AMLO lashes out at journalists (Feb. 23, 2022)
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador faces one of the greatest political crises of his mandate: a scandal involving his son's use of a luxury house owned by an oil executive contractor for Mexico's state oil firm. AMLO has increasingly lashed out at prominent investigative journalists -- including Carmen Aristegui and Jorge Ramos -- in response to questions over potential corruption within his family, questioning their earnings. (Wall Street Journal)
AMLO's attacks on the press have been particularly jarring in the midst of ongoing deadly violence against reporters in Mexico, where six journalists have been murdered so far this year already. (Aristegui Noticias) Aristegui strenuously objected to AMLO's suggestion that critical journalists are financed by enemies. (Aristegui Noticias)
Latin American polarization has been the norm for decades -- ideological divisions are not currently deeper than they have been historically, argues María Victoria Murillo in Americas Quarterly. If anything "the big fights today may be more concentrated among elites than voters, whose views generally do not reflect the stark contrasts depicted by the media."
About one hundred migrants from Haiti, Cuba and African nations threw stones and sticks at Mexican National Guard troops and immigration agents clashed in the Mexican city of Tapachula yesterday. Frustration has been rising due to complaints by migrants that Mexican processing claims for refuge, asylum or humanitarian visas is too slow. (Reuters, Associated Press)
The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación is increasingly using the resort town of Puerto Vallarta to process drug cash through nightclubs, bars and restaurants, reports InSight Crime.
Cuban journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa writes in the Washington Post about his new exile: "I left Cuba mainly to escape the regime’s repression toward me for being an independent journalist who documents the country’s reality. However, I also wanted, for a while, to stop living the unacceptable life that Cubans experience today. Life can be really difficult when repression and scarcity are part of the daily struggle."
As accusations of corruption mount against Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, Attorney General Consuelo Porras has taken minimal action and instead ramped up her crackdown on prosecutors investigating high-level graft, reports InSight Crime. In recent weeks her office has mounted more aggressive legal attacks, landing some former prosecutors in jail and driving others into exile. (See last Thursday's post.)
"There are few signs that the anti-corruption environment in Guatemala will improve in the near term," writes James Bosworth in the Latin America Risk Report. "Guatemalan politicians have repeatedly successfully ousted anti-corruption officials with few consequences, and there has been no fundamental change for the better in the government culture between the Morales and Giammattei governments."
A corruption trial against former Peruvian president Ollanta Humala and his wife started yesterday. They are both accused of money laundering in a scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, reports the Associated Press. He is the first former Peruvian president standing trial in an Odebrecht trial, although three other ex-presidents have been involved in the case.
Brazilian farmers are allowed to use almost double the number of hazardous pesticides as their U.K. counterparts, and the Bolsonaro administration is currently pushing through a bill that would slash pesticide regulations even further, reports the Guardian.
The death toll from flash floods and landslides in Brazil's Petrópolis rose to 186. (Al Jazeera)
Paul Farmer, a physician who devoted his professional life to improving health care in the most destitute corners of the world, died at age 62 in Rwanda. (Washington Post)
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...