View profile

Your Central American News

Central American News
Your Central American News
By Central American News • Issue #41 • View online

Dear Readers,
Welcome back to another week of Central American news. We believe in the power of information on Central America.
Guatemala is having a rough election campaign. Mario Estrada, a now ex-presidential candidate whose party is close to the Guatemalan government had been arrested in Miami last week because he would have asked the Sinaloa cartel to finance his campaign.
Now, it appears that he would have also conspired to murder two political opponents, according to U.S. investigations.
Former Attorney General Thelma Aldana, who had worked closely with CICIG in the past, would be one of the targeted politicians. On Wednesday, she told CNN that the current Attorney General Consuelo Porras knew about the threat and she suspects that the Guatemalan President Morales agreed to the plan.
Guatemala’s general elections are at risk of being financed by drug cartels and stained by undemocratic power plays. Let’s see how the rest of the campaign and June 16 unfold.
Thank you for reading and see you next week.
Salú,
Melissa
Patreon
A special thank you to our supporters on Patreon! Please support Central American news by becoming a Patreon supporter. The newsletter was born with the vision of making Central American news accessible to all because we believe that information is power.
Not only that, we want it to reflect what is happening from the ground up instead of only focusing on what matters to external countries - like the stereotypical coverage of migration or violence.
Photo of the Week
Children play on a dirt field without grass in a neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. Photo: Martín Cálix for Contracorriente. Link on the photo.
Children play on a dirt field without grass in a neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. Photo: Martín Cálix for Contracorriente. Link on the photo.
Headlines
Guatemala
📰 Thelma Aldana: Former Attorney General told CNN that the U.S. told her that presidential candidate Estrada, recently arrested in the U.S., planned to murder her and that the current Attorney General, Consuelo Porras, knew about the threat.
📰 Helicopter: President Morales used a helicopter owned by presidential candidate Estrada. Public Prosecutor seized the helicopter.
📰 Land Defender: +130 organizations condemn the criminalization of Abelino Chub for his work defending the right to land, territory and human rights. Two days later, Abelino Chub was acquitted by court, which ordered his immediate release.
Migration
📰 Migration: Mexico detained hundreds of migrants crossing through Chiapas, taking many by force and loading them onto vehicles in largest migrant raid to date. Over a thousand migrants broke out of a detention center in southern Mexico on Thursday. // Federal judge gave Trump Administration six months to identify migrant children separated from their families.
📰 Armed Vigilante: The FBI arrested a man described as the “commander” of the armed vigilante group who was detaining migrants near the New Mexico border to turn them over to Border Patrol.
📰 Military Involvement: U.S. will expand military personnel’s involvement at the southern border by loosening rules that prohibit military personnel to interact with migrants. // U.S. officials proposed U.S. military prison Guantanamo Bay to detain asylum seekers.
📰 Aid: Politicians are urging the Trump Administration to reconsider cutting aid to Central America in fear of increased Chinese influence in the region.
Honduras
📰 Privatization: Despite nationwide protests by doctors, teachers, and labor unions, the National Congress decided to approve a law that would privatize health and education. Strikes and protests took place on Friday as a result.
📰 MACCIH: Congress is discussing a law proposed by MACCIH to dismantle large networks of corruption and organised crime operating in the country, called the Law of Effective Collaboration. // U.S. Embassy urges the President of Congress to approve electoral reforms, the Law of Effective Collaboration, as well as the extension of the mandate of MACCIH.
📰 Corruption: Defendants’ lawyers in the cases of “Fraud over the Gualcarque” and “Patuca III Colusión y Corrupción” began to present appeals in favor of the respective defendants
El Salvador
📰 Historical Memory: The OAS released a statement urging the Salvadoran National Assembly not to pass the “National Reconciliation Law,” which would give amnesty to those who committed crimes during the civil war. // The Government opened a specialized care center for elderly adults in El Mozote as a part of effort to provide reparations to the survivors.
📰 Climate Change: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA), estimates that 239,000 people in El Salvador are experiencing food shortages and 63,000 are facing a full-blown crisis due to prolonged droughts.
📰 Truce: 19 facilitators of the truce between the MS 13 and Barrio 18 gangs are tried in court, including the ex-director of the penal centers, Nelson Rauda, and the mediator of the negotiations, Raúl Mijango. The defense argues that the truce was a policy enforced by former President Funes and Raul Mijango said “it is the greatest thing he has done in his life.”
📰 Corruption: President Sanchez Ceren moved more than 10 million dollars allocated to support public institutions to a “reserved funds” account. // 61 properties valued at $23 million that are linked to the embezzlement of state funds by former President Mauricio Funes were seized.
Costa Rica
📰 Environment: Costa Rica will be promoting the construction of artificial reefs, which, according to authorities, will favor the progressive recovery of the marine life ecosystem.
📰 Sexual Abuse: The Costa Rican congress approved the Derecho al Tiempo (“Right to Time”) initiative that was prepared by victims of sexual abuse in which the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors would be extended from 10 to 25 years.
Belize
📰 Referendum: May 8 set as new date for ICJ referendum vote amidst turmoil.
📰 Sarstoon river: Guatemalan Armed Forces deploy vessel on Sarstoon River, blocking Belizeans from travel.
📰 Taiwan: Belizean Senate supports Tawain politically and Belize hopes to exchange fish industry technology with Taiwan.
Panama
📰 Politics: According to the international organizations such as the IMF, Panama is a high-revenue country, but there are major challenges for the presidential candidates.
📰 China: Panama and China began the fifth round of negotiations for the Trade Agreement between the two countries.
📰 Migration: The Panamanian National Border informed that there are more than 2,300 migrants in Panama and that they are undergoing a verification process. These migrants are seeking to reach the United States. Panamá will allow them to leave the country once the verification process is over and in an orderly manner.  
Nicaragua
📰 Remittances: Nicaraguan government will demand reports on remittances over U$500 dollars.
📰 Sanctions: Nicaraguan bank Bancorp has requested permission from the country’s banking regulator to cease operations after the United States imposed sanctions on the firm.
📰 Democratic Charter: An extraordinary session at the OAS established that Nicaragua holds the necessary conditions for the application of the Democratic Charter.

Artwork
Nicaraguan activist Milton González sells art made by Nicaraguan refugees to help them buy food, medicine and pay rent. (click to see story)
Nicaraguan activist Milton González sells art made by Nicaraguan refugees to help them buy food, medicine and pay rent. (click to see story)
Good Reads
💡 The Economist sees Ortega in power in Nicaragua through 2022. The only vulnerable point of the Ortega-Murillo regime is its susceptibility to US sanctions.
📚 Corruption in Honduras also involves children soccer funds. Contracorriente produced an in-depth report that highlights how funds for soccer fields were used to consolidate Juan Orlando Hernández’s government project and how 26.7 million lempiras were mismanaged (in Spanish).
💡 Salvadoran academic Alberto Valiente Thoresen argues that the United States has a moral obligation to support the economy of El Salvador, being that it “molded Salvadoran institutions to serve its own economic and geopolitical interests,” and compares aid to Europe’s Marshall Plan. Published in El Faro (in Spanish and in English).
📚 The Los Angeles Times partnered with ProPublica to present a multimedia report on how the border patrol car chases have been deadly (in Spanish and in English).
📚 The New York Times: reports on the relationship between white supremacist groups and border militias.
Multimedia & Art
🎨 Nicaraguan activist Milton González sells art made by Nicaraguan refugees to help them buy food, medicine and pay rent. Miami Herald reports.
🎥 El Faro and VICE team up to create “Diversoámerica,” a three-part video series that highlights the experience of queer and trans people in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The first episode, “Derecho a Ser Yo” explores how trans activists in El Salvador introduced a piece of legislation in 2018 that would make it possible to change one’s name and sex on official documents. (in Spanish).
🎧 RFI produced a special podcast on the electoral landscape of Panama two weeks from the elections (in Spanish).
🎥 Remezcla reviewed the documentary “Cachada: The Opportunity” about Salvadoran women who find healing from trauma and daily difficulties in a small theater company.
✔️ How much do you know about Panama? Check out NYT´s quiz about the country.
🎥 The Deported by JOVRNALISM presents short videos in a five-part series that discusses the complexities of migration and immigrant rights.
In Numbers
💲 For 2019, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are requesting US$72 million from the international community to provide food assistance to more than 700,000 people in the Dry Corridor, which includes El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Presenting Rachel Ketola
Rachel is a Seattle native who loves research, liberation theology, and defending the right to seek asylum. She has a degree in Latin American Studies and currently works as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in Seattle. Having recently participated in a nine-month volunteer program with the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador, Rachel is excited to cover Salvadoran news and support this growing platform that gives visibility to stories and voices from Central America! You can find Rachel on twitter, instagram, or anywhere that serves strong coffee.
Rachel is a Seattle native who loves research, liberation theology, and defending the right to seek asylum. She has a degree in Latin American Studies and currently works as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in Seattle. Having recently participated in a nine-month volunteer program with the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador, Rachel is excited to cover Salvadoran news and support this growing platform that gives visibility to stories and voices from Central America! You can find Rachel on twitter, instagram, or anywhere that serves strong coffee.
The Team
Melissa Vida, Head Curator and Editor
Nansi Rodríguez, Guatemala Curator
Rodrigo Peñalba, Nicaragua Curator
Jonathan Peraza, Migration Curator
Jalileh García, Honduras Curator
Rachel Ketola, El Salvador Curator
Mariana Rodriguez-Pareja, Panama Curator
Rachel Osorio, Costa Rica Curator
Let's Keep in Touch
Central American News is a noise-free newsletter that helps you follow news from the isthmus. We would love to hear from you.
Reply to this email with your questions, comments or just to say hi. Please show your support by “liking” and sharing this newsletter.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Central American News

This is a noise-free newsletter that helps you follow Central American news.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue