Latin America News Round Up – July 10, 2017

Leopoldo López, Venezuelan Political Prisoner, Is Released to House Arrest

Leopoldo López, Venezuela’s most prominent political prisoner, was released from a military prison on Saturday morning and transferred to house arrest in a surprise move that could invigorate the protest movement against President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Political allies and one of Mr. López’s lawyers described the release as a sign that the government was starting to buckle in the face of months of public demonstrations and growing diplomatic isolation.” …read more

We have been following Venezuela as the country marks its 100th straight day of protests amid a tumultuous political and economic period. Check out these articles for more information on the current situation in Venezuela:

July 10 – Things are so bad in Venezuela that people are rationing toothpaste

July 5 – Maduro Supporters Storm Venezuela’s Congress and Attack Opposition Lawmakers

June 30 – Venezuela’s ex-national guard chief charged as street clashes continue

VIDEO – Venezuela crisis crosses into Colombia


Colombia’s future involves fewer terrorists and more ecotourists

July 6 – “THE dirt road that links the small town of Vista Hermosa in the department of Meta, in south-eastern Colombia, to the village of Santo Domingo is a slow and bone-breaking drive. But its tedium is relieved by magical bird life. Hoatzins, a kind of tropical pheasant, flap noisily between copses; kingfishers flash like jewels above the streams that gurgle down from the Sierra de la Macarena, an imposing outcrop of the Andes. Hawks hover above while parrots flit noisily by.” …read more


Spyware Sold to Mexican Government Targeted International Officials

July 10 – “A team of international investigators brought to Mexico to unravel one of the nation’s gravest human rights atrocities was targeted with sophisticated surveillance technology sold to the Mexican government to spy on criminals and terrorists. The spying took place during what the investigators call a broad campaign of harassment and interference that prevented them from solving the haunting case of 43 students who disappeared after clashing with the police nearly three years ago.” …read more


Brazilian authorities disbanding team that investigates mass corruption scandal

July 7 – “Brazil’s federal police have announced that they are shutting down the task force behind Operation Car Wash, a behemoth corruption probe that has sent dozens of top politicians and business executives to jail. The task force, which has been operating as an independent unit, will be absorbed into a larger anti-corruption division. Federal police shrugged off the move as bureaucratic reshuffling, but critics labeled the decision an attempt to undermine an investigation that is redefining Brazil’s political landscape.” …read more


El Salvador fire at finance ministry leaves at least one dead

July 8 – “A fire has destroyed one of the buildings of El Salvador’s Finance Ministry, killing at least one person. The fire began on Friday afternoon on one of the lower storeys and spread to higher floors, where a number of people were trapped for nearly two hours. Firefighters eventually controlled the blaze in the building. Some 25 people have been taken to hospitals in the capital, San Salvador, to be treated for smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Some are seriously hurt.” …read more


South America’s Turn to Deadlock

June 27 – “Scholars of Latin America spent much of the first decade of this century discussing the causes and consequences of the region’s turn to the left […] It was therefore perhaps not surprising that as the left began to lose power in the second decade of this century, journalists and academics began to talk of the region’s tilt to the right. But looking across South America’s political landscape, it becomes apparent that the region hasn’t really turned toward right-leaning politics as much as it has chosen deadlock.” …read more


In Cuba, Growing Numbers Of Bloggers Manage To Operate In A Vulnerable Gray Area

July 2 – “In recent years, a growing number of news and political websites have popped up in Cuba. Some are taking advantage of what they say has been a small but vibrant opening afforded them since former President Obama reestablished U.S. relations with Cuba. But others worry that President Trump’s harder line toward the Communist Castro government could have a chilling effect on the independent media movement afoot.” …read more