorities had encountered 153,905 Venezuelans during the first 11 months of the government’s 2022 fiscal year (October 2021-August 2022), and DHS’s release revealed that 33,000 more Venezuelans arrived at the border in September, for a full-year total of about 187,000 Venezuelan migrants. Citizens of Venezuela were the second most-encountered nationality at the border in August and September. The only other countries whose citizens have ever been encountered at the border 33,000 or more times in a single month are Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and (once, in April 2022) Cuba.

Texas Public Radio reported that “up to 660 Venezuelans have been crossing every day in El Paso alone.” This has strained the city’s short-term migrant shelter capacity, reduced when its principal humanitarian nonprofit, Annunciation House, closed the largest shelter in its network earlier this year “due to maintenance issues and a lack of volunteers,” the Guardian reported.

Along with the Title 42 expansion, DHS announced a humanitarian parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelan refugees. As 33,000 Venezuelan migrants arrived at the border in September, this program would benefit a number equal to about 3 weeks of the current flow.

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Latin America Security-Related News: October 12, 2022

(Even more here)

October 12, 2022

Western Hemisphere Regional

El Estado violenta a usuarios de drogas pobres, satura las oficinas del sistema judicial, encarcela a los eslabones más bajos, mientras delitos como los de lavado de dinero son escasamente investigados e improbablemente condenados


Journalist Dom Phillips was following Indigenous rights activist Bruno Pereira when both men disappeared along a remote river


El estado de emergencia, que permite el despliegue de las Fuerzas Armadas, fue decretado el 16 de mayo por el gobierno del Presidente Gabriel Boric, en la Región de La Araucanía, y las provincias de Arauco y del Biobío


El presidente de Colombia, Gustavo Petro, planteó desde su campaña presidencial la posibilidad de reemplazar el servicio militar obligatorio y sustituirlo por un servicio que no necesariamente deba ser prestado en las fuerzas militares

Le contamos cuáles son las claves para entender este acuerdo y las preguntas que deja

Uribe says the FARC was the bad guy, and the Truth Commission says no: everyone committed crimes, but the government and paramilitaries were worse. The story told is complicated, because it was a complicated war

Colombia, Panama

Los registros oficiales señalan que, por ejemplo, en la semana del 24 al 30 de septiembre se reportaron 14.000 salidas de migrantes, que se traduce en un 12% más en comparación con la semana anterior

Dominican Republic, Haiti

Dominican President Luis Abinader announced the country’s biggest purchase of military gear since 1961 – six helicopters, ten aircraft, 21 armored vehicles and four anti-riot trucks


U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols was scheduled to fly to Haiti on Wednesday as part of an official two-day visit

The Commission for a Haitian Solution to the Crisis, also known as the Montana Accord (named for the Port-au-Prince hotel where the group formed), issued a statement on October 7 opposing any foreign intervention

Since the early 1900s, there have been at least three major foreign military interventions in Haiti led by the United States and the United Nations


Gobierno hondureño intercede ante Estados Unidos sobre la necesidad de extender el actual TPS a damnificados por Eta y Iota, o a crear un nuevo TPS


El hackeo de “Guacamaya” exhibe la corrupción, abusos y delitos de dos poderes: el poder militar y el poder presidencial (incluida la familia de AMLO)

El borrador de la Sedena y el CNI contempla penas de prisión y multas a quienes, entre otras cosas, posean, accedan o conozcan información identificada como de seguridad nacional

Because standing armies require a lot of people and resources, there is always a temptation to use them for non-defense tasks. This is not unique to Mexico. Militaries get used because they already exist and cost a lot to maintain

El golpe estaba dado desde el 9 de septiembre, con la publicación en el Diario Oficial de la Federación, el decreto por el que se “ordena” dar de baja a todo el personal de Policía Federal que quede en la GN

En vez de ello, el general citó a los legisladores a un encuentro en su oficina el próximo 18 de octubre



U.S.-Mexico Border

Officials in rural Kinney County, Texas, are pushing Gov. Greg Abbott to take ever more extreme action against migrants and asylum-seekers

When two migrants were shot on a roadside in West Texas, the police arrested two suspects: The warden of a troubled private prison, and his brother, a local jail employee

Congress remains deadlocked on how to enact immigration reform, leaving the task of managing the influx of people — a rapidly escalating problem — to the Biden White House. But the causes of the current migration boom are complicated

Nonstop commentary in the U.S. about a “border crisis” fails to convey a dramatic shift in the migrant population over the past nine years


On the first anniversary of the death of Raúl Isaías Baduel, Provea presents the report “The slow death of Baduel”, through which the human rights violations against the Minister of Defense and his relatives during almost 11 years of political prison are systematized

It has come under criticism for allowing the participation of countries with spotty human rights records, including China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Russia

The plan is intended to serve as an expanded and more orderly process. If migrants meet the criteria and are approved, they’d then be paroled into the US at an airport with the ability to also work legally

The program, an effort to deal with a surge in migrants, would be similar to one offered to Ukrainians

Venezuela, Western Hemisphere Regional

Some 4.3 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela face challenges accessing food, housing and stable employment, a recent assessment concludes

Next Tuesday: Abuse, Accountability, and Organizational Culture at U.S. Border Law Enforcement Agencies

I don’t host events very often, and I’ve wanted to do this one for a while.

There’s a few colleagues in Washington and at the U.S.-Mexico border whose work I really admire: people who take testimonies from migrants about abuse they say they suffered at the hands of U.S. border law enforcement agencies (CBP and Border Patrol), and people who doggedly follow the DHS complaints process and otherwise seek reforms to hold abusers accountable. It’s hard work.

I’m delighted that four of these colleagues accepted my invitation to talk about their work, what they’re finding, what happens when you try to achieve justice or redress after an abuse occurs, and how to bring about institutional and cultural change.

We’ll be talking at 1:00pm Eastern next Tuesday in this virtual event. I’ll share the video on YouTube (and embedded here) afterward. Please join, and share—here’s the WOLA event announcement.

Latin America Security-Related News: October 11, 2022

(Even more here)

October 11, 2022


All members of Hacía la Victoria (“Onward to Victory”) sustained eye injuries during clashes with police in anti-government protests in 2019. Their lyrics focus on police brutality and their own pain


Junto a ese documento estará una circular que relaciona los casos en los que la Nación y el sector defensa ha sido condenados por ejecuciones extrajudiciales

El Gobierno Petro está un paso más cerca de empezar los diálogos con actores armados. En primer debate de Comisiones Primeras pasó la prórroga y modificaciones a la ley 418

La Silla Vacía averiguó con fuentes en terreno en ocho regiones y, aunque en algunas han disminuido los enfrentamientos entre esos grupos y la Fuerza Pública, los grupos armados siguen matando y torturando a las poblaciones

Since its launch, 50 years ago, the ‘War on Drugs’ caused violence and environmental destruction. Colombia’s President urges to rethink this policy

Este año hubo 134 homicidios menos durante el nuevo gobierno. Entre el 7 de agosto y el 30 de septiembre del 2022 hubo 1992 casos versus 2016 del mismo período en el 2021. Esto es 6.3% menos

Colombia, Venezuela

Petro recibió un país con cerca de 2,5 millones de migrantes venezolanos y solo había hablado de migración en tres ocasiones durante toda la campaña y los primeros meses de su Gobierno


“El Gobierno cometió un error al no convertir al ministerio del Interior en un ministerio de Seguridad, sino de la Policía; tiene que reestructurarlo para que sea un ministerio de la Seguridad que incorpore a la Policía, al sistema carcelario, Inteligencia”


Migrantes en tránsito por Honduras denuncian que sufren agresiones, asaltos y ser víctimas de violaciones a sus derechos humanos en diferentes zonas del territorio por elementos de la policía Nacional


La gran mayoría del armamento que cruza la frontera son rifles de alto poder, el cual se encuentran prohibido en nuestro país

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the new lawsuit targets five US gun dealers — all based in the state of Arizona — that have contributed to the widespread availability of weapons in Mexico

Members of Mexico’s military also offered tactical equipment, ammunition, and information about rival gang members and government officials, to the cartels for the right price

Según las filtraciones, en el caso de Veracruz, la inteligencia militar señala que los integrantes de la Guardia Nacional se coordinan con tres miembros del CJNG que controlan el tráfico de migrantes

Se muestra que los casos de espionaje ilegal en contra de personas periodistas y defensoras de derechos humanos continúan aún en la actual administración

Analysts describe a dilemma for the president: allow the investigation to proceed or protect the military — an oft-hermetic institution with a history of resisting civilian oversight

A ocho años de la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa, se necesita que quienes tienen a su cargo el caso entreguen la información para conocer lo que sucedió, porque la llamada ‘verdad histórica’ no se sostiene

The same weaknesses that diminish Mexico’s ability to deal with crime hinder the effectiveness of Mexican authorities as partners for the U.S.

He recalled that it was signed in September 2021, several months before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and denied that it will be used for espionage purposes

U.S.-Mexico Border

Removal Flights in September of 107 were down 33 (24%) from the prior month and down a stunning 86 (45%) from September 2021

Darién Gap: 1,606 migrants per day

Panama just posted data about migration through the treacherous, ungoverned Darién Gap jungles that straddle eastern Panama and northwestern Colombia. Once regarded as an impenetrable barrier, this region of old-growth jungle is becoming a superhighway.

The data are mind-boggling. 1,606 migrants per day walked through the Darién in September. 1,280 were citizens of Venezuela, who have begun migrating in large numbers to the United States.

The chart below shows migration through the Darién Gap over the past 13 years. 2021’s record number of Haitian migrants, which seemed unthinkable at the time, has been surpassed by the exodus of 107,692 Venezuelans in 9 months. (Only 219 Venezuelans walked the Darién in all 11 years from 2010 to 2020.)

6.8 million Venezuelans (out of about 30 million) have left their country since the mid-2010s. Many of those coming through the Darién have already lived for years elsewhere in South America, and they’re giving up on trying to survive there.

There is potential for this exodus of Venezuelan migrants to multiply still further in the Darién. This has quickly become the number-one displacement and migration challenge in the hemisphere.

Latin America Security-Related News: October 10, 2022

(Even more here)

October 10, 2022

Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela

Autoridades de Colchane exigen más presencia estatal en esa localidad chilena. Denuncian actos de violencia en la localidad de Pisiga, en Bolivia, contra migrantes venezolanos


El alto comisionado para la Paz Danilo Rueda habla de los canales de diálogo que tiene abiertos: con el Eln, las disidencias de las Farc y las Agc; sostiene que esos grupos armados están cumpliendo sus compromisos

Dos artículos controversiales del proyecto para la prórroga de la Ley de Orden Público podrían abrir la posibilidad para que algunos disidentes de las Farc sigan con órdenes de captura y extradición suspendidas

La reunión se extendió por dos horas y tuvo lugar en territorio colombiano

El Congreso aprobó en primer debate el proyecto de ley que serviría para la “paz total”. En qué consiste esta ley, en qué contexto tendría que operar y cuáles son sus riesgos

El exjefe guerrillero de las Farc, que ordenó cientos de secuestros, ya había rendido versión en junio de este año ante la justicia transicional

El Alto Comisionado para la Paz de Colombia, Danilo Rueda, hizo un llamado urgente al ELN y las disidencias FARC para que cesen las hostilidades, la violencia y eviten perjudicar a la población civil en el sur del departamento de Arauca

Dominican Republic, Haiti

El presidente dominicano, Luis Abinader, anunció este domingo que su país adquirirá seis helicópteros, otras 10 aeronaves y equipos de defensa terrestre para desplegarlos en la frontera con Haití


El 86 % de entrevistados está a favor de la pregunta 1; esta dice: “¿Está usted de acuerdo con que se permita el apoyo complementario de las Fuerzas Armadas en las funciones de la Policía Nacional para combatir el crimen organizado?”

El Salvador

El Ministerio de Justicia y Seguridad Pública informó que la cantidad de personas detenidas a escala nacional ya ascendió a 54,518 durante los más de seis meses de régimen de excepción


Medical NGOs and activists have said that calling in military intervention risks escalating brutal Port-au-Prince violence

Among Secretary-General António Guterres’ proposals in a letter to the Security Council: the quick deployment of a rapid-action armed force to Haiti, made up of military personnel from one or more foreign nations


Un elemento del Ejército ofrecía desde el Campo Militar No. 1 equipo táctico, armas y granadas, además de proporcionar información de movilidad y operativos de fuerzas armadas a una célula de un cártel del narcotráfico

La participación de las Fuerzas Armadas en la política migratoria no solamente se ha dado por conducto de la Guardia Nacional, sino que elementos del Ejército y la Marina también han efectuado tareas de control migratorio de manera directa

The massive leak of emails from the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense shows how Mexico’s armed forces and the United States have been exchanging information to stop the trafficking of synthetic drugs

En la frontera sur de México, los migrantes que llegan de Centroamérica están atrpados. Esperan refugio, pero los acechan crimen y violencia

La violencia sigue azotando Michoacán, Jalisco y Guerrero. Uno de los presuntos enfrentamientos ocurrió entre el CJNG y Cárteles Unidos, mientras que otro fue parte de una venganza


Pareciera que las fuerzas armadas, tienen facultad y competencia para hacer reglaje a las ONG que defienden legalmente a los pueblos afectados por contaminación ambiental, y según ellas, nuestro trabajo legal constituye una amenaza al orden interno y al Estado de derecho

U.S.-Mexico Border

Rising levels of repression, food shortages and economic stability are motivating Venezuelans and Nicaraguans to flee their homelands

The local nonprofit Annunciation House, which works to help migrants arriving in the area, announced that it would be closing its largest shelter, Casa Del Refugiado, due to maintenance issues and a lack of volunteers


Sectores del Gobierno y del chavismo se muestran abiertamente dispuestos a acordar una salida conciliada a una situación política, económica y social insostenible. El régimen no está derrotado, pero su proyecto está acabado y el país, arruinado

It is time for the Biden administration to accept that the Guaidó gambit has failed and that most Venezuelans, and most of the international community, have moved on

Hay señales de humo en el horizonte, parece que las negociaciones en México se van a reanudar en las próximas semanas. Habla Geoff Ramsey, quien es experto en la crisis política de Venezuela y ha viajado regularmente al país desde 2014

Expertos aseguran que estas negociaciones particulares no se alejan del proceso en México con la oposición venezolana, más bien pretenden impulsarla

Latin America-related events in Washington and online this week

Tuesday, October 11

  • 2:00-3:00 at Revisiting Counter-Narcotics Policy in the Western Hemisphere (RSVP required).

Wednesday, October 12

  • 2:00-5:45 at Georgetown University and Youtube: Economic Stabilization and Reform Options for Argentina (RSVP required).

Thursday, October 13

  • 2:00-3:30 at USIP and online: Faces of Violence: Understanding Colombia’s Conflict through the Lens of Jesús Abad Colorado (RSVP required).
  • 5:30 at GWU Elliott School: The Only Latina in the Room Female Representation in National Security (RSVP required).

Friday, October 14

  • 9:45-2:15 at GWU Elliott School: On the Road – Migration in the 21st Century (RSVP required).
  • 10:30-12:00 at Zoom: Creating a Favorable Environment for Negotiations in Venezuela: Prospects for Resuming Talks and the Role of U.S. Stakeholders (RSVP required).

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: October 7, 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:

  • A Mexican man was shot to death inside an El Paso-area Border Patrol station after apparently menacing agents with a pair of scissors. He is the latest in a long list of individuals to die in Border Patrol-involved use-of-force incidents. The FBI is investigating.
  • A Mexican migrant was killed, and another wounded, by two men who fired a shotgun at them in a rural area east of El Paso. One of the men was the warden of a detention facility used by ICE, where he faced complaints of violent mistreatment and use of racial slurs.
  • Other Texas updates include: the New York Times revealed the identity of “Perla,” who lured migrants into flying from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard for a stunt funded by Florida’s governor; Texas’s busloads of migrants to Democratic Party-run cities are costing the state government $1,500 per passenger; Texas is about to pay $22 million per mile to build 14 miles of border wall; and a soldier appears to be the 5th National Guardsman assigned to the Texas state government’s border mission to die by suicide.
  • Mexican authorities apprehended their third-largest ever number of migrants in August, and numbers appear to be increasing again in September. For the first time in August, citizens of Venezuela were (by far) the number-one nationality apprehended.

Mexican man shot to death in El Paso-area Border Patrol station

Agents shot and killed a Mexican migrant inside the Ysleta Border Patrol station in eastern El Paso, Texas on October 4. Manuel González Morán, a 33-year-old man from Ciudad Juárez, was shot twice and pronounced dead at an El Paso hospital.

According to an FBI statement reported by the Washington Post and a document seen by VICE, as agents opened his holding cell door to process him, González rushed out into the station’s office area. There, he reportedly grabbed a pair of scissors (which the FBI called an “edged weapon”) off of a desk, and menaced the agents with them.

Agents reportedly sought to subdue González by firing a taser at him, with no apparent result. An agent or agents then shot González at close range. One bullet grazed his arm, another pierced his temple.

“A security camera in the room was not functioning at the time of the incident,” a “person with knowledge of the investigation” told the Washington Post.

The FBI is investigating the incident, along with Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility. According to the Post, the FBI statement noted that González had a U.S. criminal record, a 2011 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in Colorado.

Between October 2021 and September 14, Border Patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border had been involved in 11 use-of-force incidents involving firearms, down from 14 in fiscal year 2021 but up from 8 in 2020 and 4 in 2019. Recent cases involving death or serious injury to migrants include:

  • An injury after agents fired at a vehicle in Calexico, California on July 11, 2022.
  • A Mexican man killed by stab wounds to the upper chest after an altercation with an agent in Douglas, Arizona on May 24, 2022.
  • A Mexican man shot to death in the desert near Douglas, Arizona on February 19, 2022; agents claim he was about to throw a rock.
  • The death of a Salvadoran migrant who became “unresponsive” after being restrained for acting “unruly” near Eagle Pass, Texas on August 2, 2021.
  • A Mexican woman who has bullet fragments lodged in her brain after an agent fired at a vehicle in which she was a backseat passenger, in Nogales, Arizona on June 16, 2021.
  • A San Diego resident shot and killed through the windshield of his car in Campo, California on May 14, 2021.
  • The shooting death of a Cuban migrant who, after emerging from the Rio Grande in Hidalgo Texas on January 29, 2021, was holding a stone.

Warden of ICE detention center arrested for shooting migrants near El Paso

Two 60-year-old Texas twin brothers were arrested and charged with manslaughter after allegedly shooting at a group of migrants in rural west Texas on September 27. They are accused of firing two shotgun rounds along a roadside near the town of Sierra Blanca, in Hudspeth County, killing a man and wounding a woman, both from Mexico.

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: October 5, 2022

(Even more here)

October 5, 2022


On October 4, Secretary Blinken will travel to Santiago, Chile to meet with President Gabriel Boric and Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola to discuss democratic governance, bilateral opportunities for trade and investment, regional security, migration management, climate change, and social inclusion


La bancada afro del Congreso y actores claves del gobierno de Barack Obama tuvieron gran incidencia en este histórico hecho

Alfonso Prada, el ministro de la política, habla sobre los resultados de las medidas para proteger la vida de líderes y ex-Farc y reitera el “compromiso pleno” del Gobierno Petro

El Gobierno firmó una declaración conjunta con otros 44 países, en el que rechaza, en términos muy duros, la anexión de territorios por parte de Rusia y la agresión que ha sufrido Ucrania

After meeting in Venezuela’s capital city, representatives of the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army issued a statement saying a start date for the peace talks would be announced after the first week of November

Se trata de la noticia de mayor trascendencia en el esfuerzo de la llamada paz total de la administración Petro

El panorama es muy distinto a lo que ocurría en 2018, cuando Iván Duque llegó al poder y no reanudó las negociaciones

El 5 de octubre de 2017, miembros del Ejército y la Policía dispararon contra la comunidad de esa vereda de Tumaco (Nariño) y murieron siete personas. El Espectador revela los informes de la Fiscalía

Colombia, Venezuela

Se espera que converse con Nicolás Maduro sobre los diálogos de paz con el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), del cual Venezuela es garante, además de la apertura gradual de la frontera entre ambos países

U.S. secretary of State’s trip to South America includes a stop at a center in Bogota that connects displaced Venezuelans with government services

El Salvador

La Corte Suprema de El Salvador acordó notificar a Estados Unidos que no le entregará al cabecilla de la MS-13 acusado de terrorismo


Nine months before the presidential election, the right wing that rules the country is fracturing into rivaling projects as progressive groups discuss the elusive idea of a united candidacy


Daily life in Haiti began to spin out of control last month just hours after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said fuel subsidies would be eliminated, causing prices to double


Mexico’s president said Tuesday his government is analyzing the creation of a state-owned, army-run airline that would fly 10 leased airplanes as well as the former presidential jet

La filtración masiva de correos de la Sedena desvela fichas confidenciales de múltiples políticos y candidatos a un cargo durante los últimos procesos electorales

Acorralado entre Pegasus y Guacamayaleaks, el presidente López Obrador tuvo ayer la más desafortunada de sus conferencias matutinas

La minuta regresó a la Cámara de Diputados debido a que de último minuto se aceptó una modificación propuesta por el senador Ricardo Monreal

Sedena reportó en 2014 presuntos vínculos de 20 alcaldes de Guerrero del PRD, PRI, PVEM, PAN y el PT con grupos delictivos

Activists said Tuesday the victim was Esmeralda Gallardo, who led efforts to find her missing 22-year-old daughter


In several letters (*) addressed to the Nicaraguan Government today, UN experts said the cancellation of the legal personality of hundreds of associations “represents a clear pattern of repressing civic space”

U.S.-Mexico Border

The soldier is the 10th known Texas Guard member linked to the mission to die since its rapid expansion began in September 2021

Seizures are a dubious metric not only because those drugs will not be sold in the United States but also because of where and how those seizures occur: usually at border checkpoints and often in the possession of U.S. citizens

The coalition, led by the ACLU of Arizona, sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection commissioner Chris Magnus, who oversees Border Patrol, demanding that the agency stop confiscating and trashing peoples’ belongings

Neither the FBI nor CBP provided information about the man’s nationality or the circumstances of the shooting

A more concerted push for immigration legislation would both allow Biden to say he’s working harder to fulfill a major campaign promise and potentially put the GOP in a difficult spot


Alexandra Forseth, hija de Alirio Zambrano y sobrina de José Luis Zambrano, arremetió contra el senador republicano Marco Rubio por sus declaraciones sobre el canje que hizo la administración de Joe Biden

La reciente liberación de los sobrinos de Cilia Flores muestra un cambio drástico en el enfoque, según el politólogo Piero Trepiccione

Latin America Security-Related News: October 4, 2022

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October 4, 2022


Successes in congress as progressive standard bearer Lula is favourite to defeat Bolsonaro in second round of presidential vote

The first-round vote ended with a margin much slimmer than expected between the main candidates, President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Mr. Bolsonaro was asked directly if he would accept the election’s results. He did not answer


Today, we’re taking another step in support of securing a lasting peace, by becoming the first international accompanier to the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Accord

La bancada afro del Congreso y actores claves del gobierno de Barack Obama tuvieron gran incidencia en este histórico hecho

Algunos crímenes que le endilgan los negó, de otros dijo no acordarse y en otros más, aclaró que no estaba seguro

Aunque la “paz total” aterrizó muy rápido, negociar con los grupos armados exigirá tiempo, filigrana y audacia. Este es el panorama de diferencias y tensiones entre los participantes en el posible acuerdo

El secretario de Estado de la administración Biden habló en exclusiva con El Espectador. Sobre el restablecimiento de relaciones con Venezuela y las propuestas sobre extradición aseguró que EE. UU. respeta las decisiones soberanas de Colombia

We also talked about the interdiction operational capabilities, particularly as regards the navy, because 90 percent of the drugs are shipped by sea. We also discussed concrete aspects related with repressing and attacking in those places where the true capital of drug trafficking is produced

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, acknowledges that recent developments reflect a renewed momentum for peace consolidation

“Tenemos muchos puntos en común en prácticamente todos los problemas que tenemos que abordar”

Estos encuentros, que partieron el país en 50 regiones, están mostrando los retos de aterrizar la idea de un gobierno popular, como muestran las cinco razones claves que empujaron su suspensión

Colombia, Venezuela

Colombian guerrillas have spread deep into Venezuela, filling their ranks with recruits and taking control of communities


Grupos de militares ya han manifestado en varias oportunidades para exigir se le de un beneficio de Q120 a cada integrante por según ellos, servicios prestados


Una de cada ocho denuncias por delitos o abusos en contra de elementos de dicho cuerpo es admitida por la autoridad

Organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos y las víctimas de espionaje por medio del malware Pegasus cuestionaron las acciones del Ejército, contrarias a las indicaciones del Presidente López Obrador

Documentos obtenidos en el hackeo a la Sedena ponen en evidencia el monitoreo que hacen informantes de esa institución, sin que se aclaren los propósitos

En la marcha conmemorativa de la masacre del 2 de octubre, volvió a escucharse un grito que sigue vigente en nuestros días con las víctimas del ataque contra los normalistas de Ayotzinapa: “Fue el Ejército”

El general Luis Cresencio Sandoval envió al presidente López Obrador un oficio en el que abogó por el capitán José Martínez Crespo, uno de los militares detenidos por su presunta relación con la desaparición de los 43 normalistas

A los testigos les dijeron cómo tenían que responder, qué es lo que tenían que decir, y yo me quedé indefensa”, comentó la víctima

La propuesta establece que el Ejecutivo federal presentará un informe semestral al Congreso de la Unión en el que deberá incluir indicadores cuantificables y verificables que permitan evaluar los resultados obtenidos en materia de seguridad pública

A Villarreal Guerra no se le señala directamente de proteger al “Capo del Golfo”. Sin embargo, pareciera haber mirado hacia el otro lado

El controversial Grupo de Reacciones Especiales de Seguridad Pública, creado en la pasada administración estatal, será transformado, adiestrado y supervisado

U.S.-Mexico Border

The Border Network for Human Rights says its annual documentation campaign will begin in El Paso and expand to South Texas and the Republic of Mexico

It’s impossible to blame Venezuelans who flee their country. On the contrary, we should give them safe haven and protection

U.S.-Mexico Border, Venezuela

PolitiFact was unable to find any evidence of the report’s existence or any proof that Venezuela is taking those actions

Latin America Security-Related News: October 3, 2022

(Even more here)

October 3, 2022


The president also promised the generals and admirals that Argentina will continue with its policy of modernizing military equipment and better remuneration for the armed forces


Las rutas que salen de Guayaramerín tienen poca presencia militar y policial y escaso control de uniformados. En Brasil ven que las víctimas de trata son explotadas sexualmente


A record number are running to represent majority-Indigenous regions in Congress and state legislatures

With 99.9% of he votes tallied, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had 48.4% support and President Jair Bolsonaro had 43.2%.

Lula, a former union leader who served two terms as president from 2003 to 2010, won a narrow plurality. But it was not enough to defeat Bolsonaro

A highly polarised presidential campaign fought largely over the personalities of Bolsonaro and Lula left little space for reasoned policy arguments

A loss by President Jair Bolsonaro could cause chaos. But experts say a coup is unlikely

Brazil election: ex-president Lula to face Bolsonaro in runoff

The steep rise in police violence has been celebrated by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pushed for laws that would provide immunity for officers who commit homicide in the line of duty

Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru

A massive trove of emails from Mexico’s Defense Department is among electronic communications taken by a group of hackers from military and police agencies across several Latin American countries

Chile, Colombia, Peru

The United States strongly supports a health and science-based approach to counternarcotics. This is reflected in a policy of supporting rural development and rural security in Colombia, and we believe that President Petro strongly shares that goal


En cumbre cocalera en Putumayo se pidió incluir a 7.000 campesinos más en el Pnis y plantear proyectos verdes como alternativa a la sustitución. Catatumbo, Meta y sur de Bolívar preparan próximos encuentros

Septiembre fue el mes con menos asesinatos de líderes sociales en Colombia en lo que va de año

El asunto no es dividir a los grupos armados entre los “políticos” y los “criminales”, sino pensar una aproximación que permita suficiente flexibilidad al tener en cuenta las particularidades de cada uno y con eso lograr la Paz Total

Monseñor Héctor Fabio Henao confirmó que esa institución religiosa está en los territorios desplegando procesos de verificación pastoral del cese al fuego

En estos nueve días hemos registrado cuatro acciones ofensivas y un combate atribuidos a esos grupos armados y que serían presuntas violaciones del cese el fuego autoimpuesto

El presidente instaló la Comisión de Seguimiento, Impulso y Verificación a la Implementación del Acuerdo y la Comisión Nacional de Garantías de Seguridad. ¿Qué impacto tendrá?

Estas son las diferencias en el nivel de pobreza, los ingresos por habitante y el recaudo tributario de las regiones y subregiones de Colombia. Qué buscan y cuáles son los desafíos de los “diálogos regionales vinculantes”

EL PAÍS accede a los mensajes de las brigadas de reacción solidaria del departamento de Córdoba, convocadas por Fedegán, en los que sus miembros invitan a conformar frentes de seguridad para proteger las tierras

El secretario de Estado de los Estados Unidos arranca en Colombia su gira por Suramérica

Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela

Este diario pudo establecer que la delegación de la guerrilla viajó a Venezuela, en donde iniciará un proceso de consulta internas para definir los siguientes pasos

Colombia, Venezuela

Desde la década de los 90 el país vecino ha sido un apoyo clave en los diálogos con al menos tres guerrillas. Esta es la historia de ayuda que data desde el gobierno de Carlos Andrés Pérez y que continúa con Nicolás Maduro

A delegation from Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) traveled to Venezuela for what the leftist rebel group said could be a new phase in peace talks with the Colombian government that will also involve other ELN representatives

Es acertado este esfuerzo del gobierno de Gustavo Petro, pero es fundamental no perder de vista que en Venezuela hay una dictadura


Groups of Cubans protested Friday night in the streets of Havana for a second night, decrying delays in fully restoring electricity three days after Hurricane Ian knocked out power across the island

La población increpa a funcionarios en La Habana por el apagón de 72 horas en Cuba

The request comes as Cuba’s longtime supporter Russia struggles with the war in Ukraine while Havana contends with its worst economic crisis in three decades


Entre los acuerdos, la administración de Guillermo Lasso se habría comprometido a entregar los convenios suscritos en materia de seguridad entre Ecuador y el gobierno de los Estados Unidos a las organizaciones sociales

El Salvador

The large-scale encirclement of the town of Comasagua is the latest example of heavy-handed tactics by the government to root out street gangs

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

El Triángulo norte de Centroamérica –Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador- es una zona fragmentada, con una historia hermana. Un lugar donde la marginación y la desigualdad conviven como en tiempos coloniales


The decision by Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor in federal court in Boston is a victory for Smith & Wesson Brands Inc (SWBI.O), Sturm, Ruger & Co (RGR.N) and others accused of undermining Mexico’s strict gun laws

Una investigación de Animal Político y otros medios documenta que la Sedena compró un software espía en 2019. Periodistas han sido espiados

Registros internos de la Sedena retratan un ambiente hostil en el que denunciar por abuso sexual a un militar se vuelve una pesadilla. Las víctimas suelen ser ignoradas, dadas de baja de las Fuerzas Armadas o trasladadas a otro sitio

  • Ejercito Espia (R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales, October 3, 2022).

Estos ataques tienen algo en común: todos fueron espiados con el malware Pegasus en este sexenio, mientras hacían labores relacionadas con violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por las Fuerzas Armadas

En el tercer informe de su misión el Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos Independientes (GIEI) denunció que la Fiscalía General de la República (FGR) y las Fuerzas Armadas son obstáculos centrales

Información obtenida por el GIEI permitió identificar un denominado Comando Regional de Inteligencia Zona Norte Iguala, que la Sedena usaba para realizar labores de monitoreo, intercepción telefónica y registro de llamadas

They also occurred after Mexico’s current President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assured the public that the government no longer used the spyware and that there would be no further abuses


Roberto Gómez Herrera (a) ‘Huevo’, poco después de su captura, junto a parte de la tonelada de ladrillos de cocaína que planeaba contrabandear a Europa

U.S.-Mexico Border

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05) along with the support of other members of the Democratic Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to quickly disenroll the remaining individuals

A person briefed on the San Antonio sheriff’s office investigation into the matter told The New York Times that the person being looked at in connection with the operation is a woman named Perla Huerta


In a rare softening of hostile relations, Venezuela freed on Saturday seven imprisoned Americans in exchange for the United States releasing two nephews of President Nicolás Maduro’s wife who had been jailed for years

El secretario de Estado de los Estados Unidos, Anthony Blinken, afirmó que el Gobierno de Joe Biden acogió “con beneplácito” la liberación en Venezuela de seis ciudadanos estadounidenses detenidos por el Gobierno de Nicolás Maduro

Bolsonaro’s quiet voters

Click image to expand

Here’s the Economist’s tracker of polls leading up to Brazil’s October 2 first-round presidential elections, with the actual result of those elections added as horizontal lines.

Polling predicted challenger Luis Inácio Lula da Silva’s vote with reasonable accuracy. His 48.4 percent vote share—not enough to avoid a runoff election on October 30—was well within the band of probability that polls foresaw.

Polling utterly failed, however, to predict controversial President Jair Bolsonaro’s share of the vote. A consensus of surveys had pointed to October 2 being a blowout. Instead, Bolsonaro ended up just 5.2 percentage points behind Lula, with an outside chance of winning re-election in the second round.

Bolsonaro’s result was better than what he got in any of the dozens of polls that the Economist tracked (the blue dots in the chart). Only a handful came close.

Brazilian and international press will no doubt publish analyses over the next few days trying to explain how polling missed so bad, and what this means for the future of the opinion-surveying industry.

In the United States, where Donald Trump has outperformed his poll numbers by a few percentage points, analysts talk about “shy Trump voters.” That may have happened in Brazil, too: a lot of respondents who supported the far-right, often boorish populist president appear to have declined to say so in interviews with pollsters.

It’s also possible that pollsters under-sampled a pro-Bolsonaro sector of the population—although with compulsory voting (and nearly 80 percent turnout), the electorate’s makeup should have been easier to predict than in the United States.

Latin America-related events in Washington and online this week

Monday, October 3

  • 9:00 at Brazil votes: Where do we go from here? (RSVP required).

Tuesday, October 4

  • 11:00 at Hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Considerations on Economic Sanctions.
  • 3:00–4:30 at Traitor, Survivor, Icon: La Malinche – Expressions of Gender-Based Violence from Mexico’s Inception (RSVP required).

Thursday, October 6

Latin America Security-Related News: September 15-30, 2022

I’ve been trying to keep my news database current during two of the busiest weeks of 2022 so far. I’ve consistently been a couple of days behind, with dozens of tabs bookmarked in my browser and no time to get to them.

I’m finally caught up now. So here’s a bunch of news links from the second half of September, all at once in a big batch.

(Even more here)

September 30, 2022


El Presidente oficializó la iniciativa en la tradicional cena de camaradería. Los militares piden cobrar igual que las fuerzas de seguridad

Chile, Colombia, Peru

Secretary Blinken will also co-lead a migration ministerial on the Los Angeles Declaration, addressing irregular migration with our regional partners


La Silla tuvo acceso a documentos que explican el paso a paso de la política para desarmar a estructuras criminales. Esta es la ruta del sometimiento

Una empresa palmera se quejó de la pérdida de 8.000 unidades de la planta sembrada en Tumaco

Colombia, Venezuela

Anunció que «de manera secreta» ha instruido para la instalación de nuevas bases militares: «Nuevas en el concepto y en la capacidad de vigilancia, extendidas hasta el Cabo San Román»

No fue que él no quiso ir. Simple: No lo dejaron. Como buen soldado aceptó el papel

Dominican Republic, Haiti

Dominican politicians have resorted to Trump-like measures to control the flow of Haitians coming in


“In the Mayan language the word migrant does not exist. What exists is el caminante, el viajero, ‘the walker’ or ‘the traveler’”

Guatemala, Venezuela

Casi 10 mil venezolanos han intentado ingresar sin éxito a Guatemala durante 2022 como parte de su trayecto hacia Estados Unidos, en una ruta plagada de robos y dolor


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