5 links from the past week
- In late May the U.S. State Department quietly certified that the Bukele government in El Salvador, the Giammattei government in Guatemala, and the Juan Orlando Hernandez government in Honduras met all human rights and anti-corruption requirements that Congress put in place as conditions for receiving aid. El Faro reports on everything the State Department had to ignore in order to “certify” El Salvador.
- The Project on Government Oversight compiles border wall contract data and finds that 38 construction contracts have been signed with 22 companies for a total of $6.1 billion, “which is already more than what Congress appropriated for the wall since Trump took office.”
- While FARC members are participating in Colombia’s post-conflict transitional justice system, their former kidnap victims are increasingly angry at the ex-guerrillas’ efforts to downplay the barbarity of how they were treated while in custody. Andrés Bermúdez Liévano reports for justiceinfo.net.
- InsightCrime published a great interview with Nina Lakhani, a journalist who published a book this week about murdered activist Berta Cáceres, and the struggle of indigenous and environmental defenders in Honduras. (Also listen to my podcast interview.)
- Lima’s El Comercio visits Madre De Dios, a region of Peru’s Amazon basin that has been ravaged for several years by widespread illicit gold mining. Reporter Francesca García Delgado finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing to slow the damage.