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After the Hurricane

Central American News
After the Hurricane
By Central American News • Issue #119 • View online

Dear Readers,
Hurricane ETA affected hundreds of thousands of people in Central America. In Honduras, 1.7 million are affected. Across Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, an estimated 300,000 people lost their homes and the death toll is still uncertain. The hurricane hit a region with high levels of poverty, economic downturn due to COVID-19 and extreme vulnerability to climate change and food insecurity.
Even though many eyes were on U.S. elections (we have included stories on the Central American vote in the U.S. and projections about Biden’s policy regarding Central America and immigration), the Hurricane has and will demand much attention. We created a special section with news on Hurricane ETA below as well as a donation segment.
Thank you for reading!
Stay safe,
Hurricane Eta
The tragedy of the Sula Valley seen from the sky this Friday 06.11.2020.
The tragedy of the Sula Valley seen from the sky this Friday 06.11.2020.
Hurricane ETA
Hurricane ETA finally left the Caribbean Sea on Thursday night after leaving a trail of destruction in Central America, with at least 150 deaths and landslides, floods and landslides in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.
In Guatemala, it is estimated that 81,000 people were affected by tropical storm Eta this past week. Due to the tropical storm, Guatemala has been witnessing many landslides and estimates that 50 people have died from these landslides in Huehuetenango and the Quejá village.  
In Honduras, Hurricane Eta devastated the Northern region of Honduras last week. 25 people have died, and more than 1.7 million people have been affected by floods and landslides while almost 10,000 people are in shelters. The Government declared a national emergency, issuing for the immediate evacuation of Sula Valley, but the warning came too late. People are denouncing that the government did not send rescue boats to people in need and that, in certain areas, police were impeding people from helping affected individuals. 
In Nicaragua, the Indigenous communities mostly inhabited by Miskitos were destroyed by Eta. Affected communities in Nicaragua resort to barter as a form of mutual solidarity in the absence of state care in the shelters. Communities denounce they were not alerted, and had to evacuate by themselves. Though Eta is gone, communities in the north regions and Caribbean coast of Nicaragua are still underwater
In Panama, President Cortizo has declared a state of emergency for the provinces of Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro, Panamá Oeste, Veraguas, Herrera and the Ngäbe Buglé comarca. Hundreds have found themselves without drinking water due to damage to water treatment plants. At least 9 deaths have been reported. Over 2,000 people have been affected.
In Belize, Hurricane Eta caused major flooding throughout the country as rivers in both urban and rural areas overflow. Fortunately, to date there have been no reports of loss of life
In Costa Rica, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) says more than 1,700 people have been evacuated due to landslides and flooding
In El Salvador, the hurricane left one dead and at least 2,000 evacuees. Continued rains increased the risk for mudslides and floods.

More Headlines
📰 Detention Violence: ICE is attempting to deport survivors and witnesses to medical abuse at Irwin County Detention Center. Georgia activists are making a call to action. // Thousands of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News report internal investigations of nearly 40 migrant deaths in ICE custody over the past four years. 
📰 Migrant Children: According to recent data, the Trump administration detained nearly 500,000 migrant children over the past three years. // U.S. officials had improperly deported migrant children to Mexico, much to the confusion of their families. 
📰 In the Courts: Asylum seekers with disabilities waiting for their asylum hearings in Mexico are challenging the “Remain in Mexico” policy in a lawsuit.

📰 Upcoming Election: Belize’s general elections are still set to be held this Wednesday. The PEACE Movement asked each candidate to sign a Pledge against corruption. 
📰 COVID-19: Prime Minister Dean Barrow has tested positive for the virus and has gone into self-quarantine. There are currently almost 4,000 active cases, with 65 confirmed deaths throughout the country.

Costa Rica 
📰 U.S. Election: On Saturday, the government of Costa Rica congratulated the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sending a “sincere greeting” to the people of the United States for the presidential elections held on November 3 and recognized the democracy and freedom of that country.

El Salvador
📰 Strengthening Relations: El Salvador’s incoming ambassador Milena Mayorga said on Wednesday she hopes to strengthen relations with the U.S. regardless of the outcome of the general election. She also said half of Salvadorans in the North American country wish to return to El Salvador.
📰 Extradited for Murder: A member of MS-13 was extradited from El Salvador to the U.S. for the brutal murder of a minor in Long Island, New York.
📰 Militarization: Women from different organizations and communities demanded that President Bukele cease what they consider to be “intimidation” by the army and police against the inhabitants of the municipalities in Chalatenango which have been singled out as drug-trafficking hotspots.

📰 Planned Parenthood: President Giammattei published a statement announcing that he is going to repeal the agreement for Planned Parenthood Global Guatemala LLC to set up a branch in Guatemala because it “violates what is provided in the political constitution.”
📰 U.S. Deportations: Guatemalan Congresswoman Andrea Villagrán conducted an analysis that shows that Guatemala has received 3,219 unaccompanied children and adolescents from January to October of this year from the United States. She used the information provided by the Presidential Social Welfare Secretariat (SBS) which showed about 135 children are being deported weekly.
📰Journalism: On November 3, a group of journalists and independent media gathered in front of the Public Ministry to denounce the criminalization and prosecution of the press.
📰 Cuban Medical Brigade: The Cuban Medical Brigade celebrated 22 years of service in Guatemala. There are currently 439 Cuban doctors who provide services in more than 20 medical specialties in the country.

📰 COVID-19: Several people housed in a shelter tested positive for COVID-19 in the wake of Hurricane Eta. 
📰 Solidarity: Individuals and organizations assisted and provided necessary aid to people affected by Hurricane Eta and its aftermaths, contrasting the government’s lack of a timely response and negligence. Many people are tweeting #SoloElPuebloSalvaElPueblo in response to the solidarity showcased by the Honduran people in this crisis.

📰 Migrant Workers: Nicaragua and Costa Rica sign an agreement to regulate the temporary hiring of agricultural workers.
📰 Politics: Ortega orders electoral reform in technical aspects, one year before the 2021 elections.

📰 COVID-19: 1,193 new positive COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths have been recorded. Panama has not had over 1,000 cases per day since August 23. 
📰 Human Rights: Panama still does not have a law that forbids all kinds of discrimination. The UN’s Human Rights Council will start to exert pressure on Panama for this.
Taking Refuge
"The government did come here with several sacks of food, but they told us we couldn't touch them until an official arrived to take photos," said Florencia Salvador, who took refuge in the Wawa community. More on Divergentes.
"The government did come here with several sacks of food, but they told us we couldn't touch them until an official arrived to take photos," said Florencia Salvador, who took refuge in the Wawa community. More on Divergentes.
Good Reads
📌Hurricanes:  Hurricane Eta makes it clear that Ortega no longer governs. A chronology of hurricanes and government response in Nicaragua (Revista Abril).
📌Joe Biden:  What awaits Central America with President Biden? El Faro reviews policies from the Trump and Obama years and how Biden could change them (El Faro).
📌 Fighting on the Frontlines: La Cuerda: Maya Q’eqchi’ women in Guatemala are on the frontlines of fighting for their right to access their rivers without hydroelectric projects obstructing as a pandemic urges sanitation.
📌 Biden & Immigration Policies: Reuters and Telemundo anticipate what immigration policy decisions Biden is planning to implement in his administration.
📌Indignation & Solidarity in Honduras: Lack of state action prompts citizens to save themselves during Hurricane ETA. (Global Voices)
Buenas Noticias, Central American Voices & Studies
🎓 Central American Work: The NACLA Report on the Americas focuses on work about Central America in their Winter print edition, “Dispossession, Resistance, and Solidarity in Central America.”
Google News Initiative: Panamanian newspaper ‘La Prensa’ was selected to participate in Google’s digital growth project, Google News Initiative. (La Prensa)
🎥 Policy & Media Issues: Yale University hosted journalist Daniel Alvarenga to discuss policy, history, and media issues surrounding Central American migration and communities. 
✍️ The Central American Vote: El Faro talks with members of the Central American diaspora about how they engaged with U.S. elections and voting this campaign cycle.
Donations & Petitions
💰 Link to ETA donations for Honduras (+GoFundMe), Guatemala (+ GoFundMe), Nicaragua
✍️ U.S. organizers have started a Mijente petition to demand that ICE stop the deportations of survivors and witnesses of medical abuse at a Georgia detention center. 
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The Team
Melissa Vida, Founder, Editor-in-Chief. Rodrigo Peñalba, Editor & Nicaragua News. Melissa Orellana, Editor. Jonathan Peraza Campos, Migration News. José Martínez, Podcast Producer, Social Media Officer. Natalie Leach, Social Media Officer. Isabeau J. Belisle Dempsey, Belize News. Rachel Osorio, Costa Rica News. Pablo Arauz Peña, El Salvador News. Jalileh García, Honduras News. Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala News. Irene Ledezma, Panama News. Jacqui Martinez, Guest Art Curator
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