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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America

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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 December 2018

Development: On 13 December the rector of El Salvador’s state-run Universidad de El Salvador (UES), Roger Arias, criticised Nayib Bukele, the frontrunner ahead of the 3 February 2019 presidential vote, for refusing to take part in a presidential debate scheduled for 16 December.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 December 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- US makes good its threat on Nicaragua
- In brief: Panama
Development: On 12 December US legislators and international human rights groups hailed the US House of Representatives’ day-earlier approval of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (Nica Act) which seeks to condition US approval for loans from international financial institutions to the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 December 2018

Development: On 11 December the United Nations (UN) representative in Honduras Igor Garafulic announced the end to the UN-brokered political dialogue in Honduras after ten months, a process which failed to produce any formal political agreements.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 December 2018

Development: On 10 December the Guatemala-based think-tank Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (Icefi) warned that if El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral national legislature fails to approve the state budget for 2019, the country could face a major fiscal crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 December 2018

Development: On 9 December Guatemala’s main opposition party, Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE), declared former First Lady Sandra Torres (2008-2012) as its presidential candidate ahead of the June 2019 general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 07 December 2018

Development: On 6 December it was reported that Margarette May Macaulay, the commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), had called on the Honduran government led by President Juan Orlando Hernández to revoke the concession awarded to Honduran energy infrastructure conglomerate Desarrollos Energéticos SA (Desa) for the 'Agua Zarca' hydroelectric dam project.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 December 2018

Development: On 5 December Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced that the government had relaxed two key regulations due to take effect on 7 December which affect 'cuentapropistas' (self-employed small entrepreneurs).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 5 December 2018

Development: On 4 December the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) urged the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega to respect freedom of expression.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 4 December 2018

Development: On 3 December Costa Rica’s 57-member unicameral national legislature approved a fiscal reform.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 December 2018

Development: On 2 December Zury Ríos, the daughter of Guatemala's late dictator Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-1983), announced her presidential bid ahead of the June 2019 general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 November 2018

Development: On 29 November representatives from Panama’s special anti-corruption prosecutor’s office announced that the investigation into the corruption case involving bribes paid to local officials from Brazilian construction and engineering firm Odebrecht was 80% complete.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 November 2018

Development: On 28 November it was reported that Guatemala’s constitutional court (CC) had confirmed that Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart and Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel have been given 48 hours to explain the government’s refusal to permit the re-entry to Guatemala of Iván Velásquez, the head of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 November 2018

Development: On 27 November the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed economic sanctions on two of the closest associates of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega – Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo, and Néstor Moncada, his national security advisor.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 November 2018

Development: On 26 November Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández responded to claims made by a lawyer defending one of the 38 suspects in the so-called 'Pandora' corruption case, who pointed to the existence of a “criminal organisation directed from the state”, by saying that “if people have proof of something, they should present it before the competent authorities”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 November 2018

Development: On 23 November Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado hailed a ruling by the constitutional chamber (CS) of the supreme court (CSJ) which found his Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government’s tax reform bill is constitutional.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 November 2018

Development: On 22 November Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in the Cuban capital, Havana.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 November 2018

Development: On 21 November Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse delivered an address to the nation in response to the mass protests which began on 18 November.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 November 2018

Development: On 19 November Panama’s executive cabinet approved President Juan Carlos Varela’s designation of two magistrates, Abel Zamorano and Olmedo Arrocha, for the nine-member supreme court (CSJ).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 November 2018

Development: On 19 November the opposition Partido Liberal Constitucionalista (PLC) presented its candidates for the March 2019 regional elections scheduled for Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Autonomous Region (Raan) and South Atlantic Autonomous Region (Raas) on the remote, largely indigenous, Caribbean coast.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 November 2018

Development: On 18 November thousands of people took to the streets in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince and across the country in anti-corruption protests, calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 November 2018

Development: On 15 November Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado hailed a ruling by the constitutional chamber (SC) of the supreme court (CSJ) which establishes a C$2.7m (US$4,341) monthly limit on pensions paid out under the state budget.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 November 2018

Development: On 14 November Panama’s comptroller general’s office presented the attorney general’s office with a preliminary audit of funds managed through the government-run Panamanian sports institute (Pandeportes).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 November 2018

Development: On 14 November a number of Dominican companies were forced to deny involvement in a corruption scandal that has rocked neighbouring Haiti after a prosecutor froze their bank accounts.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 November 2018

Development: On 12 November the presidents of the main political parties and presidential candidates, along with representatives from the electoral authorities (TE), media, the private sector, and civil-society signed an ethics pact ahead of Panama's May 2019 general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 November 2018

Development: On 9 November Reinaldo Sánchez, the president of the central committee of Honduras’s ruling Partido Nacional (PN), told reporters that the issue of a national constituent assembly cannot be the focus of a popular consultation because there are other issues of importance for the public.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 November 2018

Development: On 8 November the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by President Daniel Ortega announced a legislative initiative introducing a new state policy of “reconciliation and peace”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 November 2018

Development: On 7 November Guatemala’s electoral court (TSE) registered a new political party, Movimiento para la Liberación de los Pueblos (MLP), ahead of the June 2019 general elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 07 November 2018

Development: On 6 November representatives from the attorney generals’ (AG) offices from Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 November 2018

Development: On 5 November the Alianza Social por la Gobernabilidad y la Justicia (Asgoju), a group of local NGOs, urged El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral legislature not to re-elect attorney general (AG) Douglas Meléndez, whose three-year term ends in January 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 November 2018

Development: On 4 November the presidents of the Dominican Republic (DR) and El Salvador, Danilo Medina and Salvador Sánchez Céren respectively, arrived in the Chinese city of Shanghai to attend China’s International Import Expo (CIIE) which runs from 5 to 10 November.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 November 2018

Development: At least three people were injured when Haitian police fired upon hundreds of protesters in the capital Port-au-Prince on 1 November.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 November 2018

Development: On 31 October a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a week-long working visit to Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 October 2018

Development: On 31 October President Salvador Sánchez Cerén arrived in Beijing for the start of an official visit to China, the first by a head of state from El Salvador.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 October 2018

Development: It has been announced that Guyana’s President David Granger, 73, is to travel to Cuba today (30 October) for a medical “investigation” of an unrevealed nature.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 October 2018

Development: On 26 October Honduran police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of protesters demonstrating near the presidential palace in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 October 2018

Development: On 25 October Monsignor Silvio Báez, the auxiliary Catholic bishop of Managua, said he was the victim of a campaign of repression and harassment by the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 October 2018

Development: On 24 October the US government and the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) announced a new agreement.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 October 2018

Development: On 23 October El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez Cerén tweeted that “to migrate is a human right...Our solidarity with the march” – a reference to the caravan of Honduran migrants which set off for the US ten days ago via Mexico and Guatemala.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 October 2018

Development: On 22 October Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse replaced two key allies – his chief-of-staff Wilson Laleau and the general secretary to the presidency Yves Germain Joseph.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 October 2018

Development: On 20 October the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras, Jimmy Morales and Juan Orlando Hernández respectively, held a meeting in which they launched an initiative, ‘Plan Retorno Seguro’ ('Plan Safe Return'), as part of efforts to halt the caravan of Hondurans making their way to the US.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 October 2018

Development: On 18 October Guatemala’s 158-member unicameral national legislature approved changes to the criminal code.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 October 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Haiti protests turn deadly
- In brief: Nicaragua
Development: On 17 October thousands of Haitians took to the streets across the country in anti-corruption protests.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 October 2018

Development: On 16 October US President Donald Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to Central America's so-called ‘Northern Triangle’ (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) if their respective leaders fail to stop illegal migration.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 October 2018

Development: On 15 October Honduras’s traditional opposition party, Partido Liberal (PL), announced it would not re-join the United Nations (UN)-brokered dialogue table installed in August aimed at addressing the post-electoral crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 October 2018

Development: On 14 October the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR), and the Organization of American States (OAS) signalled concern about a string of arrests of government protesters in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 October 2018

Development: On 11 October Panama’s electoral authorities (TSE) declared José Domingo Arias the winner of the 7 October presidential primaries for the recently launched Partido Alianza (PA).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 October 2018

Development: On 10 October Guatemala’s former attorney general (AG) Thelma Aldana (2014-2018) denounced that a seventh complaint against her had been filed by “mafias operating with their lies to attempt to stop progress in the battle against corruption and impunity”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 October 2018

Development: On 9 October a San José tribunal declared illegal the strike by teachers against the fiscal reform proposed by Costa Rica’s centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government led by President Carlos Alvarado.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 October 2018

Development: On 8 October the local press reported that some 50 former employees of the Escobal silver mine, one of the largest in the world, have been protesting in Guatemala's capital, Guatemala City, calling for it to resume operations.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 8 October 2018

Development: On 5 October Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado hailed the legislature’s approval the same day of his government’s proposed fiscal reform.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 October 2018

* Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has announced six new development projects financed by Taiwan (although he failed to specify the levels of investment).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 October 2018

Development: On 3 October various legislators, the national ombudsman, and private sector lobbies condemned an attempted attack on Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado by protesters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 3 October 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Campaigning kicks off in El Salvador
- In brief: Panama
Development: On 2 October El Salvador’s electoral authority (TSE) officially called the 3 February 2019 presidential election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 October 2018

Development: On 1 October opposition figures like Lesther Alemán, Jean Carlos López (both students), and peasant farmer leader Francisca Ramírez called a “national consumer strike” to take place in Nicaragua tomorrow.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 October 2018

Development: On 29 September the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concerns about a press release issued the day before by the Nicaraguan police (PNN), warning that it criminalises anti-government protest.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 September 2018

Development: On 27 September a San José judge declared illegal the strike by Costa Rica’s Limón/Moín port complex workers’ union Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva (Sintrajap).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 September 2018

Development: On 26 September Honduras's opposition Partido Liberal (PL) announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations-brokered dialogue aimed at addressing the post-electoral crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 September 2018

Development: On 25 September Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales reiterated his call for the United Nations (UN) to name a new commissioner of the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) to replace Iván Velásquez.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 September 2018

Development: On 24 September a labour tribunal in Costa Rica’s capital San José ruled that the strike by housing ministry employees was illegal.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 September 2018

Development: On 23 September the Regional Office for Central America of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about violence which took place during a protest march in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua, which left one person dead, five injured, and ten people arrested.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 September 2018

Development: On 20 September thousands of people took to the streets in Guatemala’s capital, Guatemala City, and other departments calling for President Jimmy Morales to step down.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 September 2018

Development: On 19 September the United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres said that he sees “no reason to change his existing position of support for Commissioner Iván Velásquez”, the head of the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 September 2018

Development: On 18 September Costa Rica’s foreign trade minister Dyalá Jiménez told reporters that a planned visit by President Carlos Alvarado to the US to shore up investment had been postponed.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 September 2018

Development: On 17 September the Guatemalan government led by President Jimmy Morales announced that it would not permit the re-entry to the country of Iván Velásquez, the director of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 September 2018

Development: On 16 September Guatemala’s five-member constitutional court (CC) ruled unanimously that Iván Velásquez, the head of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commisison against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), should be permitted to return to the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 September 2018

Development: On 13 September the Costa Rican government led by President Carlos Alvarado announced it was establishing a commission to investigate acts of violence which took place the previous day at the public Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) campus in the capital, San José.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 September 2018

Development: On 12 September thousands of campesinos took to the streets in Guatemala’s capital, Guatemala City, calling for President Jimmy Morales to resign and in support of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission agasint Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 September 2018

Development: On 11 September the Costa Rican government led by President Carlos Alvarado announced that despite two days of strikes more than 40 institutions were operating normally.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 September 2018

Development: In an interview broadcast on 10 September, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega explicitly ruled out any prospects of dialogue to address the crisis which began in mid-April stemming from his administration's crackdown on anti-government protesters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 September 2018

Development: On 7 September Nicaragua’s Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (Alianza Cívica) opposition movement - comprising students, civil-society groups, and the private sector – staged a national march.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 07 September 2018

Development: On 6 September Jean Henry Céant, President Jovenel Moïse’s pick for Haiti’s new prime minister, named his proposed cabinet.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 September 2018

Development: On 5 September, 15 United Nations (UN) ambassadors attended a meeting called by the UN Security Council (UNSC) to discuss ongoing unrest in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 5 September 2018

Development: On 4 September Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales barred the re-entry into the country of Iván Velásquez, the director of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against impunity in Guatemala (Cicig). Velásquez had left Guatemala on 2 September for meetings in the US.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 4 September 2018

Development: On 3 September Costa Rica’s main business lobby, Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado (Uccaep), called on the centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government led by President Carlos Alvarado to hold a dialogue with the unions.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 3 September 2018

Development: On 31 August Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales announced that he would not be renewing the mandate of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 August 2018

Development: On 30 August hundreds of people took to the streets in Honduras’s capital, Tegucigalpa, demanding the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernández.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 August 2018

Development: On 29 August the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on the United Nations Human Rights Council and “the broader international community” to take “concrete action” in response to the continued political crisis in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 August 2018

Development: On 28 August Honduras’s attorney general’s office (AG) ordered the seizure of assets belonging to members of the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) and traditional opposition Partido Liberal (PL), including both parties’ headquarters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 August 2018

Development: On 27 August the students’ movement Coordinadora Universitaria por la Democracia y la Justicia (CUDJ) called on the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega to release "political prisoners".

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 August 2018

Development: On 23 August Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega named General Francisco Díaz as director of the national police (PNN).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 August 2018

Development: On 22 August Guatemala’s supreme court (CSJ) approved the request put forward on 10 August by the attorney general’s office (AG) and the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) for President Jimmy Morales to be stripped of his immunity from prosecution to be investigated for illegal campaign financing.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 August 2018

Development: On 21 August Guatemala’s Vice President Jafeth Cabrera described as “lamentable” the continued legal limbo facing Minera San Rafael (MSR), a subsidiary of Canada’s Tahoe Resources, which owns the Escobal silver mine, one of the largest in the world.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 August 2018

Development: On 21 August El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez Cerén announced that his country had severed ties with Taiwan, establishing diplomatic relations with mainland China.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 August 2018

Development: On 18 August, hundreds of people marched through the centre of Costa Rica’s capital, San José, to protest the arrival of more than 23,000 Nicaraguan nationals fleeing violence and political persecution in their home country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 August 2018

Development: On 16 August, the head of Panama’s beleaguered social security fund (CSS), Dr Alfredo Martiz, announced that he will be leaving the post on 1 September.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 August 2018

Development: On 15 August President Daniel Ortega rejected the presence of a working group from the Organization of American States (OAS) in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 August 2018

Development: On 14 August Panama’s attorney general Kenia Porcell called on the interim president of the supreme court (CSJ) Hernán De León to file a formal complaint regarding claims that he had been blackmailed.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 August 2018

Development: On 13 August Walter Araujo, a founder of El Salvador's main right-wing opposition party Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena), presented a request before the electoral authorities (TSE) calling for the party to be cancelled.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 August 2018

Development: On 10 August Guatemala’s attorney general’s office (AG) and the United Nations (UN)-backed anti-impunity commission in Guatemala (Cicig) presented the supreme court (CSJ) with a request for President Jimmy Morales and national opposition legislator Nineth Montenegro to be stripped of their immunity from prosecution in order to be investigated.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 August 2018

Development: In the early hours of 9 August Costa Rica’s supreme court (CSJ) announced a ruling which found that the prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 August 2018

Development: On 8 August the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government led by Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado launched a new security strategy.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 8 August 2018

Development: On 7 August the former president of El Salvador Tony Saca (2004-2009) pleaded guilty in court to embezzlement and money laundering.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 7 August 2018

Development: On 6 August Jordán Rodas, the head of Guatemala’s human rights ombudsman’s office, announced he would open an investigation into possible acts of spying on the part of government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 August 2018

Development: On 5 August Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse said he had chosen Jean-Henry Céant as his next prime minister.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 August 2018

Development: In an extraordinary session on 2 August, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution to create a working group on Nicaragua to “contribute to peaceful and sustainable solutions”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 August 2018

Development: On 1 August Costa Rica’s 22-member supreme court (CSJ) chose Fernando Cruz as its new president for four years.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 1 August 2018

Development: On 31 July the Centre for Justice and International Law (Cejil), a regional NGO, published a statement warning of a grave human rights crisis in Honduras.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 July 2018

Development: On 30 July Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega presented a formal complaint before the Organization of American States (OAS), accusing it of seeking to interfere in his country's domestic affairs.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 July 2018

Development: On 29 July El Salvador’s centre-right opposition Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (Gana) party chose Nayib Bukele, a charismatic former San Salvador mayor ( 2015-2018), as its presidential candidate ahead of the February 2019 presidential election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 July 2018

Development: On 26 July, Nayib Bukele, the popular businessman-turned-politician and presidential candidate of the centre-left Cambio Democrático (CD) party in El Salvador’s February 2019 presidential election, announced that he will run instead as the presidential candidate of the centre-right opposition Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (Gana) party.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 July 2018

Development: On 25 July the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega announced that four people had been arrested under new anti-terrorism legislation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 July 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- In brief: El Salvador
El Salvador: El Salvador’s civil protection agency has announced that the government has begun taking emergency measures in response to a month-long drought, declaring an orange alert in 12 of the country’s 14 departments and a red alert in 143 of the country’s 262 municipalities.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 July 2018

Development: On 23 July a Honduran judge ordered 19 people to be imprisoned on a preventative basis, including three national legislators, an alternate legislator, and a deputy minister, while they await trial for corruption charges.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 July 2018

Development: On 21 July Cuba’s national assembly approved a new council of ministers as proposed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 July 2018

Development: On 19 July Honduras’s main private sector lobby, Consejo Hondureño de la Empresa Privada (Cohep), called on the Partido Nacional (PN) government led by President Juan Orlando Hernández and the transport sector to reach a deal to end a strike which began the previous day.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 July 2019

Development: On 18 July the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution which condemned the acts of violence in Nicaragua; called on all parts to participate “actively and in good faith” in a national dialogue; and urged the government led by President Daniel Ortega “to support an electoral calendar”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 July 2018

Development: On 17 July Nicaragua’s national police (PNN) and pro-government paramilitaries launched an organised attack on Masaya, the capital of the eponymous department, an opposition stronghold.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 July 2018

Development: On 16 July United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres condemned “the ongoing violence against civilians, including against students, in Nicaragua”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 July 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Haiti’s PM resigns
- In brief: Panama
Development: On 14 July Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant and his 18-member cabinet.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 July 2018

Development: In a press briefing on 12 July, Gerry Rice, spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that Haitian authorities were working on a revised reform plan which, the IMF believes, would still include a lowering of petrol fuel subsidies, albeit in stages.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 July 2018

Development: On 11 July students at Panama’s state-run university, Universidad de Panamá, and members of the Consejo Nacional de Trabajadores Organizados (Conato) union staged protests in the capital, Panama City, against the recent announcement by Panama’s public services regulator (Asep) of a rise in energy prices.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 July 2018

Development: On 10 June, the constitutional chamber (SC) of El Salvador’s supreme court ordered the supreme electoral tribunal (TSE) to cancel the registration of two centre-left political parties, Cambio Democrático (CD), the party with which 2019 presidential frontrunner Nayib Bukele had planned to run, and the Partido Social Demócrata (PSD).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 July 2018

Development: On 9 July, Guatemala’s attorney general (AG) María Consuelo Porras Argueta announced that she was opening a case to begin the initial stages of an investigation into President Jimmy Morales for alleged sexual assault.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 July 2018

Development: On 8 July, Silvio José Báez, the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, said the Catholic Episcopal Conference (CEN) would “seriously reconsider its continuation in the National Dialogue” which it is mediating between the government led by President Daniel Ortega and opposition Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (ACJD) (comprising students, civil-society groups, and the private sector).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 July 2018

Development: On 5 July, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three top Nicaraguan officials under the Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 July 2018

Development: On 4 July Humberto Ortega, President Daniel Ortega’s brother, called on Ortega to bring forward elections and disband paramilitary groups which have emerged since the crisis erupted in Nicaragua mid-April sparked by State repression of anti-government protesters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 July 2018

Development: On 3 July President Juan Carlos Varela promoted deputy economy & finance (MEF) minister Eyda Varela de Chinchilla to head up the portfolio.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 July 2018

Development: On 2 July the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 2 July 2018

Development: On 1 July, Panama’s 71-member unicameral national legislature re-elected Yanibel Abrego of the opposition Cambio Democrático (CD) party as congress president.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 June 2018

Development: On 28 June US Vice President Mike Pence met the presidents of Central America's so-called 'Northern Triangle' (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador) – Jimmy Morales, Juan Orlando Hernández, and Salvador Sánchez Cerén respectively – to discuss immigration.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 June 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- UN raises concern over Honduras AG election process
- In brief: Nicaragua
From Latin American Regional Report: Andean Group
- The dying days of Pdvsa – and the rise of Rosneft
Development: On 27 June the local press reported that the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Honduras had expressed concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the process of electing the new attorney general (AG) and deputy AG.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 June 2018

Development: On 26 June, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado, who took office on 8 May for a four-year term, issued a decree establishing seven strategic priority areas for his centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government to address.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 June 2018

Development: On 25 June, the national dialogue between the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega and the Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia opposition group resumed, with no government response to the appeal by the Catholic Episcopal Conference (CEN) for national elections to be advanced from 2021 to 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 June 2018

Development: On 23 June, Nicaragua’s Catholic Episcopal Conference (CEN), which is mediating the national dialogue between the government led by President Daniel Ortega and opposition groups led by the protest group Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y Democracia, urged the president to bring forward the next general election from 2021 to 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 June 2018

Development: On 21 June, Nayib Bukele announced that he is in the process of finalising “a strategic alliance” with the left-wing Cambio Democrático (CD) party to allow him to compete in El Salvador’s presidential election in February 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 June 2018

Development: On 20 June the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega formally invited representatives from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU) to investigate the violence that has erupted in the country since April, and which has led to the deaths of hundreds of people in anti-government protests.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 June 2018

Development: On 19 June, the Guatemalan government announced the dismissal of the presidential spokesperson, Heinz Hiemann, for saying that the government led by President Jimmy Morales respects the US migration policy of separating irregular children migrants from their parents.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 June 2018

Development: On 18 June, leaders from Nicaragua’s Masaya city, the capital of the eponymous department, announced that they no longer recognise the leadership of President Daniel Ortega and that they intend to set up a commission to self-govern the city.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 June 2018

Development: On 16 June, thousands of people marched in El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, against the privatisation of water.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 June 2018

Development: On 14 June two local civil-society groups, Iniciativa Social para la Democracia (ISD) and Red Ciudadana Transparencia y Democracia, issued a joint statement condemning violence and repression against protesters opposed to a new water legislative bill.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 June 2018

Development: On 13 June Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega announced that he would resume the national dialogue on 15 June with the opposition movement Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (which includes students, civil-society groups, and the private sector).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 June 2018

Development: On 12 June, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) sanctioned Dominican Republic (DR) Senator Félix Bautista, of the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), for engaging in corrupt acts.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 June 2018

Development: On 11 June a 24-hour general strike took place in León, Nicaragua’s second city (and capital of the eponymous department).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 June 2018

Development: On 9 June, thousands of Guatemalans took to the streets in the capital, Guatemala City, calling for President Jimmy Morales to resign.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 June 2018

Development: On 7 June, Guatemala’s attorney general, María Consuelo Porras Argueta, announced the launch of an investigation into the authorities’ response to the eruption of the Fuego volcano on 3 June which has left 109 dead on the latest figures from the national institute of forensic sciences (Inacif).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 07 June 2018

Development: On 6 June the local press reported that US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) had sent a bi-party bicameral letter to US President Donald Trump urging the US administration to make additional designations in line with the Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 6 June 2018

Development: On 5 June, the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a declaration calling for an “immediate end” to the violence in Nicaragua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 5 June 2018

Development: On 4 June, Guatemala’s 158-member unicameral legislature ratified an executive decree ordering a 30-day state of public calamity for the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango, and Sacatepéquez.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 4 June 2018

Development: On 1 June, civil-society groups in Honduras condemned a ruling by the supreme court (CSJ) which questions the validity of agreements between the Organization of American States (OAS)-sponsored Mission for Support against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih) and a new special unit against corruption and impunity (Ufecic) attached to the attorney general’s office (AG).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 June 2018

Development: On 31 May, Nicaragua’s catholic episcopal conference (CEN), which is mediating in the national dialogue between the government led by President Daniel Ortega and the opposition Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (comprising students, civil-society groups, and the private sector), announced it would not renew talks while the Ortega government continued repressing the Nicaraguan people.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 May 2018

Development: On 30 May Nicaragua’s main business lobby, Cosep, urged President Daniel Ortega and the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government to hold early elections in order to resolve the ongoing crisis stemming from the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters which began last month.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 May 2018

Development: On 29 May, Colonel Carlos Geovanni Mejía Girón, a Guatemalan military attaché to Brazil, was arrested by the national police (PNC) at Guatemala City’s international airport, La Aurora, on accusations of embezzlement, illicit association and bribery.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 May 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Dialogue to resume in Nicaragua
- In brief: El Salvador
Development: On 28 May, a mixed commission comprising three representatives of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and three from the opposition movement Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (which includes students, civil-society groups, and the private sector), agreed to renew a national dialogue.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 May 2018

Development: On 24 May, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado signed a law which creates the country’s first national police academy.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 May 2018

Development: On 23 May the bishops from Nicaragua’s catholic episcopal conference (CEN) announced the “indefinite suspension” of the national dialogue which it is mediating between the government led by President Daniel Ortega and the opposition Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia which includes students, civil-society groups, and the private sector.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 May 2018

Development: On 22 May a local lawyer, Guillermo Cochez, presented an appeal before the supreme court (CSJ) against Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela for breaching the 2002 law on transparency.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 May 2018

Development: On 21 May, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released preliminary findings from its visit to Nicaragua which began on 17 May.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 May 2018

Development: On 20 May, Guatemala’s commissioner for police reform, Adela Camacho de Torrebiarte, resigned.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 May 2018

Development: On 17 May the student movement El Movimiento Estudiantil 19 de abril called a national strike demanding the resignation of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega and his First Lady, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 May 2018

Development: On 16 May a national dialogue began between the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and the opposition and civil-society groups.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 May 2018

Development: On 15 May clashes between national police (PNN) agents and anti-government protesters which took place in Nicaragua’s northern department of Matagalpa left one person dead and at least 40 injured on local press reports.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 May 2018

Development: On 14 May the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by President Daniel Ortega agreed to allow the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to conduct a working visit to Nicaragua to observe the human rights situation in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 May 2018

Development: On 12 May Nicaragua’s military issued a statement condemning the ongoing violence which began last month amid a brutal crackdown by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government led by President Daniel Ortega against anti-government protesters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 May 2018

Development: On 10 May United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, described as “alarming” the murders of two indigenous activists in Guatemala in the last two days.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 May 2018

Development: On 9 May Costa Rica’s new president Carlos Alvarado of the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) began discussing his government’s fiscal reform proposal with the political opposition.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 May 2018

Development: On 8 May Edita Hrda, the European Union’s (EU) Managing Director for the Americas at the European External Action Service (EEAS) tweeted that for “dialogue to succeed, a credible independent investigation should be held into the recent deaths and injuries” which occurred during the recent crackdown by the Nicaraguan government on anti-government protesters.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 May 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- US ends TPS for Honduras
- In brief: Guatemala
Development: On 7 May Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández announced the launch of a “diplomatic offensive” to secure “migration regularisation” for Hondurans in the US currently protected by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) benefit.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 May 2018

Development: On 3 May, President Jimmy Morales named María Consuelo Porras de Argueta as the new head of Guatemala’s attorney general's office (AG) to replace Thelma Aldana whose four-year term ends this month.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 May 2018

Development: On 2 May hundreds of anti-riot police (PNN) officers blocked student protesters from reaching certain parts of Nicaragua’s capital, Managua.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 May 2018

Development: On 1 May, El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral national legislature elected national deputy Norman Quijano of the main right-wing opposition Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) party as its new president.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 1 May 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- DR switches from Taipei to Beijing
- In brief: Belize
Development: On 30 April, the Dominican Republic (DR)’s government led by President Danilo Medina announced it had established diplomatic relations with mainland China and severed ties with Taiwan after 77 years.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 April 2018

Development: On 29 April, Nicaragua’s 92-member unicameral national legislature created a truth commission to investigate the deaths which took place during the recent brutal government crackdown on anti-government protests.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 April 2018

Development: On 26 April, Costa Rica’s president-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada, of the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), announced his new cabinet.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 April 2018

Development: On 25 April thousands took to the streets in Costa Rica’s capital, San José, to protest against a fiscal reform legislative package promoted by the centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government led by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 April 2018

Development: On 24 April, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that it will formally request the consent of the Nicaraguan government to carry out a working visit to the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 April 2018

Development: On 23 April, Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales accused the attorney general’s office (AG) and the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) of carrying out an illegal raid on his presidential palace.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 April 2018

Development: On 22 April, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega announced he was revoking changes to the social security (INSS) system which were made on 16 April.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 April 2018

Development: On 19 April Nicaragua’s presidential spokesperson and First Lady Rosario Murillo confirmed that three people had been killed in Managua department in protests over controversial changes to the social security system (INSS) introduced by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 April 2018

Development: On 18 April Cuba’s national assembly (ANPP) approved the candidacy of Vice President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel as the new president of Cuba to replace Raúl Castro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 April 2018

Development: On 17 April, the Panamanian government led by President Juan Carlos Varela said that it would do all that is necessary to maintain public order.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 April 2018

Development: On 16 April, the special commission tasked with selecting a shortlist of six applicants to head Guatemala's attorney general's office (AG) presented its list.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 April 2018

Development: In a popular referendum held on 15 April, Guatemalans voted overwhelmingly to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague to rule on a territorial dispute with Belize.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 April 2018

Development: On 12 April, Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales called for Guatemalans to vote in a popular referendum on 15 April on whether the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague should rule on Guatemala’s territorial dispute with Belize.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 April 2018

Development: On 11 April Guatemala’s social security secretariat (SBS) announced it will strengthen actions in state-run children’s centres.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 April 2018

Development: On 10 April, Salvador Nasralla, the former presidential candidate for the Alianza de Oposición contra la Dictadura (‘Alianza Opositora’) opposition coalition, announced the withdrawal of his representatives from a technical pre-dialogue table set up to address the post-electoral crisis in Honduras following the November 2017 general election won by Juan Orlando Hernández.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 April 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- More changes in Guatemala’s police
- In brief: Panama
Development: On 9 April, Guatemala’s interior minister Enrique Antonio Degenhart swore-in Carlos Roberto Tohom Escobar, as a new deputy police (PNC) director.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 9 April 2018

Development: On 6 April, El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral national legislature approved a new decree which extends for another six months ‘extraordinary measures’ announced by the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) government led by President Salvador Sánchez Cerén aimed at tackling crime.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 April 2018

Development: On 5 April, the Panamanian government led by President Juan Carlos Varela withdrew its ambassador to Venezuela, Miguel Mejía, and asked the Venezuelan government to do the same with its ambassador to Panama, Jorge Durán Centeno.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 April 2018

Development: On 4 April Nayib Bukele, the popular mayor of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, submitted documentation to the electoral authorities (TSE) to register his political movement ‘Nuevas Ideas’ as a party.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 4 April 2018

Development: On 3 April Honduras's President Juan Orlando Hernández vetoed a bill which was approved on 21 March by the 128-member unicameral legislature which proposed reforms to an asset-seizure bill.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 3 April 2018

Development: On 2 April, Costa Rica’s president-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada, of the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), reiterated his call for national unity.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 March 2018

Development: On 28 March the presidential run-off candidate of Costa Rica's small, conservative Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN), Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, presented the latest version of his manifesto.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 March 2018

Development: On 27 March, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse installed the high command of the recently restored armed forces (FAd’H).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 March 2018

Development: On 26 March, Costa Rica’s electoral authority (TSE) ordered the conservative Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN), the party of presidential run-off candidate Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, to refrain from invoking religious motifs and asking religious leaders for economic support ahead of the 1 April second-round election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 March 2018

Development: On 24 March, Costa Rica's two presidential run-off candidates Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, of the small conservative Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN), and Carlos Alvarado Quesada, of the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), closed their campaigns ahead of the 1 April run-off vote.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 March 2018

Development: On 22 March Costa Rica’s leading national daily La Nación reported that the small conservative Partido Restauración Nacional (RN), the party of presidential run-off candidate Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, had failed to present its reports on campaign financing on time.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 March 2018

Development: On 21 March the US embassy in the Honduras expressed concerns about “recent actions counter to the anti-corruption work in Honduras”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 March 2018

Development: On 20 March Iván Velásquez, the head of the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), called on Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart to provide more information regarding the dismissal of 11 members of the national police (PNC) who had been working with Cicig to uncover corruption.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 March 2018

Development: On 19 March, El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez Cerén made some changes to his cabinet.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 March 2018

Development: On 18 March, the permanent coordinator of the United Nations (UN) in Honduras, Igor Garafulic, said new agreements had been reached at the technical pre-dialogue table set up to address the post-electoral crisis in Honduras following the November 2017 general election won by Juan Orlando Hernández.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 March 2018

Development: On 15 March, the Dominican Republic (DR)’s foreign minister, Miguel Vargas, said that the murder of a DR couple in the border town of Pedernales last month, for which two Haitian nationals have been held responsible, was an “isolated incident”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 March 2018

Development: On 14 March hundreds of employees and former workers at the Escobal silver mine, one of the largest in the world, took to the streets in Guatemala City outside the constitutional court (CC), calling on it to resolve an appeal which is keeping the project suspended.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 March 2018

Development: On 13 March a new congressional credentials committee was sworn-in.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 March 2018

Development: On 12 March, the permanent coordinator of the United Nations (UN) in Honduras, Igor Garafulic, said that there was “will to dialogue” to overcome the continued political crisis stemming from Honduras's 26 November 2017 general election, which produced a contentious victory for President Juan Orlando Hernández.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 March 2018

Development: On 11 March elections took place in Cuba to ratify two official sets of candidates for the 612-seat national assembly and provincial assemblies.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 March 2018

Development: On 8 March, several prominent politicians from Costa Rica’s defeated traditional parties threw their weight behind each of the two candidates competing in the second round of presidential election on 1 April.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 March 2018

Development: On 7 March the Dominican Republic’s (DR) minister of the presidency, Gustavo Montalvo, announced that a 900-strong armed forces contingent has been deployed to the DR’s border with Haiti to reinforce security in the area.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 7 March 2018

Development: On 6 March, El Salvador’s supreme electoral tribunal (TSE) apologised for a “mistake” in tallying the results of the congressional elections held two days earlier.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 6 March 2018

Development: On 5 March, the European Union’s Electoral Observer Mission (EU-EOM) to Honduras released its final report on the contentious 26 November 2017 general election in Honduras.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 March 2018

Development: Preliminary results released by El Salvador’s electoral authorities (TSE) show that the right-wing opposition Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) party scored significant victories in the 4 March election for the 84-member unicameral national legislature and the country’s 262 mayoralties.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 March 2018

Development: On 1 March, the influential private sector lobby Asociación Nacional de la Empresa Privada (ANEP) and think tank Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES) separately urged voters to cast their ballots in the 4 March legislative and municipal elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 March 2018

Development: On 28 February Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo, the former First Lady of Honduras and wife of former president Porfirio Lobo (2010-2014), was arrested, accused of illicit association, embezzlement and money laundering to the tune of over HL16m (US$680,000).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 February 2018

Development: On 27 February, Guatemala’s interior minister, Enrique Antonio Degenhart Asturias, fired the general director of the national police (PNC), Nery Ramos, along with three other senior PNC officials.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 February 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Institutional clash in Panama
- In brief: Guatemala
Development: On 26 February, Panama’s supreme court (CSJ) ordered the president of the opposition controlled 71-member unicameral national legislature, Yanibel Abrego of the opposition Cambio Democrático (CD) party, to suspend a legislative act approved on 21 February which would reconfigure the congressional credentials committee.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 February 2018

Development: On 25 February, El Salvador’s two main political parties, the left-wing ruling Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) and right-wing opposition Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena), closed their campaigns ahead of the 4 March legislative and municipal elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 February 2018

Development: On 22 February, Costa Rica’s supreme court (CSJ) called on the 57-member unicameral legislature to fire a CSJ judge, Celso Gamboa, for alleged corruption.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 February 2018

Development: On 21 February the United Nations (UN)-backed anti-impunity commission in Guatemala (Cicig) and attorney general’s office (AG) questioned a judge’s ruling which revokes an arrest warrant issued for Brigadier General Erick Fernando Melgar Padilla.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 February 2018

Development: On 20 February, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the presidential run-off candidate for the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), said that he would not increase taxes for companies operating in Costa Rica’s free trade zones (FTZ).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 February 2018

From LatinNews Daily - 20 February 2018
- Process under way in Guatemala to pick next AG
- In brief: Dominican Republic
Development: On 19 February, a special committee began considering the applications submitted for the post of Guatemala’s attorney general (AG).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 February 2018

Development: On 16 February Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), named Ana María Calderón, a Peruvian prosecutor, as the interim head of the OAS-sponsored Mission for Support against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 February 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Maccih chief resigns in Honduras
- In brief: Guatemala
From Latin American Weekly Report
- NICARAGUA: Ortega under pressure over corruption
Development: On 15 February, Juan Jiménez Mayor resigned as head of the Organization of American States (OAS)-sponsored Mission for Support against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 February 2018

Development: On 14 February the head of Guatemala’s health ministry (MSPAS), Carlos Soto, said that his ministry had ended an agreement signed with the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), the attorney general’s office (AG), and comptroller general’s office (CGC).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 February 2018

Development: On 13 February, Guatemala’s former president Alvaro Colom (2008-2012) and 10 former ministers in his Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) goverment, including the chairman of NGO Oxfam International, Juan Alberto Fuentes, were arrested over allegations of fraud and embezzlement.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 February 2018

Development: On 12 February, El Salvador’s Justice & Public Security Minister Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde said that, so far, no particular criminal group had been identified as being responsible for a car bomb that went off the previous day in Santa Tecla municipality, La Libertad department.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 February 2018

Development: On 10 February, a Guatemalan appeals court admitted an appeal by the attorney general’s office (AG) and the United Nations (UN)-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) against President Jimmy Morales’s brother, Samuel Everardo Morales, prohibiting him from travelling outside Guatemala department.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 February 2018

Development: On 8 February, the European Union (EU) issued a statement calling on the Honduran authorities to “investigate all acts of violence and deaths” which have taken place during the post-election protests.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 February 2018

Development: On 7 February Nicaragua’s 92-member unicameral national legislature approved a legislative initiative proposed by the ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) party, which significantly reduces the powers of the president of the electoral authority (CSE), Roberto Rivas.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 7 February 2018

Development: On 6 February, the international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that during a visit to the US, Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales was carrying out a campaign against the current head of the United Nations-backed International Commisison against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), Iván Velásquez, as part of efforts to get him expelled from the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 6 February 2018

Development: On 5 February, Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández said that the arrival of an exploratory mission from the United Nations (UN) would provide the basis for a way out to the country's current political crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 5 February 2018

Development: On 4 February Costa Rica’s electoral court (TSE) released the preliminary results from the general election held that same day, which point to a presidential run-off between evangelical pastor Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, of the small conservative opposition Restauración Nacional (RN), and Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the leftist ruling Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 February 2018

Development: On 1 February, the Costa Rican chamber of exporters (Cadexco) urged the public to vote in a “responsible and informed manner” in the 4 February general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 February 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Panama’s CSJ president resigns
- In brief: Nicaragua
Development: On 31 January the president of Panama’s supreme court (CSJ), José Ayú Prado, resigned.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 January 2018

Development: On 30 January, Panama’s 71-member unicameral national legislature rejected President Juan Carlos Varela’s choice of Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak as magistrates for the nine-member supremecourt (CSJ) replacing two whose ten-year terms expire this month.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 January 2018

Development: On 29 January, Guatemala’s constitutional court (CC) accepted an appeal filed by civil-society group Acción Ciudadana (AC), the local branch of international NGO Transparency International (TI), against the recent election of the nine-member congress directorate.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 January 2018

Development: On 27 January, Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández was sworn in as president for another four-year term.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 January 2018

Development: On 25 January, Iván Velásquez, the head of the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), and Attorney General Thelma Aldana revealed a new corruption scandal involving the tax authorities (SAT).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 January 2018

Development: On 24 January the head of the United Nations-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), Iván Velásquez, and Attorney General Thelma Aldana released details of the investigation into the activities of Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht in Guatemala.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 January 2018

Development: On 23 January, the Universidad de Costa Rica’s centre for research and policy studies (Ciep) released its latest survey ahead of the 4 February general election which showed a 14-percentage point rise in the polls since the previous month for Christian evangelical pastor and presidential candidate, Fabricio Alvarado.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 January 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- OAS softens stance on Honduras
- In brief: Guatemala
Development: On 22 January Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), issued a statement expressing his “firm intention to work in the future with the elected authorities of Honduras”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 January 2018

Development: On 21 January, hundreds of people protested in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, outside the congress building as national deputies re-elected Mauricio Oliva of the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) as president of the 128-member unicameral congress.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 January 2018

Development: On 18 January Panama’s economy & finance ministry (MEF) presented a legislative bill before the national assembly which calls for tax fraud to be included in the criminal code.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 January 2018

Development: On 17 January Costa Rica’s association of journalists (Colper) issued a statement strongly condemning remarks made by presidential candidate Juan Diego Castro, of the small opposition Partido Integración Nacional (PIN) party, against leading national daily La Nación.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 January 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- Cabinet reshuffle in Guatemala
- In brief: Panama
Development: On 16 January Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales named Alfonso Alonzo Vargas, René Obregón, and Acisclo Valladares respectively as his new ministers for the environment (Marn), social development (Mides), and economy.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 January 2018

Development: On 15 January, Canada’s Tahoe Resources, which owns the Escobal silver mine in Guatemala through its subsidiary Minera San Rafael (MSR), announced it was laying off 250 employees.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 January 2018

Development: On 14 January, security officials from Guatemala’s military, the national police (PNC), and state security service (SAAS) fired tear gas at demonstrators in the capital, Guatemala City, who were calling for President Jimmy Morales to resign.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 January 2018

Development: On 11 January, Guatemala’s 158-member unicameral legislature approved a motion convening the committee tasked with drawing up a list of candidates to replace the current head of the attorney general's office (AG) Thelma Aldana, whose four-year term ends in May.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 January 2018

Development: On 10 January Rodolfo Piza, the presidential candidate for the opposition Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), presented his manifesto ahead of Costa Rica’s 4 February general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 January 2018

Development: On 9 January, thousands of people took to the streets in an anti-corruption rally staged in the Cinta Costera parkland area in Panama’s capital, Panama City.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 9 January 2018

From LatinNews Daily
- US ends TPS for El Salvador
- In brief: Costa Rica
Development: On 8 January, the US government led by President Donald Trump announced it was terminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador as of 9 September 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 08 January 2018

Development: On 6 January thousands of people took to the streets in San Pedro Sula, Honduras’s second main city and industrial hub, in protest at President Juan Orlando Hernández’s 26 November 2017 re-election victory.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 5 January 2018

Development: On 4 January, the secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, called on all OAS member countries to approve the report by the OAS electoral observer mission sent to monitor Honduras’s 26 November general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 January 2018

Development: On 3 January, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, arrived in Cuba for an official visit.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 January 2018

Development: On 2 January, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela gave an address to welcome delegates to the opening session of the fourth term of the national assembly, in which he asserted that he would not “allow the ghosts of narcopolitics or corruption to return or flood the future of Panama”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 2 January 2018

Development: On 31 December, El Salvador’s national civil police force (PNC) reported that 3,954 murders had taken place in the country in 2017, a 25% reduction on the 5,280 committed in 2016 – the second most violent year since the country’s internal armed conflict (1979-1992) ended.