El Faro English

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.

  • Jun 21, 2022
  • 11:23 AM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Central America Talks Back to Biden

Central America, in Brief: After the no-show of the Northern Triangle presidents at the Summit of the Americas, their foreign ministers gave strident speeches defying Joe Biden and named their countries’ terms for U.S. and regional engagement.

  • Jun 15, 2022
  • 1:19 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: New Targets of Lawfare Against Guatemalan Justice

Guatemala, in Brief: The persecution of independent judges and prosecutors pressed onward with the order to put former top state attorney Virginia Laparra on trial. The shady Foundation against Terrorism, lead architect of the legal attacks that have already pushed two-dozen anti-corruption operators into exile, has named among its next targets the human rights ombudsman and three of the country’s most influential judges.

  • Jun 8, 2022
  • 12:38 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Summit in LA Showcases Biden’s Central America Problem

Four days before the Summit of the Americas begins on June 6 in Los Angeles, the U.S. is short on friends in the Northern Triangle. Even Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, once President Joe Biden’s ally of last resort, said he will not attend.

  • Jun 2, 2022
  • 1:23 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Former Attorney for MS-13 on Supreme Court in El Salvador

A Supreme Court magistrate appointed by the ruling party was years ago the attorney of “Diablo de Hollywood,” the head of the Mara Salvatrucha. The detail, undisclosed when he was appointed last year, was revealed when the judge recused himself from ruling on the gang leader’s pending extradition to the United States.

  • May 27, 2022
  • 11:37 AM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Audios Reveal Collapse of Gang Negotiations in El Salvador

El Faro obtained audio files of conversations between a senior Bukele official and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), revealing that the covert negotiations with the gangs fell apart after MS-13 considered the surprise arrest of a group of its leaders a violation of the agreement they brokered in 2019 for a reduction in homicides.

  • May 18, 2022
  • 12:30 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Finance Could Be Bukele’s Achilles Heel

The falling price of bitcoin underscores El Salvador’s precarious debt crisis, financial experts say. President Nayib Bukele, nevertheless, perseveres: On Monday, May 9, he announced a new $15 million state bitcoin purchase and boasted about his mockup of the megaproject Bitcoin City.

  • May 16, 2022
  • 12:48 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Five In-Custody Deaths After Mass Arrests in El Salvador

Despite unprecedented peacetime policing operations that led to 27,000 arrests in two months, gangs continue to extort businesses as an expression of their territorial control. Human rights groups and the press have also documented at least five in-custody deaths during President Nayib Bukele’s state of exception.

  • May 10, 2022
  • 12:54 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Will El Salvador’s State of Exception Be the New Normal?

El Salvador, in Brief: The government not only extended the politically popular state of exception for another month on Sunday; it also seized the moment to temporarily exempt security spending from legal oversight. Despite widespread flak from human rights groups as evidence accumulates of police abuses and arbitrary detentions, Bukele’s party passed legislation to allow […]

  • Apr 26, 2022
  • 1:00 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Four Bleak Aprils in Nicaragua

On the fourth anniversary of protests in 2018 and the ensuing brutal repression, the opposition seems unable to find a response to the imprisonment of its key leaders and the kidnapping of the electoral process. But the Ortega-Murillo government’s weaknesses are also evident, as shown by recent internal divisions in the Sandinista party.

  • Apr 22, 2022
  • 11:39 AM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Gag Order for Journalism on Gangs in El Salvador

On Tuesday, President Nayib Bukele ordered changes to the Penal Code that press advocates warn censor journalism about gangs and would impede news outlets from questioning the official narrative on issues such as security policy and the government’s secret negotiations with the gangs.

  • Apr 7, 2022
  • 1:28 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Costa Rica Elects Trump-Inspired Outsider

After a tense run-off election marked by personal invective and mass voter abstention, the controversial conservative economist Rodrigo Chaves will take office as the next president of Costa Rica in May despite past sexual harassment and an open investigation for illicit campaign finance.

  • Apr 4, 2022
  • 4:01 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: No New Ideas After El Salvador Homicide Crisis

Amid an ongoing state of exception in El Salvador, the Bukele-controlled legislature held its second emergency session in five days to approve sweeping increases in criminal sentences for gang leaders and underage members alike.

  • Mar 31, 2022
  • 3:56 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Is Bukele’s Gang Truce Unraveling?

A number of civil liberties will be suspended for 30 days in El Salvador as a government response to the alarming spike in gang-attributed homicides. The violence casts further doubt on the efficiency of President Bukele’s security policy, already under scrutiny because of revelations of secret gang negotiations.

  • Mar 28, 2022
  • 4:36 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: A Nicaraguan Ambassador’s Live Resignation

Nicaraguan Ambassador Arturo McFields denounced the Ortega-Murillo government as a “dictatorship” in an unexpected statement to the Organization of American States on Wednesday, announcing his departure from the administration. McFields urged other public servants to overcome their fear and do the same.

  • Mar 25, 2022
  • 1:24 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Top Anti-Mafia Judge Exiled From Guatemala

The judge in possession of incendiary testimony accusing President Alejandro Giammattei of illicit campaign finance announced she has left the country for exile in the United States, saying she feared an assassination attempt from the Guatemalan government.

  • Mar 22, 2022
  • 1:08 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Is El Salvador Protecting MS-13 From Extradition?

The U.S. suspects that a top MS-13 leader known as “Crook” was freed from prison despite an extradition request on transnational narco-terrorism charges. Salvadoran courts have for months refused to extradite senior MS-13 leaders to the U.S.

  • Mar 21, 2022
  • 10:47 AM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Feminism Under Fire in Central America

Guatemala marked International Women’s Day by voting to increase sentences for abortion and outlaw sex ed. El Salvador announced plans to repeal the violence against women law. There was no 8M march in Nicaragua and key feminist leaders remain in prison. Only Honduras’ first female president stepped up this week by proposing a law against gender violence and weighing lifting a ban on emergency contraception.

  • Mar 14, 2022
  • 11:00 AM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: The Mine That Coopted the Guatemalan Government

A leak of more than eight million company documents revealed how a mining company operating illegally in a Maya Q’eqchi’ town near the Caribbean coastline bought local police and Indigenous leaders, spied on journalists, classified residents as allies or enemies, and sought to expel communities from ancestral land.

  • Mar 9, 2022
  • 2:33 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: As World Condemns Ukraine War, Bukele Sees Bitcoin Opportunity

El Salvador joined Nicaragua in abstaining from the U.N. General Assembly’s condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine. As El Salvador prepares to issue a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin Bonds, Bukele implies the Russia clampdown underscores a key use-case for the cryptocurrency: sanctions evasion.

  • Mar 4, 2022
  • 12:10 PM

From EL FARO ENGLISH: Putin’s Central American Ally

As Russia invades Ukraine, Ortega is closing arms deals with Putin. Maybe that explains why he is the only Central American leader vocally supporting the Kremlin’s offensive.

  • Feb 25, 2022
  • 1:53 PM

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