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Your Central American News

Dear readers, This week, we mourn Honduran TV reporter, Gabriel Hernández, and Indigenous activist, S
Central American News
Your Central American News
By Central American News • Issue #36 • View online
Dear readers,
This week, we mourn Honduran TV reporter, Gabriel Hernández, and Indigenous activist, Sergio Rojas from Costa Rica, who were killed. Groups are demanding justice for these murders.
In Guatemala, the presidential campaign is shaken as a judge ordered the capture of prominent presidential candidate Thelma Aldana for embezzlement the same day she registered for the election. El Salvador is in a fierce debate on how - and who - should regulate water.
Panama is a migrant route for people from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa no one talks about. The U.K. is making sure to keep a good trade relationship with Belize and other Caribbean countries after Brexit.
The Nicaraguan government has decided to free all political prisoners within 90 days so that the dialogue can resume and hopes that U.S. sanctions be lifted. Civil society groups want the talks to resume after all of the detainees have been freed.
Thank you for reading.
Salú,
Melissa

Need coverage from Nicaragua?
Rodrigo Peñalba, our Curator in Nicaragua who has worked for Confidencial, offers his journalism, communication and fixer services to media worldwide. If you are interested in media advice or coverage from Nicaragua, you can contact him at penalba@gmail.com.
Headlines
Migration
📰 Migrant Routes: Cubans are joining Central American caravan in Chiapas, Mexico /// Waves of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border enter an overwhelmed immigrant processing system, Border Patrol to start releasing some families onto the street
📰 Immigrant Detention: U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government may detain legal immigrants without a hearing long after they have served sentences for crimes // Under Trump, immigration officials have arrested a record number of undocumented immigrants without criminal record
Central America
📰 Drought: Honduran conservationists worry about the return of a deadly insect for crops, a phenomenon exacerbated by drought
Guatemala
📰 Elections: Presidential candidate Thelma Aldana is wanted on charges of embezzlement and tax fraud and now hesitates on whether to return to Guatemala
📰 Justice: Arnoldo Medrano, former mayor of Chinautla, faces trial for the alleged deviation of Q10 million for the construction of houses
📰 Civil war: The Public Prosecutor’s Office has collected 7,108 abandoned files since concerning serious human rights violations that occurred during the internal war
📰 Military: After seven days of being at the Guatemalan Air Force, J8 Jeeps return to their official security tasks
Belize
📰 Anti-virus software mogul John McAfee refuses to pay the $25 million for the wrongful death suit of his former Belizean neighbor
Nicaragua
📰 National Dialogue: Nicaragua agrees to free all opposition prisoners in 90 days. Government and Alianza Cívica agreed on a common agenda for negotiations and the process will be monitored by the Red Cross.
📰 Human Rights: United Nations Human Rights Council issued a resolution calling for the release of all political prisoners and the return of UN and IACHR experts to the country // The European Union demands that paramilitary forces be disarmed
El Salvador
📰 Justice: The Supreme Court pushes for the extradition of former Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes, who is in Nicaragua and claims to be politically persecuted
📰 Water: The Legislative Assembly’s environment committee wants to include a majority of private sector people to the body that would regulate water in the country// Thousands marched against what they see as water privatization // Marches were led by the University of El Salvador, with support of the Catholic Church // President-elect Bukele said he would sanction the agents who imprisoned two activists in the marches, a move criticized by ARENA and FMLN
📰 Sanctions: U.S Treasury department puts sanctions on Venezuela’s PDVSA subsidiary in El Salvador, Alba Petroleros
Honduras
📰 Press freedom: TV reporter, Gabriel Hernández, who was critical of local authorities, has been shot and killed in the south of Honduras // Two alleged MS-13 gang members have been detained in relation to the crime
📰 2017 Elections: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet would have wanted that the National Political Dialogue concluded with formal agreements
📰 Money laundering: Businessmen Hernandez Garcia laundered capital in agro-industry, media and NGOs, according to an investigation by ConfidencialHN // MACCIH confiscated 17 assets belonging to former First Lady, Rosa Elena Bonilla Ávila, and others, in a case where she is accused of money laundering
Costa Rica
📰 Human Rights: Well-known Indigenous land activist Sergio Rojas was killed by a group of unknown assailants // Hundreds of protesters marched on Wednesday in Costa Rica’s capital of San José, demanding justice for Sergio Rojas // Costa Rica issues invitation to OAS Commission on Human Rights following his murder
📰 Catholic Church: The Catholic Church in Costa Rica is seeking forgiveness following sexual abuse accusations // Jorge Arturo Morales Salazar, a Costa Rican Catholic Priest accused of sexually abusing a minor, was arrested as he tried to flee to Panama
Panama
📰 Infrastructure: The government will invest $500 million in a new electric transmission line that would provide energy to the Chiriqui region // Following last week news on the installation of a new train line with the support of Chinese companies, there are plans to expand the train line to Costa Rica
📰 Canal: The Panama Canal inaugurated a logistics corridor in the Pacific, which is a highway that will serve ports, industrial lots, factories and distribution centers
📰 Women: Family Prosecutor reports an alarming increase in cases of violence against women in the country
Good Reads
📚 Scholar Caitlyn Yates writes on the Indian, Cuban, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, and Eritrean migrants who cross Panama’s Darien Gap, one of the world’s densest and most isolated stretches of jungle, on Time.
📚 Jennifer Medina reports on how U.S. immigration courts are struggling to fulfill the need for interpreters for indigenous languages such as Mam, K’iche’ and Q’anjob’al, who have become part of the 25 most common languages spoken in immigration court in the past few years, for the New York Times.
📚 Salvadoran economist Alexander Segovia shares a piece of his research on how traditional Central American economic elites have had to adapt to new powers in the region, on AULA Blog.
📚 The president of Costa Rica and fiction writer Carlos Alvarado Quesada wants to inspire other countries to go carbon-free by helping shape the narrative on humankind. On Wired, by Sandra Upson.
📚 The Appeal and The Intercept have discovered that many immigrants languish in jail after they should have been released. A story on El Paso and its multi-million contract with U.S. Marshals to detain migrants, by Debbie Nathan.
Multimedia
📈 The Nicaraguan Foundation for Social and Economic Development (FUNIDES) released a reader-friendly and data-packed report on Nicaragua’s democracy and economy.
📷 Stunning photos of Salvadoran photojournalist Fred Ramos are featured in the New York Times. They narrate the roots of Central American migration: social, political and environmental traumas.
📷 A series of portraits and photos by Ed Ram and videos by Josué Decavele report on the increasing numbers of Indigenous Guatemalans who have been leaving their villages “without saying goodbye.” On the BBC.
Fact of the week
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that Latin America has displaced previous record-holder, the Mediterranean Sea, as the deadliest route for migrants in the world. Source.
Tribute
TV journalist Gabriel Hernández (left) and Indigenous activist Sergio Rojas (right) were murdered this week in Honduras and Costa Rica, respectively.
TV journalist Gabriel Hernández (left) and Indigenous activist Sergio Rojas (right) were murdered this week in Honduras and Costa Rica, respectively.
The Team
Melissa Vida, Head Curator and Editor
Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala Curator
Rodrigo Peñalba, Nicaragua Curator
Jonathan Peraza, Migration Curator
Jalileh García, Honduras Curator
Andree Pena Centes, El Salvador Curator
Mariana Rodriguez-Pareja, Panama Curator
Rachel Osorio, Costa Rica Curator
Presenting Melissa
Each week, you will get to know one of our team members.
Melissa is a freelance journalist from Salvadoran descent born in Los Angeles and raised in Belgium. She started her career in Mexico and Central America and then created this newsletter to help people stay informed on Central America. She now manages the team and edits the newsletter. She is also writing a memoir on her uncle who disappeared during El Salvador's civil war. You can follow her on instagram (link in photo) and other social media places.
Melissa is a freelance journalist from Salvadoran descent born in Los Angeles and raised in Belgium. She started her career in Mexico and Central America and then created this newsletter to help people stay informed on Central America. She now manages the team and edits the newsletter. She is also writing a memoir on her uncle who disappeared during El Salvador's civil war. You can follow her on instagram (link in photo) and other social media places.
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