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One Year of Central American News 🎉

Central American News
One Year of Central American News 🎉
By Central American News • Issue #52 • View online

Dear Readers,
Welcome back to another week of Central American news.
This week marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Nicaraguan Sandinista revolution. The President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, commemorated the date and reiterated that he would not allow early elections.
Check out a special section on the Sandinista Revolution and what the revolution means today in Nicaragua at the bottom of the newsletter.
In the meantime, President Trump moved to end asylum protection for Central American asylum seekers who pass through another country first. As from July, asylum seekers who step on another country first - such as Mexico - will not be able to apply for asylum in the U.S.
With so much happening in Central America and for Central American lives, we vow to continue bringing you Central American news. This is the 52nd edition - it’s been a year that we’ve been in your inbox!
A big, big thank to our faithful readers, our new ones, the ones who subscribed and the ones who click through social media. A special thank you to our Patreon members who support us every month.
Thank you to everyone who is part of the project and who believe that Central American News is more relevant than ever.
The Team
Please join our Patreon supporters and support Central American news! We are a team of nine people who work week after week to bring you the best of Central American news.
Photo of the Day
Women protest in support of Evelyn Hernandez (Jose Cabezas/Reuters)
Women protest in support of Evelyn Hernandez (Jose Cabezas/Reuters)
📰 ICE & Border Patrol Activity: Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids targeting undocumented migrant parents and their children took place across major U.S. cities. // U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are conducting an internal investigation of 62 current and eight former Border Patrol employees involved with a secret Facebook group that posted discriminatory posts about lawmakers and migrants.
📰 Solidarity: Thousands protested across the U.S. in defense of immigrant families targeted by ICE raids. At least 1,000 Jews, immigrants and other activists supporting the Never Again Action movement blocked the entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. leading to dozens of arrests. Protesters in New York City turned away ICE agents and religious centers nationwide, including churches and synagogues, provided refuge and assistance to migrants.
📰 Detention: Twenty-nine trans and non-binary migrants detained in ICE’s only transgender unit detail abuse from guards and medical neglect. // The federal government has expanded shelters for infants and children.
📰 Aid: The Trump administration plans to divert over $40 million in humanitarian aid from Central America to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela.
📰Justice: The Guatemala Constitutional Court (CC) upheld a request from indigenous campaigners to suspend Fénix nickel mine operations, siding with the claim that the ministry of energy and mines failed to carry out a full consultation with local communities. The disputes over the Fénix mine began in May 2017 after the waters of Lake Izabal turned red. // The CC ordered Congress to suspend the process the approval of reforms to the National Reconciliation Law, which seeks to grant amnesty to war criminals, and granted provisional protection to human rights organizations that oppose this initiative.
📰 Politics: The CC ordered President Jimmy Morales to “refrain from carrying out the acquisition of Pampa III aircraft.” This is in addition to the report  that orders the Ministry of Defense to suspend the purchase of military aircraft that would cost the State $ 28 million dollars.
📰 Crime: Twenty-two aircrafts suspected of carrying drugs have been abandoned on tracks this year, a display of how traffickers continue to exploit the country’s location and its inadequate air control.
📰 LGBT: On July 20, the LGBT community gathered in Guatemala City to celebrate the Parade of Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity for the 19th time.
📰Crime: A curfew for Belize city was announced following the recent spike in crime in the old capital.  The police stated that “any child found out of their home after curfew will be taken home and their parents will be charged” // Belize authorities investigating the death of Virginia cardiologist and his tour guide have detained three men in relation to the case.
📰Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute:  At the meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS, diplomatic progress was made to resolve the territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize.
📰 September festivities: The theme for Belize’s September celebrations will link the Maya and modern Belize, creating a theme not only about celebration but of reflection too.
📰 19 de Julio: This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega gave a speech in Managua, where he announced electoral reforms within Nicaragua’s laws, that there will not be early elections and that he will not respond to OAS or the opposition’s proposals for a dialogue to solve the political crisis. 
📰 Human Rights: A pattern of extrajudicial executions is the new wave of repression against farmers and social leaders, human rights organizations say. National Police raided a house in Leon, Nicaragua, killing two and injuring a third person. The police declared that the victims “had a police record” of crimes but the family showed the actual, clean, police records. The family believes the crime was politically motivated. 
📰 Economy: Real state market reports a 20%-30% drop in prices and industrial investments are down 20% this year. The Economist warns that Nicaragua is vulnerable against economic sanctions and that economy could slip into depression. 
📰 Press Freedom: Three journalists received international awards on their fight for press freedom and journalism in Nicaragua. Pedro Molina, cartoonist, won the Marìa Moors Cabot award.  Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau won the International Press Freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. They lead the 100% Noticias news channel and website and were jailed for six months by the Daniel Ortega’s government.
El Salvador 
📰 Abortion Ban: The retrial  of Evelyn Beatríz Hernández, the 21-year-old convicted of murdering her child and jailed for 30 months, began on Monday. Evelyn’s case has galvanized local and international activists who oppose El Salvador’s restrictive abortion laws.
📰 Bukele’s Security Plan: President Nayib Bukele announced intention to lift the state of emergency in prisons, but warned that it will be reimposed if homicide levels rise. // The government says that official homicide data will now no longer include confrontations with security forces, a decision that has been criticized for its potential to obscure extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members. 
📰 El Mozote Case: Judge in El Mozote case added the accusations of torture, forced disappearance and forced displacement to the nine existing charges against military personnel. He also added Colonel Gabriel Contreras to the list of the accused, the former chief of operations of the Armed Forces.
📰 Sexual Harassment: The Legislative Assembly approved a reform that will oblige universities to create and apply protocols for complaints of sexual harassment. 
📰Repression: On Thursday, students protested in front of a school by burning tires. Members of the National Police came to dissolve the protest, reportedly entering the facilities by force, hitting students and throwing tear gas. Five students were detained and later released.
📰Land defenders: COPINH denounced that individuals, with ties to the company DESA, destroyed 15 acres of corn crops belonging to the indigenous community of Rio Blanco. 
📰 Dengue: The Ministry of Health recorded 54 deaths due to dengue, in this year alone, noting that 16,509 cases out of the 23,304 total are considered serious. 
📰LGBTI: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) repudiates acts of violence against trans persons in Honduras, following the death of 3 transgender persons in a week. The IACHR urged authorities to investigate and sanction said acts. DW reports that between 2009 and 2019, at least 325 LGBTI people have been murdered in Honduras.
📰 Slow Economy: The construction industry recorded losses of up to 80% between 2018 and today. For that reason, among others, President Cortizo will pay an official visit to the United States, his first international work tour, to meet with representatives of banks and rating agencies, in order to attract investments to Panama. 
📰 Odebrecht case: Panamanian lawyers denounced former President Juan Carlos Varela of money laundering, organized crime, conspiracy, corruption and illicit enrichment in the Odebrecht case.
📰 Anti-corruption: The government of Panama delivered on Wednesday to Parliament a draft of constitutional changes that seeks to strengthen the institutions to curb corruption.
📰 Transnational efforts: Panama and Colombia join forces against transnational crime at their borders.
Video of the Week
What’s the story of the LGBTIQ movement in Guatemala? 🏳️‍🌈👇
Raíces: Historia del Movimiento LGBTIQ en Guatemala
Raíces: Historia del Movimiento LGBTIQ en Guatemala
Good Reads and Multimedia
🗨️ A Border Patrol agent spoke with ProPublica about his experiences and reflections guarding migrant children at ICE detention facilities where detention of children and separation of families became normalized.
📖 Gatoencerrado Revista discusses the recovered story of La Pedrina, a trans woman from Santa Ana, El Salvador, who challenged rigid gender norms in the late 1920s.
📷 A photo report on the people targeted by ICE raids and deportation, on Marshall Project.
🎥 Undocumented immigrants who were recently released tell their experiences being in ICE detention centers on The Atlantic.
🎥 CNN: Panama Viejo celebrates its 500 years of foundation.
40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution
19 de Julio: Bill Gentile, a U.S. journalist who covered the Contra wars, delivers a three part series on the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979 and its evolution to the 40th anniversary. The series has great photos.
"1979 saw the victory of an authentic revolution in Nicaragua that combined a popular uprising, self-organization of cities and neighborhoods in rebellion, and the action of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (in Spanish – Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional – FSLN), a political-military organization inspired by a Marxist-Guevarist/Castrist model." Link to article in photo.
"1979 saw the victory of an authentic revolution in Nicaragua that combined a popular uprising, self-organization of cities and neighborhoods in rebellion, and the action of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (in Spanish – Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional – FSLN), a political-military organization inspired by a Marxist-Guevarist/Castrist model." Link to article in photo.
In Numbers
The Team
Melissa Vida, Founder and Editor
Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala News
Rodrigo Peñalba, Nicaragua News
Jonathan Peraza Campos, Migration News
Jalileh García, Honduras News
Rachel Ketola, El Salvador News
Rachel Osorio, Costa Rica News
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