📰 Neo-Nazi in detention center:
A senior employee at a for-profit immigrant detention center was active on a neo-Nazi website
and wanted to build a white nationalist chapter in his area.
: Trump administration has expanded the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR),
designed to expedite the processing and deportation of asylum-seekers from all over the world, implementing the new policy in the busiest sector of the U.S.-Mexico border.
📰 Handover Anniversary:
Panama celebrated the 20-year anniversary
of the Panama Canal handover 31 December, 2019, amid a climate change crisis that threatens the waterway’s commercial viability. // Ilya Espino de Marotta, who played a lead role in the expansion of the Panama Canal took office on January 1 as the first woman
deputy administrator of the waterway.
📰 Major Water Shortage:
The lack of rainfall and rising temperatures put at risk
the level of freshwater that fills the locks surrounding the Panama Canal. The water helps keep the canal working, but is also a resource of drinking water for 2 million people.
📰 Degraded Prison System:
A report on prison security highlighted severe deficiencies in Panama’s penitentiary system a month after the country’s deadliest outbreak of prison violence in La Joyita prison, and called for urgent corrective measures. According to the report, the violence reflected a year-old problem of arms, drugs, cellphones, knives
and other contraband being smuggled into La Joyita and other prisons, but most striking was the use of multiple assault rifles.
📰 Travel Advisory:
The U.S. State Department has downgraded Costa Rica to a level 2 travel advisory
, warning that visitors should “exercise increased caution” due to crime. // Costa Rican government officials held a press conference
in response to the level 2 travel advisory.
📰 Gender Violence:
The National Institute for Women (INAMU) in Costa Rica reports that femicide rates decreased
in 2019 (13 femicides), and there was an increase in hotline calls to denounce cases of violence against women as well.
📰 No Pension for Ex-Presidents:
President Carlos Alvarado decided to not receive the “ex-presidents pension
” when he leaves office as President of the Republic.
📰 Electoral Reform?
: The National Assembly announced 8 work areas
for the legislative branch in 2020, including electoral reforms which will be consulted with political parties but not with civil
or opposition groups // National Police announces 31 new police stations
and the acquisition of 150 vehicules, and to strengthen police investigation of crimes through technological platforms.
: 63 femicides were reported
in the country in 2019, but only 5 authors have been judged and sentenced. 64 more women have survived femicide attempts.
📰 Asylum Agreement:
DHS Secretary Wolf and Honduran President Hernandez are finalizing the asylum agreement
between the two nations. // Honduras will receive migrants
from five countries including: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Brasil, and Nicaragua.
📰 Tony Hernandez:
The U.S. Southern District Court postponed
the sentencing for Tony Hernandez’ case until February 24, 2020 at the request of defense attorneys, who cited that they needed to receive crucial documents from Honduras.
📰 Water shortage:
The government will build 420 water reservoirs
in the Dry Corridor (“Corredor Seco”) to guarantee water for crops during drought period.
The Constitutional Chamber of the Judicial Branch granted an appeal
of constitutional protection (“amparo”) in favor of UFECIC, anti-corruption mechanism, after a special judge determined to dismiss evidence that incriminates a group of Congressmen for the Arca Abierta case.
There are an estimated 50 legal proceedings
against President Jimmy Morales for various crimes reported during his administration. His terms ended and Alejandro Giammattei will assume office on January 14, 2020.
The UN Secretary-General released a statement
supporting CICIG actions to end corruption in Guatemala. It also urges authorities to protect and ensure the safety of former CICIG staff, defenders, and justice workers after being informed of a recent legislative report discrediting the CICIG.
Maya Q'eqchi’ residents are reclaiming their land
that Guatemala’s military took in the 1960s to establish Creompaz, a military base that operated as detention and execution center during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. // Mayan journalist Palas Luin was declared innocent
of the charges against him by the Spanish company Ecoener Hidralia Energía, stating a lack of evidence. // The trial
against three Mayan Q'eqchi’ land defenders and former colonial workers accused of aggravated usurpation of the land of a farm La Cumbre Sa'kuxhá began in Alta Verapaz.
The arrest of a mayor in Guatemala’s northern department of San Marcos has unveiled a criminal structure known as “Los Pochos,“
linked to the Sinaloa Cartel..
An arrest warrant was issued for prominent FMLN politician Sigfrido Reyes, accused of embezzling $6 million
of public funds during his term in office.
📰 Forced Displacement:
The Legislative Assembly passed a new law
that will establish protection and attention for victims of forced displacement and create for the first time a comprehensive national system of State institutions to prevent and respond to the issue.
📰 Historical Memory:
Judge authorizes the exhumation
of the remains of two young people who were buried at the University of El Salvador during the armed conflict.
A new report published by the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) reveals that over 77 violations against journalists
were reported in 2019, including digital attacks, sexual harassment, job insecurity, mass layoffs, forced displacement, threats to life, as well as obstacles to accessing to public information.