Copinh criticizes Cáceres murder trial (Nov. 6, 2018)
Five of the eight men accused of killing Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres will remain in detention while the trial continues. Prosecutors asked to extend the term of pre-trial detention after several delays in proceedings, but court authorities instead determined that the upper limit of detention had not been reached because of delays caused by the defense. (La Prensa and Proceso)
Cáceres' family and the organization she co-founded and led, el Consejo Cívico de Organización Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (Copinh), have protested that the judicial proceeding is a farce, aimed at covering up the masterminds behind the assassination. They expect a quick sentencing against the accused, but say the trial has been riddled with irregularities and that prosecutors have not sought to truly resolve the case. (BBC Mundo and Copinh)
Ongoing delays in the trial make it difficult to believe there will be "full justice" in the case, said Spanish lawmaker Jesús Rodríguez, who is participating in an international experts observation mission. (EFE)
Copinh released a graphic detailing the main issues with the trial up till now -- including the judges' decision last month to exclude legal representation for the victims. (See Oct. 22's post.)
About 2,200 Central American migrants reached Mexico City, where municipal authorities are sheltering them in a sports stadium. Authorities expect the number to at least double by Thursday. The group has traversed 1,500 kilometers on foot or hitchhiking over three weeks -- many have arrived with destroyed shoes or barefoot, suffering respiratory infections and diarrhea. The Mexican government said 5,000 migrants are traveling in the country at the moment in several caravans, and 2,793 people have applied for asylum. (Animal Político and Guardian)
One migrant in the caravans is Billy Noe Martinez, one of two known survivors of the San Fernado massacre in which members of Los Zetas executed 72 migrants near the U.S. border. (Al Jazeera)
Mexico’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group tomorrow. A group of 200 organizations of civil society said advances over the past decade have focused on normative change, with almost no impact on the ground. Animal Político notes that landmark human rights violations cases, such as the Ayotzinapa 43 and the Tlatlaya Massacre occurred since the last review in 2013.
The issue with Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador's promise to cancel a $13 billion new airport project wasn't so much the decision, but the irregular referendum process he used to justify it, said México Evalúa's Mariana Campos in an interview with Americas Quarterly. "I believe the question the markets and investors are asking themselves now is: Is this how things will be decided from now on? I think that’s the most significant cost of this decision. It affects confidence and trust, and when you don’t generate trust, it affects governability." (See last Tuesday's post.)
The Colombian criminal group, Los Rastrojos raided a Venezuelan military base just over the Colombian border last week, a demonstration of the organization's growing strength and determination to defend their illegal markets in the area, reports InSight Crime.
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva challenged his corruption conviction yesterday, arguing that the judge who sentenced him to 12 years of jail demonstrated bias by accepting a cabinet post offered by Lula's political rival. Judge Sérgio Moro was nominated to head the ministry of justice by president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Lula's lawyers and advocates have always claimed the case against him to be politically motivated. The conviction prevented him from running in last month's presidential election, for which he was a voter favorite for much for the year, reports Al Jazeera. (See last Friday's post.)
Bolsonaro has promised to hit back at what he calls purveyors of "fake news" -- press outlets that have permitted critical coverage of the president-elect. (Huffington Post)
The U.S. trade war with China could have unexpected, and negative, consequences for Amazon preservation. (World Politics Review)
An Argentine court absolved a police officer accused of excessive use of force after she shot several times an unarmed thief escaping from the scene of a supermarket robbery. Argentine minister of security Patricia Bullrich lauded the officer, and will meet with her this week. (Página 12)
Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro backs civilian use of firearms in self-defense. In Página 12, security expert Juan Gabriel Tokatlian looks at the historical errors of this line of thought, which some Argentine officials, including Bullrich, also back.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...
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