Fox News itself has covered the threats in different ways. After senior administration officials testified at a Senate hearing last week about ISIS, an article on FoxNews.com about the testimony ran under the headline ‘D.H.S. Confirms ISIS Planning Infiltration of U.S. Southern Border.’ An article on Fox News Latino about the same hearing had the headline: ‘ISIS Terrorists Not Sneaking Over U.S. Southern Border With Mexico, D.H.S. Officials Tell Congress.’ — From today’s New York Times.
The veteran Colombia-based reporter explores a thorny dilemma. Right-wing paramilitary leaders who demobilized in a mid-2000s transitional justice arrangement are leaving prison after eight years of time served, even before their cases are judged. This is outrageous, but to keep them longer would send a terrible message to left-wing guerrillas currently negotiating their own demobilization.
A favela pacification program has been going on for more than five years in Rio de Janeiro. But gang dominance, state neglect, and brazen drug dealing are unchanged in the city’s less centrally located slums, where police work continues to be a violent slog.
This conservative editorial from Argentina’s most-circulated daily worries that President Cristina Fernández’s government is weakening defense capacity at the same time that it pushes the military to play new internal, even political, roles. It claims that the country’s Air Force has less than five working fighter jets and one working transport plane, yet the military’s intelligence budget has “multiplied by exponential levels.”
A narrative of the May-to-July odyssey of two Salvadoran children whose mother paid a smuggler US$10,000 to bring to the United States. They meet corrupt Mexican cops, get kidnapped and released, end up in Border Patrol custody, and are reunited (via Miami) with family in North Carolina, where they’re awaiting their immigration court date. A good multimedia feature maps all this out.
After a bomb in the Santiago subway injures about a dozen people, the author challenges the application of a Pinochet-era antiterrorism law against the still-unidentified perpetrators. “The decision to judge an act as ‘terrorist’ is the choice to live in a world where, without knowing how or why or when, we authorize the police and prosecutors to do things in a manner that we usually consider unacceptable.”
Obama Vows To Split ISIS Into Dozens Of Extremist Splinter Groups -
Today’s best analysis of the United States’ newest war comes from The Onion.
In a step-by-step series of maps, Mexico’s Animal Político follows the May 1 - July 13 journey of two Salvadoran kids whose mother paid a smuggler US$10,000 to bring them to the United States. The accompanying article (Spanish) is here.
A look at possible changes in the FARC guerrillas’ negotiating team, plus peace-related tensions within Colombia’s military. El Espectador is doing the most thorough reporting about Colombia’s peace process, usually with a couple of stories like this one each week. (See also “Hablándole a la tropa.”)
It’s a silly argument, and Professor Weeks takes it apart, reminding us that it’s not about Venezuela, it’s not about CELAC, it’s not about trade, or China, or substance-free official visits.
A detailed account of the web of corruption that ex-Guatemalan Army Captain Byron Lima dominated from his luxurious prison cell, despite serving time for killing a bishop who published a human rights report in 1998. Explains how the innovative UN prosecutorial body in Guatemala, the CICIG, built its case against Lima.
It looks like Evo Morales will be headed for a third term after October 12 elections. If you haven’t followed Bolivia closely lately, AIN gives a quick but comprehensive overview of why Morales is doing well politically, as well as the poor state of U.S.-Bolivia relations.
An overview of the latest challenges from the First Capital Command (PCC), Brazil’s powerful, prison-based, mostly unopposed organized crime syndicate. “They are not so much a rapacious band of thugs as a kind of inmate shadow government.”
A chart in La Prensa shows (in local currency) the remarkable recent growth in Nicaragua’s defense budget. Much of this spending has gone to arms purchases from Russia. Neighboring Costa Rica’s government has voiced public concern about these purchases, as the two countries have difficult relations after a series of border disputes.
U.S. Southern Command published a burst of six news releases yesterday covering military exercises and exchanges with four different Latin American countries.
This illustrates the continued breadth and depth—despite budget cuts—of U.S. military-to-military engagement in Latin America. In some of these countries, it’s fair to wonder whether civilian-to-civilian government engagement is this robust.
"Hang on! I’m going to speed up," says Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in this El Tiempo cartoon.
While government officials have begun referring to peace talks with the FARC as “in the home stretch” or “in a definitive phase,” the guerrillas say there is a long way to go.
Are ISIS terrorists in Mexico, preparing to attack the United States? U.S. officials say, ‘no,’ but not everyone believes that’s the case. —
From Fox News Houston, which goes on to cite no evidence whatsoever.
In fact, the brutal fundamentalist group has so far showed almost no interest in attacking the United States on its soil, as the New York Times observed last week.
ISIS had so far consistently focused on what militants call “the near enemy” — leaders of Muslim countries like Bashar al-Assad of Syria — and not “the far enemy” of the United States and Europe. … Nowhere in the hourlong [ISIS video] production — full of threats, drive-by shootings, explosions and gunfights — does an ISIS fighter mention the United States or directly mention or threaten Israel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Colombia’s House of Representatives held a hearing yesterday on legislation that would weaken civilian courts’ jurisdiction over human rights abuses committed by the armed forces.
Here, a mother testifies about the case of her son, who was extrajudicially executed by military personnel.
(From the Twitter feed of Colombian activist Pablo Calá.)
Confidencial runs photos of a Nicaraguan Army exhibition at which soldiers let children handle, and pretend to shoot, military weaponry like this Soviet-made SAM-7 anti-aircraft missile launcher.
Brazil got an unusual amount of coverage, much of it rather grim, in U.S. print media outlets today.
New York Times: “At Least 4 Inmates Are Killed During Bloody Prison Uprising in Brazil,” by Simon Romero.
Brazil’s prison population has more than quadrupled since the 1990s to about 550,000, largely as a result of an increase in narcotics incarcerations
New York Times: “An Intensifying Presidential Campaign Brings Tension to Brazil’s Markets,” also by Simon Romero.
Positive public sentiment about Ms. Rousseff among many antipoverty program recipients stands in contrast to the souring views of her government in Brazil’s executive suites and trading floors
Bloomberg: “Silva Melds Dishwasher Past With Growth Vows for Brazil Vote,” by Raymond Colitt.
Silva, 56, is statistically tied in second place with Neves with 21 percent and 20 percent support respectively while trailing Rousseff by 15 percentage points ahead of the Oct. 5 election
Reuters: “Brazil’s slump hits job market as election approaches,” by Brad Haynes and Silvio Cascione.
The economic slowdown has deepened since the World Cup soccer tournament that ended last month, threatening to undercut Rousseff’s re-election campaign
Associated Press: “Girls From Brazil’s Favelas Find Escape in Ballet,” by Adriana Gomez Licon.
The time spent focused on grace and control is far removed from the girls’ daily lives. Many are being raised by parents who are recovering from or are addicted to drugs
I’m back from vacation. Look forward to posting as soon as I work through some inboxes.