Friday, November 23, 2018

Former Kaibile convicted of participating in Dos Erres massacre (Nov. 23, 2018)

News Briefs

  • A former Guatemalan soldier was sentenced to 5,160 years in prison for participating in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre during the country's civil war. Santos López Alonzo is accused of belonging to the Kaibiles, an elite U.S.-trained counter-insurgency deployed against left-wing guerrillas, which killed virtually the entire town of Dos Erres. López was found guilty of killing 171 people in what is considered one of the war's greatest atrocities. (NómadaNew York Times and BBC
  • The CICIG put out a fact sheet on the “Extrajudicial Executions and Torture" case. (See Oct. 29's and Oct. 30's briefs.) Martín Rodríguez Pellecer analyzes the case and more at Nómada.
  • InSight Crime criticizes the methodology of a recent report that directly linked the CICIG to a homicide reduction in Guatemala.
  • Nómada deep dive on the Izabal nickel mine.
  • Venezuela's fractured opposition must a common strategy in order to reach a negotiated solution to the country's crisis -- "absent that, further violence – whether civil strife or even military action – remains likely," according to a new International Crisis Group.
  • A decision is expected imminently in the case against Berta Cáceres' alleged murderers. But CEJIL warns that grave procedural irregularities mean integral justice will not be served.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to close the entire U.S.-Mexico border if he determines that Mexican authorities have lost "control" on their side. In a Thanksgiving day phone call with U.S. troops posted abroad, Trump said "if we find that it gets to a level where we lose control or people are going to start getting hurt, we're going to close entry into the country for a period of time until we get it under control." He also railed against a U.S. judge who blocked an attempt to limit asylum claims from migrants who entered the U.S. illegally. (Associated PressCNN, and BBC. See Tuesday's post on the judicial decision.)
  • "Instead of blaming the migrants who are fleeing violence and corruption in Central America, we should recognize why they are leaving and do something about it," write George P. Shultz and Pedro Aspe in a Washington Post opinion piece. They argue that its necessary to target the poor economies and rampant violence pushing migration from Central America.
  • How real are concerns of a growing schism between Mexico and the U.S. with ideologically opposed presidents? The Economist analyzes.
  • Cuba has begun withdrawing 8,300 doctors working in Brazil, spurring fears that isolated communities might be left without medical care. This week, Brazil published an emergency tender for doctors trained in the country to replace the Cubans, reports the Guardian. (See Nov. 15's post.)
  • Bolivia has presidential elections next year -- President Evo Morales will run for a controversial fourth mandate. But the political process will be novel in many ways, including obligatory party primaries for the first time. At least six parties or alliances are throwing their hats into the ring at this point, including one led by former president Carlos Mesa. (Nueva Sociedad)
  • Colombia's government's talks with the ELN continue to devolve, reports InSight Crime.
  • Could Edgardo Novick become Uruguay's version of Bolsonaro? Perhaps, but the country's radically different context makes that unlikely, argues Agustín Canzani in Nueva Sociedad.
  • A proposal to name Chile's main international airport for Pablo Neruda has been met with outrage by activists who point to the poet's admission of rape in his memoirs. (Guardian)

Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...

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