📰 Shadow System
: The Trump administration has been detaining children and families
in major hotel chains through a “shadow system” that denies migrants their rights and leads to quick expulsion.
: Guatemalan leader at a migrant camp in Mexico recently drowned
, leaving many in the camp grieving his loss after months of struggling against the elements. // Trump’s proposed asylum regulations threaten LGBTQ+ people
’s ability to seek refuge in the United States. // The Trump cabinet would have voted in 2018 to separate families at the border
; this is being criticized as a “display of white supremacy”.
: Former White House adviser Steve Bannon and three others were charged by federal prosecutors
for defrauding donors through a fundraising campaign purported to fund Trump’s border wall.
📰Deportations to Guatemala
: The U.S. government deported 127 detained migrants
who had recovered from COVID-19 to Guatemala, according to Guatemalan officials.
Starting on September 1st, Costa Rica will be accepting tourists
from the U.S. that are residents of one of the 6 approved states.
President Carlos Alvarado announced that the government will be carrying out different steps to help set aside funds to buy vaccines
against COVID-19 when they can be acquired. // Researchers have found SARS-CoV-2 virus particles
in a wastewater treatment plant and in other different areas of Costa Rica, during the months of July and August. Authorities insist that there is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through wastewater or drinking water.
📰 Opinion survey:
A poll finds that Costa Ricans are more worried about unemployment
than the coronavirus. Unemployment ranked as their biggest concern with 27.95%, followed by the coronavirus (25%), and the economy and cost of living (19%).
📰 Storm Warnings:
Thirteen municipalities were on moderate alert
this weekend due to tropical storms Marco and Laura. The Civil Protection agency warned of floods and landslides, with a focus on the coastal and volcanic mountain corridor areas.
📰 Child Abuse
: An investigative court held the trial
of priest José Venancio Boror Uz, 60, for abusing two girls aged 9 and 10. The Public Ministry said on Thursday that the fifth investigative court is charging Boror Uz for sexual assault and continued incapacity.
📰 Constitutional Defense:
Parliamentary representatives interrogated
Rear Admiral René Merino, Minister of Defense, on Friday morning about the constitutionality of the armed occupation of the parliament on February 9 as directed by President Nayib Bukele. The action was interpreted as a “coup” and raised international concerns.
📰 Emergency Audit:
Parliament elected on Friday
Roberto Antonio Anzora to oversee an audit of emergency pandemic funds used by the Bukele government.
📰 Reopening businesses:
Starting Monday Aug 24, businesses, enterprises and other services will reopen their doors
after a little more than 4 months closed due to the pandemic.
A group of Guatemalans have gathered in protest
against President Giammattei’s administration in Guatemala City, demanding his resignation as well as full transparency on the resources used for COVID-19.
📰 Abortion Rights:
The Supreme Court ordered the Prosecutor to investigate the Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordán Rodas. It claims that Rodas did not comply with
the court’s 2017 ruling to not distribute the Manual on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, which includes information on abortion. Then, the Comptroller General of Accounts claimed that the PDH’s 2019 budget was not in line
with the budget approved by Congress. However, Rodas received support
on social media with #YoApoyoAJordan.
Three military officers were sentenced to 33 years
of prison for crimes against humanity and aggravated sexual assault against Emma Molina Theissen committed in 1981. On social media, many showed satisfaction
about this sentence.
President Giammattei and Vice President Castillo to establish a dialogue
to peacefully fix territorial conflicts between Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán and Nahualá. The ancestral authorities of Santa Catarina have the communal property title
of this land and they demand that the State and their neighbors to respect it. Arnoldo Noriega is part of the dialogue; he has been involved in promoting the interests of hydroelectric companies.
📰 Berta Cáceres:
The preliminary hearing
against David Castillo, one of the alleged masterminds of the murder of Berta Caceres, took place on Friday. The hearing had many irregularities: it was postponed on four occasions; the sitting judge, Lisseth Vallecillo, was replaced
by Judge Irías two days prior to the hearing, the hearing was private, and Berta’s family members were removed from the virtual hearing.
📰 Garifuna Communities:
The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) has activated the urgent action procedure
regarding the cases of the forcibly disappeared Garifuna men. // VICE featured this story in its latest report
The government has allowed citizens to circulate on weekends
, with the respective digit of their identity card, passport or resident card. // Tourism activities
have re-opened in its first phase.
The Ministry of Health reported that there are 17.790 cases of dengue
in the country. “We are on alert, that is, one step away from entering an epidemic, but that will depend on the citizens of the capital”, warned doctor Harry Book.
: To access the Inter-American Development Bank loan of $43 million, the government of Ortega will have to change its attitude
with regards to the pandemic, by giving, for example, more detailed information on the status of contagion and promoting prevention measures. // The Central American Bank approved a $50 million loan
to support small and medium companies.
: Nicaraguan exiles in Spain rejected “slavery in the fields
” after a day laborer died of working under heatwave conditions. They also protested against delays in asylum applications. // Nicaraguan exiles in Costa Rica are facing harsh economic conditions
and say that sometimes they do not have anything to eat.
📰 Medical Staff
: The Ministry of Health admits that it owes medical staff payment
for overtime shifts and pledges to transfer $10 million from the national budget to purchase protective equipment and pay their wages. The decision comes after the death of four nurses due to COVID-19 last week and the threat for nurses to strike
if their outstanding payments are not paid by August 31st.
📰 Education Inequalities
: Ministry of Education records indicate that between 2018 and 2019 more than 26,500 students dropped out of school
, especially among rural areas, migrants, refugees, indigenous people and people with disabilities. While half a million students participate in distance learning, 30% have not been identified or registered in the system since the school year resumed in mid-July.
📰 Floods and Landslides
: After heavy rains this past weekend, floods
were reported in Viejo Veranillo, and landslides were registered in Betania, two neighborhoods in Panama City. The National Civil Protection System
warned Panamanians living on the coast to evacuate.
📰 COVID-19 Testing:
Panama reaches a new coronavirus testing record providing 5,000 tests per day
–an increase from approximately 1,000 tests per day in April. The surge in testing also includes a new strategy to test those who are asymptomatic.