Guatemala politics – IPMS Guatemala http://ipmsguatemala.org/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 12:38:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ipmsguatemala.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-61-120x120.png Guatemala politics – IPMS Guatemala http://ipmsguatemala.org/ 32 32 Colombia’s next defense minister faces ‘one hell of a fight’ | Political news https://ipmsguatemala.org/colombias-next-defense-minister-faces-one-hell-of-a-fight-political-news/ Thu, 04 Aug 2022 14:05:12 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/colombias-next-defense-minister-faces-one-hell-of-a-fight-political-news/ Bogotá – Colombia – Ivan Velasquez first made a name for himself as a prosecutor in Medellin in the 1990s, when he allegedly refused to accept a briefcase of cash from Pablo Escobar to drop investigations into the luxury life of the drug lord in prison. He made a name for himself by investigating the […]]]>

Bogotá – Colombia – Ivan Velasquez first made a name for himself as a prosecutor in Medellin in the 1990s, when he allegedly refused to accept a briefcase of cash from Pablo Escobar to drop investigations into the luxury life of the drug lord in prison.

He made a name for himself by investigating the links between Colombian paramilitary forces, politicians and business at the height of the civil war. His work eventually led to the conviction of more than 60 politicians, including the former president’s cousin Alvaro Uribe. And he’s no stranger to personal risk: In a landmark investigation into financial ties between Antioquia’s business community and paramilitary groups, 14 investigators from his office were murdered.

On August 7, Velasquez will become defense minister in the administration of President-elect Gustavo Petro. He will take office amid a host of security challenges: rising violence in rural areas with little or no state presence, record coca production, and criminal armed groups that have risen to power since the country’s historic peace agreement in 2016 with the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. of Colombia (FARC).

Petro, who will become the first left-wing president in Colombia’s modern history, pledged during the election campaign to thoroughly reform the police and military forces. His appointment of Velasquez, who also worked as a senior United Nations official with the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, sends a powerful message that he intends to follow.

The appointment has drawn heavy criticism from Petro’s critics, who view his past as a rebel fighter with deep suspicion. Velasquez “took a tough stance against those of us in the military,” Raul Musse Pencue, a retired career soldier, told Al Jazeera. “We fear it will trigger widespread persecution of military personnel who have been investigated in connection with their daily duties as soldiers in the service of their country.”

An activist in Guatemala City holding a sign that reads in Spanish “Thank you CICIG” – the Spanish acronym for the International Commission against Impunity [File: Moises Castillo/AP]

Right-wing Senator Paloma Valencia went further, telling local media that the nomination “shows a complete lack of democratic guarantees… [and] puts all our lives in danger”.

But people who worked closely with Velasquez in Colombia and Guatemala paint a very different picture: that of a soft-spoken, apolitical anti-corruption crusader who always maintains a cool head, even in times of extreme personal danger. .

“He has no political motivation,” Gregorio Oviedo, a prosecutor who worked alongside Velasquez in Medellin, told Al Jazeera. “All his career, he campaigned for human rights. He knows how to lead. He knows how to investigate and, more importantly, he knows what it’s like to live and work in parts of the country that most politicians have only heard of in Bogota.

Stephen McFarland, the former American ambassador to Guatemala, also welcomed the appointment: “Uribe accused him of having a political agenda. Since I have known him, his sole objective has been to build a transparent and independent judicial system.

“Powerful message”

Velasquez’s work made him many enemies. His office in Medellin was illegally bugged by Colombian intelligence and his security team infiltrated. His personal bodyguard at the time was a spy for the country’s Administrative Security Department, which was disbanded in 2011 after a series of cases of illegal surveillance of journalists, human rights activists, politicians and judges have been made public.

He reportedly escaped a kidnapping attempt in Guatemala when government officials allegedly tried to extrajudicially deport him, and he faced countless death threats against himself and his family in both countries.

Velasquez’s anti-corruption work in Guatemala led to successful convictions against former president Otto Perez Molina, his former vice president, seven ministers, and dozens of politicians and businessmen. Velasquez was declared persona non grata by then-President Jimmy Morales in 2017 and exiled from the country.

“He’s arrested high profile businessmen for financial crimes – people from the wealthiest families in Guatemala,” McFarland told Al Jazeera. “People who before Velasquez came along thought they were untouchable.”

Petro
Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro recently addressed students at Externado University in Bogota, Colombia. [Fernando Vergara/AP]

Petro, who frequently spoke out against corruption while campaigning, “sends a strong message that the days of impunity, when the government could turn a blind eye to the excesses of public forces, are over,” Oviedo said. . “Civil law will be respected.”

Abuses by police and military forces have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, as official investigations have uncovered disturbing details of rights abuses, including the “forgery” scandal. positives” in which more than 6,400 civilians were killed by security forces, who falsely claimed the victims. were enemy combatants.

Velasquez expressed support for Petro’s plan to bring the police, which currently falls under military command under the Department of Defense, under civilian control. The reform was recommended by the UN last year after an investigation into police brutality during nationwide protests, where dozens of people were killed in a crackdown by security forces.

Petro also promised to reimplement aspects of the 2016 peace accord that were delayed or dismantled by the outgoing administration of Ivan Duque. As part of his efforts to implement “total peace”, Petro offered to negotiate further disarmament talks with rebels who were not part of the FARC peace accord. But that plan also involves dialogue with groups such as the Gulf Clan, which has become increasingly aggressive, forcibly shutting down large parts of the country and killing dozens of police officers.

Will they be willing to negotiate with a former guerrilla president and prosecutor who has been targeting them for decades? Oviedo isn’t sure, but he notes that Velasquez “has the determination, the ability and the experience to take the first steps towards real justice in Colombia. But he left for a hell of a fight.

]]>
Reuters Global News Summary | Policy https://ipmsguatemala.org/reuters-global-news-summary-policy/ Sat, 30 Jul 2022 23:54:50 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/reuters-global-news-summary-policy/ Here is a summary of current global news briefs. Supporters of Iraqi cleric Sadr again storm Baghdad’s Green Zone Thousands of supporters of populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s walled government area and stormed parliament on Saturday for the second time in a week, injuring at least 125 and sparking a political escalation . […]]]>

Here is a summary of current global news briefs.

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Sadr again storm Baghdad’s Green Zone

Thousands of supporters of populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s walled government area and stormed parliament on Saturday for the second time in a week, injuring at least 125 and sparking a political escalation . Protesters gathered by Sadr and his Sadrist movement tore down concrete barriers and entered the Green Zone, which houses ministries and foreign missions, before entering parliament.

Homeless people in a Brazilian city are encouraged to go to a shelter: beds for their pets

A small town in southern Brazil has found a way to attract more homeless people to one of its shelters on cold winter nights: they now also welcome people’s pets. Canoas – a city with an estimated population of 348,000 in the state of Rio Grande do Sul – realized that many people living on the streets avoided staying in the city’s 14 shelters during the winter of southern hemisphere that is currently unfolding because their pets were not welcome, said the city’s special secretary for animal welfare, Fabiane Tomazi Borba.

Israel Grounds F-35s Over Pilot Ejection Seat Problems

The Israeli Air Force on Saturday announced a temporary shutdown of its F-35 stealth fighter, following US concerns over flaws in pilot ejection systems. The planes will undergo inspections that will last a few days, the Israeli Air Force said on Twitter, and any individual F-35 operations will be conducted with special permission from the head of the air force.

Chinese rocket falls to Earth, NASA says Beijing has not shared information

A Chinese rocket fell back to Earth over the Indian Ocean on Saturday, but NASA said Beijing had not shared the “specific trajectory information” needed to know where any debris might fall. US Space Command said the Long March 5B rocket https://twitter.com/US_SpaceCom/status/1553436525404323842?s=20&t=mf5h5254uF1lLyPbFO0acg re-entered the Indian Ocean at approximately 12:45 p.m. EDT Saturday (4 p.m. 45 GMT), but referred questions about “technical aspects of re-entry such as the potential location of debris scatter impact” to China.

Sri Lanka’s Wickremesinghe says IMF deal pushed back after unrest – AP

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that a deal with the International Monetary Fund had been pushed back to September due to unrest in recent weeks, the Associated Press reported. Wickremesinghe, in his first speech since being elected by parliament, said that although when the Prime Minister aimed to reach an agreement in early August, it has now been pushed back by a month, according to the report.

Austria mourns suicide of doctor targeted by anti-vaccine activists

Austrian leaders have called for national unity after a doctor threatened with death by anti-vaccination activists and coronavirus pandemic conspiracy theorists killed himself.

“Let’s put an end to this intimidation and this campaign of fear. Hate and intolerance have no place in our Austria,” said President Alexander Van der Bellen, hailing Lisa-Maria Kellermayr as a doctor who s is fighting to heal people, protect them from disease and take a cautious approach to the pandemic.

Pope Says Genocide Happened in Church Schools in Canada for Indigenous Children

Pope Francis said on Saturday that what happened in the residential schools that Roman Catholics and other Christian churches set up to forcibly assimilate Canada’s indigenous children was genocide. The pope made the comment as he returned to Rome from a week-long trip to Canada, where he issued a historic apology for the church’s role in politics.

Mexico deports 126 Venezuelan migrants

Mexico has expelled 126 Venezuelan migrants who did not have the proper authorization to be in the country, the National Institute for Migration (INM) announced on Saturday. The 117 men and nine women were unable to prove their legal entry into Mexico, according to an INM statement. The migrants were transported from an immigration post in the town of Tapachula, near the Mexico-Guatemala border, to an airport where they boarded a flight early Saturday morning.

Chinese nationalist commentator deletes Pelosi’s tweet after Twitter blocks account

Prominent Chinese commentator Hu Xijin said on Saturday he deleted a tweet warning of military retaliation if US fighter jets escorted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on any visit to Taiwan, after Twitter blocked her account. Pelosi, number three in the US presidential succession, after Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, announced on Friday that she was embarking on a trip to Asia.

Ukrainian Zelenskiy announces mandatory evacuation from Donetsk region

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday his government was ordering the mandatory evacuation of residents of the eastern region of Donetsk, the scene of heavy fighting with Russia. In a late-night televised address, Zelenskiy also said the hundreds of thousands of people still in combat zones in the greater Donbass region, which includes Donetsk as well as neighboring Luhansk region, had to leave.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

]]>
No bail for accused rapist of girl who traveled for abortion | Policy https://ipmsguatemala.org/no-bail-for-accused-rapist-of-girl-who-traveled-for-abortion-policy/ Thu, 28 Jul 2022 18:16:28 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/no-bail-for-accused-rapist-of-girl-who-traveled-for-abortion-policy/ COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of raping and impregnating a 9-year-old Ohio girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion was held without bail Thursday by a judge who cited overwhelming evidence and the fact that he is apparently living illegally in the United States. Gerson Fuentes, 27, faces two counts of rape […]]]>

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of raping and impregnating a 9-year-old Ohio girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion was held without bail Thursday by a judge who cited overwhelming evidence and the fact that he is apparently living illegally in the United States.

Gerson Fuentes, 27, faces two counts of rape over the girl, who turned 10 before having an abortion in a case that has become a flashpoint in the national access debate to the procedure since The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. He has pleaded not guilty.

If convicted, Fuentes, from Guatemala, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. That penalty and “the lack of legally demonstrable ties to that community make him a significant flight risk,” Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch said after a 35-minute hearing.

The girl confirmed that Fuentes attacked her, Fuentes confessed to Columbus police detectives and DNA testing of the aborted fetus confirmed that Fuentes was the father, Franklin County District Attorney Dan Meyer and the Detective Jeffrey Huhn in court.

Huhn said he was unable, when searching multiple databases, to find any evidence that Fuentes was in the country legally.

In denying the connection, Lynch cited this evidence, the violence of the crime, and the fact that Fuentes lived in the same house with the girl and her mother.

“To allow him to return to this house, the traumatic and psychological impact would be unbecoming of an alleged victim,” Lynch said. She also cited the “physical, mental and emotional trauma” the girl suffered from enduring rape and abortion, and finding her case at the center of the abortion debate in the country.

The case won national attention according to an Indianapolis doctor, Dr. Caitlin Bernardsaid the child had to travel to Indiana due to Ohio’s abortion ban first detectable “fetal heartbeat” after the United States Supreme Court struck down the landmark Decision Roe v. Wade.

President Joe Biden cited the case when he signed an order on July 8 trying to protect abortion access. Some prominent conservatives and Republicans, including Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, cast doubt on history initially, then condemned the attack after Fuentes was arrested.

Fuentes’ attorney, Bryan Bowen, objected to a no-bond hearing and unsuccessfully asked Lynch to set a reasonable bond. He said there was no evidence that there was any physical abuse apart from the rapes or that the girl was put under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He also said Fuentes had family ties to Columbus, had a job, and there was no evidence of a criminal history. Fuentes lived in the area for about seven years.

“We heard evidence about the nature of the offence, but we heard no evidence presented about any danger that Mr. Fuentes would pose to any particular person or to the community,” he said. He declined to comment after Lynch’s decision.

Dan Meyer, an assistant Franklin County attorney, said Thursday that Fuentes was supporting the girl’s family, including her mother.

Columbus police learned of the girl’s pregnancy after her mother alerted Franklin County Children’s Services on June 22. Huhn said Fuentes confessed to raping the girl, who turned 10 on May 28, twice.

The girl saw a Columbus-area doctor in late June with a plan to have a local abortion, but that was not possible due to her gestational age, which was determined to be six weeks and four days, Huhn said. .

Ohio’s “heartbeat” abortion ban includes an exception only for a life-threatening emergency or involving a “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

Indiana Republican Senate leaders proposed a bill this month who would ban abortions from the moment an egg is implanted in a uterus, with exceptions in cases of rape and incest and to protect the life of the mother. The proposal followed the Ohio daughter’s abortion controversy in Indiana.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

]]>
Guatemalan President visits Ukraine and expresses solidarity https://ipmsguatemala.org/guatemalan-president-visits-ukraine-and-expresses-solidarity/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 23:17:10 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/guatemalan-president-visits-ukraine-and-expresses-solidarity/ Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei visited Ukraine on Monday and expressed solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Giammattei met Zelenskyy in the capital, Kyiv, becoming the first Latin American president to make the trip. Many Latin American leaders have avoided taking a position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This reflects in some cases decades-old ties […]]]>

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei visited Ukraine on Monday and expressed solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Giammattei met Zelenskyy in the capital, Kyiv, becoming the first Latin American president to make the trip. Many Latin American leaders have avoided taking a position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This reflects in some cases decades-old ties to Russia and in others a distrust of US foreign policy goals. “We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who resisted courageously,” Giammattei told a joint press conference. “As long as human lives are lost, we cannot silence our voices.” “Let it be clear that since the beginning of this conflict, Guatemala has raised its voice,” he said. ”We will always be consistent with our words. Guatemala does not and will not remain silent.

Zelenskyy thanked Giammattei for his support for sanctions against Russia and Guatemala’s support for an international tribunal on crimes committed during the war. The Ukrainian president noted that Latin America, like many other regions of the world, has suffered from rising prices due to fighting in Ukraine, which is a major producer of agricultural and other products. “Only together can we protect our world,” Zelenskyy said.

Critics of Giammattei’s government said the president had more pressing issues he should deal with at home, including corruption and human rights.

“The whole world knows how President Alejandro Giammattei erodes democracy and promotes impunity in his country. A trip to Ukraine will not change this reality,” said Carolina Jiménez, president of the Washington Office for Latin America.

The US government has strongly criticized the weakening of anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala and last year canceled the US visa of Guatemalan attorney general Consuelo Porras, who was prosecuting former prosecutors.

Instead of tackling corruption, the government took legal action against the former anti-corruption officials themselves, and more than 20 of them fled the country. Giammattei’s government and prosecutors have accelerated efforts begun by his predecessor to quash a UN-backed anti-corruption campaign that put several senior officials, including former presidents, behind bars. They say these prosecutions themselves were improper.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

]]>
LATAM POLITICS TODAY-US accuses former Paraguayan president Cartes of corruption https://ipmsguatemala.org/latam-politics-today-us-accuses-former-paraguayan-president-cartes-of-corruption/ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 19:15:02 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/latam-politics-today-us-accuses-former-paraguayan-president-cartes-of-corruption/ Breaking news in Latin American politics today: US accuses Paraguay Maps of ‘significant corruption’ ASUNCION — The United States on Friday accused former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes of “significant corruption.” “Former President Cartes has obstructed a major international investigation into transnational crime in order to protect himself and his criminal associate from possible prosecution and […]]]>

Breaking news in Latin American politics today: US accuses Paraguay Maps of ‘significant corruption’

ASUNCION — The United States on Friday accused former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes of “significant corruption.” “Former President Cartes has obstructed a major international investigation into transnational crime in order to protect himself and his criminal associate from possible prosecution and political damage,” said a statement from US Secretary of State Antony. Blinken without identifying the partner.

Cartes denied the charges in a post on Twitter. Calling them “unfounded and unfair”, he offered to provide information to US authorities to clear up the matter. President from 2013 to 2018, Cartes recently announced his candidacy for the leadership of the ruling Colorado Party and his faction’s candidate had been tipped to win the December election.

Internationally renowned jurist appointed Colombian Minister of Defense BOGOTA – Colombia’s new leftist President Gustavo Petro has appointed Ivan Velasquez, former Deputy Justice of the Supreme Court of Justice, Minister of Defence.

Velasquez is also known for his former role as commissioner of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the UN-backed entity responsible for the investigations that brought down the president and vice-president of Guatemala in 2015. Petro, who takes office on August 7. , is a critic of the Colombian military establishment and former member of the M-19 guerrillas. He pledged that security personnel accused of human rights abuses would be tried in ordinary courts rather than military courts which have traditionally handed down lenient sentences.

Bolsonaro reaffirms that Brazil will not sanction Russia SAO PAULO – President Jair Bolsonaro has reaffirmed that Brazil will not join in sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“We will not adhere to these economic sanctions, we remain neutral. If I hadn’t kept a balanced position, do you think we would have fertilizers in Brazil?” the president told reporters during a visit to a gas station in the capital Brasilia. Bolsonaro said he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a call they had on Monday that he would not comply with his demand to take a tougher stance against Russia.

Mexican official optimistic about USMCA MEXICO trade dispute – Mexico’s Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora told Reuters she hoped for a “mutually satisfactory solution” to talks requested by states States and Canada over what they claim are Mexican energy-related violations of a regional trade pact.

The U.S. and Canadian demands come after years of concern among private businesses in those countries that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s drive to tighten the state’s grip on the oil and power sectors treated unfairly and violated the United States-Mexico-Canada. Agreement (USMCA). “We want to take advantage of this phase of consultation (…) to see how we can reach a mutually satisfactory solution through an open, frank and constructive dialogue, which will allow us to overcome these differences,” De la Mora told Reuters in an interview. .

Biden’s meeting with Alberto Fernandez will have to wait US President Joe Biden’s meeting with his Argentinian counterpart Alberto Fernandez, scheduled for Tuesday in Washington, has been postponed following Biden’s diagnosis of COVID-19, local media reported.

No date was given for the meeting, which had been scheduled after the two presidents spoke by phone in early June ahead of the Summit of the Americas. (Compiled by Brendan O’Boyle and Peter Siquiera; edited by Grant McCool)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

]]>
Rising power, US targets Nicaraguan sugar imports | Government and politics https://ipmsguatemala.org/rising-power-us-targets-nicaraguan-sugar-imports-government-and-politics/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 17:26:57 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/rising-power-us-targets-nicaraguan-sugar-imports-government-and-politics/ By PAUL WISEMAN and GABRIELA SELLER – Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has removed Nicaragua from the list of countries that can ship sugar to the United States at low import tax rates as the United States steps up economic pressure on the country. authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega. The United […]]]>

By PAUL WISEMAN and GABRIELA SELLER – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has removed Nicaragua from the list of countries that can ship sugar to the United States at low import tax rates as the United States steps up economic pressure on the country. authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega.

The United States distributes sugar import quotas by country each year and imposes relatively modest levies on shipments that arrive below the threshold.

The Office of the US Trade Representative released a list late Wednesday allocating quotas to 39 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, for just over 1.1 million metric tonnes of raw cane sugar. The quotas cover the 2023 budget year, which begins on October 1. Nicaragua, which obtained a quota of more than 22,000 metric tons for the 2022 fiscal year, was excluded from the 2023 list.

People also read…

Last year, Nicaragua exported $83.5 million worth of sugar to the United States, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The administration has considered ways to ratchet up pressure on the Nicaraguan government, which last year staged what the United States viewed as daily protests against anti-government activists ahead of fall elections. His likely opponents shut out of the contest, Ortega easily won a fourth straight term. The United States also accuses the Ortega government of corruption and considers that the country close relations with Russia as a threat to regional security.

Mario Amador, president of the National Commission of Sugar Producers of Nicaragua, said he was taken aback by the decision and called it unfortunate. He said neither the Nicaraguan nor US governments gave him advance notice. Amador said he would try to speak with officials from the US Embassy in Managua and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Industry and Commerce when he returns from a business trip to Mexico.

“It’s a matter of government pressures that undoubtedly affects hundreds of people,” Amador said.

He said Washington’s decision would affect four sugar mills, some 800 growers and their families, as well as investors from Guatemala, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan sugar sector produces nearly 2 million tons annually, more than half of which is exported. The approximately $200 million it generates represents about 4% of Nicaragua’s gross national product and directly and indirectly employs some 150,000 people, according to the sugar commission.

The commission said this sugar should be diverted to other less lucrative markets.

Selser reported from Mexico.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

]]>
Dozens of Central American officials added to US corruption blacklist https://ipmsguatemala.org/dozens-of-central-american-officials-added-to-us-corruption-blacklist/ Wed, 20 Jul 2022 22:38:27 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/dozens-of-central-american-officials-added-to-us-corruption-blacklist/ The US State Department on Wednesday added dozens of current and former Central American officials, lawmakers, judges and businesspeople to a list that names those the US government considers “corrupt and undemocratic” actors in the region. The so-called Engel List, created under legislation sponsored by then-US Representative Eliot Engel, includes individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, […]]]>

The US State Department on Wednesday added dozens of current and former Central American officials, lawmakers, judges and businesspeople to a list that names those the US government considers “corrupt and undemocratic” actors in the region. The so-called Engel List, created under legislation sponsored by then-US Representative Eliot Engel, includes individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua whom Washington accuses of wrongdoing .

Among the 60 people named were the Salvadoran president’s press secretary Nayib Bukele and his legal adviser, two justices of the Guatemalan Supreme Court, a vice president of the Honduran congress and a number of former government ministers from across the region. U.S. officials see fighting corruption in Central America as one of the keys to addressing the root causes of record-breaking illegal migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, which poses a political and humanitarian problem for President Joe Biden.

“These individuals, through their extensive corruption, efforts to obstruct corruption investigations and the undermining of democratic processes and institutions, weaken the ability of governments in the region to respond to the needs of their citizens, contributing to irregular migration and destabilizing societies,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. Individuals named in the list, which the State Department is required by law to publish annually, will have their US visas revoked and will not be able to enter the United States.

The Nicaraguans were first added to the list after November elections in which Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla, won a fourth consecutive term after jailing rivals and cracking down on critical media. US President Joe Biden dismissed the election as a sham and imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan officials.

The State Department has appointed 23 judges and prosecutors who it says “undermined democratic processes” for their alleged complicity in jailing and prosecuting opposition figures. Bukele’s press secretary, Jose Ernesto Sanabria, was accused “of using the influence of the presidency to inappropriately pressure opposition political party leaders to resign under threat of ‘to be charged with criminal offences’.

Other Salvadorans added to the list included Christian Reynaldo Guevara Guadron, a lawmaker and “faction leader” of Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas party. Bukele has drawn international criticism, including from the United States, for what many see as democratic backsliding. He declared a state of emergency in March in what he described as an effort to curb a spike in homicides, suspending some constitutional protections.

Among the Guatemalans listed were the head of the office of the special prosecutor against impunity of the public prosecutor’s office, a former minister of communications and several businessmen. Among the prominent Hondurans named was Enrique Alberto Flores Lanza, minister for the presidency from 2006 to 2009. The State Department alleged that he “engaged in significant corruption by receiving $2 million in public money from the Central Bank of Honduras and redistributing them inappropriately to political allies.”

The list of Hondurans also included a former labor minister and a former health secretary.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

]]>
Editorial: Ohio abortion case could bring out the worst in politics | Opinion https://ipmsguatemala.org/editorial-ohio-abortion-case-could-bring-out-the-worst-in-politics-opinion/ Wed, 20 Jul 2022 04:00:00 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/editorial-ohio-abortion-case-could-bring-out-the-worst-in-politics-opinion/ A 10-year-old girl from Ohio is at the center of the worst in American society and politics. May she be allowed to recover from her ordeal in privacy and compassion. The girl’s case gained national attention when Dr. Caitlin Bernard of Indianapolis told the Indianapolis Star that the girl was taken to Indiana for an […]]]>

A 10-year-old girl from Ohio is at the center of the worst in American society and politics. May she be allowed to recover from her ordeal in privacy and compassion.

The girl’s case gained national attention when Dr. Caitlin Bernard of Indianapolis told the Indianapolis Star that the girl was taken to Indiana for an abortion because Ohio law prevented it. to get one there. President Joe Biden addressed the girl’s issues two weeks ago as he signed an executive order to protect abortion access as states enacted near-total restrictions after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. United States calling off Roe against Wade.

]]>
Mexico agrees to invest $1.5 billion in ‘smart’ border technology | Politics and elections https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexico-agrees-to-invest-1-5-billion-in-smart-border-technology-politics-and-elections/ Tue, 12 Jul 2022 23:41:59 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexico-agrees-to-invest-1-5-billion-in-smart-border-technology-politics-and-elections/ Country the United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth ofCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People’s Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People’s Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory south of 60 degrees S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, People’s Republic […]]]>

]]>
Mexico agrees to invest $1.5 billion in ‘smart’ border technology | National policy https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexico-agrees-to-invest-1-5-billion-in-smart-border-technology-national-policy/ Tue, 12 Jul 2022 21:11:21 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexico-agrees-to-invest-1-5-billion-in-smart-border-technology-national-policy/ By WILL WEISSERT and ZEKE MILLER – Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador agreed to spend $1.5 billion to improve “smart” border technology in meetings Tuesday with President Joe Biden – a decision, according to the White House, shows that cooperation between neighbors succeeds where the Trump administration is committed […]]]>

By WILL WEISSERT and ZEKE MILLER – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador agreed to spend $1.5 billion to improve “smart” border technology in meetings Tuesday with President Joe Biden – a decision, according to the White House, shows that cooperation between neighbors succeeds where the Trump administration is committed to walling off the border and making Mexico pay.

A person familiar with a series of agreements the two countries reached when their leaders met in Washington said they also called for other things like increasing the number of work visas issued by United States and welcoming more refugees. They would also continue joint patrols for Mexico and Guatemala to hunt smugglers along their shared border.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced. But the Biden administration was thrilled to secure border funding from Mexico after years of failed attempts by former President Donald Trump.

People also read…

The agreements came hours after the meetings began, with López Obrador offering more than half an hour of commentary. He touched on everything from Americans heading south for cheaper prices at the pumps at Mexican gas stations to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal politics, all the while chastising conservatives and saying the United States and Mexico should reject the “status quo” at the border.

López Obrador said the two countries ‘should close ranks to help each other’ amid soaring inflation and border challenges starkly underlined by 53 migrants who died last month after being abandoned in a suffocating tractor-trailer on a secluded side road in San Antonio.

Although in the past it was did not shy away from facing American criticismLópez Obrador struck a positive tone with Biden while heaping praise on Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden was equally conciliatory, saying, “I see, we see Mexico as an equal partner” and brushing aside differences of opinion on policy with López Obrador, “You and I have a strong and productive relationship and I would say a partnership. .”

It was a change from last month, when López Obrador declined Biden’s invitation to the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles after unsuccessfully urging the United States to include the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela – all countries with anti-democratic regimes.

The Mexican leader also called on the United States to support Ukraine in his war with Russia “a gross mistake” and criticized the United States for moving more quickly to provide military funding to Ukraine than financial aid to Central America.

Speaking about the migrant deaths in Texas – which included people from Mexico and Central America – Biden said “we know we have to meet these challenges together”. He said the United States and Mexico agree on the need to increase opportunities for legal migration, especially as more workers can help ease labor shortages in the United States. States and potentially help calm rising prices.

“This is a proven strategy that fuels economic growth and reduces irregular migration,” Biden said.

Immigration has been a political flashpoint for Biden, as leading Republicans have pointed out a growing number of people from Mexico and Central America illegally crossing the US southern border while criticizing the administration and leading Democrats for not doing more to slow it down. López Obrador acknowledged those criticisms, but said the situation on the border will require solutions, not just politics.

“The way out is not through conservatism. Output through transformation,” he said. “Transform, not maintain the status quo.”

Tuesday was the second in-person meeting between Biden and López Obrador at the White House. First lady Jill Biden hosted Mexican first lady Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller at the White House celebration this spring Cinco de Mayo.

Discussions come just before Biden leaves for Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.

A series of agreements announced by the Biden administration promised joint actions to modernize and improve infrastructure along key parts of their 2,000-mile (3,200 kilometer) border, strengthen law enforcement cooperation anti-fentanyl smuggling legislation and promoting clean energy.

Biden said a “major anti-smuggling operation” against fentanyl traffickers has been underway since April and has led to more than 3,000 arrests.

Despite broad agreement on the attempt to increase legal migration, the Biden administration has been less clear on the extent to which it will urge Mexico to stop people crossing its territory and then entering the United States illegally. This was a key Trump demand.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been tasked with exploring the root causes of immigration in Latin America, also hosted López Obrador for a Tuesday breakfast that featured mutual kind words. Speaking to the Mexican president outside the Naval Observatory, which is the vice president’s residence, Harris referenced his past visits to his country.

“The time I spent with you in Mexico was so special to me,” she said, noting “the friendship that has been so important to both nations.”

“She’s our friend,” said López Obrador. “But also a woman with principles. A smart woman. Honest. She is a supporter of equality. So I congratulate the American people because they have a top notch vice president. … We have always spoken for the good of our peoples and our two nations. Today we are going to do the exact same thing.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

]]>