- El Faro reviews El Salvador’s year under an ongoing state of emergency deployed by the Bukele administration as part of a massive crackdown against street gangs. Though marketed as an audacious security policy, the government has hidden that it was born of a ruptured pact with the Mara Salvatrucha-13.
- “That is not the only thing that the Government has hidden about the regime: it has also hidden the judicial processes of those captured, the conditions in the prisons and even the necessary public works contracts, such as the one that allowed the construction of the Terrorism Confinement Center.” (El Faro)
- Authorities in El Salvador have committed “systematic” human rights abuses since launching a nationwide state of emergency last year to tackle gang violence, including torture and enforced disappearances, Amnesty International said. (Al Jazeera)
- Honduras’ government deployed soldiers around the country to cover security duties, as part of a state of emergency aimed at quashing criminal groups. (Reuters, see yesterday’s briefs.)
- Buenos Aires province security minister Sergio Berni was beaten by colleagues of a bus driver killed in a shootout. The violence was uncommon in Argentina, where protests are frequent. (Associated Press, Ámbito, Infobae)
- The episode, according to many analysts, shows how the political establishment has failed to respond to growing insecurity and the crushing economic crisis that top citizen concerns — and how the frustration with the status quo could favor outsider candidate Javier Milei in this year’s presidential elections. (Cenital, El País, Infobae)
- The International Monetary Fund executive board lowered Argentina’s net reserves accumulation target for the end of this year to $8 billion from $9.8 billion. Argentina had sought to reduce the target in light of a severe drought that will severely impact agricultural exports this year. (Reuters, see yesterday’s briefs.)
- Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking organization, the ACG — also known as Clan del Golfo — has sought to enter peace negotiations with the Petro administration as a political armed group — the Washington Post delves into the organization’s inner workings and extensive territorial control.
- Ecuador’s National Assembly began an impeachment trial against President Guillermo Lasso, yesterday. The process is expected to take a month, reports Deutsche Welle. (See Thursday’s post.)
- Many relatives of the victims of a deadly fire at a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez are still searching for the whereabouts of their loved ones — dead or alive. (New York Times)
- A network of abortion-rights activists in Mexico is helping women in the United States affected by recently imposed abortion bans, reports the Associated Press.
- A growing number of U.S. Republicans “are rallying behind an aggressive and controversial new approach to the fentanyl crisis: Bomb the cartels, with or without the permission of the Mexican government,” reports Axios.
- Belize on Monday reaffirmed its diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the second country in Central America to do so in a week, following Guatemala. (Associated Press)
- Fernando Blasi, who now represents Venezuela’s opposition in the U.S., has called on the Biden administration to relax crippling oil sanctions against the Maduro government. “If we continue down this path, Venezuela is destined to be another Cuba,” Blasi said in the interview with the Associated Press.
- Venezuela’s oil exports rose in March to the highest monthly average since August. (Reuters)
- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday he believes the country’s economy will grow “more than pessimists think.” (Reuters)
- Jorge Luis Borges’ widow — and inheritor of all the rights to his work — María Kodama, died last month, without leaving a will or successors. The rights of the Argentine literary giant’s work, including manuscripts and first editions, could eventually become state property, as a result. (El País)
Jordana Timerman/Latin America Daily Briefing