Central America

El Chapo Found Guilty on All Counts; Faces Life in Prison

The Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo was convicted on Tuesday after a three-month drug trial in New York that exposed the inner workings of his sprawling cartel, which over decades shipped tons of drugs into the… Alan Feuer The New York Times The guilty verdict against the kingpin, whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, ended the career of a legendary outlaw who also served as a dark folk hero in Mexico, notorious for his innovative smuggling tactics, ... Read More »

Scenes From the Borderland

“Everyone here knows Trump hates brown people.” Roger Cohen The New York Times EL PASO — I have a suggestion for President Trump. Instead of fanning fear during your visit to this city on Monday night, stroll across the Paso del Norte Bridge into Ciudad Júarez. Join the 70,000 people crossing four bridges who daily form the human tissue linking the United States and Mexico. They work, they study, they eat, they shop, all part of what Dee Margo, the mayor of El Paso, calls ... Read More »

What We Heard in Caracas

President Trump’s tough talk and actions opened the door for change in Venezuela. Now the U.S. must avoid hardline inflexibility that could close it, ending the chance of achieving internal peace through an… ICG It’s hard for the two sides in Venezuela’s political conflict to agree on virtually anything, what with dueling presidents, competing institutions, and diametrically opposed visions. But in a brief visit to Caracas this week, we found broad consensus on one point: It all depends on Donald… The Venezuelan ... Read More »

Diplomats sue Canada government over mystery illness in Cuba

A group of Canadian diplomats is suing the country’s government for C$28m ($21.1m; £16.4m) after they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba. BBC The group of 14, including diplomats’ family members, says Ottawa took too long to warn, evacuate and treat them. Last year, Canadian and US officials were recalled from Havana after complaining of dizziness and migraines. The cause of the illness is unknown, but Canada has discounted the idea of a “sonic attack” on its embassy. In ... Read More »

My Good Friend Roosevelt

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars? Perhaps better than anyone else, Fidel Castro was keenly aware of the fact that the histories and destinies of Cuba and the United States were profoundly intertwined. Luis Martínez-Fernández History Today A fascinating and virtually unknown document housed in the US National Archives and Records Administration demonstrates that Castro was aware of this from an early age. ‘My good friend Roosvelt’, opens a letter a young Castro sent to President Franklin Delano ... Read More »

A draft plan from Puerto Rico’s utility reveals a huge shift towards solar power

The island’s future is slowly bending towards renewables, with ambitious plans for the future. Ε. Α. Crunden Think Progress A year and a half after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is increasingly looking towards more resilient energy sources as the island works for long-term recovery. According to a draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) from the publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP, shared with ThinkProgress, lays out ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

Pope says weary Church ‘wounded by her own sin’ in reference to abuse

Panama City: Pope Francis said on Saturday the Roman Catholic Church was weary and “wounded by her own sin,” in an apparent reference to the global sexual abuse crisis. Reuters The Canberra Times Francis made the comment in the homily of Mass for priests, nuns, and members of Catholic lay organisations in Panama City’s newly renovated cathedral of Santa Maria Antigua, the first in mainland America, which was completed in 1716. The pope has called a summit of the heads of ... Read More »

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York. BBC In the most gruesome testimony to date, Isaias Valdez Rios described seeing “El Chapo” brutally beat at least three men before shooting them. Guzmán denies charges including trafficking and money laundering. If guilty, he could be jailed for life. The ex-boss of the Sinaloa cartel was held in 2016 after escaping from jail. He used ... Read More »

Shutdown enters 33rd day with no breakthrough in sight as US Senate sets votes

There was no sign of quick relief for 800,000 federal workers going without pay because of the partial government shutdown as the U.S. Senate scheduled votes on competing proposals to end the… WASHINGTON – Reuters Hurriyet Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he planned to hold a vote on Jan. 24 on a Democratic proposal that would fund the government for three weeks but does not include the… Its prospects appeared grim. The House of Representatives has passed several similar bills, but Trump has rejected ... Read More »

Immigration advocates to meet with Pence on deal to protect Dreamers, end shutdown

WASHINGTON – A group of immigration advocates is planning to meet Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence and top adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to see if there is a… Franco Ordoñez Miami Herald Trump may also “pop in” to the meeting being organized with officials from the League of United Latin American Citizens, Libre Initiative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and… On Saturday, Trump spoke from the Oval Office and offered Democrats a three-year extension of protections ... Read More »

Migrant caravans are making their way to the US border — but the journey is far from easy

Imagine you’re 13 years old. You don’t want to sell drugs for a gang, so one of their thugs tries to kill you. Foreign Correspondent By Eric Campbell ABC You have no family, so you flee for your life, crossing jungles and rivers on a dangerous 4,000-kilometre journey to find safety. When you finally arrive, you face American soldiers who’ve been authorised to kill you. We spent three days with that boy. His name is Daniel and he’s one of ... Read More »

‘Money has never interested me’: Mexican President shows near empty wallet

Mexico’s President has just $23,000 in the bank and virtually no other assets. AFP – SBS Mexico’s austerity-crusader President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday his official declaration contained virtually no assets, showing his nearly empty wallet to reporters as evidence. Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who took office last month, has delighted supporters – but also fueled criticism – with his aggressive austerity measures. They include slashing his own salary, disbanding the presidential security detail and flying commercial airlines ... Read More »

Washington Trained Guatemala’s Mass Murderers—and the Border Patrol Played a Role

Now two Guatemalan children have died under Border Patrol custody. But the agency’s role in Latin American oppression has a long history. Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby The Nation John P. Longan was an agent with the US Border Patrol in the 1940s and ’50s, working near the Mexican border, where two Guatemalan migrant children fell mortally ill last month in the custody of the Border Patrol—7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8, and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, ... Read More »

Is Venezuela Willing to Start a Caribean War?

The timing of Russia sending two long-range bombers to Venezuela earlier in December was Washington wondering what Caracas is thinking. Scott B. MacDonald The National Interest On December 22, 2018, the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela ‘íntercepted” the ExxonMobil research ship, the Ramform Tethys, in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The ship is flagged by the government of Bahamas and was contracted to to contact seismic work by ExxonMobil and has a crew ... Read More »

Trump Sows Chaos On Day 3 Of His ‘I Want A Wall’ Christmas Shutdown

The president has been all over the map on what his wall (which he promised Mexico would pay for) even means, exactly. S. V. Date HuffPost WASHINGTON — Maybe President Donald Trump cannot get his “great, great” concrete border wall because Congress refuses to pay for it, despite candidate Trump’s repeated promises that he would make Mexico do so. Or wait: It seems Trump has already built big sections of the wall, thanks to some $5 billion Congress has already ... Read More »