Central America

Mexico’s new government prepares sale of former president’s plane

The big, luxurious airplane used to ferry Mexico‘s former president around the globe is about to fly away permanently in one of the first moves by the new president to rid the country of what he has derided as a… MEXICO CITY – Reuters Hurriyet “We are selling all the planes and helicopters that the corrupt politicians used,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a rally in Xalapa, Veracruz, near the end of his first full day as president. The crowd roared its ... Read More »

Mexico’s New President Squares Up to High Hopes for Peace

On 1 December, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume Mexico’s presidency. He won pledging to end a drug war that has killed tens of thousands. Falko Ernst ICG But, as Crisis Group’s Mexico Senior Analyst Falko Ernst argues, he faces formidable challenges that will make it hard for him to uphold his promises. What are the main challenges facing López Obrador? Andrés Manuel López Obrador inherits several deepening crises. The first is crime: at least 200,000 people have been killed ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »

Life Under Gang Rule in El Salvador

Over the last three years, gang violence has killed nearly 20,000 people in El Salvador, propelling tens of thousands northward in search of safety. ICG With U.S. help, the Salvadoran government should try to counter gangs with crime prevention as much as with law enforcement. Nearly 20,000 Salvadorans were killed from 2014 to 2017. That’s more violent deaths than in several countries that were at war during those years, such as Libya, Somalia and Ukraine. The murder rate – an ... Read More »

Cards Against Humanity buys area of US border to prevent Trump building his wall

A novel effort to block the President’s agenda A foul-mouthed card game has joined Democrats, environmentalists and immigrant advocates in fighting Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Jeremy B White Independent “If you voted for Trump,” a website launched by Cards Against Humanity said, “you might want to sit this one out.” The company behind a game that involves matching cards with humorously offensive phrases announced it had bought a piece of land on the US-Mexico border with the explicit aim of hindering Mr Trump’s signature ... Read More »

Trump signs order to deny asylum at border

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that effectively will suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally for up to 90 days. © AP 2018 9news The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at US ports of entry to qualify for asylum. Immigrant advocates say the administration has deliberately slowed the processing of migrants at official ports, forcing them to wait for days ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Migrant caravan: Mexico offers temporary work permits

Mexico has offered temporary work permits to migrants who register for asylum, as a big caravan of Central American migrants makes its way through the country toward the US. BBC The plan also envisages temporary ID cards, medical care and schooling. But to qualify, migrants must remain in Mexico’s southern Chiapas and Oaxaca states. The US has warned that about 800 troops may be sent to the US-Mexico border to stop the migrant caravan. “I am bringing out the military for ... Read More »

Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity

Next year, President Jimmy Morales vows he will end the mandate of the UN-backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. ICG Hugely popular, the commission has helped reduce the country’s terrible murder rate. To keep it going, its supporters should refocus on fighting the worst violent crime. What’s new?  Research by International Crisis Group has for the first time quantified the positive impact of the UN’s Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CI-CIG). This report shows how CICIG’s justice reform activities since ... Read More »

Migrant caravan members have right to claim asylum – here’s why getting it will be hard

Roughly 5,000 people, mostly from Central America’s violent and unstable “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are reportedly making their way through Mexico with the intention of claiming asylum at the U.S. border. Abigail Stepnitz The Conversation The so-called “migrant caravan” is attracting intense social and political attention, with U.S. President Donald Trump declaring it a “national emergency.” He has also claimed, erroneously, that the migrants “have to” claim asylum in Mexico first. Migrants aren’t obligated to claim asylum in ... Read More »

Trump seizes on migrant caravan ahead of midterms

The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA A massive caravan of Central American immigrants snaking its way toward the U.S. border has thrust the immigration debate center stage in the midterm elections, giving President Trump a high-profile political target as he… Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger The Hill Democrats are eager to keep the focus on health care in the final two weeks until Election Day, but the president has spent the past 24 hours unloading on the migrant caravan, which ... Read More »

Mexico allows caravan women, children in, but thousands still stranded

Mexican authorities allowed dozens of women and children from a U.S.-bound Honduran migrant caravan to enter the country Saturday but thousands remain stranded on a border bridge between Guatemala and… CIUDAD HIDALGO Hurriyet Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala Luis Manuel Lopez told AFP the women and children would be processed by immigration authorities and taken to a shelter in the city of Tapachula, 40… Mexican authorities said around 900 other migrants – tired of waiting on the bridge – resorted to crossing the Suchiate River ... Read More »

‘Mention of the cat is degrading’: Assange sues over Ecuador terms

Quito:  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suing Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia over new rules of conduct imposed as a condition for him to remain at the country’s embassy in London, according to his lawyer. Bloomberg, New York Times The Canberra Times The rules violate Assange’s constitutional rights and need to be clarified by Ecuador’s courts, Baltasar Garzon, a former Spanish judge, told reporters in Quito on Friday. Failure to accept them could lead to his expulsion from the embassy. ... Read More »

Migrant caravan: US-bound migrants clash with Mexico riot police

Hundreds of migrants travelling across Central America in a mass caravan to the US have tried to breach Mexico’s southern border and enter the country. BBC Some migrants broke through Guatemalan border fences but then clashed with Mexican riot police in no man’s land. On Friday, US President Donald Trump thanked Mexico for holding back the migrants from crossing into the US. The migrants, mostly from Honduras, say they are fleeing violence and poverty, and include women and children. President ... Read More »

The Trade War Has Claimed Its First Victim

Tariffs from the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU may have damaged the WTO beyond repair. Arvind Panagariya * FP The World Trade Organization (WTO) might be the first victim of the trade war between China, the United States, and the European Union. Today, each is in flagrant violation of its rules, and the institution’s credibility as the protector of a rules-based trading system is in serious doubt. U.S. President Donald Trump initiated the trade war in March when he ... Read More »