The police in Río de Janeiro have already killed almost 500 people in the first five months of 2017. They’re also dying at a stunning rate. A security situation that had made promising improvements is now in free-fall, and the cops aren’t up to it. See also the Igarapé Foundation’s anguished analysis, also in Spanish, of the spike in violence.

Most valuable here are the many quotes from current and former DEA personnel. “‘All the cables out of headquarters, all the intelligence reports, were focused on Chapo,’ the former field agent says. ‘The bosses in D.C. were like, ‘We’ve never heard of [CJNG].’ They didn’t think they were important.’” For a more positive look at security in Mexico, Patrick McDonnell in the Los Angeles Times profiles the successful and disciplined self-defense organizations of Cherán, Michoacán.

  • Catalina Lobo-Guerrero, La Transicion (La Silla Vacia (Colombia), July 10, 2017).

A thoughtful profile of FARC members in a Cauca disarmament zone. It carefully looks at the tension between ex-fighters’ desire to keep following the organization’s orders, and their desire to pursue their own ambitions.

Video interviews, graphics, and well-researched narrative in this view of the current situation in northern Antioquia’s coca-rich Bajo Cauca region. The Urabeños organized crime group is dominant here.

The Venezuelan pro-opposition analyst and civil-military relations expert is pessimistic. She sees Nicolás Maduro as a “transitional figure.” Real power is accruing in the armed forces. The result is a 70% probability of “perpetual government” under the current regime. If that happens, San Miguel sees the military dominating Chavismo’s civilian remnants.