- Pablo Waisberg, Guillermo Peralta, “Grupo Pro Militar Escracha a Testigos de Juicios” (Perfil (Argentina), May 22, 2017).
A pro-military group posted a list of journalists and others who have testified in human rights cases against leaders of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, calling them “subversive terrorists from the 1970s.”
- “Public Opinion Forces Temer to Withdraw Troops From Streets of Brasilia” (MercoPress, May 26, 2017).
A brief and ill-advised use of soldiers against protestors “shocked a capital already shaken by the day’s violence” and brought back memories of the 1964-85 military government. See also: Eduardo Goncalves, “Forcas Armadas Sao Usadas Contra Protestos Pela 2ª Vez” (Veja (Brazil), May 25, 2017).
- “General Va a Asesorar la Mesa Con el Eln” (El Tiempo (Colombia), June 9, 2017).
Gen. Luis Felipe Montoya, an active-duty officer, has been training with foreign “friends of the process” to take a more active role in the Colombian government’s stalled peace talks with the ELN guerrilla group.
- Marcos Ommati, “Guatemalan Armed Forces Get Involved in National Security” (Revista Dialogo (U.S. Southern Command), May 31, 2017).
The Southern Command-run publication asks the chief of Guatemala’s joint staff, “When will the Armed Forces stop supporting the National Civil Police?” The answer: “In the coming year, if not sooner.”
- Karen Cardona, “Army Steers Guatemala’s Development Train” (Revista Dialogo (U.S. Southern Command), May 16, 2017).
Guatemala’s army is fulfilling a presidential order “to restore 8,000 kilometers of roads within the shortest possible time.”
- Silvia Trujillo, “¿se Resquebraja el Pacto de Silencio de los Militares?” (Plaza Publica (Guatemala), May 25, 2017).
An active-duty colonel wrote a book recognizing some of the Guatemalan military’s civil war-era crimes and alignment with the country’s small elite. The author speculates that this could be a step toward cracking open the armed forces’ “pact of silence.”
- Juan Alberto Cedillo, “Soldados Piden Regresar a Cuarteles Porque “Estamos Hartos de Capturar Criminales Que Luego Salen Libres”” (Proceso (Mexico), May 18, 2017).
Soldiers in the state of Tamaulipas, where Mexico’s Army and Navy are in frequent firefights with criminal groups, write a letter asking to be pulled off the streets because “we’ve had enough of killing hitmen.” It voices rage at human rights NGOs and the government because “nobody says anything” when their comrades are killed.
- “Censura Sedena a ‘la Jornada’” (La Jornada (Mexico), May 25, 2017).
Mexico’s Defense Ministry (headed by an active-duty general) has begun freezing out La Jornada, a left-leaning Mexico City daily, leaving it off its mailing list for press releases and events.
- Hannah Dreier, “All Eyes on Venezuelan Military as Country Teeters” (Associated Press, June 9, 2017).
A few glimpses into one of Venezuela’s main “black boxes”: attitudes in the military. “Soldiers’ families suffers along with protesters who skip meals while watching their money become worthless. Some are unsure whether to blame the government or the opposition for the crisis, and what soldiers decide in the coming months could decide the country’s fate.” See also: “Venezuela’s Defense Chief Warns Guardsmen on Excessive Force” (Associated Press, June 8, 2017) and Girish Gupta, Andrew Cawthorne, “Venezuela Jailed 14 Army Officers for Dissent at Start of Protests: Documents” (Reuters, June 6, 2017).
- Jose Rafael Lopez P., “Militarizacion de la Justicia: Estado Pretoriano” (Tal Cual (Venezuela), May 25, 2017).
Human rights defenders are denouncing Venezuela’s new practice of trying civilians in military courts for their role in political protests.
- Gabriel Sosa Plata, “El Video y el Ejercito” (SinEmbargo (Mexico), May 16, 2017).
Lo ocurrido en Palmarito no debe repetirse porque independientemente de la violación de derechos humanos y la urgente redefinición de la política de seguridad interna, polariza a nuestra sociedad
May 15, 2017
- Sanjuana Martinez, “Palmarito, el Ejercito Ejecutando” (SinEmbargo (Mexico), May 15, 2017).
El Ejército debe respetar el marco legal. Si no lo hace, si no respeta las leyes, si ignora la Constitución, se convierte en un Ejército asesino. Punto