Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mexico, Central American gov'ts seek to support citizens in U.S. (Nov. 17, 2016)

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's promises to increase U.S. deportations of migrants even more have the region's government's "rattled," reports the New York Times. (See Tuesday's post.)

Mexico's foreign ministry announced a plan yesterday to increase protection and support for citizens living in the U.S., apparently in response to promises by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to increase deportations of immigrants. A statement and video from the ministry urges immigrants to "stay calm" and aims to get them accurate information about immigration policy changes and avoid falling victim to "abuse and fraud."

It also warns citizens "to avoid any conflict situation," reports the BBC.

Between five and six million Mexicans are estimated to be living illegally in the U.S. and Trump's promises have caused widespread anxiety in the immigrant community.

The measures include a 24-hour hotline that will allow people to report harassment and immigration raids, as well as the expansion of deportation-defense work at 50 consulates, reports the Los Angeles Times. The government is also promising to facilitate the process for Mexicans living in the U.S. to obtain Mexican identity documents and will intensify a campaign to register as Mexican citizens children born in the U.S. to parents who are Mexican nationals.

Also, yesterday Central America's Northern Triangle countries announced their intention to create a unified front to discuss migration concerns with the incoming Trump administration. They are concerned that Trump's promises to deport millions would affect their countries' already shaky finances and citizen security situation, reports Reuters. The Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan governments will also be seeking Mexico's support in this strategy.

Though Trump's campaign promises focused on Mexican immigrants, people fleeing violence from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala now form a bigger flow of migrants to the U.S.

News Briefs
  • Mexico continues to be dogged by complaints of torture by security forces, despite international pressure and government promises to address the problem, reports the Associated Press. "From December 2006 through October 2014, the Attorney General's Office registered 4,055 complaints of torture, nearly one-third of them against the military. Yet over almost the same period, only 13 police and soldiers were sentenced for torture."
  • Two FARC guerrilla fighters were killed in combat with security forces, reports the Guardian. The the rebels were killed after extorting money from people in the northern Bolivar state, according to the army. FARC leaders said the fighters were headed to a designated concentration zone for laying down arms. The deaths come a few days after the two sides announced a new peace accord, and as the guerrilla force's fighters find themselves in a sort of demobilization limbo after Colombian voters rejected an earlier peace accord last month. The incident highlights the need for a speedy resolution to the conflict, said government negotiator Humberto de la Calle.
  • U.N. special rapporteur on gender violence, Dubravka Simonovic, is in Argentina, working on a report related to violence against women, reports Página 12. While she has praise the #NiUnaMenos movement, she urged civil society groups to focus on collecting hard data on the problem of femicides, and to identify institutional flaws in protection for women.
  • Brazilian military police used tear gas to break up protesters who broke down barriers outside a Rio de Janeiro legislative meeting discussing austerity measures, reports the Guardian.
  • Brazilian police arrested former Rio de Janiero governor Anthony Garotinho part of an ongoing investigation into voter fraud during recent municipal elections, reports Reuters.
  • And this morning they arrested Sérgio Cabral, another former Rio de Janeiro governor, as part of an investigation into the embezzlement of $64 million of federal funds aimed at public work projects, reports Reuters. The politician who helped bring the Summer Olympics to the city is the latest high profile leader to fall afoul of graft investigations in Brazil, notes the New York Times. "Prosecutors said in a statement that they believed Mr. Cabral had led an organized-crime ring that involved bribery, corruption and money laundering by businesspeople and high-ranking politicians in the state."
  • A few dozen protesters demanding a military coup forced their way into Brazil's lower chamber of Congress, reports the BBC.
  • Anglo American mining company announced the halt of productions at Los Bronces copper mine in Chile after workers "illegally" took over installations, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • Radio Ambulante is joining NPR as the radio network's first Spanish-language podcast, reports the Knight Center's Journalism in the America's blog. The show uses audio storytelling to share reports and anecdotes from Spanish-speakers across the Americas, and is produced by Peruvian-American novelist Daniel Alarcón.

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