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Security & Strategic Review - August 2019

Leader
In 2013, the United Nations (UN) designated 30 July as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, with the aim of raising awareness of the situation of the victims of human trafficking, and of the promotion and protection of their rights...
Andean Countries
La Merced de Buenos Aires is a tiny settlement in the Imbabura region of northern Ecuador, located just 20km as the crow flies from the Colombian border...
Reversing an eight-year downward trend, the overall number of homicides in Colombia rose by 6.7% last year to reach 12,130, according to the annual Forensis report published by the government’s National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (IML)...
Last month cocaleros (coca producers) affiliated with Asociación Departamental de Productores de Coca de Los Yungas de La Paz (Adepcoca), an organization which represents Bolivia’s traditional Yungas coca producing area (La Paz department), began fresh protests in La Paz...
Femicides, defined as the murder of women over 15 years of age due to their gender, remain an important problem throughout Latin America...
Brazil & Southern Cone
With a general election looming and crime a major talking point, Argentina has gone to increasing lengths to stamp out a wave of gang crime and drug trafficking that has swept the country in recent years...
A joint operation by law enforcement bodies in Argentina, Brazil, and the US has led to the largest ever seizure of illegal firearms in decades...
Public security experts and sociologists fear that the hard-line security approach adopted by Rio de Janeiro’s state governor, Wilson Witzel, is encouraging violence and emboldening criminal organisations whose modus operandi depends on spreading terror...
Two unrelated incidents recently served as a reminder of the presence of European transnational criminal organisations, specifically Italian mafias, in the Southern Cone...
Mexico
Mexico’s intractable crime problem has shown little sign of improvement in recent years, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has inaugurated a new federal security force to try to turn the tide...
Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera, Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organisation (DTO) leader for two decades, was sentenced to life plus 30 years by a US federal court on 17 July and sent to the ‘supermax’ ADX Florence prison in Colorado...
Mexico’s state-owned oil and gas company Pemex presents a major economic problem for the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador...
In Mexico City (CDMX), the lucrative crime of extortion has increased in the first five months of 2019, with February being the worst month...
Central America & Caribbean
In early June President Daniel Ortega’s Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN)-controlled 92-member unicameral legislature approved an amnesty law for crimes committed in the context of the violence stemming from the government crackdown on its opponents which began in April 2018 which has left over 500 people dead...
It is over a year since Trinidad & Tobago passed the Anti Gang Act 2018, but there appears to have been very little progress in controlling the depredations of the gangs despite Police Commissioner Gary Griffith declaring that the legislation “is proving to be very effective in terms of providing a deterrent to gangs”...
On 7 July, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that a state of public emergency had been declared in the St Andrew South Police Division, which includes parts of Kingston, until 21 July...

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