A group of Mexican journalists, Colectivo 23 de Marzo, joined ranks with Forbidden Stories, Bellingcat and the Centro Latinoamericano de Investigaciones Periodísticas (CLIP) to investigate five deaths connected with the assassination of Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach in 2017.
Two years after the murder, the official investigation left a series of loose ends and unanswered questions in a country where at least 82 journalists have been killed in the past decade, reports El País. The Proyecto Miroslava reporting uncovered irregularities that seem to indicate authorities shied away from investigating leads that pointed to crime-affiliated politicians.
The reporting uncovered information about Los Salazares, an ally of the Sinaloa Cartel, and with strong connections to Chihuahua state's leading political parties -- a fact that Breach had denounced before her assassination. The Proyecto Miroslava series, out this week, questions the independence of Mexican authorities, and impunity even in the case of high profile case such as Breach's, writes María Teresa Ronderos in a New York Times Español op-ed.
The project builds on international reporting aimed at ensuring journalist's investigations don't follow them to the grave, writes Javier Garza Ramos in Post Opinión.
- The Bahamas Hurricane Dorian death toll is at 30 people so far, but is expected to rise dramatically. In Abaco alone, the government has taken delivery of at least 200 body bags. (Guardian)
- Harrowing tales of survival and heart breaking stories of loss are trickling out of the Bahamas as the islands begin to clear the wreckage wrought by the storm: New York Times, New York Times, New York Times, Guardian photos, Washington Post, Washington Post.
- “We are on the front line of the consequences of climate change but we don’t cause it,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the Guardian, while visiting the Bahamas as part of a delegation of Caribbean leaders.
- Caribbean islands will need help fighting climate change as increasingly ferocious storms create an existential threat, writes Sloan Smith in the Guardian.
- Climate change will increasingly be a critical driver of migration -- raising questions about how the international community will deal with such displacement, writes Miranda Cady Hallett at the Conversation. Around 2 million people are likely to be displaced from Central America by the year 2050 due to factors related to climate change, according to the World Bank.
- Tension between Venezuela and Colombia (see Wednesday's post) regarding Colombian rebel groups is significant insofar as threats to regional security are a leading argument for military intervention against Nicolás Maduro, explain David Smilde and Dimitris Pantoulas in the Venezuela Weekly.
- Venezuela's Maduro government deployed 3,000 troops to the Colombian border yesterday, reports EFE. (See Wednesday's post)
- Verbal sparring between Venezuela and Colombia continued yesterday -- Colombian President Iván Duque said Maduro should spend money on food, not missiles. (Reuters)
- Brazil criticized Venezuela's support of FARC dissidents. (Efecto Cocuyo)
- More from the Venezuela Weekly: Juan Guaidó announced the appointment of five new “presidential commissioners.” Several of the appointments aim to contain his coalition partners, a significant challenge as his National Assembly presidential term -- and thus his claim to the interim presidency -- ends in January.
- Colombian authorities asked the U.N. to intervene in loosening migration regulations in the region, after Ecuador tightened visa requirements for Venezuelans. (Efecto Cocuyo)
- A FARC dissident group's call to rearm betrays the principal of Truth and Non-Repetition enshrined in the 2016 peace deal with the guerrilla group, and betrays all the Colombians who were willing to move forward in exchange for truth, writes Juan Gabriel Vásquez in a New York Times Español op-ed.
- Salvadoran prosecutors appealed the acquittal of a woman recently absolved of homicide in the death of her newborn. (El Diario de Hoy) The case of Evelyn Hernández, a young rape victim who didn't know she was pregnant when she gave birth in a latrine, is emblematic of the draconian implementation of El Salvador's total abortion ban. Hernández served nearly 3 years of a 30 year sentence, before being absolved this year in a retrial. (See Aug. 20's post.)
- Coordinating an international anti-impunity commission between the U.N. and the O.A.S. would likely be complicated said American University expert Charles Call. Instead he recommended U.N. supervision of a planned International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES) and O.A.S. support for strengthening El Salvador's institutions. (El Diario de Hoy, see last Friday's post)
- H&M has temporarily stopped purchasing Brazilian leather, citing concerns that the country’s cattle industry has contributed to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, reports the New York Times. It's the second such major company to announce such a move. Last week, VF Corporation, which includes international brands like Timberland and The North Face, announced a temporary suspension of purchases of Brazilian leather, until its suppliers could prove they weren’t connected to any environmental harm. (See Aug. 29's briefs on how leather and Amazon deforestation are linked.)
- In a bid to battle Brazil's reputation amid international vilification and sinking approval ratings at home, President Jair Bolsonaro declared "Brazil Week" and called on citizens to show "the Amazon is ours." (Guardian)
- O Reino Sagrado da Desinformação: A project by data journalism organization Gênero e Número mapped how the term "gender ideology" has been used in Brazilian social media, exploring how the concept is used as a vector for misinformation. The eight month investigation examines how social media users deploy the term, and what different media, social leaders and politicians mean when they use it for their audiences. The project uncovered a wide range of variation, from political to deeply religious. They complimented the mapping with stories and an exclusive interview with Judith Butler.
- A prominent billionaire ally of Mexico’s president has financial ties to companies linked to a growing scandal involving the state-oil company, Pemex. (Wall Street Journal)
- Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya -- ousted by a 2009 coup -- is pushing electoral reform in Honduras' congress, aimed at completely replacing the Supreme Electoral Tribunal criticized for validating questioned elections in 2013 and 2017, reports NACLA.
- Celebrated Mexican artist Francisco Toledo died -- he was known for incorporating pre-Columbian techniques, shamanistic animal imagery and political iconoclasm into his work, reports the New York Times.
- Jack Ryan races against time to stop Venezuela from obtaining nuclear weapons in the Amazon series' new season. In terms of diplomatic perspective, it's like "snorting 100 percent John Bolton," according to the Common Dreams review.
I'll be off next week -- no briefings in my absence this time. I'll resume posting on Sept. 16.