Guaidó woos public sector employees (March 6, 2019)
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is trying to convince Venezuela's public sector unions to go on strike, in his latest push to oust legitimacy-challenged President Nicolás Maduro, reports Reuters. After failing to inspire the armed forces to defect from the government, Guaidó is attempting to sway public employees to switch sides, reports AFP. Both Guaidó and Maduro have called for demonstrations on Saturday.
International sanctions against Venezuela have worsened its severe humanitarian crisis, said U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet. (AFP)
Guaidó breezed right back into Venezuela on Monday, despite rumors that he would be detained for flouting a court-ordered travel ban. El Pitazo reports that customs authorities had originally been ordered to detain him, but that the command was rescinded on Monday. (See yesterday's post.)
Colombian authorities thwarted an attempt to enter aid to Venezuela by force last month, reports Bloomberg.
The U.S. might want a military coup in Venezuela -- but the armed forces and citizens aren't going for it, writes Ken Silverstein in a New Republic. The piece piece goes against the dominant media narrative on Venezuela: "while American politicians favoring intervention often point to U.S. media reports of widespread shortages and even starvation, what I saw when walking through the city was a different story.
A different view in Americas Quarterly, where Patricio Navia argues that the regional failure to promote a democratic transition in Venezuela is related to long-term tolerance of dictatorship in Cuba.
There are reports that a U.S. freelance journalist, along with his Venezuelan partner, have been detained today. (Miami Herald)
Haitian national police repressed anti-government protests in Port-au-Prince yesterday. Demonstrators were accompanying the burial of four protesters killed in February, and further protests have been called for March 7. (EFE)
Protests in February brought much of the country to a standstill -- and the political and economic crisis particularly affected children, according to UNICEF.
The number of migrants detained at the U.S. southern border -- a proxy for undocumented people entering the country -- doubled in the first five months of this fiscal year, over the last. This despite an increasingly hardline stance from the U.S. Trump administration. And the profile of who is making the crossing has changed: Central American families are the new face of undocumented immigration, reports the New York Times.
An Honduran mother-daughter duo who applied for asylum in the U.S. -- one was allowed to pursue her case and the other deported immediately -- illustrate the fraught system migrants face, reports the New York Times.
Honduran prosecutors working with the MACCIH say that 16 former government officials and ex-representatives of developer Desarrollos Energeticos, DESA, conspired to get a controversial hydroelectric project approved. Investigators said they worked from legal complaints filed by environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, reports the Associated Press.
The Colombian Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) opened a case examining the systematic extermination of Unión Patriótica political party supporters. More than 6,000 people were killed between 1984 and 2002 in relation to the UP, many victims of security forces, reports Contagio.
Organized crime groups are smuggling significant quantities of arms into Colombia, from Peru and moving through Ecuador, reports InSight Crime.
Two jail directors and 120 workers within Colombia’s national prison system are accused of charging inmates for perks, reports InSight Crime.
Carnival revelers in parts of Brazil used the occasion to lash out against President Jair Bolsonaro -- hashtag #EiBolsonaroVaiTomarNoCu gives a gist. But Bolsonaro's curious response -- tweeting a sexually explicit clip supposedly taken during a São Paulo carnival event -- only gave critics more fodder, reports the Guardian.
In Rio de Janiero calls for justice for slain councillor Marielle Franco were also strongly featured in carnival celebrations, reports the Guardian separately. (See yesterday's briefs.)
The case of a young black man killed by a supermarket security guard in Rio de Janeiro has inspired a Brazilian "Black Lives Matter" campaign, reports AFP.
Argentines head to the polls in October -- where they will likely pick between current President Mauricio Macri and his predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. For Martín Caparrós both represent failed policies, and are essentially trying to convince voters that they are the "lesser evil." Their rivalry has defined Argentina's political scene for over a decade, and each is locked into the rivalry in order to maintain relevance, he writes in a New York Times Español op-ed.
U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned that an Amnesty Law under discussion in El Salvador's Legislative Assembly would effectively reinstate an “absolute and unconditional amnesty” for some of the most serious human rights violations committed in El Salvador during the 1980-1992 armed conflict. (See Feb. 22's briefs.)
Salvadoran lawmakers voted to temporarily remove a Supreme Court judge accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old. They also stripped him of immunity from prosecution. (Reuters)
Addicts in Guayaquil are hooked on a new cheap drug -- "H" (hache) is a heroin based powder that often also includes brick dust and rat poison, but packs a good punch, reports InSight Crime.
Peru is militarizing its approach to defending the rainforest, reports the Associated Press.
Archeologists discovered ceramic artifacts that appear to be over 1,000 years old under Mayan ruins in Mexico. (New York Times)
Chile created new regulations for the Carabineros police, incorporating, among other changes, the principle of non-discrimination, reports El Dinamo.
Netflix acquired the rights to adapt One Hundred Years of Solitude for the screen. (New York Times)
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