El Faro English
Guatemala’s Top Investigative Newspaper Forced to Close
Reporters from various newsrooms conducted a symbolic funeral and protest Monday morning in front of the Supreme Court after elPeriódico, the leading investigative outlet in Guatemala, was forced to close after 27 years amid the trial of publisher José Rubén Zamora.
Where Is Central America on the Political Map?
Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador’s nods to Russia and China are often read as a jealousy game in the U.S. bilateral relationship. Regional leaders claim sovereignty and multipolarity as their mantra. Experts say that non-ideological short-term calculus and a search for impunity are instead guiding their actions.
Salvadoran Abortion Case Enters Final Phase at Inter-American Court
Beatriz, a woman diagnosed with lupus, was denied an abortion of an anencephalic fetus in 2013 in El Salvador despite 15 doctors’ recommendations that she do so to protect her health. Attorneys for Beatriz’s family —she died in 2017— are challenging El Salvador’s total ban.
Bukele Blocks IMF Report on El Salvador
The Bukele administration barred the International Monetary Fund from publishing its yearly report on the “economic situation and policy strategy” of El Salvador. It was striking, given that the country is looking to spur the negotiation of a debt program.
El Mozote Massacre Arrest in New Jersey
On April 4, ICE agents arrested Roberto Garay Saravia, a second lieutenant in the U.S.-trained Atlacatl Battalion that carried out the 1981 massacre in El Mozote. His deportation trial could shed new evidence on the events, as the massacre trial in El Salvador came to a halt 18 months ago.
Taiwan Jilted by Central America
The president of Taiwan traveled today to Guatemala to shore up its last allies in the isthmus after Honduras decided to shift its support to China earlier this month. While the U.S. warns of Beijing’s growing influence in Central America, the region is not buying the Cold War framing.
Guatemala: Electoral Officials Clear Path for Conservative Candidate, Daughter of Ex-Dictator
After candidate registration for Guatemala’s June elections closed this weekend, electoral authorities, toeing the line for far-right political operatives, have spuriously excluded two presidential tickets, clearing the way for conservative Zury Ríos.
Honduras, El Salvador on Same Wavelength
The same day that Nayib Bukele staged a military siege of the gang bastion Soyapango, Xiomara Castro deployed police and military in 162 of Honduras’ most marginalized urban communities after decreeing a state of exception. The suspension of constitutional guarantees goes even further than in the Salvadoran model.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Central America Journalists Create United Front Against State-Sponsored Attacks
The Network of Central American Journalists hopes to protect independent news media from state-sponsored attacks, spur regional collaboration, and increase the international visibility of press freedom strained by criminalization and public and private-sector censorship.
EL FARO ENGLISH: Who Will Inherit Giammattei’s Power in Guatemala?
Nine months before the presidential election, the country’s right-wing regime is fracturing into rivaling projects as progressive groups discuss the elusive idea of a united candidacy. Meanwhile, electoral authorities are indulging the pre-campaigning by the ruling party and top conservative Zury Ríos.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Time to Meet the Real Xiomara Castro
A defining moment has come for President Xiomara Castro, who must decide how much free rein to grant a future U.N.-backed anti-corruption commission that could end up investigating her own government.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Et Tu, Costa Rica?
Amid multiple corruption and misconduct probes muddling his first three months in office, President Rodrigo Chaves has lashed out at the press. In July, authorities shuttered a business financing the operations of leading newspaper La Nación.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Secret Dossiers Prove Hundreds of Wrongful Detentions in El Salvador
Leaked court documents reveal that wrongful arrests in El Salvador are on the rise as the country courses its fifth month in a state of exception that suspended multiple constitutional rights.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: The Garifuna Nation Struggles Against Sea and State
El Faro has released a three-part multimedia special on the Garifuna struggle against land theft, criminalization, and enforced disappearances in the fishing village of Nueva Armenia and the sister island Cayo Chachahuate, 10 miles off the Honduran coast.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Corruption Cannot Hide Behind Sovereignty Claims
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has accused the United States of violating the sovereignty of El Salvador—this time, following the U.S. State Department’s sanctioning of officials engaged in corruption or undermining democracy across four Central American countries.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: US Shows Its Teeth on Engel List
The “Engel List” adds five dozen names to the U.S. State Department’s corruption map, and the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras won’t be happy, as now banned from U.S. soil are many officials and business people linked to the Central American leaders.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: El Salvador Wants One Last Dance With IMF
Bukele’s government told Wall Street investors in March that it hasn’t totally ruled out a deal with the IMF to avoid default, offering backup plans. All scenarios involve massive credits from regional development banks and somehow squeezing more tax revenue.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: MS-13 Fugitive Leaves Social Media Trail of Escape
A trail of images and videos published on social media expose what journalistic publications have shown for months: that the senior leader of MS-13 was illegally freed last year by the government of El Salvador despite 40 years remaining on his prison sentence and a U.S. extradition request.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Just How Powerful Are Guatemalan Drug Rings?
The Huehuetenango-based crime ring Los Huistas is trafficking cocaine produced by Colombian FARC dissidents for the Jalisco New Generation Cartel through the turf of its rival, the Sinaloa Cartel. The arrests of colluding Guatemalan military officers and the Huistas’ family ties to legislators beg the question of just how far the drug trade has penetrated the government and politics.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Nicaragua’s Ortega Finds Complicity in Central American Presidents
Central American leaders are averting their gaze from Nicaragua’s Ortega-Murillo regime, aware that picking a fight with the most consolidated autocracy in Central America would give more oxygen to criticism of corruption and human rights violations in their own countries.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Bukele Fiddles While the Crypto Market Burns
Global financial duress is pummeling cryptocurrencies including Tether, an important piece of Nayib Bukele’s bitcoin project.