5 links from the past week
- Prosecutors’ investigations indicate that an elite Mexican Marine Special Forces unit forcibly disappeared 47 people in the border city of Nuevo Laredo during the first half of 2018. Alberto Pradilla and Arturo Ángel reveal it at Mexico’s Animal Político. This is of particular concern because Mexico’s Navy/Marines tend to work more closely with U.S. military counterparts than does Mexico’s Army.
- At Politico (without the “Animal,” the U.S. publication), a very good 3,000-word overview of the current state of affairs as Colombia closes in on renewing an aerial herbicide fumigation program in coca-growing areas. There’s a lack of clarity about what a Biden administration would do with the controversial U.S.-backed program.
- Also in the category of very good election-week overviews is this analysis of the floundering U.S. policy toward Venezuela by Nicholas Confessore, Anatoly Kurmanaev, and Kenneth P. Vogel in the New York Times.
- The Colombian non-governmental organization Somos Defensores, which performs careful documentation of attacks on human rights defenders and social leaders, found that 95 defenders and leaders were killed during the first six months of 2020. The group’s latest report finds a big increase in acts of aggression attributed to Colombia’s security forces.
- At The Intercept, Ryan Deveraux narrates the trauma generated by the Trump administration’s border wall construction drive in south Texas.