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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Some articles I found interesting this morning

Sandra Sebastian/AP photo at National Public Radio. Caption: “Honduran migrants clash with Guatemalan soldiers in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, on Sunday.”

(Even more here)

January 19, 2021

Brazil

Candidates backed by Brazil’s right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro are expected to win control of Congress next month

Colombia

El capitulo de violencia que más se recuerda en esta zona fue la masacre de El Salado cuando 450 paramilitares asesinaron a más de 60 personas en este corregimiento en febrero de 2000

La defensa del policía Andrés Díaz Mercado señaló que el caso debería quedar en manos de la Justicia Penal Militar, dado que la muerte de Germán Smyth Puentes se dio en medio de un acto del servicio

Since FARC fighters disarmed in 2017 as part of the peace deal, a total of 253 have been killed, including four already in 2021

Guatemala, Honduras

Hundreds of police and military forces quickly surged forward, pushing migrants and asylum seekers south along the highway and off the highway itself

Before the pandemic, nationals from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua were able to travel freely across each other’s borders. Officials now are requiring a negative coronavirus test to cross. Some migrant advocates say this requirement is being used to block some refugees

Mexico

¿Qué gobierno va a querer compartir datos sensibles con México si el respeto a la confidencialidad depende del humor del presidente en la mañanera?

Parecería una mala broma: eliminar la institución que por dos décadas se ha encargado de construir el sistema de transparencia

Behind all those perceived slights is a fear that the Democrats are more likely to intervene to promote labor rights and clean energy, getting in the way of Mr. López Obrador’s ambitious agenda

“Queremos control en Estados Unidos de la venta de las armas. Eso de que vamos a tener un equipo para detectarlas y con eso nos vamos a quedar tranquilos, eso no es lo que México está planteando”

“¿Cómo va a ser débil? ¿Cómo la DEA va a fabricar evidencia? Si nosotros fabricáramos evidencia perderíamos nuestro trabajo”

U.S.-Mexico Border

Roberta Jacobson, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, will join the NSC and help oversee an anticipated U-turn in U.S. policy on migration and asylum

The plan calls on the Department of Homeland Security to develop a proposal that uses technology and other similar infrastructure to implement new security measures along the border, both at and between ports of entry

Kerlikowske, the ex-CBP head said, “The public trust issue is pretty tough right now in law enforcement generally. But when you look at (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or CBP, I think it’s even more critical right now”

Venezuela

El regreso demócrata al poder en Washington aviva el recuerdo de unos lazos políticos de hace veinte años que solo han facilitado gestiones humanitarias

5 links from the past week

  • The Justice Department’s Inspector-General released a scathing and detailed report, years in the making, about the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” or family separation policy. It lays blame at the feet of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top officials, for whom separating asylum-seeking migrant families without documenting the parent-child relationship was a feature—a “deterrent”—not a bug.
  • Investigators at El Salvador’s El Faro find that a healthy top MS-13 leader was taken out of maximum security prison for “medical emergency” reasons, a likely result of negotiations between the gang and the government of Nayib Bukele.
  • At Criterio, Aimée Cárcamo takes a deep dive into Honduras’s disappointing experience with reforming its 18,486-member national police force since 2012. It concludes that police “purification” can’t succeed in the midst of a “narco-dictatorship.”
  • Days after declining to prosecute its former defense minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, whom U.S. agents arrested last November in Los Angeles on suspicion of working with drug traffickers, Mexico’s government shared the 750-page collection of evidence that the U.S. Justice Department gathered about the case. Most of it is text messages.
  • Human Rights Watch’s latest World Report found a lot of backsliding throughout the region in 2020.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

EFE photo at Milenio (Mexico). Caption: “Los migrantes fueron detenidos por autoridades de Guatemala.”

(Even more here)

January 18, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

Key Democratic lawmakers and congressional staff have been in “constant communication” with Biden’s transition team and policy writers about the immigration plan

Brazil

Aliado fiel de Donald Trump, Bolsonaro afirmou, após a invasão do Capitólio, que, se não tivermos voto imprenso em 2022, “nós vamos ter problemas piores do que os Estados Unidos”

Colombia

La Fiscalía está llevando cada caso por separado y por eso no esté construyendo una visión judicial unificada de lo que pasó el 9S

El Salvador

Las historias que hemos leído en #ProhibidoOlvidarSV dan cuenta de un país en el que conviven aún el dolor de aquellos años y la determinación por sostener aquellos acuerdos como un logro mayúsculo

Guatemala, Honduras

Guatemalan migration officials estimated on Sunday that about 6,000 migrants were corralled between Chiquimula and the border with Honduras, most of them Honduran

The roadblock was strategically placed at a chokepoint on the two-lane highway to Chiquimula in an area known as Vado Hondo. It’s flanked by a tall mountainside and a wall leaving the migrants with few options

Hundreds of migrants managed to push through military and police lines on Saturday, but when others unsuccessfully attempted to do so on Sunday morning, soldiers responded with batons and tear gas

Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

La persecución e intento por frenar la primera caravana de migrantes del 2021, ha provocado que miles de uniformados de México, Guatemala, El Salvador y Honduras hayan tenido que movilizarse en los pasos fronterizos

Guatemala, Honduras, U.S.-Mexico Border

People in the caravan “will not find when they get to the U.S. border that from Tuesday to Wednesday, things have changed overnight and ports are all open and they can come into the United States”

Mexico

La presencia de elementos de seguridad mexicanos en la frontera sur disminuyó este domingo, luego de que la caravana de migrantes proveniente de Honduras fuera detenida y obligada a retroceder por la fuerza policiaca y militares de Guatemala

El nivel de confianza en las fuerzas armadas de nuestro país en general, y en particular del Ejercito, tiene altos niveles de confianza (alrededor del 70%)

The vigilantes bitterly deny allegations they’re part of a criminal gang, though they clearly see the Jalisco cartel as their foe. They say they would be more than happy for police and soldiers to come in and do their jobs

“It’s evident that the Mexican government is more afraid of its own army than the U.S. government, to which it has been servile”

La incógnita ahora es el comportamiento de México y su mensaje a la Administración de Joe Biden, que toma posesión el miércoles

The United States can take only one message from all of this: the López Obrador administration at its highest levels is not a trustworthy U.S. security partner

U.S.-Mexico Border

Contractors have been working day and sometimes night, effectively racing against the clock to build the border wall in the waning days of President Donald Trump’s term

A week after inauguration day, a coalition of groups across the borderlands will begin a monitoring project in order to assess the damage, and to see what needs to be done. Some hope certain sections can be removed

The 14 -mile span from the rail road bridge north to El Pico Water Plant is 90% complete in its design phase. Surveys are still ongoing, along with engineering, environmental and flood plain studies

Venezuela

Organizaciones nacionales e internacionales defensoras de los derechos humanos exigen la liberación de los detenidos, así como un pronunciamiento por parte del coordinador Residente del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas

Rodriguez, extending an olive branch to the incoming U.S. president, said the ruling socialist party is eager for a new start after four years of endless attacks by the Trump administration

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Delmer Martinez photo at Associated Press. Caption: “A police officer stands by as travelers fill the back of a truck after revising their documents and allowing them to continue their journey toward the Guatemalan border, on the highway leading to Santa Barbara, after they left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, before dawn Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The migrants left with little certainty about how far they will make it as regional governments appeared more united than ever in stopping their progress.”

(Even more here)

January 15, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

When Mr Trump took office in 2017, Latin American governments suffered a “fear of coming to his attention”, says a former adviser to his administration. But many grew to like him, largely because he left them alone

La polarización que ha originado la toma del Congreso no se revertirá fácilmente. Chile puede ser un buen espejo

Argentina, Brazil

The Brazilian and Argentine armies carried out Operation Arandu at Barão de São Borja Training Camp, in Rosário do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, November 14-20, 2020

Argentina, Paraguay

Las dos niñas argentinas que fueron presentadas como “abatidas en combate” por el ejército paraguayo en septiembre pasado, habrían sido detenidas con vida y ejecutadas por los militares de ese país

Colombia

hasta ahora lo que se ha visto de los PDET son pequeñas obras de infraestructura, como arreglos en vías terciarias, en centros educativos, en polideportivos, en casetas comunales, etc., que no necesariamente están generando desarrollo

Una tutela de los pueblos étnicos del Pacífico Nariñense logró que el Tribunal Superior de Pasto suspendiera una resolución del Ministerio del Interior según la cual no era necesario hacer consulta previa

Como parte del control que ejercía en el territorio, violó a cientos de mujeres, lo que llevó a que tuviera unos 21 hijos, según cuentas extraoficiales

  • Sergio Guzman, Damage Control (Colombia Risk Analysis, Global Americans, January 15, 2021).

The Colombian government’s not-so-subtle endorsement of Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election was a failed risky gambit. After the failed coup attempt on the United States Capitol, however, it turned out to be a huge error of judgment

Colombia, Cuba

De acuerdo con los parlamentarios, mantener relaciones diplomáticas con Cuba significa un “obstáculo real para poder alcanzar esa paz con justicia que anhelamos todos los colombianos”

Cuba

Taking a country off the list requires a presidential report and certification to Congress, which then has 45 days to reject the certification before it goes into effect

El Salvador

“La guerra fue una farsa. Mataron más de 75.000 personas entre los dos bandos –incluyendo los mil de El Mozote- y fue una farsa como los Acuerdos de Paz”, sentenció el presidente

An indictment was unsealed in Central Islip, New York charging 14 of the world’s highest-ranking MS-13 leaders who are known today as the Ranfla Nacional, which operated as the Organization’s Board of Directors

Guatemala

Giammattei añadió que busca incrementar las fuerzas armadas “con seis mil elementos más”

Guatemala, Honduras

Video shared by the Guatemala Immigration Institute showed cheering people streaming in while border agents looked on and tried to keep them from blocking traffic

Haiti

Haiti braced for a fresh round of widespread protests starting Friday, with opposition leaders demanding that President Jovenel Moïse step down next month, worried he is amassing too much power as he enters his second year of rule by decree

Mexico

En la sustracción participaron cuatro sujetos armados, en una camioneta con vidrios polarizados

Conforman esta fuerza de tarea Agentes Federales de Migracio?n, personal de la Secretari?a de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena), Guardia Nacional (GN), Agencia Mexicana de Cooperacio?n Internacional para el Desarrollo (Amexcid) de la Secretari?a de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE); y del Sistema Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), y las secretari?as de Salud y Proteccio?n Civil del estado

Resguardan la frontera del lado mexicano con elementos del INM, Guardia Nacional y las Secretarías de la Defensa Nacional y de Marina

El embajador Christopher Landau afirmó que EU ofreció a México la extradición de sospechosos de tráfico de armas, sin que el país hubiera solicitado alguna, y tampoco aceptó un donativo de aparatos de detección

His complete exoneration in Mexico came as a shocking about-face after the authorities had promised to bring the full weight of the Mexican justice system to bear

U.S. authorities said Cienfuegos helped a cartel ship thousands of kilos of drugs to America

“Estados Unidos se reserva el derecho de reanudar el enjuiciamiento de Cienfuegos si el Gobierno de México falla”, reveló Nicole Navas Oxman, titular de la vocería del Departamento de Estado, al periodista estadounidense Keegan Hamilton, de Vice News

Document is a large PDF file.

U.S.-Mexico Border

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement of regret Thursday while former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and current DOJ official Gene Hamilton blamed the president for the policy

Multiple Department of Justice leaders told us that Sessions understood at the time the zero tolerance policy was issued that its strict implementation would result in the Department of Homeland Security’s referral for criminal prosecution of adults entering the country illegally with children

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, the federal agency responsible for housing unaccompanied children, has housed 701 minors whose parents were in Mexico under the MPP program. Most — 643 of them — have been released to family members

It concludes that top Justice Department officials were a “driving force” behind the decision to put in place policies that led to separating families

The logistical report from the resettlement agency HIAS is the latest in a growing push from immigration and human rights advocates to try to hold him to his promise

Venezuela

Los integrantes de la organización no gubernamental fueron encarcelados el pasado 12 de enero y este jueves fueron presentados ante los tribunales ordinarios

Oficiales iraníes están formando a militares en Venezuela “para controlar a la sociedad venezolana”, denunció el jueves la directora ejecutiva de la ONG Instituto Casla ante autoridades de la Organización de los Estados Americanos

There’s certainly a feeling in Venezuela that a new cycle is about to begin as Joe Biden takes over as President of the United States, offering a potential reset in relations. And it’s becoming increasingly apparent that there might not be room for Guaidó in that cycle

The media outlet Efecto Cocuyo, community radio channel Fe y Alegría, as well as the National Press Workers Union, VPI TV, and news journal Panorama, among other media outlets, have become the target of stigmatization campaigns and legal scrutiny

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Antonio Baranda photo at Reforma (Mexico). Caption: “En el encuentro estuvo el Secretario de la Defensa Nacional.”

(Even more here)

January 14, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

World Report 2021, Human Rights Watch’s 31st annual review of human rights practices and trends around the globe, reviews developments in more than 100 countries

The statement by the 11-member Regional Conference on Migration suggests that Mexico and Central America could continue to turn back migrants on the basis of the perceived risks of the pandemic

Brazil

UNIFIL-MTF, the only U.N. naval peacekeeping mission, is also the first mission led by a nation that is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, since 2011

Chile

El patrullaje y la fiscalización realizados por los efectivos ha dejado a 364.509 personas detenidas por incumplir alguna norma sanitaria

Colombia, Cuba

If a country risks being placed on a terrorism list as a result of facilitating peace efforts, it could set a negative precedent for international peace efforts

Colombia

“We have noticed that when community leaders are threatened they go silent, as well as their organizations, and that interrupts the creation of new groups”

El 21 de noviembre de 2020 la Unidad Nacional de Protección expidió una resolución en la que elimina el esquema de seguridad asignado al exmagistrado auxiliar de la Corte Suprema de Justicia e investigador de la llamada parapolítica Iván Velásquez Gómez

En 2020 se presentaron 227 casos de feminicidio, 33 de estos contra niñas y adolescentes. Hasta el 13 de enero de 2021 van 16

El Salvador

Despite El Salvador’s participation in international anti-money laundering efforts, the SSF’s new regulation legitimizes legal loopholes

Guatemala

El estado de Prevención aplicará durante 15 días en Izabal, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Jutiapa, El Progreso, Petén y Santa Rosa

Precisamente unas 250 personas salieron esta noche desde Honduras en caravana hacia el punto aduanero de Corinto, fronterizo con Guatemala, con la idea de llegar a Estados Unidos

Guatemala, Honduras

The group set out on Wednesday but paused at night before reaching some 75 police officers, dressed in riot gear, who waited along the highway on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula

Guyana

“The acquisition and cross-servicing agreement is fundamentally about logistics. Basic things like parts, things you might need to fix your equipment, or food or fuel and our ability to trade goods and services while exercising or operating together”

Honduras

En los primeros 13 días de 2021, una docena de personas fueron ejecutadas y abandonadas en parajes solitarios con un modelo criminal denominado empaquetados

Mexico

Solo ocho expedientes por tortura contra militares fueron judicializados en la última década. En ellos, únicamente cinco militares recibieron alguna condena

“Vemos nosotros que la parte, digamos, floja de las investigaciones, es la parte que tiene que ver con el Ejército mexicano, es creo donde está el talón de Aquiles de todo el conjunto de la investigación”

Peru

The stigma against the left can be seen in polls as Peru approaches a presidential election in April. Just one leftist is polling above 5%

Venezuela

AZUL POSITIVO is a non-profit organization with 16 years of experience that carries out important actions of preventive health in relation to HIV, gender violence and humanitarian assistance for students, young people, LGBTI communities, excluded and poor people

Elliott Abrams, Trump’s special representative for Venezuelan affairs, held at least one meeting in December with a group of Biden transition team officials

“There will be no softballs or reminiscing about the good old days,” Meeks said in an interview with The Associated Press this week

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Alex Brandon / AP photo at The Dallas Morning News. Caption: “President Donald Trump tours a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall under construction Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, near Alamo, Texas.”

(Even more here)

January 13, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

Social media influencers with large followings such as Cuban American YouTube celebrity Alexander Otaola argued there is a tendency among far-left liberals to “criminalize” Trumpism and warned “the opposition” that Democrats now have “absolute power”

The president’s terrible example could contribute to a backslide erasing decades of progress in the region’s many young democracies

Brazil

He and his most loyal followers really do see themselves as visionary soldiers in a global battle against socialism and other ills, and if Brasília is to become the hemisphere’s sole remaining outpost, so much the better

Colombia

Military commanders advocating for integral action have clashed with civilian policymakers, who tended to favor combat solutions to the nation’s insecurity, even as the number of combatants has declined

Su familia demandó a la Nación por la ejecución extrajudicial y, luego de 13 años del crimen, un juez ordenó su reparación

El grupo armado de “Gentil Duarte” cobra más fuerza en el sur del país, mientras que el de “Iván Márquez” intenta ganarle terreno en zonas controladas por el primero

Es el cuarto firmante de paz asesinado en 2021 y el 253 desde el 24 de noviembre de 2016

Cuba

Cubans are ready to move on, a sentiment underlined by their president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who tweeted on Tuesday that the American decision had been made in “the death throes of a failed and corrupt administration”

El Salvador

El inusual traslado ocurrió justo un mes después de que este medio revelara las negociaciones entre el Gobierno y líderes de la MS-13 encarcelados en los penales de máxima seguridad

Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

Guatemalan military spokesman Ruben Tellez said on Friday that up to 4,000 soldiers would be deployed to stop the migrants from entering en masse

Mexico, U.S.-Mexico Border

If the new president’s goal is to alleviate the pain of thousands of immigrants, he should aim to reset the relationship with Mexico, a country Trump extorted

U.S.-Mexico Border

In South Texas, Trump autographed a plaque on the barrier and told a small audience of uniformed Border Patrol agents and others that “we inherited a broken, dysfunctional and open border”

Experts say Trump’s work at the border has had a big impact — on both people and the environment

In a call with reporters last week, Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said federal contractors are averaging between 1.5 and two miles of new barriers per day

Though the federal government has the power to terminate these contracts, the government will likely still have to pay a termination fee, which Bolter says is likely still cheaper than continuing

CBP said rapid construction is important to border security, but it also means builders are going in virtually blind, without any environmental impact studies

During his remarks, Trump made several misleading or false statements about his border and immigration policies. Here are five things he said that merit a closer examination

It’s the third federal court ruling in a month that found agencies of the Department of Homeland Security to be in violation of the Freedom of Information Act

President-elect Joe Biden will name Katie Tobin as the senior director for transborder security on the National Security Council

Some immigration policy experts said Biden might be hesitant to approve any quick changes, such as fast-tracking the adjudication of the MPP cases

Its policies punish people seeking protection, separate children from their parents, and turn the system created by Congress to protect refugees from persecution into one that delivers them back to danger

Venezuela

Según el presidente venezolano, los intentos por retirarlo del poder y las sanciones financieras estadounidenses fueron fundamentales para el colapso de la economía nacional, la cual se prevé pase seis años de recesión

Serious efforts should be made to explore exactly what Maduro is willing to concede, and which elements of U.S. pressure can be leveraged to get him to the negotiating table

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Mauricio Alvarado photo at El Espectador (Colombia). Caption: “Según la Mesa Nacional de Víctimas, la Resolución 1049 de 2019, asociada a la Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, omite los derechos y necesidades del núcleo familiar como sujeto colectivo de reparación.”

(Even more here)

January 12, 2021

Brazil

Desde o início, a trajetória política de Jair Bolsonaro foi marcada pela proximidade com policiais e militares de baixa patente. Isso, no entanto, não lhe dá o direito de usar o cargo de presidente da República para fazer agremiação política com soldados e policiais.

Rather than inviting Bolsonaro to a Twitter slugfest like Macron did in 2019 – a sphere where Brazil’s president feels at ease – the U.S. government will be far more effective if it resorts to traditional off-line diplomacy

Chile

“Mediante esta modificación al Decreto 265 las FF.AA. prestarán apoyo logístico, tecnológico y de transporte a nuestras fuerzas de orden y seguridad en el control de nuestras fronteras”, concluyó Piñera

Colombia

El consejero para la Estabilización entrega un balance y responde por las críticas sobre lo alcanzado hasta ahora en temas clave del Acuerdo de Paz: los PDET, la reforma rural integral, la sustitución de cultivos y la reincorporación

El líder ambiental, que durante 23 años se dedicó a evitar que esta ave endémica de Colombia se extinguiera, fue visto por última vez en la vereda La Unión, en el departamento del Valle del Cauca

La Fiscalía General de la Nación investiga, de manera diferenciada, los casos de “homicidios múltiples” ocurridos según la cantidad de víctimas: hasta tres y mínimo cuatro, los cuales corresponden a 107 y a 40

De acuerdo con sus registros, durante este tiempo, la institución es responsable por 289 homicidios, de los cuales solo el 0,69% ha terminado en condena

Colombia, Cuba

In particular, he mentioned Cuba’s refusal to extradite to Colombia members of the National Liberation Army guerrilla group following a terrorist attack in Bogotá and a breakdown in peace talks

The primary basis laid out by the administration for the re-designation is Cuba’s refusal to extradite to Colombia a group of 10 guerrilla leaders of Colombia’s National Liberation Army

Guyana, Venezuela

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told a news conference that the manoeuvres were an attempt by the outgoing Trump administration to “create provocations, threats.”

Honduras

La comisionada de policía en condición de retiro, María Luisa Borjas, sostiene que la única manera de rescatar a la institución policial es sacar a la narcodictadura

Hernández has long been portrayed by US officials as a key ally. As vice president, Biden even met with Hernández in 2015 to review joint efforts to “tackle corruption and target transnational criminal networks”

Mexico

La lógica de esta expansión no responde ya primordialmente a la decisión de combatir el crimen o garantizar la seguridad, sino al deseo de suplir funciones del gobierno mismo, en cierto sentido, a suplir al gobierno civil, cada día más un gobierno civil/militar

El Ejército firmó convenios directamente con las víctimas y pagó millonarias sumas a cambio de confidencialidad. Ha pagado incluso a afectados por la Guardia Nacional

U.S.-Mexico Border

A DHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Wolf’s tenure was flawed

Wolf’s qualifications to lead DHS were often questioned by his critics

In a call with reporters last week, Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said federal contractors are averaging between 1.5 and two miles of new barriers per day, with the scheduled completion of about 475 miles by the time President-elect Joe Biden takes office

They have blasted ravines to make way for it, and built roads to get their machines there, which have opened new routes for people

The president-elect and his aides have cautioned that the policy reversals will take time amid the pandemic. He has also yet to say whether he will rescind the asylum limits unveiled towards the end of Mr. Trump’s tenure

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Brazilian Ministry of Defense photo at Diálogo. Caption: “Operation Ágata North incinerated a total of 3,000 marijuana plants, which is equivalent to 1 ton of the processed material.”

(Even more here)

January 11, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

Gonzalez se desempeñará como consejero de temas de América Latina en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional

Brazil

The figures represent a significant increase when compared with the reported USD3.2 billion of exports in 2018

Colombia

  • Yohir Akerman, De Armas Tomar (El Espectador (Colombia), January 11, 2021).

El 27 de noviembre de 2017 la Fiscalía 106 especializada contra Violaciones a los Derechos Humanos imputó a David Bastidas por su presunto rol en 32 homicidios, 14 desapariciones forzadas y 10 casos de tortura

La propuesta de un agente israelí que condujo al exterminio de miles de militantes de izquierda y la aprobación que impartió el presidente Virgilio Barco al criminal proyecto

Al parecer miembros del Clan del Golfo entraron en una vivienda del sector La Cuarenta, en Betania (Antioquia), donde acabaron con la vida de tres personas

“Esto no es un conflicto nuevo. Buenaventura vive unos episodios de violencia de manera cíclica, producto de las reconfiguraciones del conflicto armado”

A la fecha solo se ha reparado al 17 %

Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela

Así lo señalaron tras un encuentro en la zona fronteriza ecuatoriana de Mataje, desarrollado menos de dos meses después de la realización del IX Gabinete Binacional

El Salvador

Más de un centenar de académicos han suscrito una carta para reprochar la ligereza con la que el presidente Nayib Bukele calificó como “una farsa” los Acuerdos de Paz firmados el 16 de enero de 1992

Honduras

In addition to the debilitation of the investigative capacity of the Public Prosecution Service, Congress nominated new prosecutor generals that represented the interests of congressmen instead of those of the judicial system

In the most explosive allegation in the filing, it said the president, 52 years old, boasted to Mr. Fuentes Ramirez that “he wanted to shove the drugs right up the noses of the gringos”

President Trump has heaped praise on Hernández, who has visited the Oval Office multiple times, perhaps because he has been a willing partner in controversial Trump administration immigration measures

Mexico

The new caravans forming have caught the attention of U.S. officials, which have called on the Central American countries to stop them

“Cuando se le pregunta a la gente sobre la confianza en las instituciones, están casi parejas en aceptación con más de 80 por ciento de aprobación la Secretaría de Defensa y la Secretaría de Marina, pero ya le sigue la Guardia Nacional”

Nicaragua

The Supreme Court’s lack of independence is just one scandal added to a long list of instances of nepotism, bribery, extortions, and even drug trafficking tied to the judiciary branch in this country

Peru

Cinco condenados por el ‘andahuaylazo’ salieron de prisión esta semana, y todos con objetivos distintos. Antauro Humala mira la campaña solo y en silencio

U.S.-Mexico Border

The visit will likely be the president’s first public appearance since he addressed supporters on Wednesday riling up a crowd that later staged a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol

Venezuela

The bloodshed began on Friday afternoon with an operation by two police units – the Special Action Forces, known as FAES, and the Special Tactical Operations Units, known as UOTE – in the gang-ridden neighborhood of La Vega

Algunas manifestaciones particulares, como el homicidio y cierto tipo de lesiones, tuvieron mermas momentáneas. Mientras tanto, otras actividades ilegales han ido en pleno crecimiento

5 links from the past week

  • At Nexos, scholar Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo offers a devastating assessment of civil-military relations in Mexico, as the López Obrador government further increases the armed forces’ role in Mexicans’ daily lives. “We had a parenthesis of civilian rule that lasted about 50 or 60 years. That parenthesis has closed.”
  • At Mexico’s SinEmbargo, veteran crime journalist Ricardo Ravelo offers a sweeping who’s-who of the country’s current constellation of cartels and regional organized crime structures. Pair this with Ravelo’s January 1 look at the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which may be eclipsing Sinaloa as Mexico’s largest and deadliest.
  • The UN Verification Mission in Colombia released its latest report on the peace process. With a lot of new statistics, it puts front-and-center concerns about rampant killings of social leaders and ex-combatants.
  • OpenDemocracy provides a grim point-by-point evaluation of Colombia’s compliance—or lack thereof—with each chapter of the 2016 peace accord.
  • DHS’s Office of Immigration Statistics is an island of seriousness at the troubled agency. Its latest Enforcement Lifecycle Report has a wealth of information, including detailed appendix tables, illustrating what happens to undocumented migrants after DHS apprehends them, including those who make claims of fear.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Damián Sánchez Adrián photo at ChiapasParalelo (Mexico).

(Even more here)

January 8, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

By giving environmental defenders legitimacy, they say it should be able to play an important role in ending the region’s environmental conflicts

Brazil

As more military forces, more weapons, and more ammunition arrived, more money was destined for the construction of bases and war bunkers in the midst of our houses. And that was when the shootings started to return

Colombia

En este artículo tratamos de explicarle en qué va realmente la entrega de los bienes, por qué se ha entregado tan poco hasta el momento y qué dificultades atraviesa el proceso

Se trata de Diego Maria Yule Rivera, quien dejó sus armas en el espacio de reincorporación de Monterredondo, en Miranda (Cauca). Es el asesinato 252 que registra el Partido Farc

En una entrevista con la cadena de noticias CNN, Michelle A. Mannat, estratega lo confirmó: “Habrá investigación en Cámara y Senado contra quienes intervinieron. Sin duda es un tema que va a tener un énfasis en los primeros días de gobierno de Biden”

Guatemala

Transnational mining corporations, most of them Canadian, their personnel, and state security forces have been accused by human rights groups of a litany of abuses in Central America

Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

Una nueva caravana de inmigrantes hondureños hacia EE.UU., que saldría el 15 de enero, está siendo promovida en redes sociales

Mexico

El INM, que apenas el pasado 4 de enero reanudo el servicio, se encuentra rebasado en su capacidad, lo que sumado a la suspensión temporal que hubo provocada por la pandemia, ha hecho que la población migrante deba esperar más de seis meses

El presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador sugirió eliminar el principal órgano de transparencia del país, que es autónomo, y que se hagan cargo de esa tarea del INAI incluso funcionarios de la Función Pública

The bloodshed in Guanajuato is largely the result of a territorial dispute between the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel and the larger and more powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel

De acuerdo con informes de la DEA y de la Fiscalía General de la República (FGR), más de la mitad del territorio nacional está controlado por 14 cárteles, en su mayoría violentos, que están relacionados con altos mandos de las policías estatales y municipales

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s pick for national security adviser, spoke on Wednesday with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard

“How can you censor someone: ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful,’” López Obrador said in an extensive, unprompted discourse

Some articles I found interesting this morning

AP/Matt York photo at Yahoo! Caption: “In this Aug. 22, 2019, file photo, U.S. Customs and Patrol agents sit along a section of the international border wall that runs through Organ Pipe National Monument in Lukeville, Ariz. A public-private project that maps the bodies of border crossers recovered from Arizona’s inhospitable deserts, valleys and mountains said this week of Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 that it documented 227 such deaths in 2020, the highest in a decade following the hottest, driest summer in state history.”

(Even more here)

January 7, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

Habrá algunos cambios en las reglas y es aquí donde se perfila la puesta en escena de una segunda estrategia que llevaría adelante el gobierno demócrata

Future regional leaders, he said, may respond to U.S. critiques of their democratic processes with incredulity

If Americans were shocked by what they saw, the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, who have been accustomed to U.S. interference in their elections and domestic politics, were aghast

Brazil

“I followed everything today. You know I’m connected to Trump, right? So you already know my answer”

Colombia

El Secretario General recomienda como primera prioridad para el 2021 asegurar la protección y seguridad de excombatientes, comunidades afectadas por el conflicto y líderes sociales y los defensores(as) de los derechos humanos

None of these has yet been achieved, and the political will required today to advance on these key issues for the stability and future of the country is nowhere in sight

U.S.-Mexico Border

The bill expands funding to process unidentified human remains and help resolve missing persons’ cases so that families can find closure

Enforcement efforts in California and Texas over the years have pushed migrants into dangerous terrain in Arizona without easy access to food and water

Venezuela

Desde ese día permanece en los sótanos del organismo junto a otros cuatro militares que están bajo sospecha de estar relacionados con un presunto plan que supuestamente iba a ejecutar un camarero del Palacio de Miraflores

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Office of Inspector General/Department of Homeland Security via Getty Images photo at The Intercept. Caption: “In this handout photo provided by the Office of Inspector General, overcrowding of families is observed by the OIG at the U.S. Border Patrol Centralized Processing Center on June 11, 2019, in McAllen, Texas.”

(Even more here)

January 6, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

The hemisphere’s three greatest vulnerabilities to the malign influence of Russian and Chinese’s soft power are related to failed economic development policies of the past, incomplete decentralization of government power, and anti-democratic regimes’ reliance on foreign actors to control their populations

A new report by advocates focused on the Otero facility argues that this is an example of “performative compliance,” a process in which ostensible oversight bodies undermine their own stated purpose

Brazil

With state subsidies to fight poverty now ended, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday said his country is “broke” and he is unable to do anything about it, attributing the crisis to “the press-fueled” coronavirus

Colombia

El documento señala, por ejemplo, que, en cualquier caso, primará el diálogo y la mediación en la protesta, incluso “cuando los medios pacíficos de intervención se consideren agotados y se proceda al uso de la fuerza”

Cuba

El periodista y escritor Carlos Manuel Álvarez narra los interrogatorios a los que fue sometido por las autoridades cubanas durante su detención tras las protestas en el barrio de San Isidro de La Habana

Mexico

Film-maker Monica Wise talks about making her documentary on Mexican indigenous resistance

U.S.-Mexico Border

The 103-page report, “‘Like I’m Drowning’: Children and Families Sent to Harm by the US ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program,” is a joint investigation by Human Rights Watch, Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program, and Willamette University’s Child and Family Advocacy Clinic

Venezuela

We recognize the existence of the Delegate Commission headed by its legitimate Board of Directors, established by the National Assembly, led by Juan Guaidó

Foro Penal subraya que en la mayoría de los casos se les ha negado la atención médica primaria o especializada

While Guaido’s bravery hasn’t wavered, the opposition’s political fortunes have tanked as Venezuelans own hopes for change have collapsed

Meeks said that the United States needs to be “working collectively in a multilateral way” with regional players and international organizations

Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman who had been Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s deal maker, can be extradited to the U.S., where he was indicted on charges of laundering money for the authoritarian regime

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images photo at The Intercept. Caption: “Members of the Coalición Pro Defensa del Migrante painted a graph, showing statistics of migrants who died on their journey to the United States, on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana on Nov. 2, 2019.”

(Even more here)

January 5, 2021

Brazil

Many of the themes that have come to characterize Brazil’s militarized effort to end the escalating environmental destruction of the Amazon forest: disorganization, inexperience and allegations of political bias

Chile

El 28 de agosto pasado, dos efectivos de la Dine fueron detectados por Carabineros en la ventana del despacho de la jueza. Solo pudieron controlar a uno, pues el otro salió corriendo

Colombia

Migrants traveling through the Uraba region are mostly trying to make it to the United States. Many come from Cuba and Haiti. But it is also common to see migrants from Africa and Asia

Él, como otros tres militares en retiro con los que hablamos y que asistieron a Dosquebradas, dijeron que en la reserva hay una sensación de que Colombia está dando un peligroso giro hacia la izquierda

Al finalizar el 2020, la cifra de homicidios de excombatientes en el país fue una tragedia: 249 vidas silenciadas. Manuel Alonso, quien se dedicó al estampado artesanal y la carpintería en su proceso de reincorporación, fue la penúltima

El Salvador

Las reacciones no se han hecho esperar en la Asamblea Legislativa

Honduras

Siete miembros de las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado, cuatro integrantes de la PMOP y tres de la Dipol fueron arrestados el mismo día por el rapto de una persona y por querer meter droga a un penal

Mexico

  • Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo, No Es el Pueblo (Nexos (Mexico), January 5, 2021).

El momento civilista ya pasó. No está claro qué características vaya a tener el nuevo militarismo, son muy distintos los modelos de Egipto, Chile y Pakistán, y no es posible saber cuál vaya a ser el mexicano

Dozens of migrant refuges in Mexico have closed their doors or scaled back operations in recent weeks to curb the ravages of coronavirus, exposing people to greater peril

Apenas el 7.7 por ciento de los delitos fue denunciado ante las autoridades y de esos, solo en el 5.5 por ciento se inició investigación

Durante meses, quizás años, hombres y mujeres fueron torturados, asesinados y enterrados en una pequeña vivienda abandonada y semiderruida, situada en las faldas del parque nacional del Cerro del Toro

Peru

The media, civil society organizations and anti-corruption activists must have humility and integrity to reckon with the ominous damage they have caused with their uncritical endorsement of an opportunistic charlatan

U.S.-Mexico Border

The FY 2020 report describes the final or most current outcomes, as of March 31, 2020, associated with the 3.5 million Southwest Border encounters occurring between 2014 and 2019

“There is no definition of ‘barrier systems’ and, therefore, the Biden administration can use that for so many options,” Cuellar told Border Report

The Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act was a rare piece of bipartisan legislation that acknowledged the extraordinary loss of life in the borderlands while seeking to bring closure to families

Three asylum-seeking mothers who crossed the border while pregnant described giving birth in U.S. hospitals, only to be swiftly sent back under false pretenses and without an evaluation of their particular humanitarian circumstances or claims of danger

Venezuela

El dirigente opositor, reconocido por más de 50 países como presidente interino de Venezuela, compartió en su cuenta de Twitter fotos de los uniformados

With many in the opposition leadership now outside Venezuela, Mr. Guaidó is increasingly isolated, living in a small apartment in Caracas with his wife and small daughter and wondering whether the secret police will arrest him

El Tribunal de Apelación caboverdiano de Barlavento decidió este lunes dar luz verde a la extradición a EE.UU. del empresario colombiano Alex Saab, presunto testaferro del presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here)

January 4, 2021

Western Hemisphere Regional

“Any crazy guy in these countries who promises great things is going to get elected,” said a senior banker in the region

Colombia

Cuatro años después del Acuerdo de Paz se han registrado al menos 47 agresiones a líderes y lideresas sociales de ocho municipios en el departamento de Sucre

El 65 % ocurrió en seis departamentos y en el 89 % de los municipios donde sucedieron las matanzas, la Defensoría había notificado al Gobierno sobre el escalamiento de la violencia y riesgo

Mexico

En el Gobierno de la Cuarta Transformación –apenas en dos años –el grupo criminal que dirige Oseguera Cervantes ya se posicionó en todo el territorio nacional, por encima del cártel de Sinaloa

“The identity of [informants] had to be closely guarded by U.S. agents working in Mexico. They couldn’t share that information with Mexican officials because the confidential source could wind up dead”

Peru, Venezuela

Según la fiscalía, se han identificado a bandas de tráfico ilegal de personas que se han aprovechado de la necesidad y vulnerabilidad de los venezolanos para cobrarles cupos y hacerlos ingresar irregularmente

Venezuela

A Post investigation, including more than 20 interviews and a review of documents including prospective contracts, uncovered multiple proposed deals involving Troconis that would have required what some opposition members have characterized as large and unusual payments

The immediate focus is likely to be on easing the humanitarian crisis and exploring possible paths for talks, while continuing to recognise Mr Guaidó

Some articles I found interesting this morning

Photo from Tal Cual (Venezuela). Caption: “El racionamiento de agua se endureció en todo el país durante la cuarentena”

(Even more here)

December 31, 2020

Brazil

Bolsonaro has surrounded himself with corrupt figures, used propaganda to promote his populist agenda, undermined the justice system, and waged a destructive war against the Amazon

Colombia

Desde el Ejecutivo dicen que reportarán incumplimiento a la JEP y la Fiscalía. Farc invita a un espacio de trabajo conjunto para superar los inconvenientes

El exfiscal anticorrupción, Luis Gustavo Moreno, quien llegó al país el pasado 4 de diciembre, luego de purgar una condena de 48 meses de prisión en Estados Unidos, será trasladado a la cárcel La Modelo

“We have achieved the highest level of manual coca eradication ever recorded by Colombia: 130,000 hectares (321,000 acres),” President Ivan Duque said

La JEP cerró el año pasado con más de 36.000 decisiones adoptadas, 308.000 víctimas acreditadas en los siete macrocasos y un terreno abonado para las primeras decisiones de fondo y condenas contra los máximos responsables

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela

Las investigaciones revelan que existe una red de trata de personas en la que participan presuntos coyoteros que operan en Colombia, Ecuador y Perú

Cuba

Since November, a group of Cubans has been demanding freedom of expression in solidarity with members of an artists collective which has been facing repression from state authorities

Mexico

When met with what they say is official indifference or outright resistance, the collectives purchased shovels and other tools and began conducting their own searches in clandestine mass graves and abandoned properties

En 2020 habrá una disminución de 0.4% en homicidios dolosos y de 1.3% en la tasa de homicidios por cada 100 mil habitantes, con relación a 2019

Military and police forces said on the final day of the year that they had seized an estimated 1.3 tons of the synthetic opioid, compared to 222 kilograms in 2019

The episode, described by one American official as “a total shitshow”, has complicated the Mexican-American relationship just as it had at last seemed to be getting simpler

Peru

Seguridad Ciudadana se prepara para afrontar un nuevo año con retos por venir, en circunstancias que seguramente serán diferentes para nuestra ciudadanía, con eminentes cambios políticos

U.S.-Mexico Border

Don Paco, as he was known to friends and migrants, founded the San Juan Bosco migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora in 1982

As of Dec. 16 3,600 National Guard and reserve troops are stationed at the border, with a cap of 4,000 issued in June

Venezuela

Denuncias de torturas, detenciones arbitrarias y ejecuciones extrajudiciales se combinaron este año con las vulneraciones a los derechos a la alimentación, salud y servicios básicos

El Arco Minero del Orinoco se ha convertido en una tierra de barbarie donde la ley la imponen los grupos armados irregulares

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