Migrant children in Mexico (April 20, 2021)
The number of migrant children arriving in Mexico and hoping to enter the United States has increased ninefold from January to March this year, according to UNICEF. The number of migrant children reported in Mexico rose to 3,500 at the end of March from 380 at the start of the year. They form part of a broader flow of migrants that has challenged the U.S. government , which expects more apprehensions at the frontier this year than at any point in the last two decades, reports the New York Times.
Guatemalan lawmakers' refusal to confirm prominent anti-corruption judge Gloria Porras to her new term on the country's Constitutional Court highlights the challenges facing the U.S. Biden administration, as it seeks to work with Central American governments to tackle root causes of migration, reports Reuters. (See last Wednesday's post.)
Venezuela's government now requires all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profit organizations in the country to provide sensitive information regarding their activities, contributions, and beneficiaries. "A clear effort to monitor and limit the work of independent civil society organizations," within a trend of increasing attacks against independent voices, said 90 regional organizations in a call to Nicolás Maduro's government to cease repression of civil society.
The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) and Venezuelan officials said they had reached a deal to supply food to school children, reports Reuters.
Venezuela is an opportunity for a diplomatic realignment between the European Union and the U.S. -- but the window of opportunity is closing quickly, according to a report recently co-authored by the American Enterprise Institute and Spain’s Fundación Civismo. Authors Ryan Berg and Jorge González-Gallarza recommend the U.S. and the EU coordinate sanctions. (Americas Quarterly)
The Brazilian government is seeking to tone down its demands for upfront foreign aid to reduce Amazon deforestation, which have raised hackles in the international community ahead of a U.S. hosted climate summit tomorrow, reports the Financial Times. (See yesterday's briefs.)
But experts are skeptical that Brazil's Bolsonaro administration is serious about tackling deforestation. A new plan presented last week, and touted to the U.S. as a serious environmental commitment, would allow the country to step up forest losses to a rate 78% above those before President Jair Bolsonao took office and 20% above last year's levels, reports Reuters. (See last Thursday's post.)
Scientists fear Brazil will become a Petri dish for more variants if Covid-19 contagion continues at the current elevated rate, reports EFE.
Haiti’s cash-strapped government is paying expensive lobbyists to help burnish President Jovenel Moïse's tarnished reputation in the U.S., where members of Congress are increasingly critical as Haitians call for the president to resign, reports the Miami Herald.
Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) said violence against former guerrilla fighters and social leaders is jeopardizing its attempts to investigate crimes that took place during the country's six decades of civil conflict, reports the Associated Press. According to the tribunal at least 276 former rebels have been killed since laying down their weapons in December 2016, 252 of whom had been summoned to collaborate with its investigations. The court said 900 community leaders have also been assassinated.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel was named Communist Party head yesterday, cementing the generational changeover of Cuba's leadership, as the country battles an intense economic crisis, reports the Miami Herald. (See yesterday's post on Castro's stepping down from Communist Party leadership.)
In the earliest known CIA assassination plot against leaders of the Cuban revolution, high agency officials offered the pilot of a plane carrying Raul Castro from Prague to Havana “payment after successful completion of ten thousand dollars” to “incur risks in arranging accident” during the flight, according to formally TOP SECRET documents posted last week by the National Security Archive.
Violent clashes between rival Mexican criminal groups – and their alleged allies in the security forces – are escalating ahead of mid-term elections in June. Much of the recent fighting occurred in Michoacán, where the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (Jalisco New Generation cartel) has stepped up its conflict with an alliance of local groups calling themselves the United Cartels. The violence has forced more than a thousand people to flee the area, reports the Guardian.
Mexico's Morena party should disavow Félix Salgado Macedonio, who responded to the electoral authority's invalidation of his gubernatorial candidacy with harassment and threats -- but it won't happen, because Macedonio is Morena, argues Diego Fonseca in a New York Times op-ed.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...Latin America Daily Briefing