Central America

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

Colombia Legalizes Medically-Assisted Suicide

Colombia’s constitutional court legalized medically-assisted suicide in a ruling Wednesday, making it the first country in Latin America to do so. Euthanasia has been legal in Colombia since 1997.

  • May 16, 2022
  • 11:18 AM

Salvador Man Sues Claiming Wrongful Deportation by ICE

A Salvadoran man who claims he was jailed, beaten, and tortured after being wrongfully deported from the United States filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government, seeking damages for his treatment. José Daniel Guerra-Castañeda, 25, has since been returned to the United States and lives in Massachusetts.

  • May 11, 2022
  • 12:32 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

Mexican President Tours Central America and Cuba

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador toured Central America and Cuba, from May 5th to the 8th, as part of his government’s strategy to strengthen relations with the Latin American countries.

  • May 9, 2022
  • 11:30 AM

Discovering a New Identity: The Journey of an International Adoptee (OPINION)

A name contains so much. But what if one person has two sets of names — two first names and two surnames? How do that shape one identity?

  • May 4, 2022
  • 3:13 PM

Honduras Repeals Charter Cities Law

The government on Monday repealed a law that authorized self-governing economic zones known as “ZEDEs.” This decision forced foreign investors in Honduras to pause plans to develop in these zones. President Xiomara Castro said that Monday’s repeal was “historic” and the country was “recovering its sovereignty.”

  • May 2, 2022
  • 10:58 AM

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

Mexican Investigators Find Body of Missing 18-Year-Old Debanhi Escobar

MEXICO: Authorities this week discovered the body of Debanhi Susana Escobar, who went missing on April 9 in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, submerged in a cistern at a motel close to where she was last seen alive. Her body had been decomposing for two weeks, nearly unrecognizable, said Assistant Public Safety Secretary Ricardo […]

  • Apr 25, 2022
  • 11:16 AM

Honduras Ex-President Hernández to Face Charges in US Court

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was expected to make a virtual appearance in federal court in New York on Friday to face drug trafficking and weapons charges after he was arrested in Honduras and extradited overnight to the United States.

  • Apr 22, 2022
  • 12:51 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

Union: El Salvador Police Pressured to Meet Arrest Quotas

Some National Civilian Police commanders in El Salvador have been pressuring their officers to meet daily arrest quotas as part of the government’s crackdown on street gangs that have yielded more than 10,000 arrests, a police union said Tuesday.

  • Apr 13, 2022
  • 2:46 PM

Electricity Restored in Puerto Rico After Major Blackout

A major blackout last week left more than 1.5 million clients —including households, businesses, and schools— without electricity, and over 160,000 without water. Authorities reported on Sunday morning that electricity had been restored to almost all clients.

  • Apr 11, 2022
  • 11:11 AM

Social Control in El Salvador

Latino Rebels Radio: April 7, 2022

  • Apr 7, 2022
  • 8:56 PM

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

El Salvador Threatens Prison for Media Sharing Gang Messages

El Salvador’s Congress, pushing further in the government’s dramatic crackdown on gangs, has authorized prison sentences of 10 to 15 years for news media that reproduce or disseminate messages from the gangs, alarming press freedom groups.

  • Apr 6, 2022
  • 2:02 PM

El Salvador Leader Says He’ll Cut All Food for Gang Inmates

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new police officers and soldiers, President Nayib Bukele said that if the gangs “unleash a wave of crimes, we are going to cut off food in the prisons.”

  • Apr 5, 2022
  • 4:44 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

Economist Rodrigo Chaves to Become Costa Rica’s New President

Economist Rodrigo Chaves won Sunday’s presidential election ahead of ex-President José María Figueres (1994-1998). The anti-establishment candidate and former World Bank official is popular among voters who reject traditional politics and grew concerned over the country’s national debt.

  • Apr 4, 2022
  • 11:02 AM

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

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