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Central American News Fix

Dear readers, Welcome back to another week of Central American news. Yesterday the world celebrated i
Central American News
Central American News Fix
By Central American News • Issue #34 • View online
Dear readers,
Welcome back to another week of Central American news. Yesterday the world celebrated international women’s day. March 8 has become a day when women are highlighted and when women’s rights are reviewed.
In Central America, women play an important role in politics, activism, business, while often being victims of violence.
Last Sunday marked the third year since Honduran indigenous land activist Berta Cáceres was murdered. Her name has reappeared in the headlines as 16 officials are accused of corruption linked to the Agua Zarca dam, the project she fought against.
In Guatemala, Thelma Cabrera, a Mayan mam leader was nominated by her party to run for presidential elections.
The Panama Canal expansion project was led by Ilya Espino de Marotta - she is known for wearing a pink helmet and vest to claim more space for women in the maritime industry.
Nicaraguan mothers are leading the fight to free prisoners incarcerated for participating in anti-Ortega protests.
Recent reports show that immigrant women and minors have allegedly suffered sexual abuse in U.S. government-funded detention facilities while Costa Rica is still reeling from yet another femicide. In El Salvador, three women who had been incarcerated for suspected abortions have been freed.
We leave you with the poem-like text of Lisa Shoman celebrating the women of Belize.
Thank you for reading!
Salú,
Melissa
Erratum: Last week, we have included an outdated piece of news from Honduras. We apologize and will make sure this does not happen again. We thank our vigilant reader who has notified us.

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Headlines
Migration
📰 In Mexico: 25 Central American migrants killed in truck accident in southern Mexico, 29 injured
📰 U.S. officials: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has compiled a list of 59 mostly American reporters, attorneys and activists who are to be stopped for questioning by border agents when crossing the U.S.-Mexican border // U.S. Department of Defense is seeking military facilities capable of housing 5,000 unaccompanied minors //Agents are instructed to target Spanish-speakers at the border within “Remain in Mexico” program
📰 U.S. Congress: U.S. Congress is hosting four committee hearings that analyze actions taken by President Donald Trump to crack down on legal and illegal immigration, DACA and TPS recipients plead for help
📰 U.S. Courts: A court rules that asylum seekers have a constitutional right to appeal denials of their initial screenings // A judge ordered the Trump Administration to process applications of 2,700 Central American children and family members left in limbo
Guatemala
📰Magnitsky Law: U.S. Congress to vote on the “Guatemala Rule of Law Accountability Act” which could sanction Guatemalan individuals who have committed or facilitated crimes of corruption
📰 Elections: The indigenous and peasant movement CODECA, through its party MLP, nominated Thelma Cabrera and Neftali López as candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency.  // “La Pirulina” and “El Caminante”, well-known participants in citizen demonstrations to run for Legislative Assembly with MLP
📰 CICIG: Guatemalan businessman Dionisio Gutiérrez publicly reprimanded Jimmy Morales and his anti-CICIG actions
Honduras
📰 Corruption: Sixteen officials are accused of fraud, abuse of authority, and forgery as they allegedly granted illicit contracts for Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA) to build the dam Berta Cáceres opposed
📰 Land Defenders: Judge dismissed charges of 12 environmental defenders who had been detained for more than a week in Guapinol river case
📰 Economy: Honduras is projected to record a GDP growth of 3.6% in 2019, remaining one of the Central American economies with highest GDP growth
Nicaragua
📰 Human Rights: 8 “political prisoners” begin hunger strike, including Belgian Amaya Coppens // Former Guatemalan attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz says that “the world must intervene” in Nicaragua
📰 Finance: Nicaragua Congress approves purchase of bank tied to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA, which is under US financial sanctions
Costa Rica
📰 Sex abuse: Police raid Church offices in San José after priests are accused of sex abuse
📰 Silicon Valley: President Carlos Alvarado travels to San Francisco to look for technology investors
Panama
📰 Finance: EU countries cancel the financial blacklist that included Panama
📰 Odebrecht: Winston Spadafora Gálvez, son of former Supreme Court judge, went to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office to be investigated in the Odebrecht case
El Salvador
Bukele: Incoming president Bukele apologized and paid $50,000 to public servant Eugenio Chicas to settle his trial on calumny
Abortion: Three women suspected of aborting had their prison sentences commuted
Belize
📰 Tensions with Guatemala: With land dispute referendum vote a month away, Belizean Minister of National Security claims that Guatemalan Armed forces followed him on Sarstoon river and that Guatemalan civilians open fire on Belizean Defense Force
📰 Environment: Guatemalan and Belizean youth cooperate in conservation efforts, including reforestation and public outreach
Good Reads
📚 Renowned Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Chamorro explains how he faces the challenges of doing journalism from abroad, manages a team in five different countries and the fine line between journalism and activism. Report in the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
📚 Laura Vidal and Elisa Marvena sum up the situation of Nicaragua’s political prisoners and resistance movements on Global Voices.
📚 Yanci Núñez argues in detail about why El Salvador and Guatemala should not pass amnesty laws that would pardon those accused of war crimes, in El Faro (in Spanish).
📚 If you want to know more about why people defended the Guapinol river in Honduras, CESPAD wrote a detailed report of the grievances (in Spanish).
📚 Curious about the U.S. congresspeople seeking to sanction corrupt Guatemalan officials? La Prensa Libre gives a profile of Norma Torres, James McGovern, Ben Cardin, Patrick Leahy (in Spanish).
Multimedia
📷 Victor Peña took moving photos of former MS-13 and Barrio 18 gang members who have reconciled by converting to evangelical christianity in prison. On El Faro and El Faro’s instagram page.
📷 El Diario de Hoy shows a photo-gallery of the moment the three Salvadoran women accused of abortion were freed.
🎵 Guatemalan rapper Rebeca Lane explains why she is a feminist and the meaning behind her song “Ni Una Menos”.
In Numbers
“About 90% of those apprehended [at the U.S.-Mexico border] in February were from Guatemala, where farmers are being driven off their land and violence is widespread.” Source: The Guardian
Photo of the Week
"María Orellana receives the release certificate after the Supreme Court of El Salvador commuted her sentences in Ilopango, El Salvador"(El Salvador). Foto/EFE
"María Orellana receives the release certificate after the Supreme Court of El Salvador commuted her sentences in Ilopango, El Salvador"(El Salvador). Foto/EFE
The Curator Team
Melissa Vida, Head Curator and Editor
Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala Curator
Rodrigo Peñalba, Nicaragua Curator
Jonathan Peraza, Migration Curator
Jalileh García, Honduras Curator
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