Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

El Salvador’s New Push to Reduce Extortion

In the first days of his last year as president, El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes was forced to make some changes in the country’s security cabinet. Following a ruling by the Supreme Court declaring the former security and justice minister’s term unconstitutional, Funes selected Ricardo Perdomo as the new security and justice minister. Perdomo, a … Read more


The Drug Debate at the OAS General Assembly

The 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States opened on Tuesday in Antigua, Guatemala, with the aim of producing “a comprehensive policy against the world drug problem in the Americas.” Guatemala has been at the vanguard of new thinking on the drug trade partly because it has few alternatives. The country is blighted by … Read more


Special Unit Created to Search for Mexico’s Disappeared

On Monday, various Mexican government officials were joined by the representative of the United Nations‘ Human Rights office in Mexico at an event to mark the creation of a special investigative unit to search for missing people. The unit will be part of the attorney general’s office and will increase the number of federal investigators … Read more


Congress Rebels against States of Siege in Guatemala

Guatemala’s congress and Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina are at odds on how to deal with the ongoing violence between mine security guards and the public in two Guatemalan departmentos. Tension in the two departments of Jalapa and Santa Rosa prompted Pérez Molina to declare a state of emergency in four towns in early May, … Read more


Las Policías Comunitarias en México

En los últimos años, se ha presentado en México un fenómeno social muy preocupante. En muchas de las regiones azotadas por la violencia del crimen organizado, las poblaciones se han unido para crear las llamadas “policías comunitarias”—grupos de autodefensa civil integrados por vecinos de las mismas comunidades que se dedican a realizar las labores de … Read more


FARC –Colombian Government Resume Talks in Havana

On Wednesday, after a nearly two-week recess, the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) resumed peace talks in Havana, Cuba, with this ninth round seeking to reach an agreement on agrarian reform. Talks originally began in November 2012.   Only the first of five items on the agenda at the talks, … Read more

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Obama and Peña Nieto Focus on the Economy Over Immigration and Security

Building up to their meeting in Mexico City on May 2, the administrations of both U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto hinted that economic ties would be the focal point of their one-on-one meeting. In an interview with Americas Quarterly prior to the trip, Obama reiterated this, saying that he would … Read more


AQ Slideshow: Camp Harbor Head and the Border Between Nicaragua and Costa Rica

The border disputes between Nicaragua and Costa Rica date back to differing interpretations of a nineteenth century treaty, highlighting issues of environmentalism and nationalism. While Nicaragua accuses Costa Rica of contributing to environmental damage, Costa Rica maintains that members of Nicaragua’s Sandinista Youth Movement have invaded and occupied its territory. One such dispute includes Camp … Read more


Monday Memo: Colombian Peace Negotiations – Venezuela’s Audit – Alabama Immigration Law – Honduran Police – Maracanã

Top stories this week are likely to include: Colombian civil society holds forum on political participation; Venezuela’s election audit begins on May 6; the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s immigration ruling; Honduran police officials resign in the midst of a police crisis; and Brazil’s Maracanã stadium reopens after three years. Colombian Civil Society … Read more


Crime Control Along the Brazilian Border

In an incident that may have escaped notice internationally, three taxi drivers were shot to death recently in Santana do Livramento, a small Brazilian town on the border with Rivera, Uruguay. The incident deeply frightened many in the region and drew heightened attention when, just 48 hours later, three more drivers were shot in Porto … Read more


Las sorpresivas alianzas por la paz en Colombia

Desde que inició el proceso de paz del gobierno colombiano con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) en la Habana, es innegable que el tema de encontrar una salida política al conflicto ha hecho que muchos coincidan o discrepen sobre los posibles escenarios. Como todo en política.   En la marcha del pasado martes … Read more


Biggest Hunger Strike in Years Continues at Guantánamo Bay

More prisoners have joined a hunger strike that began on February 6 at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay. Striking prisoners say they are protesting more intrusive searches of their cells and open-ended confinement without charge. According to Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesman for the prison, 28 out of 166 prisoners are on … Read more


Mexico: No Country for Old Tourists?

Mexicans are used to hearing this: “in spite of the violence and insecurity, the Mexican economy is booming and attracting foreign direct investment.” After a recent visit to Monterrey, even Thomas L. Friedman wrote for The New York Times about this in “How Mexico Got Back in the Game,” providing a positive outlook on Mexico’s … Read more


Mexico’s New Government Faces Ongoing Security Problems

Early last month, Mexico’s new government published its first report on the drug-cartel related violence that continues to affect the lives of residents in many parts of the country. The report explains that during the first two months of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency, Mexico experienced more than 2,000 organized crime-related murders. The country tallied 1,139 … Read more

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