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Latan Brief: U.S. Title-42 extended (December 21 , 2022)

Latin America Daily Briefing

The U.S. Supreme Court extended a deadline to end Covid-era migration restrictions while a Republican legal challenge moves forward. Title-42, a policy that permits officials to rapidly expel migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, was set to expire today, and the Biden administration was preparing for an increase in the number of migrant crossings, reports the Guardian.

Ending Title 42 is projected to attract thousands more migrants to the border, reports the Washington Post.

Yesterday, Texas National Guard troops lined the Rio Grande riverbank with concertina wire to block the path of migrants attempting to reach El Paso, one of the busiest crossing points for migrants attempting to surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents and seek asylum, reports the Washington Post. The use of soldiers to physically stop migrants from entering the country appeared to be an escalation in tensions between Texas’ governor and U.S. President Joe Biden. (Washington Post)

As the legal case for Title-42 drags on, asylum seeking families from around the world, but many from Central America, languish in Mexico, where border towns and refugee shelters are overflowing. (Guardian)

More Migration

  • “An increase in migration by sea along Mexico’s Pacific Coast has highlighted how adaptable the country’s human smuggling networks have become, as well as the lack of care they show toward their human cargo,” reports InSight Crime.


  • Peruvian lawmakers approved a plan that could move up the country’s next general elections — though the measure would schedule the vote for April 2024, a far cry from the immediate elections called for by angry demonstrators across the country. (El País
  • A vote to ratify the new election date, which requires a constitutional amendment, would be held in February. (La República)

  • Last week leftist lawmakers abstained on a separate proposal to hold elections in a year, calling for a constitutional assembly as a precondition. Yesterday they dropped that demand, reports the Associated Press.

  • Peru declared Mexico’s ambassador to Lima “persona non grata” and ordered him to leave the country, yesterday, in protest of what it said was López Obrador’s repeated and “unacceptable interference” in Peru’s internal affairs. Last week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sharply criticized former president Pedro Castillo’s ouster as undemocratic, and has said he continues to recognize Castillo as Peru’s lawful leader. The Peruvian government’s decision came hours after Mexico’s top diplomat announced that his country had granted asylum to Castillo’s family. (Reuters, Associated Press)


  • Canada sanctioned two former Haitian cabinet ministers in Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government accused of corruption and protecting criminal gangs. Berto Dorce and Liszt Quitel resigned from their positions in the Haitian Henry administration in November, after the United States quietly revoked their U.S. visas. (Miami Herald, Reuters)

  • The United Nations Security Council meets later today, and will discuss the ongoing Haitian crisis, reports the Miami Herald.

  • The only elected officials left in Haiti, 10 senators, will end their mandates in mid-January. While they lacked quorum to actually pass laws — the country is supposed to have a bicameral legislature with 149 lawmakers — “the total absence of any elected officials in the country risks plunging Haiti deeper into crisis and has further raised concerns in the international community,” reports the Miami Herald.

  • Inmates in Haiti’s overcrowded prison system are being subjected to a starvation-level diet, putting them substantially at risk for malnutrition and even death, according to a University of Florida study. (Miami Herald)


  • The dispute over what happened in Peru two weeks ago — whether President Pedro Castillo attempted a self-coup or was illegitimately ousted — points to broader issues with regional democratic backsliding, writes James Bosworth in World Politics Review. “In the 1970s, military coups in Latin America were unmistakable events. … the break with democracy had an exact historical date,” but now “democratic breakdown is no longer clear and is more often disputed by various ideological fronts across the hemisphere.”


  • Mexican security forces arrested Antonio Oseguera Cervantes, brother of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación boss known as “El Mencho”, yesterday. (Guardian)


  • Millions of Argentines pour out to welcome the national soccer team home from Qatar. The crush was such that the bus carrying the players was unable to complete the original victory route planned around Buenos Aires, and had to be airlifted out with a helicopter. Some fans threw themselves off bridges to try to get into the open-top bus carrying the players. (New York Times)

Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing

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