Politics

  • 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.
  • Migrants Pay the Price for Security Shortcomings

    Jul 14, 2020
    As governments across the Andean region have increasingly demonstrated a willingness to scapegoat Venezuelan migrants for problems of crime and insecurity, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic threatens to add to this rising tide of xenophobia.
  • Mexico Homicide Data Underlines Failure of Security Strategy

    Jul 14, 2020
    This represents a clear failure of the national security strategy adopted by the government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. According to López Obrador, the main security objective of his administration is to reduce the high levels of violence linked to drug trafficking activity.
  • Urugay - A Year of Record Cocaine Seizures

    Jul 14, 2020
    Uruguayan anti-narcotics authorities were delivered two massive cocaine seizures, together totalling around six tonnes (t). This aptly rounded off a year of important drug seizures, during which a total 12t of cocaine were confiscated according to national daily El País.
  • Paraguay Under Pressure Over Corruption

    Jul 14, 2020
    As the known involvement in corruption of a number of high-profile public officials in Paraguay, former and current, has returned to the fore, pressure is growing on the administration of President Mario Abdo Benítez to crack down on the crime, with the US being particularly vocal on the matter.
  • Brazil Indigenous Violence on The Rise

    Jul 14, 2020
    This is the case with attacks against Brazil’s indigenous peoples, notably in the Amazon, a problem that is intertwined with environmental issues and illegal economic activities on protected territories.
  • Venezuela - Gold Rush Driving Violent Crime

    Jul 14, 2020
    The death of eight people in the gold-mining town of Ikabarú, on Bolívar state’s Brazilian border, has drawn significant national attention in Venezuela. The so-called ‘Ikabarú massacre’ is the latest violent incident linked to criminal gangs seeking to take advantage of the region’s vast mineral wealth.
  • The Ongoing Struggle Against Femicide in Central America

    Jul 14, 2020
    Many of the protests were held across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) where, according to the United Nations (UN), 12 women are killed as a result of femicide every day. While the regional voice against the gender-related killing of women and girls has grown in pitch, and has encouraged actions such as the writing of the specific offence into law in many countries
  • Panama - Seeking to Address a Major Priority

    Jul 14, 2020
    Addressing the weakness of the judiciary, which like Panama’s other institutions has been hit by scandal in recent years, was a declared priority for President Laurentino Cortizo whose Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) government took office for a five-year.
  • Peru - Transnational Turn for War on Drug Trafficking

    Jul 14, 2020
    Peru’s struggle against drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) has been the bane of successive governments, and new defence minister Walter Martos’ pledge to intensify the fight against the DTOs in 2020 seemed, in many ways, like a continuation of this status quo.
  • Ecuador - IACHR Considers Landmark Sexual Violence Case

    Jul 14, 2020
    The Center for Reproductive Rights, an international NGO fighting the case on behalf of the family of sexual assault victim Paola Guzmán Albarracín, believes a ruling in its favour would set a hugely significant legal precedent in Ecuador, and across the Americas as a whole.