- Olga Patricia Rendon Marulanda, “Asi Es Como la Fuerza Publica Quiere Contar la Memoria del Conflicto” (El Colombiano (Medellin Colombia), April 19, 2017).
The best overview I’ve seen of a controversy over victims and memory in Colombia’s conflict. President Juan Manuel Santos recently added Colombia’s Defense Ministry to the governing board of the Center for Historical Memory, an autonomous body that the military has verbally attacked in the past. The article reveals that the Center’s staff fear possible impact on the credibility of its future work as it prepares ground for a future Truth Commission.
- Hector Silva Avalos, “7 Things the Trump Administration Gets Wrong About MS13” (InsightCrime, April 20, 2017).
Last week the Salvadoran gang, which was founded in the United States, showed up in rhetoric from Donald Trump, the Attorney-General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security. Silva brings up a lot of points about the gang that don’t get enough attention, including the important successes that U.S. law enforcement has had against it over the past 10 years.
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
- Daniel Villatoro Garcia, “Una Fuerza Regional Antipandillas para el Triangulo Norte” (Plaza Publica (Guatemala), April 21, 2017).
An idea raised by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández last July is slowly coming to fruition. Though it’s mostly just mechanisms for improved information-sharing, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are working towards a tri-national unit to combat criminal groups that work across borders. The article notes that the countries’ different approaches to crime are an obstacle, as El Salvador and Honduras use their militaries much more freely. Neither Villatoro nor we have managed to get much information on the U.S. role in this effort.
- Sen. Claire Mccaskill (D-Missouri), “Potential Wall Cost of $66.9 Billion Concerns Mccaskill After Committee Staff Briefing” (U.S. Senate, March 29, 2017).
This citation-filled report from Senate Homeland Security Committee Democrats explains why the per-mile cost of building a border wall is likely to be a multiple of what it was in the past. Even if this report’s grave projections are off by half, the wall’s cost would still be nearly double what Republican leaders are predicting.
- Frank Bajak, “Ap Investigation Shows Peru Backsliding on Illegal Logging” (Associated Press **, April 20, 2017).
With organized crime hounding honest officials out of the country and political will at the top flagging, illegal logging is rapidly getting worse in the country with the second-largest amount of Amazon-basin forest. “The United States has little to show for more than $90 million in forest-protection aid and other assistance to Peru,” as 80 percent of timber exports are illegal.