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Security & Strategic Review - July 2021

LEADER
Shaken by over five weeks of massive anti-government protests that have presented one of the biggest challenges of his presidency, on 6 June Colombia’s President Iván Duque offered his latest concession to the demonstrators, in the form of a proposed police reform...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
The western Venezuelan state of Apure has been embroiled in conflict since late March, when clashes erupted between the dissident 10th Front of the disbanded Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group and the Venezuelan military (FANB)...
A partnership, announced on 5 June between the US Southern Command (Southcom), the international NGO Global Fishing Watch (GFW) and various Latin American governments, seeks to prevent foreign fishing fleets from violating countries’ territorial waters...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
In 2009 and then again in 2012, Chile’s centre for investigative journalism (Ciper) mapped the areas of the Santiago Metropolitan Region (RM) which were under the control of drug traffickers – so-called ‘occupied zones’ which suffer from higher-than-average violence and poorer-than-average public services...
A raid on Jacarezinho – one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest, poorest, and most violent favelas – in May became the deadliest police operation ever carried out in the Brazilian city...
Argentina has slipped in the latest press freedom ranking by NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF), while press organisations in the country have also raised concerns over the erosion of press freedom...
Despite being on the international drug trafficking route and suffering from persistent and high corruption levels, Paraguay is a relatively safe country, particularly if measured by its homicide rate...
MEXICO & USMCA
There has been a worrying shortage of some critical medicines in Mexico since the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador opted to centralise the medicines procurement and distribution system in 2019 with the declared objectives of reducing costs and combating corruption...
According to a report compiled by local electoral observation organisations, organised criminal activity affected the 6 June midterm elections in around a third of Mexico’s territory...
CENTRAL AMERICA
On 8 June a group of international human rights organisations including the Washington Office on Latin America (Wola) and Amnesty International (AI) issued a joint statement expressing concern over an “increase in criminalisation in Guatemala as a strategy to frighten and intimidate those who play significant roles in the fight against impunity in cases of serious human rights violations and corruption”...
“Under [President Daniel] Ortega, Nicaragua is becoming an international pariah” tweeted then US Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung on 5 June...
With accountability concerns already rife following the new legislature’s dismissal in May of the supreme court’s constitutional chamber (SC) and head of the attorney general’s office Raúl Melara [SSR-21-06], President Nayib Bukele has further set off alarm bells regarding transparency...
CARIBBEAN
Irwin Larocque, secretary-general of the Caribbean community (Caricom) has called for “a new type of ‘Marshall Plan’” to fund a clean energy transition among member states...
Caribbean nations must prioritise quality food production, buy local and make serious investments to boost food security in the region, concluded a regional summit held on 28 May. ..
On 14 June the Dominican Republic’s President Luis Abinader called on the Haitian government to halt construction of an irrigation canal on the border between the two countries...
The Bahamas central bank governor John Rolle recently gave an update on the island nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the sand dollar...

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