Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New rules for Carabineros after Mapuche killings (Dec. 5, 2018)

A new presidential decree regulates how Chile's Carabineros -- military police -- use force in their mission to guarantee public safety. The new rules are in response to an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruling over a 2002 case in which the police killed a young Mapuche man in a protest. But they come in the midst of a more recent scandal over another killing of a Mapuche person by a group of Carabineros known as the "Jungle Command," reports La Tercera. (See last Friday's briefs, and Nov. 26's.)

CEJIL heralded the decree as an improvement, but insufficient to to meet international standards and specific issues within the Chilean context.

The Chilean government stood by Carabineros head Hermes Soto after one of the four police officers detained in relation to the November killing of  Camilo Catrillanca said they were forced to cover up the incident. (EFE)

A recent investigative journalism report found that Catrillanca was on Carabinero intelligence watch lists, because of his leadership role in student activist movements. (EFE)

More on militarization
  • Tomorrow 17 organizations of civil society will hold a regional audience before the IACHR on the issue of militarization of public safety. The group includes CELS, COFADEH, Justiςa Global, Conectas,  and the ACLU. It will be broadcast live tomorrow at 10.25 GMT -5.  
  • Bogotá could be next onto the military police bandwagon: Mayor Enrique Peñalosa wants to cover a police deficit with soldiers on the streets to reduce crime. (Caracol)
Ecuador's VP resigns

Ecuador's vice president resigned yesterday, in the midst of a corruption scandal in which she is accused of taking bribes while serving as a lawmaker five years ago. María Alejandra Vicuña said vía Twitter that the country did not deserve "instability" from the crisis. The move came a day after President Lenín Moreno suspended her from the post to fight the allegations. (AFP)

She is the second VP to leave the current administration -- her predecessor Jorge Glas left last year to face charges of corruption, and was later found guilty and sentenced to six years in jail on charges he pocketed a roughly $13.5 million bribe from Odebrecht. (Reuters)

On Monday, Moreno assigned Secretary-General Jose Augusto Briones to fulfill the duties of vice president.

More from Ecuador
  • Paul Manafort discussed a deal with Ecuadorean authorities to hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the U.S. in exchange for debt relief, reports the New York Times
News Briefs
  • The rising tensions at the San Ysidro border crossing between Mexico and the U.S. are not only affecting migrants attempting to apply for asylum. About 70,000 cars and 20,000 pedestrians cross the busiest land border crossing in the world each day -- and many people in San Diego and Tijuana communities work or have family on the other side of the border. (Guardian)
  • Mexico's proposal to legalize cannabis is generally well thought out and comprehensive, write Jonas von Hoffmann and Raúl Bejarano Romero in the Conversation.
  • Mexico's government postponed a planned auction of long-term clean-energy contracts yesterday. The new López Obrador administration will review the plan. (WSJ)
  • Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro appears to be following through on promises to veer the country's foreign policy towards the right, though he's framing it as a "liberation" of Itamaraty's previous alleged leftist bent. Gilberto M.A. Rodrigues analyzes his pick of an unknown to head the foreign ministry, and likely military influence on IR policy, at the AULA blog.
  • Though many experts are concerned about military appointments to Bolsonaro's cabinet, he is also playing it safe in the judicial area. The question is whether Sergio Moro, crusading anti-corruption judge, can exert a moderating force on what promises to be a mano-dura security policy, reports InSight Crime.
  • The next phase of Operation Car Wash is dubbed “Operation Without Limits” and will include scrutiny of oil deals by the commodity trading giants Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura with Petrobras. (Guardian)
Panama Papers
  • U.S. prosecutors announced the first criminal charges based on the massive Panama Papers' leak three years ago. They will charge four people, including a longtime lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit tax evasion and money laundering. (Miami Herald)
  • Veronika Mendoza, who narrowly missed entering the runoff in Peru's last presidential elections, is expected to run again in 2021, and despite her leftist handicap, is on par with other presidential frontrunners. And with a major anti-corruption referendum coming up, her anti-graft platform is more relevant than ever. (Americas Quarterly)
  • Bolivia's electoral court said President Evo Morales can seek a fourth presidential term. Opponents say the move is unconstitutional, but last year, the country's constitutional court lifted term limits paving the way for Morales' bid to remain in power. (Al Jazeera)
  • Human rights activists are increasingly targets in Colombia, said the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights defenders, calling on the government to do more to protect them. (Reuters)
  • Twenty-five years after Pablo Escobar was killed, a lot has changed in the Colombian criminal underworld, not the least a shift from conspicuous consumption to extreme anonymity, reports InSight Crime.
  • The Guardian has a photo-essay on squats in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Cyclists attempt to set a Guinness world record for longest urban downhill race in Medellín. (Guardian)
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...

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