MEXICO: The Mexican government has promised to build 17 new shelters for child migrants along its southern border, with the capacity to house around 7,000 children, migration agency head Francisco Garduño announced on Tuesday. The shelters will be run by the country’s child welfare agency and will be located in different places in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas.
The announcement comes after a recommendation by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that Mexico improve its capacity to shelter child migrants.
It also follows a report that hundreds of migrant children were escaping from the custody of migration authorities after being detained. According to that report, migration authorities were transferring detained child migrants to the custody of Mexico’s child welfare agency, which was allowing some of the children voluntary returns to their home country, in violation of norms stipulating children be released into the custody of parents or guardians.
BRAZIL: President Jair Bolsonaro said that he could call in the armed forces to prevent state governors from enforcing lockdown policies. Bolsonaro, a former soldier, made the statement in a TV interview in the city of Manaus, in which he claimed that the lockdown policies violate constitutional rights to freedom of movement, which are the military’s obligation to uphold. He said that he had talked to his cabinet about the possibility. On Saturday, high-ranking military officers who spoke with Folha de S.Paulo criticized Bolsonaro’s statement, and said that the president is misusing his position as commander-in-chief for political gain.
ARGENTINA: Argentina’s vaccine campaign has gotten off to a slow start and has been plagued by corruption, shortages and other problems. Read Alejandro Trenchi’s new report on LAND.
PERU: Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo is maintaining a solid lead against his opponent Keiko Fujimori in opinion polls for the presidential election which will take place on June 6. According to a poll by the Peruvian Studies Institute, 41.5% of Peruvians plan to vote for Castillo, a former teacher, trade unionist and self-described socialist, while only 21.5% plan to vote for Fujimori, a conservative and daughter of the jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori. The value of the Peruvian Sol dropped after the poll was released, prompting Castillo to reassure skeptics that he does not plan to nationalize industry in a radio interview on Thursday.
CUBA: Opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer was arrested by Cuban authorities on Thursday. Ferrer, leader of the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba group, had previously staged a hunger strike with about 30 others demanding the end of a police siege of his organization’s headquarters. Ferrer lifted the strike after 21 days when the police ended the siege earlier this month, claiming victory. It is not known why he was arrested last week.
GUATEMALA: Guatemalan police arrested a man wanted for drug trafficking by the United States last week. Iram Adonías Mérida Cobón is accused of being a member of an organization that trafficked cocaine to the United States, and his arrest is the result of an investigation by U.S. authorities in Guatemala. Mérida Cobán is now one of 19 people being held by Guatemala who face extradition to the United States.
MEXICO: Mexico Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said Wednesday that drug cartels had used drones packed with explosives to attack security forces in Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán. Cresencio Sandoval blamed some of the attacks on the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
Earlier this month, two men were arrested in Puebla for allegedly making some of the drones. Prosecutors say they are members of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.
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