Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Migrants converge on Mexico City (Nov. 7, 2018)

  • The 4,000 person migrant caravan traveling through Mexico is dispersing, but many participants aim to reconvene in Mexico City. In order to get there they're facing new hazards, such as hitching rides with trucks with no safety measures in place. (Washington Post
  • In Mexico City the migrants will decide whether to head to the U.S. border as one large groups or in smaller detachments, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • The migrants hope to enter discussions with the Mexican government when they reach the capital, reports Carlos Martínez in El Faro Their march has had difficult political timing, both for the U.S. which had midterm elections yesterday, and Mexico, where the current administration's mandate ends on Dec. 1.
  • The migrants are succumbing to exhaustion, sickness, and desperation. But though the thousands of migrants come from San Pedro Sula, one of the most violent places in the world, the three weeks into the trek there has been almost no internal violence in the group, notes Martínez in his piece.
  • Dozens of Cubans already at the U.S.-Mexico border worry that the migrant caravans will hurt their chances of gaining asylum. (Miami Herald)
News Briefs

  • Democracy is constantly under threat in Latin America -- "But an alternative narrative is that Latin America is actually the land of democratic resilience. Always under attack, democracy does not always prevail, but it does not always die," writes Javier Corrales in a New York Times op-ed that explores some of the institutional tools the region has deployed with positive results.
  • Brazilian victims of the Samarco dam collapse three years ago are suing Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton for about £5 billion. The class action suit is one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court, reports the Guardian. The dam collapse killed 19 people and destroyed communities and environmental systems along the Doce River. (See briefs for Dec. 22, 2015, among others.)
  • Guatemalan lawyer Alfonso Carrillo Marroquín asked the Constitutional Court to implement protections for CICIG head Iván Velásquez. The request asks the court to defend a decision protecting the U.N. backed anti-graft commission head after Guatemalan foreign minister refused to renew his visa last week, reports La Red. (See Monday's briefs and Oct. 2's post.)
  • Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales honored an outgoing Colombian ambassador who criticized Acción Ciudadana head Manfredo Marroquín's support of the CICIG. (Nómada and Soy 502)
  • The Morales administration's recent onslaught against the U.N. backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala is just one part of a broader effort by Guatemalan politicians to undermine the anti-graft organization. (El País)
  • Salvadoran authorities, working with their Honduran and Guatemalan counterparts, detained 340 alleged gang members yesterday  -- part of the Regional Shield III operation. (Associated Press)
  • Just being a young man in El Salvador can be a crime -- youths without gang involvement risk being caught up in security forces crackdowns against criminal organizations. (PRI)
El Salvador
  • Ahead of next year's presidential election, El Salvador's right-wing Arena party has secured the assistance of Spanish advisor Antonio José Sola Reché, known as the "king of the dirty war," reports El Faro.
  • Honduras' anti-corruption commission estimated the country loses between 20 to 30 thousand lempiras annually due to corruption. (Tiempo)
  • Multinationals have pulled out of Venezuela in droves, leaving behind desperate former employees. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Peruvian authorities detained former police general Raul Becerra, who is accused of participating in a baby trafficking ring. Becerra and his partner are accused of belonging to an organization of more than a dozen people, including doctors, who took babies from poor women to sell, reports the Guardian.
  • Ecuadorean President Lenín Moreno has resolutely sought a middle ground, marking a clear divergence with his predecessor and mentor Rafael Correa. A clear example of the new alliances Moreno has sought is stronger relations with the U.S. and the region's center-right governments. But Moreno has also balanced necessary fiscally conservative measures with over $1.2 billion in loans to reactivate the domestic economy, writes John Polga-Hecimovich at the AULA blog.
  • Chile's health system is the best in the region, while Guatemala's is the least efficient, according to a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank. (El País)
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...Latin America Daily Briefing

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