Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Suspects in Police Massacre Tied to Guatemala’s Villatoro Cano Cartel

Sixteen suspects were captured in recent weeks for their role in the June 13 massacre of an entire police station in Salcajá, Guatemala, a case that has shocked a country with a high threshold for violent acts. Still, many unanswered questions remain. Gunmen killed all eight officers on duty in the assault on the Policía … Read more


Monday Memo: Peru Protests – Bachelet and Matthei – Colombia Peace Talks – Cholera in Haiti – Mexican Vice-Admiral Killed

Likely top stories this week: demonstrators protest in Peru; a Chilean lawyer investigates the death of Michelle Bachelet’s father; FARC–Colombian government peace talks resume; a new report faults the UN for Haiti’s cholera outbreak; and assailants kill a Mexican vice-admiral. Protesters and Police Clash in Peru: Thousands of demonstrators clashed with hundreds of riot police … Read more


30,000 and Counting: The Long and Winding Road of Peace-Building in Colombia

After more than half a century of conflict, efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate Colombia’s warring groups are just beginning to take hold. While a few small left-wing guerrilla groups were demobilized in the 1990s, successful reintegration of thousands of ex-combatants—most of them right-wing paramilitaries—into peaceful society has remained elusive. But that seems to be … Read more


Santos Accuses FARC of Violating Peace Negotiations

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos denounced the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) on Tuesday for what he described as a “flagrant violation” of the group’s commitment to end kidnappings prior to its peace negotiations with the Colombian government in Havana. Santos’ comments, delivered at the opening of Colombiamoda (Colombian Fashion … Read more


Venezuela y Snowden: Las contradicciones domésticas

Durante años, ejercer periodismo o entrar en la arena política venezolana implicaba aceptar el hecho de que, al tocar las cuerdas erradas, conversaciones telefónicas o trechos de la rutina diaria podían ser expuestos en televisión nacional—en loop o cámara lenta, estudiados con marcas y detalles como una jugada de fútbol—para delirio de adversarios.  Fue así … Read more


Colombian Guerilla Unit Surrenders in Cali

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Cali on Tuesday for the largest demobilization of members of the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional—ELN) in Colombian history. A 30-member unit of the guerilla group, which included three pregnant women, surrendered in the southwestern city. The ELN, with its estimated 3,000 members, has shown interest … Read more


Colombia and FARC Conclude 11th Round of Negotiations

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—FARC) concluded their eleventh, and shortest, round of peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday. This round of talks focused on whether to allow the guerillas to hold political office—one of the most contentious points in the five-point peace agenda. This … Read more


At a Funeral, Thousands of Rio Protestors Ask to “Pacify the State”

Protesters blocked off a highway lane in Rio de Janeiro’s North Zone yesterday to hear speeches, three eulogies and a funk music performance, just days after the end of the Confederations Cup—nicknamed the “Demonstrations Cup” —on Sunday. Over 2,000 demonstrators from across the city showed that the spirit of protest is still strong in Rio, … Read more


Colombia-FARC Peace Talks Resume in Havana

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—FARC) began their tenth round of peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba on Monday. This round of talks will address the second point in the five-point peace agenda: integration of the rebel group into Colombian politics. The FARC’s post-conflict participation in Colombian … Read more


Canada’s Antiterrorism Bill

The spring session in Canada’s parliament was anything but dull. But while much of the attention was on senators’ unauthorized expenses, an important bill passed under the radar. The so-called Antiterrorism Bill, which revives controversial sections of the Combating Terrorism Act, was passed into law during session. Two sections of the bill deserve a fuller … Read more


The Effect of Edward Snowden-A Canadian Perspective

To some, former CIA and National Security Administration (NSA) employee Edward Snowden is seen as a classic whistleblower, who divulged government secrets that contradict the U.S. Constitution and its 4th amendment. Many who espouse his view—on both the left and right—have  applauded his courage and regard him as a hero. To others—especially within the U.S. … Read more


NATO Signs Cooperation Agreement with Colombia

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, deputy secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno, Colombia’s defense minister, signed an Agreement on the Security of Information in Brussels on Tuesday. While the tailored cooperation treaty does not recognize Colombia as a NATO partner, it marks the first agreement of its kind between … Read more


Rio, the Olympic City, Is a Hub for Progress in Brazil

If you walk today through Complexo do Alemão—an enormous Rio de Janeiro shantytown, or favela, that was once the frequent scene of gun battles—you can see the changes.  Last Christmas eve, the Brazilian Symphony performed a classical music concert in the community that, until recently, was so dangerous that police were afraid to enter it. … Read more


Human Trafficking in Mexico

On June 4, the Mexican Army raided a house in the border town of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas and rescued 165 people being held against their will by a 20-year-old identified as Juan Cortez Arrez. Testimonies from some of the victims show that they had been kidnapped for nearly three weeks. News of their rescue … Read more


Negotiations with the FARC and other Regional Efforts to Achieve Peace

The peace negotiations in Cuba between the Fuerzas Armada Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) and the Colombian government, set to reconvene today, are not the only peace agreements being conducted in Latin America.  One year ago, the two main drug gangs in El Salvador, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, agreed a … Read more

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