Meridith Kohut photo at The New York Times. Caption: “The Special Actions Force, or FAES, is being sent to work as President Nicolás Maduro’s enforcer against dissent, rights groups in Venezuela say.”

(Even more here)

January 30, 2019

Western Hemisphere Regional

The Defense Department officials said they were engaged in planning around the possibility of Trump’s declaring a national emergency and tapping into either military construction or Army Corps of Engineers funds

It will mark the latest shift in how active-duty troops are used on the border, and nudge the number from about 2,300 active-duty service members closer to a high-water mark of about 5,900 that were involved in November

A wall would prevent asylum seekers from asking for protection at any point along our border — their right under the law — and would leave many of them at the mercy of drug cartels and other criminal groups in northern Mexico

Detainees say that the Voluntary Work Program is not really voluntary. If they attempt to take a day off or refuse to work, staff members punish them by withholding essential items, threatening to move them to more dangerous housing units or locking them in their cells

Colombia, Venezuela

Habitantes de la ciudad fronteriza de Cúcuta, grabaron y publicaron en redes sociales el paso de un convoy del Ejército Nacional dirigiéndose a un sector cercano al puente Simón Bolívar, en al noche del martes


El general Leonardo Barrero fue designado por gobierno nacional como director del plan de protección para líderes sociales y periodistas, a pesar de las acusaciones que pesan sobre él por intentar obstruir investigaciones sobre falsos positivos

Renewing military attacks is a problem because so many of their fighters can just skip across the border into Venezuela. You almost have to use police intelligence more than guns and bombs if you want to go after them

Colombia, Venezuela

Without ample foreign aid, Colombia is near the point where it will not be able to cope


Deadly force might be used against persons who were not taking part in an armed conflict, which could be contrary to international law

El Salvador

Bukele is leading in the polls, followed by Carlos Calleja (ARENA) and Hugo Martínez (FMLN), who hail from traditional political parties


By failing to make a forceful defense of CICIG, which receives about 40% of its funding from the United States, the Trump administration is sending a tacit signal to Morales that he can continue to undermine anti-corruption efforts and fair elections


El presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador anunció ayer que terminó la lucha militar antidrogas y que perseguir capos no es prioridad para su gobierno, aunque promueve la creación de una polémica guardia nacional

Prosecutors filed a motion to Judge Cogan asking him to preclude the defense from arguing, as it did in opening statements, that Mr. Zambada, known as Mayo, had quietly conspired with Mexican and American officials to target Mr. Guzmán

The migrant, a 55-year-old man from Honduras, had applied for asylum in the United States after crossing the border from Mexico. Under the new policy, he will live in Mexico temporarily

The return of the Honduran asylum seeker Tuesday appeared to be ad hoc; he was rushed to a van by a Mexican immigration agent with no formal announcement of when ­others would follow

Migrant Protection Protocols for U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents


Desde que fueron adquiridos mediante un contrato de gobierno a gobierno entre Perú y la Federación Rusa, en 2013, de los 24 helicópteros Mi-171Sh-P asignados a la lucha contra el terrorismo en el valle de los ríos Apurímac, Ene y Mantaro (Vraem), 8 resultaron impactados por disparos


Pekín ha prestado a Caracas en la última década unos 54.000 millones de euros, de los que el Gobierno latinoamericano aún le debe un tercio. La relación entre ambos no pasa por su mejor momento

Will Maduro hang on to power? Will the standoff end in war? The embattled nation stands at a crossroads

Even as economists made sense of the fine print of the American sanctions — it is still unclear how much money is at stake and how it might be made available to Mr. Guaidó — some expressed fear that the nation could be plunged into anarchy

The imposition of these sanctions seemed to be premised on the assumption that they will help usher in a quick return to democracy. The history of broad economic sanctions complicates this idea

The country’s refineries are already operating at a fraction of their capacity, crippled by a lack of spare parts and crude. Venezuela only produced a third of the 190,000 barrels of gasoline it consumed a day as of November

Known as the Special Actions Force, or FAES, it is being sent to work as Mr. Maduro’s enforcer in the poor neighborhoods that once supported him but have turned against him

The transition will require support from key military contingents. We have had clandestine meetings with members of the armed forces and the security forces

Everywhere I went as a four-star Admiral in the region while commanding U.S. Southern Command, I would be reminded of America’s history of intervention

Chest-thumping declarations that melt away over time weaken American power and credibility. In Venezuela, if the armed forces continue to back Maduro, then last week’s move may come to look feckless, while offering Maduro the opportunity to rally his domestic and foreign backers