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5 links from the past week
- The situation at the border right now—a jump in arrivals of unaccompanied children, the slow end of Remain in Mexico, the persistence of the Trump pandemic “expulsions” policy—is really confusing. At the New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer unpacks this moment and the difficult choices with which it presents the new Biden administration.
- The ACLU sent a letter with a big appendix to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas detailing 13 administrative complaints about “abuse, neglect, and trauma inflicted by CBP on people simply seeking protection in the United States.” The organization had filed these complaints with the DHS Inspector General between 2019 and 2020, but none of the cases has moved.
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last week made public a December 17 letter from seven of its rapporteurs, urging the Colombian government not to restart an aerial herbicide fumigation program in the country’s coca-growing areas.
- I haven’t finished reading this yet—it’s long but impressive. Noria Research published a series about Mexico’s opium poppy economy, based on fieldwork in cultivation zones. It questions dominant narratives and policies: “In Mexico, opium functions as a ‘political opiate’: one that allows marginalized regions to economically survive, while the State limits its social, educational, and development functions to a minimum.”
- A drug trafficker’s trial in New York is causing problems for Honduras’s corrupt president, Juan Orlando Hernández. At Contra Corriente, Leonardo Aguilar details some of the revelations implicating top politicians like Hernández and his rival Manuel Zelaya, as well as leadership of the security forces.