Monday, November 19, 2018

Migrants flow into Tijuana (Nov. 19, 2018)

News Briefs

  • Central American migrants are pouring into Tijuana, but may have to wait up to two months for asylum interviews with U.S. authorities. In the meantime, Tijuana authorities are concerned the city will be overwhelmed by as many as 10,000 migrants who travelled in several caravans walking across Mexico, reports the New York Times.
  • Already the migrants have provoked anger among some locals, who gathered to protest yesterday in Tijuana, calling the Central Americans invaders, report the Associated Press and Animal Político. (See Friday's briefs on backlash.)
  • An estimated 3 million Venezuelan's have fled their country's crushing crisis -- leading many in neighboring countries concerned over how to absorb significant refugee flows. But history shows that host countries are culturally benefited by welcoming exiles and migrants, writes María Gabriela Méndez in a New York Times Español op-ed.
  • Colombia opened its first refugee camp for Venezuelans in Bogotá last week. (Al Jazeera)
  • A U.S. navy ship off the coast of Colombia has started giving free medical care to Venezuelan refugees. The move will likely antagonize Venezuela's government, which denies the country is going through a humanitarian crisis, reports the Guardian. (See last Thursday's briefs on a new Human Rights Watch report detailing the extent of the health crisis, see also below briefs.)
  • Thousands of Venezuelan children in Caribbean islands might be left out of school by rules excluding people without legal permission to be in the country. (Miami Herald)
  • Conservationists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity this weekend were concerned the incoming Brazilian administration will prove harmful to environmental protection efforts. (Guardian)
  • Scientists have found the first evidence of plastic contamination in freshwater fish in the Amazon, reports the Guardian.
  • The end of Brazil's "Mais Medicos" program will be a significant economic blow for Cuba, reports the Miami Herald. (See last Thursday's post.)
  • Cuban lawmakers are set to address a new constitution proposal, after a three month period of local consultation. (AFP)
  • Guatemalan security forces raided four Indigenous community radio stations and arrested two journalists accused of robbery, reports TeleSUR.
  • Cervical cancer rates are high in Haiti, but a grassroots program is using innovative access and low tech treatments to tackle the problem. (Miami Herald and Miami Herald)
  • Venezuela is pushing up rates of malaria deaths in the region, reports the World Health Organization. (Efecto Cocuyo)
  • Efecto Cocuyo reports on the breakup of Venezuela's parliamentary opposition.
  • Venezuela’s central bank is preparing to hand over comprehensive economic statistics to the International Monetary Fund in order to avoid sanctions, reports Bloomberg.
  • A group of British Labour MP's and trade union officials voiced concern over the ongoing detention of FARC leader Jesús Santrich in Colombia, and the faltering implementation of the 2016 peace accord. (Guardian)
  • Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador populist approach to democracy poses a potential threat to the country's political institutions, argues Alberto Barrera Tyszka in a New York Times Español op-ed.
  • AMLO's plan to create a military based National Guard for internal security is based on a correct assessment of police failure, but has disappointed supporters who point to the military's public safety failures in recent years, reports Americas Quarterly. (See Thursday's post.)
  • Allegations of high level government corruption are likely to become a recurring theme in the New York trial of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, reports InSight Crime. (See last Thursday's briefs.)
  • U.S. prosecutors in the case will likely prove Guzmán is guilty of heinous crimes. "But they’re also likely to inadvertently highlight the decades of failure to stop either the flow of drugs or the bloodshed, as well as particular D.E.A. tactics and the aid to Mexican security forces that suffer from corruption. As the world watches, it will be difficult not to wonder whether Mr. Guzmán ’s case is actually putting the war on drugs on trial," writes Ioan Grillo in a New York Times op-ed.
  • Héctor Beltrán Leyva, alias "El H," died of a heart attack in a hospital. He was detained by authorities in 2014, the last of the four Beltrán Leyva brothers heading the eponymous cartel. (Animal Político
  • A U.S. teacher missing in Mexico was apparently killed by a member of the Sinaloa cartel, according to Chihuahua authorities. (New York Times)
  • A verdict is expected soon in the trial against a U.S. border patrol agent who killed a teen the steel fence dividing Nogales, Mexico, from Arizona in 2012. (Guardian)
El Salvador
  • The case of Imelda Cortez, on trial for an alleged abortion attempt after giving birth to a baby girl in a latrine, highlights the tragic absurdities of El Salvador's total ban on terminating pregnancies and the persecution of women for obstetric complications. (Washington Post)
  • InSight Crime profiles a cooperating witness in an El Salvador gang extortion case that highlights the perils of attempting to cooperate with justice in the country. 
Costa Rica
  • Same sex couples will have the right to marry in Costa Rica by mid 2020 ruled the country's constitutional court. (Reuters)
  • The remains of an Argentine navy submarine were finally detected, a year after it disappeared with a crew of 44 people. Relatives of the lost sailors have had a conflictive relationship with the government, which they accuse of not doing enough. Now they are demanding the remains of their loved ones be returned to land, a technically difficult feat. (Associated PressWashington Post,  New York Times and New York Times
  • Argentine authorities are on high alert ahead of a G-20 meeting that will take place in Buenos Aires at the end of the month. Twelve suspected anarchists were detained last week in connection with two bomb incidents. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Buenos Aires province has created a database of police officers dismissed since 1966, including the reasons, in an effort to keep former police officers with criminal records from working with private security firms. (InSight Crime)
Victor Jara
  • The New York Times Retro Report looks at the case of legendary Chilean folk singer Victor Jara, killed in the early bloody days of the Pinochet dictatorship.
Organized Crime
  • While clearly a major problem in Latin America, defining organized crime is no easy task. Experts at InSight Crime's “The Evolution of Transnational Organized Crime in the Americas" conference weighed in.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...

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