More than 50 percent of Guatemala's population lives in poverty, and the country has an alarmingly high murder rate. But Otto Pérez Molina is in a better position than his predecessors to deal with those problems, says guest blogger Mike Allison.
Otto Pérez Molina ran his presidential campaign on an 'iron fist' platform, promising to crack down on the crime and high murder rate that have been plaguing Guatemala in recent years.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is the oldest guerrilla group operating in the Western Hemisphere. What began in the 1960s as a peasant insurgency with political aims morphed into a drug trafficking organization dependent on cocaine and kidnapping for revenue. The group, whose influence grew over the decades to count 19,000 members in the 1990s, began to face major setbacks when former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe took office in 2002. With the help of the US under Plan Colombia (begun in 2000), Mr. Uribe made fighting the FARC the cornerstone of his presidency – an effort that Colombians widely supported. The effort continues under current President Juan Manuel Santos. Top leaders have been captured and thousands of members have demobilized. But the FARC continues to remain a deadly force in Colombia, especially in the countryside. Here is what Colombia has accomplished against the FARC in the past three years.
Government forces have killed the commander-in-chief of the FARC, alias 'Alfonso Cano.' It is a blow to the rebel group, but ultimately it could hurt peace talks.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is poised to easily win the race, despite many claims that it is unconstitutional for him to run for re-election.
But despite record deportations, many migrants at a shelter in Nogales, Mexico, now consider the US to be home.
But the US State Department report shows most of Mexico, including tourist areas, is safe, and the data reveal that US citizens are generally victims of opportunity, not specific targeting.
The hacker group Anonymous has set a weekend deadline for Mexico's Zetas to release one of its kidnapped members, putting the drug cartel in what could prove a highly vulnerable position.
US authorities announced this week the dismantlement of a massive drug-smuggling operation in Arizona, believed to have generated $2 billion in proceeds over five years. The 76 suspects arrested in the 17-month probe, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express, are allegedly connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful drug-trafficking organization operating in Mexico – and, some say, in the Western Hemisphere. “Today we have dealt a significant blow to a Mexican criminal enterprise that has been responsible for poisoning our communities,” Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in the statement. But who are the Sinaloa cartel?
The top news from Colombia's municipal elections was ex-guerrilla Gustavo Petro's victory in the Bogota mayor race. In farther flung regions the race was marred by violence and corruption claims.
An affiliate of the 'Anonymous' hacker group says that if the Zetas do not release a kidnapped member of their team, they will release the names of politicians moonlighting for the drug gang.
Forty-one candidates have been killed in the run-up to Colombia's elections on Sunday, highlighting the security issues that continue to undermine democracy in the country.