Fernando Vergara / AP photo at The Nation. Caption: “A United Nations observer shakes hands with a rebel of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), March 1, 2017.”


Robert Karl, Greg Grandin, Will Last Year’s Peace Treaty Survive, or Is the Past Prologue in Colombia? (The Nation, June 23, 2017).

Two historians, Grandin and Robert Karl, look at Colombia’s hopeful but deeply worrying current moment, drawing on the country’s violent past.

La Politica Detras de la Sustitucion de Cultivos (La Silla Vacia (Colombia), June 19, 2017).

As the Trump administration tightens pressure on Colombia to eradicate more coca, La Silla Vacía visits several regions to see how the Colombian government’s “voluntary eradication” plan, foreseen by the November 2016 peace accord, is going. It’s really complicated.


Azam Ahmed, Nicole Perlroth, Using Texts as Lures, Government Spyware Targets Mexican Journalists and Their Families (The New York Times, June 19, 2017).

A company licensed its anti-terror phone-hacking software to the Mexican government, and to no one’s surprise, the Mexican government has started using it on corruption investigators, journalists, and human rights advocates, effectively turning their phones into mobile bugging devices.

Ginger Thompson, Who Holds the Dea Accountable When Its Missions Cost Lives? (ProPublica, June 19, 2017).

In a follow-up to the previous week’s investigation of a massacre in Mexico triggered by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents sharing information with crooked Mexican cops, Thompson finds that “the DEA lit the fuse that triggered the slaughter, then stood mutely by — as if it had played no role.” Rather than just fan outrage, though, she suggests steps the agency must take to improve accountability.

Western Hemisphere Regional

Jim Rutenberg, Univision’s Urgent
Sense of Purpose: A Newsroom and a Lifeline
(The New York Times, June 18, 2017).

Univision’s news team includes many Latin American journalists who are exiled because of their work in their home countries. They see some ominous similarities between the Trump administration and the governments of the countries they fled. And now they’re at the vanguard of high-credibility U.S. journalism.