- “Central American migrants face grueling journey north,” by Alfredo Corchado, The Dallas Morning News.
From an excellent series in which the veteran Mexico correspondent travels the length of the train routes used by Central American migrants. Along with the Associated Press, Corchado finds that the route has become more dangerous because of Mexico’s new, U.S.-backed southern border security strategy. Animal Político reviews what is new in that strategy.
- “Media Roundup: Does Mexico Need A New Military-Style Police Force?,” by Nathaniel Parish Flannery, Forbes.
Mexico also just launched its Gendarmería, a 5,000-person mobile, sort of paramilitary police unit, a watered-down version of something that President Enrique Peña Nieto had proposed during the 2012 campaign. Flannery reviews coverage and commentary. See also Alejandro Hope wondering what the Gendarmería’s purpose is, and Fundar raising human rights and civil-military relations concerns.
- “El ventilador del ‘hacker’,” Semana (Colombia).
In a cover story that rocked Colombian politics this week, a computer hacker detained for his role in illegal communications intercepts alleges that the campaign of President Juan Manuel Santos’s right-wing opponents, along with some military officers, urged him to hack into the e-mail accounts of government peace negotiators and even the President.
- “Los agujeros negros de la mesa de La Habana,” by Tony López, Las 2 Orillas (Colombia).
The Havana peace talks between Colombia’s government and the FARC guerrillas are structured so that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” This means that although agreements exist on three agenda items, aspects of them are not fully settled. López, a Cuban analyst who clearly has some access to the private proceedings, lists 28 topics that are currently “in the freezer” to be revisited later. See also the sober but optimistic analysis of the talks—-which are actually at a high point right now—-in this El Espectador interview with Georgetown University’s Marc Chernick, who has been studying Colombia since 1980.
- “Silva Opens 10-Point Lead Over Rousseff in Brazil Election Poll,” by Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.
No Latin American leader had a worse week than Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff. Five weeks before the presidential vote, her reelection no longer looks inevitable: she’s tied in the polls and the economy is now officially in recession.