+ Washington Snubs Bolivia On Drug Policy Reform, Again
Once again, Washington officials are claiming that Bolivia is not meeting its obligations under international narcotics agreements, despite this:
Bolivia has achieved demonstrable successes without—and perhaps because of—a complete lack of support from the United States: the Drug Enforcement Administration left in 2009 and all U.S. aid for drug control efforts ended in 2013.
Bearing in mind that U.S. drug policy in the Andes has always emphasised “supply-side” reduction like coca crop eradication, the decision is of course a political one. It reflects U.S. frustration that Bolivia isn’t bending to Washington’s will. Interestingly, most Bolivian-made cocaine ends up in Europe and Brazil—not the United States.
+ The Migrant Crisis Seems To Be Over. What Happened?
The number of child migrants arriving at the U.S. border has dropped to slightly below normal levels. But this is not automatically good news. Is it because more migrants are getting intercepted in Mexico? Or the harsh treatment migrant children have received in the U.S.? This excellent article examines some possible explanations:
Is this decline real? Back in May, when apprehensions first started to drop, many analysts pointed out that children are typically less likely to travel through Mexico into the US during the heat of summer. That suggested the numbers might pick up again in the fall.
But the fact that, as of August, fewer children are arriving this year than arrived at the same time last year indicates that this isn’t just a seasonal slowdown. It really looks like the flow of children into the country has slowed down to nearly manageable levels for the time being.
“LA BESTIA” (“The Beast”) still trundles along the length of Mexico, from Guatemala to the United States. But the infamous freight train has fewer people perched on its roof and clinging to its sides. Since last month the Mexican authorities have been cracking down on Central American migrants clambering on board; their ranks have dwindled from hundreds to dozens on each journey.
+ For Miners, Increased Risk On A Mountain At The Heart Of Bolivia’s Identity
A fascinating New York Times article and video on mining Bolivia’s famous Cerro Rico:
The silver in this mountain helped finance the Spanish empire. It created vast fortunes for some and misery for many more. It fueled the early growth of European capitalism, setting the stage for the modern era.
But now, after centuries of hauling out its riches, miners working near the peak have clawed away so much of the interior of the mountain that it is caving in from the top down.
The president of Honduras blamed the flight of migrant children to the U.S. on a drug war his country didn’t start and demanded the world pay as much attention to displaced Central American families as it does to those terrorized by wars elsewhere.
Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said Tuesday that his country will hold long-overdue elections no later than early next year if several opposition lawmakers don’t stand in the way of the vote before their mandates expire in January.
Hundreds of farmers on Tuesday demonstrated against a new $50 billion waterway aimed at rivaling the Panama Canal, irate at plans to expropriate the land they work.
“We do not want the canal to be built. Nobody should come in here and take over our land,” said Ronald Enríquez at a march in the southern town of Potosí, where participants scuffled with police.
Officially, both processes are controlled by what is known as a “postulation commission,” a committee of 34 people that selects the candidates from a long list of applicants, before Congress makes the final selections. Unofficially, it is a free-for-all with various political, economic and criminal interests trying to control who gets to join that commission, so they can better wield power over the court system.
+ The Winding Road From Camps To Villages
MCC Washington’s Charissa Zehr:
We walked down dusty pathways among a patchwork of ramshackle structures covered by tarps to a humble church building. Our group of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) advocacy staff was in the middle of Accra, an encampment where thousands of Haitians displaced by the Port-au-Prince earthquake almost five years ago still struggle to build a community and home.
Colombia’s government and main rebel movement are releasing parts of a draft peace agreement to deflect criticism that the country’s democratic institutions are being redrawn behind their countrymen’s backs.
The 65 pages of documents published Wednesday come from three of the six agenda items on which the two sides have already reached agreement: agrarian reform, political participation for demobilized rebels, and how to jointly combat illicit drugs.
+ [PHOTOS] The Rich Texture Of Daily Life In Guatemala – Washington Post