5 links from the past week
- In part 5 of a 5-part series, The Washington Post’s Mary Beth Sheridan takes an in-depth look at the increasing power and unaccountability of Mexico’s military. Few countries in Latin America have handed over so many roles to the armed forces, and it happened fast.
- Pair that with J. Weston Phippen’s investigation in Politico Magazine of a U.S.-aided Mexican Marine Special Forces unit that went on a rampage in the border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2018, disappearing dozens of people—including a U.S. citizen—without a peep from the Trump administration.
- Pair that with what is probably longtime New York Times bureau chief Azam Ahmed’s last piece before departing Mexico: the story of Miriam Rodríguez, the mother of one of tens of thousands of Mexican victims of kidnapping and murder, who got almost no help from law enforcement and captured her daughter’s killers down on her own until she, too, was murdered in her home in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.
- Communities in Colombia’s ill-governed coca-growing territories are bracing for a possible holiday announcement that U.S.-funded spray planes are to resume spraying glyphosate after a 2015 suspension. Two analysts at DeJusticia—an NGO at the vanguard of the legal fight against fumigation—decry the policy and the process being used to restart it.
- The International Crisis Group and the Fundación Paz y Reconciliación published reports warning of a deteriorating security situation along the Colombia-Venezuela border. It is formally closed due to the pandemic, but armed and criminal groups operate numerous illicit crossings. Both reports find the ELN gaining strength, at times abetted by the Venezuelan government, while paramilitaries, FARC dissidents, EPL guerrilla remnants, Venezuelan gangs, and Mexican cartel middlemen all add to the complexity.