Central America Regional, Mexico

Planas looks at the vastly increased use of the federal criminal justice system to punish undocumented migrants who have been apprehended more than once. Fully a quarter of apprehended migrants now face criminal prosecution, in which they are tried en masse in procedures that fail to meet the definition of “due process.”


Anderson, one of the best writers covering Latin America, explores the complexities of the FARC peace process by profiling guerrilla leader Carlos Antonio Lozada.


A profile of Nemesio Oceguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” the leader of Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation cartel who has probably replaced El Chapo as the most powerful crime boss in the country. However, the article also hints that “El Mencho” may be more of a figurehead, with real power residing among the González Valencia brothers who run a Michoacán-based trafficking group called Los Cuinis.

“The nexus between organized crime and the authorities means that any effort to silence newspapers by one actor may work to the benefit of others,” Malkin writes, discussing the brave labor of journalists at local media outlets in the regions of Mexico hardest hit by violence.


“The MUD [opposition coalition] may not have succeeded in stopping the government’s march toward authoritarianism and militarization. But to its credit, the MUD has made this march costlier than Chávez or Maduro ever imagined.” I would’ve liked more discussion of how the elite-heavy MUD is trying to reach out to poor Venezuelans, a key part of the story that’s only mentioned in a paragraph here. But this is a solid argument.