Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.


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Latin America Security-Related News: January 25, 2023

(Even more here)

January 25, 2023

Western Hemisphere Regional

A blow-by-blow account of controversies at the CELAC summit in Argentina. The body will next be presided by St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Bolivia, Colombia

As Colombia’s government moves away from forced coca eradication, Bolivia’s experience carries some “replicatable” lessons

Bolivia, Colombia, Peru

Peru sends Colombia a protest note after Gustavo Petro condemns the security forces’ raid on a Lima university


“Well armed gold miners” have kept food and medical care from reaching the Yanomami reservation in Brazil’s Amazon. An official calls for military intervention


“The shift away from crop eradication means that the success of Petro’s anti-narcotic efforts now hinges on other measures, of which there are few details.” Cites WOLA

Gustavo Petro and Chris Dodd meet at the CELAC summit. Drug policy and extradition of armed-group leaders engaged in negotiations appear to be on the agenda

The Petro government extends the UN Human Rights office’s mandate for nine more years


This year’s elections process will determine whether Guatemala can still be called a democracy


The killing of a young man in Cortés highlights the need for police reform in Honduras


The military’s internal security role is supposed to “support” police. But now they don’t even have to notify the police about arrests

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 24, 2023

(Even more here)

January 24, 2023

Argentina, Brazil, Western Hemisphere Regional

Moderate left and far-left governments are unlikely to find much unity at the CELAC summit


It’s often hard for a leftist elected leader to coexist with its military, where officers are usually very conservative. In Brazil post-Bolsonaro and post-January 8, it’s even harder


The columnist, who lost her father in the 1985 Palace of Justice operation, calls out the “cynicism” of the general who led that operation, who recently testified in Colombia’s post-conflict transitional justice tribunal

“Territorial Consultative Spaces” would enable dialogue on drug policy between government and coca cultivating communities

A delegation of government and ELN representatives to southern Chocó and northern Valle del Cauca hears calls for immediate humanitarian relief


“According to analysts, the president has not had the political intelligence to capitalize on the electorate that voted for Castillo, and instead made a drastic shift to the right that supports her decision to repress”

U.S.-Mexico Border

Deceased migrants in rural mid-Texas are being thrown into mass graves without attempting to identify them. Students have done some exhumations. Cites WOLA

Not all House Republicans, it turns out, want to do away with asylum

Latin America Security-Related News: January 23, 2023

(Even more here)

January 23, 2023


A lengthy, sympathetic profile of a president who “seemed a little overwhelmed by the prospects he faced in his mission to save Brazil”


Analysis of the Petro government’s plan to invest heavily in “tertiary” farm-to-market roads

A decree shifting around the Petro government’s peace-related org chart appears to demote the unit in charge of implementing the 2016 peace accord

“Successful result” of an originally unprogrammed round of talks in Caracas, say government and ELN negotiators

The Human RIghts Ombudsman counts 215 human rights defenders killed in Colombia in 2022

A detailed report-back from government and ELN representatives’ five-day visit to southern Chocó and northern Valle del Cauca


It “may prove to be one of the more remarkable intelligence failures of the drug war”

“Many of the migrants expelled by the United States through Ciudad Juárez wander the streets in search of help to survive, staying at the border in the hope of crossing the border”

13 Mexican journalists were killed last year, and the impunity rate for journalist killings is around 89 percent


Peru’s security forces failed to de-escalate protests, and they’re escalating. “We can no longer reach a dialogue, because many people have died”

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 20, 2023

(Even more here)

January 20, 2023

Western Hemisphere Regional

Southcom commander suggests that Latin American nations donate to Ukraine weaponry they’ve purchased from Russia


Francia Marquez calls for reparations as “a set of transformational policies that will lift up these communities that have lived through a history of violence”

How will a ceasefire between the government and one ex-FARC dissident network affect ongoing disputes between that network and other armed groups?


Diplomats discussed “human trafficking, narcotics, and other criminal cases”


Peru’s protests move to Lima, which sees outbreaks of violence

U.S.-Mexico Border

Very rare to see a U.S. soldier fire at a civilian on U.S. soil

“Last year was the most profitable on record for border contractors, and by all indications there will be more to reap in 2023”

A look at recent history shows the deliberate damage wrought by “prevention through deterrence” at the border

An explanation of “humanitarian parole,” the legal status that the Biden administration is increasingly employing to accommodate migrants instead of asylum

Latin America Security-Related News: January 19, 2023

(Even more here)

January 19, 2023


“Authorities now say the Army was complacent or even complicit in the attacks, turning a blind eye as rioters plotted in camps outside military headquarters”


Early on in talks with armed groups, Petro government representatives have asked them to “disincentivize” coca cultivation

Overview of the nine-page ceasefire agreement, with a verification mechanism, between the government and the largest ex-FARC dissident network

Colombia, Guatemala

“”Most of the Republicans who are giving a free pass to Guatemala,’ added the staffer, ‘never knew Iván Velásquez'”

The acting U.S. ambassador voices support for Colombia’s defense minister in the face of a corrupt Guatemalan prosecutorial investigation

Cuba, Haiti

A very large number of rafters returned to Cuba and Haiti


Honduras’s wave of femicides is worsening as the new year begins


We may learn a lot about the drug war from the García Luna trial. Cites WOLA

Mexico, Venezuela

About 2,060 Venezuelan migrants blocked by Title 42 expansion have given up and gone home. But in Mexico, most have no intention of doing that


“UNHCR considers that the situation prevailing in Nicaragua may be characterized as a massive violation of human rights”

U.S.-Mexico Border

“Border militia and vigilante groups have a long history of targeting migrants in the U.S. But Facebook is giving them an unprecedented platform to coordinate their activities—and amplify misinformation and conspiracy theories about migrants”

Includes a link to a letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas asking for lots of information

The first border hearing in the Republican House will take place the week of February 6

Latin America Security-Related News: January 18, 2023

(Even more here)

January 18, 2023

Western Hemisphere Regional

“Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama are facing limitations on capacity at migrant shelters, with some countries having to shutter shelters due to lack of funding,” states a non-public CBP report


Representatives of the ELN peace negotiations will participate in a 100-person delegation setting the stage for a possible humanitarian accord in parts of Colombia’s violent Pacific coast region

2022 was the worst year for murders of social leaders since the 2016 peace accord was signed

Colombia, Guatemala

The Guatemalan prosecutor’s investigation of Colombia’s defense minister looks like a political vendetta


Amid a lack of state presence, organized crime and related violence are worsening in Honduras’s eastern department of Olancho


The Tamaulipas state police’s “elite,” U.S.-trained unit, under a cloud of human rights and corruption allegations, gets a name change and loses about a quarter of its members

The Garcia Luna trial could tell us a lot about how the U.S. government has carried out the drug war, including its blind spots about “allies”


It’s really not clear how Peru’s democracy will recover from this crisis and the social divisions it has aggravated

U.S.-Mexico Border

CBP’s plan to restore fencing near the Pacific Ocean apparently includes a plan to reopen “Friendship Park”

Migrant encounters in El Paso have dropped by two-thirds since December. Title 42 expansion could be a reason, though a former Border Patrol chief blames infighting between organized crime groups across the border in Ciudad Juarez

A HRF report condemns the Biden administration’s proposed asylum “transit ban”

Latin America Security-Related News: January 16-17, 2023

(Even more here)

January 17, 2023


– Choque de Fiscalia y Gobierno por Capturas de Clan del Golfo: ¿Quien Tiene Razon? (El Espectador (Colombia), January 17, 2023).

The government wants to suspend arrest orders against Gulf Clan leaders while talks proceed. The prosecutor’s office, an independent branch of the state, disagrees

– Delegados del Gobierno y Eln Van al Pacifico y se Reunen en Venezuela (El Espectador (Colombia), January 17, 2023).

Government and ELN representatives will hold quick talks in Venezuela and then travel to Chocó and Valle del Cauca to discuss a humanitarian accord


– Carlos Alvarez Acevedo, Ong’s Advierten Mas Militarizacion por Nombramiento de Generales en Subsecretaria y en Gn (Revista Zeta (Tijuana Mexico), January 17, 2023).

The ex-general in charge of Mexico’s National Guard is now in charge of public security


– Maria Elena Castillo, Ayacucho: Si Hubo un Patron, Les Dispararon a Matar (La Republica (Peru), January 17, 2023).

Autopsies of protesters killed in December protests in Ayacucho make plain that Peruvian authorities were shooting to kill, aiming at vital organs. Illustrates the danger of using the military for crowd control

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Danyelle Khmara, Impacts of New Migration Policy on Arizona’s Border With Mexico (, January 17, 2023).

Interviews in Sonora, Mexico, with migrants stranded there by the Biden administration’s recent expansion of Title 42 expulsions to new nationalities

January 16, 2023


– Anthony Faiola, Marina Dias, Samantha Schmidt, Brazil’s Military Blocked Arrests of Bolsonaro Rioters, Officials Say (The Washington Post, January 16, 2023).

“‘You are not going to arrest people here,’ Brazil’s senior army commander, Gen. Júlio César de Arruda, told new Justice Minister Flávio Dino”


– Yamid Amat, ‘No Habra Persecucion a Campesinos Cocaleros, Si a Capitalistas de la Cocaina’ (El Tiempo (Colombia), January 16, 2023).

Felipe Tascon, who is running Colombia’s crop substitution efforts, proposes taking a softer line toward small-scale coca cultivators

– Olga Sanmartin, Buenaventura: Un Laboratorio de Paz en Medio de la Inmensa Miseria (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 16, 2023).

Principal article in a series taking the temperature of ongoing peace talks between the two main criminal groups in Buenaventura, the impoverished city that is Colombia’s busiest port

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 13, 2023

(Even more here)

January 13, 2023


– Fernando Fuentes, “se Queda, Confio en el”: Lula Confirma a su Ministro de Defensa en Medio de Tension Con ff.aa. Por Ataque en Brasilia (La Tercera (Chile), January 13, 2023).

Brazil’s Defense Minister’s job is safe in the wake of the January 8 riot

Central America Regional

– Bajan Homicidios Violentos en Centroamerica Durante 2022 (Agence France Presse, Milenio (Mexico), January 13, 2023).

Homicides declined in El Salvador and Panama, but increased in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Nicaragua has no verifiable data

El Salvador, Guatemala

– Raul Barreno Castillo, En Guatemala Detienen a Lider de Banda Salvadorena los Quijada, Que Controlaba Parte del Narcotrafico Hacia Mexico (Prensa Libre (Guatemala), January 13, 2023).

An arrest offers a rare look at Salvadoran and Guatemalan narcotrafficking groups (not gangs)


– Estado de Excepcion en Honduras Todavia No Reduce la Extorsion (Expediente Publico (Honduras), January 13, 2023).

After more than a month, Honduras’s anti-crime state of emergency doesn’t appear to be reducing crime


– Maria Verza, Mark Stevenson, National Guard Sent to Mexico City Subway on Sabotage Worry (Associated Press, Associated Press, January 13, 2023).

“The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez human rights center said the announcement ‘is concerning, because it is obvious that this agency reproduces the military’s problems with a lack of transparency and excessive use of force.'”

– Rafael Lopez Mendez, Camara de Representantes de Eu Sera Antimexicana en 2023: Ebrard (Milenio (Mexico), January 13, 2023).

Mexico’s foreign minister foresees a lot of Mexico-bashing coming from the new GOP House majority

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Elliot Spagat, Us Launches Online System to Seek Asylum on Mexican Border (Associated Press, Associated Press, January 13, 2023).

The “CBP One” app is now the main channel for asylum seekers to obtain Title 42 exemptions

Latin America Security-Related News: January 12, 2023

(Even more here)

January 12, 2023

Western Hemisphere Regional

– Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Cassidy, Salazar Release Draft Legislation to Counter China, Build Stronger Western Hemisphere (U.S. Senate, January 12, 2023).

Republican-led draft legislation would seek to build a hemispheric economic bloc to resist Chinese influence

– World Report 2023 (Human Rights Watch, January 12, 2023).

Human Rights Watch’s annual report has chapters on most Latin American countries

– Riesgo Politico America Latina 2023 (Centro de Estudios Internacionales UC, January 12, 2023).

From a Chilean think tank, a largely pessimistic political risk overview for 2023, which a few hopeful spots, mostly economic


– Ana Ionova, Andre Spigariol, Flavia Milhorance, Jack Nicas, The Moment the Brazil Rioters Broke Through: Exclusive Video (The New York Times, January 12, 2023).

Video shows security forces’ “relaxed,” insufficient response to the January 8 pro-Bolsonaro riots in Brasilia

– Meeks, Castro, Gallego, Garcia, Wild Lead 46 Members Calling on Biden to Revoke Bolsonaro’s U.S. Visa, Investigate U.S.-Based Instigators of Brazilian Insurrection (U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Democratic Office, January 12, 2023).

Strong letter from House Democrats calls for kicking Bolsonaro out of Florida and investigating anyone in the United States who backed the January 8 Brasilia riot


– ¿Como Cumplir Con los Protocolos del Cese al Fuego? (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 12, 2023).

The military wrestles with how to honor a ceasefire with some armed groups, but not others

– Sebastian Forero Rueda, Reducir Erradicacion Forzada de Coca: Asi Aterriza la Politica de Drogas de Petro (El Espectador (Colombia), January 12, 2023).

The National Police announces a sharply reduced coca eradication goal, after years of record eradication yielding almost no cultivation reductions

– Mision de la Onu Aclara por Que No Ha Empezado a Verificar Ceses al Fuego (El Espectador (Colombia), January 12, 2023).

Though the Colombian government named the UN verification mission as an observer of a ceasefire with armed groups, it never received a government request to play this role

– Combates Entre Disidencias y Eln en Arauca: ¿Quienes Son y por Que se Enfrentan? (El Espectador (Colombia), January 12, 2023).

At least 10 dead in another wave of fighting between the ELN and ex-FARC dissidents in Arauca, Colombia


– Julieta Pelcastre, Narcotrafficking Increases Violence in Ecuador (Dialogo (U.S. Southern Command), January 12, 2023).

Contends that Ecuador’s sharp increase in violent crime owes to shifts in the cocaine trade toward Ecuadorian routes

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 11, 2023

(Even more here)

January 11, 2023


– Luciana Magalhaes, Patricia Kowsmann, Samantha Pearson, Brazil’s Military Stopped Mob at Capital, Ignoring Calls to Stage a Coup (The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2023).

A look at the role of Brazil’s military on January 8, when its leaders did the right thing for democracy


– Santiago Torrado, Francia Marquez Denuncia un Intento de Atentado Con Explosivos en su Contra (El Pais (Spain), January 11, 2023).

Bodyguards find a large improvised explosive device by a roadside along the Vice President’s route in her native Cauca

Colombia, Peru

– Bram Ebus, Ivan Brehaut, La Violencia de la Coca Cruza de Putumayo Hacia Peru (La Liga Contra el Silencio, Voragine (Colombia), January 11, 2023).

The alarming resurgence of coca, armed groups, and deforestation in Putumayo, Colombia and across the river in Peru

Colombia, Venezuela

– La Ofensiva Diplomatica de Gustavo Petro para Rescatar la Confianza del Eln (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 11, 2023).

Sen. Ariel Avila says “the ELN’s ‘crisis’ communiqué can be interpreted as ‘a message from that guerrilla expressing its rejection of any pressure from the Maduro government to reach a bilateral ceasefire'”


– Julio Roman, Maria Andrea Dominguez, Migracion a Estados Unidos: Los Cinco Departamentos Que Mas Deportados Tuvieron Durante el 2022 (Prensa Libre (Guatemala), January 11, 2023).

Maps from Guatemala’s migration authority show that residents of the country’s rural highlands are leaving in greatest numbers

Guatemala, Mexico

– Liliana Villatoro, “No Hablan de Nosotras, las Mujeres Migrantes” (Agencia Ocote (Guatemala), January 11, 2023).

Interviews with Guatemalan women migrants show their often invisible struggle


– Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Ahead of U.S.-Honduras Strategic Human Rights Dialogue, Merkley Issues Statement Denouncing Human Rights Abuses and Urging U.S. to Strengthen Anti-Corruption, Pro-Rights Agenda (U.S. Senate, January 11, 2023).

“Nothing will change in Honduras until the structures of criminality—which are deeply embedded in both the military and police—are investigated and the perpetrators of human rights abuses are held accountable”

– David C Adams, Jeff Ernst, Honduras Ex-President’s Drug Trafficking Trial Postponed Until September (Univision, January 11, 2023).

“The unprecedented trial was scheduled for April, but government and defense lawyers say they need more time to review sensitive and classified documents, including Hernandez’s cooperation with the CIA”


– Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Trudeau, and President Lopez Obrador in Joint Press Conference (The White House, January 11, 2023).

AMLO praises Biden for not building a single meter of border wall

– Anushka Patil, Michael D. Shear, Biden Defends His Immigration Policy as Summit in Mexico Wraps Up (The New York Times, January 11, 2023).

Migration was the dominant theme at the North American leaders’ summit, but the leaders had little new to announce


– Genevieve Glatsky, Julie Turkewitz, Mitra Taj, Death Toll in Peru Rises to 47 Amid Extraordinary Violence (The New York Times, January 11, 2023).

Peru’s security forces stand accused of indiscriminately using lethal force in Puno on January 9

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 10, 2023

(Even more here)

January 10, 2023


– Anthony Faiola, Marina Dias, Brazilian Officials Knew of Protest, Thought They Could Contain It (The Washington Post, January 10, 2023).

Alleges that pro-Bolsonaro local politicians and police failed to take seriously the threat of the January 8 Brasilia rioting

– Isaac Stanley-Becker, Michael Kranish, Brazil’s Riot Puts Spotlight on Close Ties Between Bolsonaro and Trump (The Washington Post, January 10, 2023).

A look at how Trumpism got exported to Brazil, with disastrous results on January 8

– Julian Borger, Bolsonaro May Have to Leave Us Within Weeks, Amid Diplomatic Fallout From Brasilia Attack (The Guardian (Uk), January 10, 2023).

“Democrats are concerned that Florida, run by a hardline Republican governor and presidential contender, Ron DeSantis, is increasingly becoming a hotbed for far-right putschists”

Central America Regional

– Editorial: Will Democratic Voices Make a Comeback in 2023? (El Faro (El Salvador), January 10, 2023).

At a dark moment for democracy in Central America, a call for independent citizens to act and “take ownership over their public spaces”


– Gloria Castrillon Pulido, ¿Hay Crisis en la Mesa Con el Eln, Como Solucionarla? (El Espectador (Colombia), January 10, 2023).

It looks like the ELN peace talks need renewed contact between the parties much sooner than the January 23 date set for the next round of talks

– Imposiciones Unilaterales, Atentan Contra los Dialogos (ELN (Colombia), January 10, 2023).

Petro’s abrupt ceasefire announcement puts the talks in “crisis,” the ELN says


– Sara Solorzano, Los Controversiales Fallos Judiciales de la Jueza Dominguez (Prensa Libre (Guatemala), January 10, 2023).

Profile of a powerful Guatemalan judge whose decisions always benefit military personnel accused of human rights abuse, corrupt politicians, and similar


– Jacqueline Charles, With Not a Single Elected Leader Left, Haiti Is Becoming a Textbook Case of a ‘Failed State’ (The Miami Herald, January 10, 2023).

Terms are ending for Haiti’s last 10 elected senators, the last elected officials currently holding power


– Dan Collyns, Peru Protests: 17 Dead in Fresh Clashes as Calls Grow for President Boluarte to Resign (The Guardian (Uk), January 10, 2023).

Running clashes between protesters and government forces in Puno, a huge one-day death toll

– Liubomir Fernandez, Juliaca: 17 Muertos en Protestas Contra Dina Boluarte y por Cierre del Congreso (La Republica (Peru), January 10, 2023).

A very large single-day death toll from protests in Puno

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Katherine Hawkins, The Border Zone Next Door, and Its Out-of-Control Police Force (Project on Government Oversight, January 10, 2023).

Steps needed now to prevent a future president from making “full use of CBP’s authority to harm political opponents and quash dissent”

– Philip Bump, Biden’s Border Visit Brings Him No Closer to Fixing Immigration (The Washington Post, January 10, 2023).

A dive into the numbers to explain the true impact of Title 42 on migration


– William Neuman, A Chance for a Reset on Venezuela (The Atlantic, January 10, 2023).

Juan Guaidó and his political allies may have divided Venezuela’s opposition more than they united it

Latin America Security-Related News: January 9, 2023

(Even more here)

January 9, 2023


– Rafael R. Ioris, Democracy Under Attack in Brazil: 5 Questions About the Storming of Congress and the Role of the Military (University of Denver, The Conversation, January 9, 2023).

A smart instant take on the Brasilia “January 6” episode with Brazil expert Rafael R. Ioris of the University of Denver

– Partidarios de Bolsonaro Invaden las Sedes de los Tres Poderes en Manifestacion Contra Lula, Minuto a Minuto (Deutsche Welle, Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 9, 2023).

Moment-by-moment Spanish coverage of the Brasilia version of January 6


– Gabriel Silva Lujan, Aviones, Mentiras y Seguridad Nacional (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 9, 2023).

“Incoherence, improvisation, and contradictions” in the Colombian government’s planned purchase of fighter jets

– Gloria Castrillon Pulido, Las Razones de Petro para Decretar Cese al Fuego Con el Eln (El Espectador (Colombia), January 9, 2023).

The military is already preparing the ground for an eventual ceasefire with the ELN

– Camilo Alzate Gonzalez, “Todas las Facciones de las Agc Estan Con el Cese al Fuego”: Padre Albeiro Parra (El Espectador (Colombia), January 9, 2023).

Chocó priest discusses the new “humanitarian relief” measures being implemented to diminish the conflict’s effects on the civilian population, within the framework of the Petro government’s new peace talks

– Report of the Secretary-General on the un Verification Mission in Colombia. S/2022/1004 (Mision de la ONU en Colombia, January 9, 2023).

Latest quarterly UN verification report strikes an optimistic tone on implementation of the accord’s rural chapter

Cuba, U.S.-Mexico Border

– Elliot Spagat, Cubans Crossing Into Us Stunned to Hear of New Asylum Limits (Associated Press, Associated Press, January 9, 2023).

Across from Yuma, AP talks to some of the first Cuban migrants to be stranded in Mexico by the Biden administration’s new Title 42 expansion


– Jennifer Ávila, Los Que No se Van se Toman la Tierra (Contra Corriente, January 9, 2023).

Update on Honduras’s land tenure struggles, especially in the violent Aguán region


– Christopher Sherman, Fabiola Sanchez , Mark Stevenson, Mexican Capo’s Arrest a Gesture to Us, Not Signal of Change (Associated Press, Associated Press, January 9, 2023).

Experts say Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest was just a bone thrown to the U.S. government, and not a course change for the Mexican government

– Kevin Sieff, Mary Beth Sheridan, Dozens Slain in Mexico’s Arrest of Alleged Fentanyl Trafficker Sought by U.S. (The Washington Post, January 9, 2023).

The death toll from mayhem following Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest has risen to 29

Mexico, U.S.-Mexico Border

– Edgar Sandoval, Michael D. Shear, Biden Visits Southern Border Amid Fresh Crackdown on Migrants (The New York Times, January 9, 2023).

Mexico “bluntly” rejects any “safe-third country” arrangements for asylum seekers

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Mj Lee, Priscilla Alvarez, Biden Makes Tightly Controlled Visit to the Southern Border, His First as President (CNN, January 9, 2023).

The President visited a migrant respite center, but “coincidentally” there weren’t any migrants there at the time

Read More

Latin America Security-Related News: January 6, 2023

(I’ll post January 9 later: I’m just back from a family event that had me traveling over the weekend, and must report shortly for jury duty today.)

(Even more here)

January 6, 2023


– Santiago Torrado, El Gobierno Sometera a una Parte de las Disidencias de las Farc y Con Otra Negociara (El Pais (Spain), January 6, 2023).

The Petro government may negotiate a more political deal with the Gentil Duarte wing of the FARC dissidents, which rejected the 2016 peace accord before its signing, while it may limit talks with the Nueva Marquetalia, which signed then abandoned the accord, to conditions for demobilization

– Monitor del Cese el Fuego Unilateral del Eln Durante el Fin de Ano de 2022 (CERAC (Colombia), January 6, 2023).

No “violent actions” measured during the ELN’s holiday ceasefire


– Kate Linthicum, Cartel Lays Siege to Mexican City After Recapture of the Son of ‘el Chapo’ (The Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2023).

Argues that Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest, which proved impossible in 2019, shows that the Sinaloa cartel has weakened since then

– “el Raton” Esta Ya en Cdmx. Su Guardia Disparo a Fuerzas Federales y Le Respondieron (SinEmbargo (Mexico), January 6, 2023).

Moment-by-moment coverage of the capture of Ovidio Guzmán and related violence in Sinaloa

U.S.-Mexico Border

– J. David Goodman, They Built the Wall. Now Some in Texas Fear It May Fall Down. (The New York Times, January 6, 2023).

An in-depth look at the 3-mile privately-built border wall built on the bank of the Rio Grande in south Texas

– Remarks by President Biden on Border Security and Enforcement (The White House, January 6, 2023).

Rollout of the administration’s new humanitarian parole and Title 42-expansion policy, and of Biden’s upcoming Mexico visit

– Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Kevin Sieff, Maria Sacchetti, Nick Miroff, Biden Immigration Plan Would Restrict Illegal Border Crossings (The Washington Post, January 6, 2023).

The administration’s humanitarian parole, Title 42 expansion, and other border proposals “reflect a political shift to the center for Biden”

– Jonathan Clark, Feds Remove Controversial Border Patrol Surveillance Blimp From Nogales (Nogales International, January 6, 2023).

CBP has taken down the locally disliked “tethered aerostat” from Nogales

– Fact Sheet: Biden-?Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions (The White House, January 6, 2023).

White House lays out its plan to “draw on the success of the Venezuela initiative”

– Eileen Sullivan, Michael D. Shear, Miriam Jordan, Biden Announces Major Crackdown on Illegal Border Crossings (The New York Times, January 6, 2023).

Coverage of the Biden administration’s Title 42 expansion. Unfortunate headline, as seeking asylum is not illegal

– Dhs Continues to Prepare for End of Title 42; Announces New Border Enforcement Measures and Additional Safe and Orderly Processes (Department of Homeland Security, January 6, 2023).

DHS memo laying out the Biden administration’s new humanitarian parole and Title 42 expansion process


– Tracy Wilkinson, U.S. Looks for Opportunity in Demise of Guaido, Whom It Recognized as ‘Interim President’ of Venezuela (The Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2023).

Pivoting away from a strategy that did not succeed

Latin America Security-Related News: January 5, 2023

(Even more here)

January 5, 2023


– Mauricio Quiroz Teran, Hay Senales de ‘Malestar’ en las Ffaa y Piden Ordenes Escritas para Salir a las Calles (El Deber (Bolivia), January 5, 2023).

Evidence that the military is uncomfortable with being put in a crowd-control role amid protests following the arrest of a conservative opposition leader


– Felipe Garcia Altamar, La Complejidad de los Ceses Bilaterales: ¿el Gobierno Quiso Cenar al Desayuno? (El Espectador (Colombia), January 5, 2023).

Analysis finds that the Colombian government moved in haste by declaring a premature ceasefire

– Gloria Castrillon Pulido, No Hay Cese al Fuego Bilateral Con el Eln; Se Discutira en la Mesa de Negociacion (El Espectador (Colombia), January 5, 2023).

The government’s push for a ceasefire now appears to be the main upcoming agenda item for talks with the ELN

– Camilo Alzate Gonzalez, Crisis Humanitaria en el Choco Revelaria Fisuras en el Eln (El Espectador (Colombia), January 5, 2023).

The ELN in southern Chocó appears to be ignoring calls from the negotiating table for a humanitarian pilot program in that part of the country

– El Ministerio de la Igualdad Ya Es una Realidad (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 5, 2023).

A law creates a “Ministry of Equality,” with Vice President Francia Márquez the first minister


– Diana Lastiri, Reves a la Sedena: Juez Mantiene Suspension Indefinida a la Militarizacion de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso (Mexico), January 5, 2023).

A judge keeps on hold the AMLO government’s effort to make Mexico’s new National Guard a branch of the military

– Migrants Crowd Mexico’s Refugee Offices Amid Fears of Us Policy Change (Voice of America, January 5, 2023).

5,000 migrants showed up at COMAR’s Tapachula offices in 2 days

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Nick Miroff, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Transcript: Cartel Rx: The Fentanyl Epidemic With Dhs Secretary Mayorkas (The Washington Post, January 5, 2023).

Amid many careful responses on the border/fentanyl issue, Secretary Mayorkas hints at turf issues between ICE/HSI and DEA

– Camilo Montoya-Galvez, Biden Expands Title 42 Expulsions While Opening Legal Path for Some Migrants (CBS News, January 5, 2023).

An overview of what CBS calls the Biden administration’s “carrots and sticks approach” to protection-seeking migration

– Cindy Ramirez, Tensions Rise, Hope Falls: Border Patrol Detains Migrants Near Sacred Heart (El Paso Matters, January 5, 2023).

Venezuelan migrants crossed into El Paso, either thinking that Title 42 was over or out of desperation because it isn’t. Now Border Patrol is rounding them up

– Dave Graham, Steve Holland, Ted Hesson, U.S. Would Accept Up to 30,000 Migrants a Month in Expanded Program -Sources (Reuters, Reuters, January 5, 2023).

“The United States plans to accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela under a program paired with expulsions of people from those countries caught at the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. and Mexican officials said”

Latin America Security-Related News: January 4, 2023

(Even more here)

January 4, 2023


– Alex Cuadros, Has the Amazon Reached Its ‘Tipping Point’? (The New York Times, January 4, 2023).

It’s possible that Amazon deforestation has passed its point of no return, according to this in-depth report


– Jhordan C. Rodriguez, Laura Duarte Sandoval, Paz Con el Eln: Lo Que Viene Tras la Salida en Falso de Petro Sobre Cese al Fuego (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

There is no ELN ceasefire. And the negotiators should meet soon to clear this up

– Estas Son las Reglas de Juego para Cese al Fuego Bilateral: Asi Son los Decretos (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

Decrees with every armed group except the ELN lay out ceasefire terms

– Luke Taylor, Colombia’s Eln Guerrilla Group Denies Agreeing to National Ceasefire (The Guardian (Uk), January 4, 2023).

English overview of the ELN non-ceasefire situation

– Gloria Castrillon Pulido, “No Hay Crisis Con el Eln”: Otty Patino (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

Interview with chief government negotiator with the ELN: “Why did the president make the announcement like this?” “Petro is Petro and he is the president”

– La Desmentida del Eln Sume al Gobierno en su Primera Gran Crisis (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

The government’s reaction appears confused after the ELN denies that negotiators reached any ceasefire agreement

– Detalles Intimos de un Cese al Fuego Improvisado (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

“Improvised” sure seems to be the right word to describe Colombia’s new year ceasefire saga


– A 26 Anos de los Acuerdos de Paz en Guatemala: Un Recuento de Lo Arrebatado (Prensa Comunitaria, Desinformemonos, January 4, 2023).

26 years after a peace accord that was not honored, “there’s little left to recover”


– Marcia Perdomo, En Impunidad Permanece Caso de Misquitos Abatidos por las Ff. Aa. En Ibans, Gracias a Dios (Criterio (Honduras), January 4, 2023).

The justice system has made almost no progress holding accountable military personnel who, apparently in pursuit of drug traffickers, attacked an Indigenous community in eastern Honduras


– Luis Chaparro, Ciudad Juarez Is on Lockdown During Gang Leader Killed 10 Guards After Prison Break (VICE, January 4, 2023).

English coverage of the violent beginning to the new year in Ciudad Juárez


– Ángel Páez, Renuncio Polemico Jefe de la Dini, Juan Carlos Liendo (La Republica (Peru), January 4, 2023).

Peru’s intelligence chief is out after calling protesters a “terrorist insurgency”

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