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Your Central American News Fix

Dear readers, After a missed week, for which I apologize, welcome to this edition of Central American
Central American News
Your Central American News Fix
By Central American News • Issue #18 • View online
Dear readers,
After a missed week, for which I apologize, welcome to this edition of Central American news.
Yesterday, I co-organized a conference on Salvadoran and Honduran refugees in Brussels. The audience was much larger than expected - people in Europe are becoming interested in Central America.
The number of Salvadoran and Honduran refugees in Europe has skyrocketed since 2015 - the four main countries of asylum being Italy, Spain, Sweden and Belgium.
In 2015, there were 595 Salvadoran and 235 Honduran “formal” asylum seekers - in 2018, there are 3,235 and 1,500, respectively. Nicaraguans are also starting to seek safety in Europe.
Nearly 96% of Salvadoran asylum seekers have been granted refugee status in Belgium since January 2018. Data for other countries is not available yet.
See you next week.
Salú,
Melissa

Headlines
🗺️ Migration
Caravans: about 2,000 Central American migrants reached Tijuana // 1,200 from a second caravan set out from Mexico City // Tijuana anti-immigrant or anti-Central American tension builds up // Salvadoran caravans are in the south of Mexico and some refugees consider staying in Mexico
⚡ A new US executive order mandates that an asylum claim can only be made if the person entered through a legal checkpoint
⚡ A new app “MigApp” launched by Panama, the US and International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help governments and associations “guide” migrants and tourists
🗺️ Nicaragua
“Mothers of April” group plead for justice for those killed and jailed for protesting Ortega’s regime
⚡ Gov’t prepares “Law for a culture of peace and reconciliation”, which would become a “policy of State”
⚡ President Ortega cancelled his participation at the Ibero-American Summit in Antigua Guatemala at the last minute because of civil protests organized there
⚡ More than 1,200 Nicaraguan workers, victims of the pesticide Nemagon, appealed to the French courts to force three multinationals to pay them the million-dollar compensation
🗺️ Guatemala
⚡ Public prosecutor asked that two businessmen be acquitted under the new law that eases punishments for illegal party financing
Anonymous Guatemala hacked the Ibero-American Summit organized in Antigua Guatemala
🗺️ Costa Rica
⚡ Gay marriage will be allowed by mid-2020, Constitutional Court ruled
⚡ Constitutional Court agrees to impose ceiling of ¢2.7 million on luxury pensions, which currently reach up to ¢12 million gross
🗺️ Panama
⚡ Panama set to trade more with China, some view this relationship with suspicion
⚡ NASA to finance Panama’s project on sustainable forest management
⚡ Second person this year to be fined for insulting the president
🗺️ Belize
⚡ Parliament discusses bill to allow Belizean diaspora to vote in ICJ Referendum
⚡ Multimillion-dollar real estate scam operating in Belize for fifteen years revealed
🗺️ El Salvador
⚡ Neighborhood agents shot informal vendors who were protesting, killed one
⚡Former Salvadoran First Lady to face corruption trial in January 2019 // Businessman involved in corruption cases with former Presidents received visa from US embassy to travel to US
⚡ Prosecutor orders arrest of 501 gang members, in cooperation with Honduras and Guatemala
🗺️ Honduras
⚡ Berta Cáceres trial continues without legal representation of the victims’ families and is fraught with irregularities
⚡ UN-sponsored round-tables discussing the 2017 presidential elections finish this week and neither party would have submitted their records
⚡ Honduras protest the detention of journalist Jairo López
Good Reads
📰 Scott Bixby reported for the Daily Beast on the 80 LGBT migrants who arrived in Tijuana, explaining in detail the living conditions for LGBT people in Honduras and El Salvador.
📰 Molly O'toole reported on El Salvador’s megachurches from the perspective of the gangs’ truce and power politics between gangs and the churches for New Republic.
For ears and eyes
🎥 Excellent 15-minute doc produced by Sarah Kinosian on Nicaragua’s “anti-terror law”, for The Intercept.
📷 A photo essay on the people in rural areas who suffer from El Salvador’s water crisis, by Victor Peña for El Faro.
Fact
✔️40,386 Nicaraguans have fled to Costa Rica since April 2018, and 13,697 have formally started their asylum process there, according to Costa Rican official data.
Photo of the week
Berta Zúniga Cáceres, COPINH coordinator and daughter of Berta Cáceres. Photo by Martín Cálix for ContraCorriente.
Berta Zúniga Cáceres, COPINH coordinator and daughter of Berta Cáceres. Photo by Martín Cálix for ContraCorriente.
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