Politics

  • Brazil Police Brutality in São Paulo

    Jul 15, 2020
    Brazil’s police force is notoriously violent, with the high number of homicides committed by the police in Rio de Janeiro usually held up as an example of this. The phenomenon is not restricted to Rio city and state, however.
  • Mexico - Questions about FGR’s Independence Emerge

    Jul 15, 2020
    Reinforcing the independence of the attorney general’s office (previously known as the PGR) was a key objective of the 2018 reform of the institution, which in its previous incarnation was often considered an appendage of sitting governments. The report’s findings raise concerns that rather than strengthening the attorney general’s office, the implementation of the reform will end up further weakening it.
  • Brazil Revised Anti Crime Package

    Jul 15, 2020
    The so-called anti-crime package came into force in Brazil on 23 January. The new legislation is a heavily modified version of the bills which Justice & Public Security Minister Sérgio Moro had presented to congress as his flagship public security initiative in February 2019.
  • Paraguay – Brazil The PCC Strikes Again

    Jul 15, 2020
    In the space of two days in January, over 100 inmates linked to the Brazilian criminal organisation Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) escaped from prisons some 3,000km apart in Paraguay and Brazil. This once again raises questions about the operations of Brazil’s largest drug trafficking organisation (DTO) and the efficiency of the public security apparatus in both countries.
  • Chile - Seeking Social Peace Through Tougher Security

    Jul 15, 2020
    President Sebastián Piñera’s efforts to respond to the popular protests which have been shaking Chile since mid-October 2019 have focused on the pursuit of a security agenda, described as an ensemble of measures to guarantee social peace and reinforce public order and citizen security.
  • Honduras - Cocaine Production Takes Hold

    Jul 15, 2020
    An increase in the discovery of drug laboratories in Honduras and a high-profile arrest in the US earlier this year have added overwhelming evidence to fears that the country has now graduated from its experimental phase in cocaine production to become a full blown producer.
  • Pandemic Reignites Corruption Concerns

    Jul 15, 2020
    The international anti-corruption NGO Transparency International (TI) warned about “serious corruption risks” in Latin America’s emergency response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
  • Mexico - Fears Rise Over Measles Outbreak

    Jul 15, 2020
    In the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak, another public health threat has been spreading alarm amongst Mexico’s health authorities. Health ministry revealed that 163 cases of measles had been confirmed in Mexico this year, nearly equalling its total number of cases over the previous two decades.
  • Mexico - Shady Ventilator Procurement

    Jul 15, 2020
    The procurement of medical supplies in Latin America during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has all the hallmarks of a corruption minefield. This was reiterated by international anti-corruption NGO, Transparency International, which in late April reported that 13 of its chapters across the region had sounded the alarm.
  • Indigenous Politics During The Pandemic in Brazil

    Jul 15, 2020
    At the time, no indigenous person had been diagnosed with coronavirus, but as the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections and fatalities nationally has since exploded, so too the disease has spread amongst Brazil’s 900,000-strong indigenous population.
  • The Challenges of a Regional Response on Public Health

    Jul 15, 2020
    The global nature of the coronavirus pandemic has both highlighted the importance of international cooperation and prompted a retreat into nationalism by governments struggling to meet the needs of their health systems. Brazil and the Southern Cone countries have not been exempt from this trend.
  • Pandemic Does Not Stop Violence in Mexico

    Jul 15, 2020
    Despite the social distancing guidelines introduced by the government in late March to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), and even though this has reduced drug trafficking activity, the levels of violence in Mexico have not subsided.
  • Nicaragua Press Freedom Concerns Intensify

    Jul 15, 2020
    The recent decision by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by President Daniel Ortega to end a blockade which threatened the very survival of Nicaragua’s oldest and largest daily, La Prensa, a prominent Ortega critic, may have been welcomed by influential journalists such as Carlos Chamorro, the founder and editor of media outlet Confidencial.
  • Executive-Legislative Tensions Escalate in El Salvador

    Jul 15, 2020
    The bold action by President Nayib Bukele to address the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, declaring a national state of emergency even before the first domestic case had been detected, may have been welcomed given the urgency of the pandemic. However, it was also received with caution given recent indications of his apparent disregard for institutional steps and willingness to take authoritarian steps.
  • Mexico - Falling Opium Poppy Production

    Jul 15, 2020
    There are various potential causes for this, including the efforts by the Mexican government to eradicate illicit crops. But the main reason appears to be the fall in demand for heroin as Mexican drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) shift away from producing heroin and towards producing synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, for which there is a growing demand in the US.
  • Mexico - Rising Death Toll of Environmental Defenders

    Jul 15, 2020
    The report points a finger at the government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, not only for its impotent response to this systematic violence, in spite of repeated warnings by national and international organisations but also for harbouring a culture of stigmatisation, structural violence, and impunity.
  • Mexico - CJNG in a Vulnerable Position

    Jul 15, 2020
    It may be considered the most powerful drug trafficking organisation (DTO) in Mexico, responsible for the high levels of violence there and most of the synthetic drug trafficking into the US. But the CJNG and its operations are currently in a vulnerable position after being targeted by US law enforcement and as an indirect consequence of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
  • Brazil - Prisons in Times of a Pandemic

    Jul 15, 2020
    The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has raised the question of how the containment of the outbreak should be managed in prisons, ideal incubators for the disease. This has brought into sharp focus the shortcomings of penitentiary systems and prison infrastructure worldwide.
  • Argentina Declares War on ‘Lawfare’

    Jul 14, 2020
    On more than one occasion President Fernández has denounced the ‘lawfare’ practiced under his predecessor Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) - that is to say, the use of the judiciary to go after political opponents. Fernández is now proposing changes to guarantee the political independence of the judiciary, but these come with their own controversies.