Friday, July 7, 2017

Femicide "red alert" in Honuras (July 7, 2017)

News briefs
  • Women's groups in Honduras declared a "red alert" after 18 women were killed over the space of ten days, reports La Tribuna. They also denounced a high rate of impunity: of the 463 cases of femicide last year, only 15 made it to court and only 2 obtained convictions. Official statistics show that homicides are down in the first six months of the year, but women's groups worry that authorities are focusing on organized crime to the exclusion of gender violence, reports the BBC.
  • A Salvadoran teen rape victim was sentenced to 30 years in prison after having a stillbirth -- on the grounds that failing to seek prenatal care amounted to murder, reports the Guardian. El Salvador's abortion prohibitions are notoriously draconian, and dozens of women have been imprisoned for obstetric complications. The sentence is a terrifying example of the need for El Salvador to urgently repeal its retrograde anti-abortion law, Amnesty International said.
  • Bolivia's Congress is expected to debate a penal code reform that could broaden access to abortion. Currently abortion is outlawed in Bolivia save for cases of rape, incest and danger to the health of the woman. The new law would allow a woman to terminate her pregnancy in the first eight weeks without penalty under circumstances that include extreme poverty, already having various dependents she cannot support or being a student, reports the Guardian.
  • A fight between rival gangs in a Mexican prison killed at least 28 inmates, reports the BBC. It's one of the worst outbreaks of violence in the country’s troubled penal system in recent years, reports Reuters. The brawl in an Acapulco prison came just one day after a gun battle in Chihuahua killed 14 people, and days after another in Puebla left 9 dead, reports the New York Times. At this rate Mexico is on the path to having its deadliest year in history. (See yesterday's post.) 
  • A Texas law granting local police greater freedom to ask people about their immigration status and mandating cooperation with federal immigration authorities has the potential to further complicate U.S.-Mexico relations, reports the Washington Post. The law has increased concern among Mexicans living in the state, who have turned to Mexican consulates for legal advice and express broad levels of fear and anxiety.
  • Mexico's largest convenience store chain it will close all of its Apatzingán stores due to growing insecurity and violence, reports InSight Crime. (See yesterday's post.) 
  • Ecuadorean President Lenín Moreno's break with his predecessor Rafael Correa is increasingly explicit, reports El País
  • Brazil's army is becoming a de facto police force, reports the Economist
  • Rumors are rife in Peru of an imminent presidential pardon for former dictator Alberto Fujimori. But such a pardon for grave crimes against humanity would be a terrible political plan argues Alberto Vergara in a New York Times Español op-ed. He outlines why the payoff would be insufficient to help the administration govern, but also notes that public opinion will weigh heavily on President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's decision.
  • Paraguayan deputies backtracked on modifications to a campaign finance bill aimed at limiting criminal influence on politics through donations. Following accusations that the modifications would allow drug money to finance political campaigns, Paraguay's lower house voted to annul them, reports InSight Crime
  • Bolivia's second largest body of water -- Lake Poopó -- dried out completely a few years ago, in part a victim of the country's mining politics, reports NACLA.

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