Central America

Most Mexico murders organized crime linked

Sent 5e

Organized crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of all murders in Mexico in 2017, the country’s deadliest year since record-keeping began, according to non-profit Semaforo Delictivo. MEXICO – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group said that 18,989 of the year’s officially recorded 25,339 murders were carried out by criminal gangs. The figure represented a 55 percent increase on the year before. “The sort of numbers we used to see in a year, we now see in a month,” said Santiago Roel, the ... Read More »

This Man is Likely to Succeed the Castro Brothers After Their 59-Year Long Rule

Fea 2b

Cuban President Raul Castro is due to hand over the reins to his successor this year All the indications are that First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will assume the presidency after the Castro brothers, becoming the first leader of the country who was born after the legendary Cuban Revolution. Sputnik Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first vice-president of Cuba and former university professor, may become the new president of the country in the coming months. On April 19, Raul Castro will finish his second tenure ... Read More »

Cuba postpones historic replacement of Castro

Xop 4d

Communist-run Cuba extended the term of its current leadership to April on Dec. 21, signaling a two-month delay in the historic handover from Raul Castro to a new president, while announcing tighter regulations on the non-state sector. HAVANA – Reuters Hurriyet Castro, 86, was originally set to step down in February after two consecutive terms, ending nearly 60 years of Castro brothers’ rule and marking a transition from the leaders of the 1959 revolution to a new, younger generation. The ... Read More »

Govt receives ExxonMobil funds to help fight Guyana-Venezuela border controversy; some contract details disclosed

Fry 1a

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman on Friday confirmed that United States (US) oil giant, ExxonMobil, will help fund Guyana’s legal fees to settle the border controversy with Venezuela. Demerara Waves “Yes, Mr. Speaker, there is a sum and yes it is reserved to safeguard this country,” he said the same day that two local newspapers published a September 2016 letter by Finance Secretary, Dr. Hector Butts to the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga for the ... Read More »

China’s ‘Period of Strategic Opportunity’ in Mexico

Raum 8h

Beijing is looking to cash in on Trump’s rhetoric against Mexico and NAFTA As the Trump administration contemplates border wall prototypes and dissolving the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), China is taking a decidedly different approach to relations with Mexico. Margaret Myers Ricardo Barrios In recent months, Beijing has launched an unprecedented charm offensive south of the Rio Grande. The National Interest In addition to a series of new investments, and renewed talk of a bilateral trade pact, ... Read More »

Mexico warns that abandoning Nafta could end broader cooperation with US

Nuf 2b

Mexico’s foreign minister has warned that terminating Nafta could bring relations with the US to a breaking point, raising the prospect that bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking and illegal migration could be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s bellicose trade rhetoric. David Agren in Mexico City The Guardian The threat from the foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, came as Donald Trump once again threatened to tear up the three-country trade treaty between the US, Canada and Mexico ahead of a fourth round ... Read More »

The Twists and Turns along China’s Belt and Road

CNTS 4d

China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could potentially transform relations with over 60 countries across Eurasia, Africa and beyond But to bring the concept to fruition, Beijing must overcome mammoth logistical obstacles, navigate fragile political situations and placate growing regional apprehension surrounding its ambitions. Michael Kovrig  ICG “The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only ... Read More »

The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court

Keb 2b

It is possible to determine which nations and companies are responsible for damaging the climate. It’s only a matter of time before courts decide they must pay for global warming. Editorial The Guardian Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate ... Read More »

Guatemala Stumbles in Central America’s Anti-corruption Fight

Guat 1a

Guatemala’s fight against corruption is in danger after President Morales attempted to expel the head of a uniquely effective UN-backed anti-corruption organisation. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Analyst for Guatemala Arturo Matute says a corrupt elite is waging a battle to maintain its privileged position. Arturo Matute ICG What is happening in Guatemala? A remarkable and hopeful two-year interlude in one of Central America’s most corrupt countries may now be ending. The key reversal came on Friday 25 August 2017, at a ... Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

Raut 4d

The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Puerto Rico following Greek footsteps to economic woe

TreFla 1a

It is said that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Desmond Lachman, opinion contributor The Hill Sadly, this seems to be the case with respect to the Puerto Rican government and its Financial Oversight and Management Board in their handling of the Puerto Rican economic… By not drawing the right lessons from Greece’s recent failed attempt at fiscal austerity in a Euro straitjacket, the Puerto Rican government is all too likely to exacerbate rather than ... Read More »

A Misguided Cuba Roll-back

Unex 3c

President Trump’s new measures against Cuba preserve diplomatic relations and the right to most U.S. trade and group travel. Ivan Briscoe ICG But aggressive U.S. atmospherics risk hardening Cuba’s domestic politics and making it harder for Havana to play its mediating role in regional crises and conflicts. President Donald Trump’s 16 June announcement that his administration will partially reverse efforts to restore diplomatic ties and normalise relations with Cuba represents a… A Misguided Cuba… Read More »

A Misguided Cuba Roll-back

Emp 4d

President Trump’s new measures against Cuba preserve diplomatic relations and the right to most U.S. trade and… Ivan Briscoe ICG But aggressive U.S. atmospherics risk hardening Cuba’s domestic politics and making it harder for Havana to play its mediating role in regional crises and… President Donald Trump’s 16 June announcement that his administration will partially reverse efforts to restore diplomatic ties and… A Misguided Cuba… Read More »

US president suggests building ‘solar wall’ on Mexican border

Ned 3c

U.S. President Donald Trump pitched a new concept to his supporters on June 21 for the wall he intends to erect on the Mexican border: cover it with solar panels – and… WASHINGTON – Agence France–Presse Hurriyet “Yes, we will build a wall,” he told a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “We have to stop the drugs from flowing in. “I will give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet,” he said. “The southern border. Lots of sun, ... Read More »

Trump partially rolls back Obama’s Cuba thaw

Stut 5e

US President Donald Trump says he is rolling back the Obama administration’s “completely one-sided deal with Cuba”. BBC Speaking in Miami, Florida, he said his new policy would tighten rules affecting travel and on sending funds to the Caribbean island nation. But he is not reversing key diplomatic and commercial ties, and will not close the US embassy in… Trump partially rolls… Read More »

Mexico’s Worsening War without a Name

Feretro 1a

The “war on drugs” has morphed into a new rash of killings in Mexico. Froylán Enciso ICG The deadly violence of increasingly well-organised, business-minded criminal groups risks being aggravated by government inaction, corruption and bombastic U.S. rhetoric – exactly what caused the problem in the first place. Murder rates in Mexico have hit a… Mexico’s Worsening War… Read More »