Central America

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »

How Climate Change Is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis

In the western highlands of Guatemala, the question is no longer whether someone will leave but when. By Jonathan Blitzer Photography by Mauricio Lima The New Yorker In the center of Climentoro, in the western highlands of Guatemala, a dozen large white houses rise above the village’s traditional wooden huts like giant monuments. The structures are made of concrete and fashioned with archways, colonnaded porches, and elaborate moldings. “Most of them are empty,” Feliciano Pérez, a local farmer, told me. ... Read More »

Trump Threatens to Blow Up the U.S. Economy

The same dynamics that preceded Trump’s decision to cut off aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are now playing out with his threats to shut down the Mexican border. It all starts on Twitter. Nancy LeTourneau Washington Monthly According to CNN, some members of his administration are warning him that such a move would result in catastrophic consequences, while others are cheering him on. Stephen Miller—more than likely in the latter group—suggests that the president is not bluffing. In ... Read More »

Spain and Mexico’s centuries-old blame game

Mexican demand for apology for conquest has the potential to damage Pedro Sánchez’s electoral prospects. Diego Torres Politico MADRID — The latest diplomatic spat in Spain has been 500 years in the making. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s demand that the king of Spain apologize for the abuses committed during the conquest has put pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez ahead of a national election and sparked debate on the issue of historic apologies. It has also raised questions ... Read More »

Condemnation of the assassination of Sergio Rojas in Costa Rica

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC) denounces and condemns the assassination of Sergio Rojas, an indigenous Costa Rican defender of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the Bribri of Salitre territory in southern Costa Rica. Friends of the Earth International Throughout his life Sergio Rojas was unyielding in his fight for Indigenous Peoples’ autonomy and self-determination who took a stand against the land grabbers of communities’ territories. Sergio was murdered on the night of Monday 18th March at his home, in ... Read More »

‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border

MCALLEN, Tex. — It was dark in the stash house where they kept her, the windows covered so no one could see inside. Manny Fernandez The New York Times At first, the smugglers had her cook for the other migrants who had recently crossed illegally into the United States. Then they took her to a room upstairs, locked the door and began taking turns with her. It was the summer of 2014, and Melvin, a 36-year-old mother of three, had ... Read More »

Deported parents who were sent back to Central America while their children remained in the U.S. trek to the border and demand to be reunited

Central American migrant parents deported by the US are demanding asylum They are asking American authorities to allow them to rejoin their children Some of the parents have not seen their children for a year By Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com and Agencies Daily Mail Central American migrant parents deported by the United States are demanding asylum and to be reunited with the children from whom they were separated. The parents who were forcibly sent back to Central America after illegally ... Read More »

Guatemala amnesty bill stirs fears of impunity and revenge of ex-military

Legislation that would grant amnesty to anyone convicted or accused of human rights violations during Guatemala’s long-running civil war has raised fears that dozens of perpetrators of forced disappearance, torture and… Leila Miller Los Angeles Times Backed by military elites and their allies, including members of the party of President Jimmy Morales, the proposed law passed the first of three congressional readings last month. If enacted, the bill would mandate the release within 24 hours of dozens of officials and ... Read More »

US law recognizes Aegean treaty regime in Dodecanese

It was in 1920 that the United States first became seriously involved in issues arising from the Aegean treaty regime in the Dodecanese. Nicholas G. Karambelas ekathimerini In that year, the peace conference which culminated in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 had been convened. The fate of the 12 Aegean islands commonly known as the Dodecanese was one of the issues which the peace conference debated. The US Senate passed a resolution which called on the peace conference to ... Read More »

Mexico border wall: US states sue over emergency declaration

A coalition of 16 US states led by California is suing President Donald Trump’s administration over his decision to declare an emergency to raise funds for a Mexican border wall. BBC Mr Trump made the declaration on Friday to bypass Congress after it refused to approve $5.7bn (£4.4bn) for the wall. The states say they want to block Mr Trump’s “misuse of presidential power”. The Democrats oppose funding Mr Trump’s barrier, a key campaign pledge, and have vowed to contest ... Read More »

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 »