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Security & Strategic Review - September 2020

LEADER
In August, Ecuador’s government found itself dragged unexpectedly into the spiralling geopolitical tensions between the US and China, as a fishing dispute off the country’s Pacific coast escalated quickly, leading US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to pledge protection to all countries whose “economies and natural resources are threatened” by China’s “predatory fishing practices”...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
A new report by researchers at Harvard University detailing human rights abuses under Bolivia’s interim government since November 2019 – described as “one of the most lethal and repressive periods in Bolivia in recent decades” – prompted the ire of interim president Jeanine Áñez, who has repeatedly rejected international criticism of her government’s human rights record [SSR-20-03]...
The president of Peru’s anti-drug agency Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida Sin Drogas (Devida), Rubén Vargas, voiced criticism on 1 August of a report on coca eradication in Peru, published by the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
The long-running conflict between the indigenous Mapuche and the Chilean authorities, which has gripped the southern region of La Araucanía for decades, has flared up once again...
Brazil’s national intelligence agency, the Agência Brasileira de Inteligência (Abin), has a new unit: the Centro de Inteligência Nacional...
A particularly bad wildfire season in the Brazilian Amazon last year prompted President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to call in the army to help with firefighting efforts...
In recent months Argentine police have seized millions of Argentine pesos and thousands of US dollars in cash, concealed inside trucks transporting goods through provinces bordering Paraguay...
MEXICO & USMCA
The death of at least three Mexican migrant workers due to coronavirus (Covid-19) in Canada has prompted Mexico’s national human rights commission (CNDH) to launch an investigation into the circumstances in which they died and the situation of Mexican migrant workers in Canada...
An investigative report by anti-corruption organisations has outlined how a Romanian criminal group arrived in the Riviera Maya tourist hot spot in Mexico’s Caribbean coast and appears to have settled there in the space of just a few years...
Mexico’s federal midterm legislative and state elections may still be a year away, but social media platforms are already taking steps to ensure that the campaigning leading up to these is as transparent and fair as possible...
CENTRAL AMERICA
At the end of July, the international NGO Global Witness published its annual report which found that killings of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Honduras rose from four in 2018 to 14 last year, making it the most dangerous country per capita for land and environmental defenders in 2019...
The May edition of Security and Strategy Review highlighted transparency concerns regarding the responses by Central American governments to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, focussing on Guatemala, Honduras and Panama [SSR-20-05]...
In recent weeks there have been a string of major seizures of drug money by the Nicaraguan national police (PNN)...
CARIBBEAN
The recent return of Haitian former paramilitary leader Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, who was deported from the US, where he fled in 1994, is serving as a new source of international concern regarding impunity in Haiti...
The ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) appears to be on course for a second consecutive election victory when Jamaica goes to the polls on 3 September, despite the obvious difficulties facing the country as it struggles to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
There is a sense of considerable relief that the electoral cycle has at last been completed along the north-east shoulder of South America...

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