Nicaraguan police raid human rights groups, Confidencial (Dec. 14, 2018)
Nicaraguan police raided the headquarters of four organizations of civil society, as well as the offices of the newspaper Confidencial and television shows Esta Semana and Esta Noche, reports Artículo 66. The violent raids targeted the offices of ILLS, which was raided by 70 officers armed with AK-47s, Cenidh, Fundación del Río, and Fundación Popol Na, where civilian and uniformed officers beat and kidnapped the mothers of political prisoners who were staying there. At least three guards at the different facilities were attacked and kidnapped according to the organizations.
This morning the offices of the Instituto de Estudios Estratégicos y Políticas Públicas was raided for a second time, reports Artículo 66.
Confidencial editor Carlos Fernando Chamorro said all the newspaper's computers were taken in the raid, and all of the television editing equipment. He qualified it as an attack on freedom of expression, part of a growing harassment independent media has suffered from the government in recent months. Chamorro also heads the OSC Centro de Investigaciones de la Comunicación (CINCO), but the groups offices are in a separate location. (Confidencial)
The targeted organizations -- as well as CINCO -- were among those whose legal recognition was removed in recent weeks. Yesterday the National Assembly cancelled the legal recognition of five more groups, bringing the total up to nine organizations of civil society shut down within two weeks, reports Confidencial. The cancellations mean the groups cannot have bank accounts, receive funding, or carry out projects.
Authorities allege the organizations, which include some of the country's most respected human rights groups, were working to destabilize the government. But local and international human rights groups denounced the move is aimed at silencing organizations that have reported on widespread and ongoing human rights violations, reports Reuters. (See yesterday's post.)
That Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro remains in power despite the country's acute crisis "suggests that the unsustainable can endure for a very long time," according to the Economist. The regime is surviving economic collapse and the regime increasingly resembles its ally Cuba, according to the piece which notes the divisions within the internal opposition and the failure of international pressure on the government thus far.
El Nacional, Venezuela's last remaining critical nationally-circulated newspaper, will stop publishing its print edition today. (Associated Press)
Some Venezuelan dissidents hoped Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro would increase the chances of an international military intervention in Venezuela. But the incoming administration has softened its stance and say it is up to Venezuelans to resolve the crisis, reports the Guardian.
Police have served several arrest, search and seizure warrants in connection with the killing of Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes in March of this year. (Associated Press)
Brazil's financial crimes unit is investigating payments of over $300,000 made to Bolsonaro's wife and son by a former aide. (AFP)
Three quarters of Brazilians believe Bolsonaro is going in the right direction, and two thirds believe the economy will improve next year, according to a new IBOPE survey. (AFP)
Pension reform is at the top of Bolsonaro's to-do list, though its not clear how he will marshal the unpopular measures past Congress. Potential strategies will include subdividing the reform into smaller projects, or seeking to pass a number of other variations, reports the Economist.
Fortaleza is Brazil's youth murder capital: 414 teens were killed in 2017. The kids killed are generally poor and black, and residents are demanding social change to target the phenomenon, reports the Guardian.
Amid a far-right resurgence, some Brazilians celebrate black heritage and consciousness, reports the Huffington Post.
Graft allegations lodged by Brazilian prosecutors against against four of the world’s largest oil trading companies mark an explosive new phase to the already epic “Car Wash” corruption investigation, reports Reuters.
Former San Salvador mayor Nayib Bukele is maintaining his lead ahead of February's presidential election in El Salvador. A new poll puts him at 44.1 percent of voter intentions, 24 points ahead of his nearest rival, reports Reuters.
A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died in U.S. border patrol custody eight hours after she was arrested in New Mexico. In a statement, customs and border protection authorities said the girl had not eaten or consumed water in several days. (Associated Press)
The Intercept has the English translation of an investigation into Mexico's clandestine graves. A journalistic investigation found 1,978 clandestine graves, the municipalities where they were located and the number of bodies and remains extracted — more than double the number reported by the federal government. (See Wednesday's briefs.)
Argentina's austerity economic program is yielding results, according to the IMF anyway. (AFP)
Fifteen transgender women have receive reparations for persecution suffered under the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina. (Reuters)
Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra will seek to relax the country's labor laws, reports Reuters.
Costa Rica will be the first country in the world to decarbonize its economy starting next year -- Democracy Now reports.
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