Laura Silva, Corinto, la Prueba Ácida de la Sustitución de Coca (La Silla Vacía (Colombia), Friday, March 24, 2017).
Governing territory and dialoguing with farmers is really the only way to reduce illicit drug-crop cultivation in Colombia. But it won’t be at all easy, as demonstrated by this deep dive into a county in northern Cauca that has about 1,750 acres of coca and 625 acres of marijuana.
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Ian Gordon, Inside Trump’s Border Crackdown on Women and Kids (Mother Jones, Monday, March 20, 2017).
Succinct overview of seven awful things that, with new policies now taking root at Homeland Security, are happening—or may soon happen—to Central American children and families seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Whitney Eulich, Long a Way Station for Refugees and Immigrants, Mexico Now Plays Host (The Christian Science Monitor, Thursday, March 23, 2017).
Mexico has never had a large immigrant population. With the U.S. door closing and Central Americans still fleeing violence in large numbers, Mexicans find themselves having to figure out “what they want their welcome mat to look like.”
Francisco Goldman, The Story Behind the Fire That Killed Forty Teen-Age Girls in a Guatemalan Children’s Home (The New Yorker, Monday, March 20, 2017).
This tragedy is the result of many of Guatemala’s ills all rolled into one: corrupt officials, a sluggish justice system, uncaring bureaucrats, police brutality, children discarded. Good investigative reporting and clear narration.
Jorge Javier Romero Vadillo, El Ejército Ofendido (SinEmbargo (Mexico), Thursday, March 23, 2017).
After the Mexican Army’s human rights spokesman lashes out at critics, a nice essay on the state of civil-military relations in the country today. “That the military comes out to disqualify critics, as though these were just simple affronts to its honor, is an ominous sign of a step backward from the historic advance of its subordination to civilian power achieved seven decades ago.”
(Honorable mention goes to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ 2016 reports for Guatemala and Honduras.)