📰 Migrant Detention
: The zero-tolerance policies implemented
during the Trump administration will have prolonged effects into the Biden administration. // Detention facilities have been escaping federal oversight
, but after complaints from detainees, investigations have been conducted. The soundness of those investigations have raised concerns.
📰 Land Rights
: Prime Minister Briceño had closed down the Department of Lands
for investigation of corrupt activity. Recently, in Prime Minister Briceño’s first House meeting, the results of the investigation revealed improper sales of land by the previous Government of Belize.
: There are currently 536 active cases
of COVID. Of over 11,000 confirmed cases, 10,000 have successfully recovered.
📰 Violence at U.S. Capitol:
The Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica issued a statement
in response to the political violence and takeover of the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
Costa Rica ended 2020 with an inflation rate of 0.89%
, which according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) is the lowest rate of inflation recorded in 4 years.
📰 IMF Negotiations:
The government of Costa Rica will begin negotiations for a loan with the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) on January 11. The Executive Branch’s first attempt to reach an agreement with the IMF last September and October failed amid criticism from legislators who considered that it privileged new taxes over spending cuts.
📰 COVID-19 Vaccine: 9,751 people
have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Costa Rica. Of the vaccines given so far, 83% were applied in Social Security Fund workers, 9.9% in older adults in long-stay households, 2.4% in long-term household workers and 4.7% in other frontline workers responding to the pandemic.
📰 Mask Scam:
The Salvadoran government negotiated with a Chinese company
at the start of the pandemic to purchase $2 million in masks that were never delivered. El Faro reports that the government ignored recommendations from the public Solidarity Fund for Health about a “possible scam.”
📰 Respect for Migrants:
The National TPS Alliance wrote a letter to the governments of El Salvador and Honduras
asking them to respect immigrant communities fighting Trump’s attacks, stop taking credit for victories of organized migrants and stop complicity with Trump’s war on asylum seekers.
Former President Mauricio Funes faces new criminal proceedings
of money laundering. Funes is the third Salvadoran president to be accused of seizing public funds.//Hotels seized from accused Salvadoran drug kingpin Chepe Diablo were awarded
lucrative government contracts to serve as quarantine centers, according to an audit of pandemic spending by the Court of Accounts.
📰 Upcoming Election:
Attorney General Raúl Melara is guaranteeing
a “clean and transparent” democratic process for the upcoming legislative and municipal elections on February 28.
: In 2020, numerous journalists and activists were attacked and repressed
by public, national, and local authorities. These attacks ranged from public violent offenses to more invisible offenses such as online harassment.
📰 Justice for Murder
: Former head of security of Central America’s largest nickel mine (Fenix), Mynor Padilla, pleaded guilty of killing
Maya Q’eqchi’ teacher and community member Adolfo Ich in a 2009 shooting. Adolfo Ich opposed the mine and its evictions. Angelica Choc, Ich’s wife, had spent 12 years seeking justice for her husband.
📰 ajq´ij Jesús Choc Yat
: Mayan healer and spiritual guide ajq´ij Jesús Choc Yat was killed
at the beginning of January. Although there is little information about the case, there were clear signs of torture. For context: Who is an ajq´ij?
📰 Drug Trafficking:
According to U.S. federal prosecutors, Juan Orlando Hernandez, the Honduran President, took bribes from drug traffickers
in exchange of protecting drug labs and shipments by the country’s armed forces.
Invest-H promises that mobile hospitals
will be installed by February. Yet, it’s been nine months since they announced the purchase of the hospitals, while the allegations of over-valuation
of the purchases have not been investigated.
There has been a spike in cases of COVID-19
in Honduras, for which doctors are calling for new confinement measures given that hospitals are at capacity. // The Provost of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) published that UNAH will be the first center
in the country to store and apply the COVID-19 vaccine.
📰 Daniel Ortega
: President Daniel Ortega celebrates fourteen years in power
. Confidencial reviews his record, from total control of the government, corruption, constitutional changes, incomplete megaprojects, and the April 18’ repression.
📰 COVID-19 Vaccine
: Both Panamanian nationals and foreigners
will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives. // 40,000 doses
of the Pfizer and Biotech vaccines will arrive between 18 and 25 January.
📰 New Lockdown
: The Panamanian government implemented a lockdown
with restricted mobility from 4 January to 14 January 2021 in the provinces of Panamá and Panamá Oeste
. This a return of gender-based outings, restricted by days and ID numbers. There will be a total lockdown
on the weekends within these dates.
📰 Money Laundering
: Guatemalan courts rejected an appeal filed by Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, the son of former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli. He sought to challenge his extradition
to the United States, where he is wanted for money laundering.
📰 Transparency Failure
: Only 25 of the 138 complaints made in 2020 to the Autoridad Nacional de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información (ANTAI) were solved. These ranged from nepotism to irregularities
in the public administration.