Central America

Mexico: From Cold War to Drug War

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Earlier this summer, I participated in the Library of Congress’s first ever ScholarFest. My conversation partner, UVA’s Professor William Hitchcock, and I spent ten minutes discussing whether the Cold War still mattered. I imagine that very few people in the audience were surprised to hear two historians argue for the continuing relevance of the Cold War. ... Read More »

Statement on the Transitional Justice Agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC

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The agreement on transitional justice reached by the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and publicly announced yesterday in Havana is a major breakthrough in the four-year peace talks. In effect, it anticipates the termination of the 51-year armed conflict. In an unprecedented personal meeting, President Juan Manual Santos and ... Read More »

Pope may ruffle feathers on US/Cuba trip

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Pope Francis’s forthcoming nine-day visit to the US and Cuba, which starts on Saturday, will be his 10th and longest trip abroad yet and, for the 78-year-old, it is likely to be challenging on many levels. BBC – Caroline Wyatt, Religious affairs correspondent It is the Argentine-born Pope’s first trip to the US and, while ... Read More »

US launches secret bid to stop release of hunger-striking Guantánamo detainee

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Objection to freeing Tariq Ba Odah, who is 56% of his ideal body weight, comes as Obama administration fights to stop detainees seeking freedom in federal courts The Guardian – Spencer Ackerman in New York @attackerman In an extremely rare legal manoeuvre, the Obama administration has challenged a legal request to free a hunger-striking Guantánamo ... Read More »

How El Salvador’s Supreme Court Is Undermining Democracy—With Washington’s Help

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WikiLeaks has exposed US government collusion with the chamber’s destabilization strategy. The Nation – By Hilary Goodfriend On July 20, 2015, the government of El Salvador issued an official warning that right-wing forces are orchestrating “a movement for a coup d’état,” against the “government of the people, a legal government, a legitimate government that fights ... Read More »

Puerto Rico misses debt payment with string of defaults to come

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Pressure on U.S. Congress to allow Chapter 9 bankruptcy for troubled territory CBC News – Puerto Rico default – Video Puerto Rico is in technical default on a $58-million debt bill due Monday, reflecting an economy in trouble amid an extended drought in the U.S. territory. The island paid just $628,000 toward a $58-million payment due to creditors ... Read More »

Clinton says GOP is clinging to the past on Cuba

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MIAMI — Calling the trade embargo against Cuba a relic of a failed Cold War policy, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday challenged Republicans in Congress and in the 2016 race to finally do away with it. The Washington Post – By Anne Gearan * “We have arrived at a decisive moment. The Cuban ... Read More »

Mexico missing students: Search uncovers 60 mass graves

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Sixty mass graves have been uncovered in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero during a search for 43 student teachers abducted last September, official documents have revealed. BBC – The attorney general’s office says the remains of 129 bodies have been recovered from the graves. None of the remains have been linked to the students ... Read More »

How Hedge and Vulture Funds Have Exploited Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis

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For this island teetering on bankruptcy, debt renegotiation is imminent—but on whose terms? The Nation – By Ed Morales New York–born Puerto Rican activist David Galarza spent a recent sultry summer Monday picketing a meeting of bondholders by day and meeting with professionals, students, and working people in the evening concerned about the increasingly scary crisis ... Read More »

Mexico opens up oil industry for first time in 80 years

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BBC – For the first time in nearly 80 years, Mexico has opened up its oil industry to foreign investors, selling off 14 exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. However, only two of the blocks were sold in the auction, falling short of the government’s expectations. Bidders were expected to sign new contracts with the ... Read More »

The Dominican Republic Must Stop Expulsions of Haitians

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A HUMAN rights crisis is unfolding on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The New York Times – By ROXANNA ALTHOLZ and LAUREL E. FLETCHER The Dominican Republic is threatening to drive out hundreds of thousands of Haitians who live and work in the Dominican Republic. Many of ... Read More »

Central American migrants escape Mexico kidnapping

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BBC – Dozens of Central American migrants say they have managed to escape from a gang that abducted them in southern Mexico. They migrants told police they had been held for hours by armed men who stopped their bus, but later fought back and broke free from their captors. Kidnappings are common in Mexico with ... Read More »

Concentration Camps in the Dominican Republic?

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Regarding the pending expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian descent, which I’ve written about hereand here (based on original reporting by Rachel Nolan, here in Harper’s) and which is scheduled to start later this week: The Dominican Republic is sending mixed messages. The Nation – Greg Grandin Andrés Navarro, the country’s foreign minister, says they will wait ... Read More »

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina faces corruption investigation

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(CNN) Guatemala’s President will be investigated in a corruption probe and could be stripped of immunity that protects him from prosecution By Michael Roa and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN. Story highlights Guatemala’s Supreme Court rules that President Otto Perez Molina will be investigated The court asks lawmakers to strip the President of his immunity The ruling ... Read More »

Australian immunologist Ian Frazer wins international award for developing the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine

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Former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer and his late Chinese colleague Jian Zhou have won a prestigious international award for developing the world’s first vaccine against cervical cancer, Gardasil. ABC – By Francis Tapim and Kym Agius The immunologists were awarded the European Inventor Award in the popular prize category at a gala ceremony ... Read More »

Che Guevara’s prophesy realized with US’ Cuba decision: Columnist

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If you are among those who are depressed with whatever is going around you and if you wonder how you will overcome all of it, do not feel too down. Hurriyet – SOLİ ÖZEL – sozel@htgazete.com.tr Things that you never expect come true in this life. Recently, an official at the European Commission told me an ... Read More »