Security

Taking a Look at Colombia's Peace Deal Post Plebiscite

boz (James Bosworth, Southern Pulse CEO): Hi everyone

boz: On 2 October, a plebiscite on the Colombian government's peace process with the FARC failed by a very narrow margin. The government and FARC had already signed the agreement and the FARC were moving towards demobilization. The past three weeks since the referendum have been a flurry of activity as the government has worked to rescue the peace agreement and the “no” side lead by former President Uribe has tried to figure out how to manage their stunning upset victory.

We’re going to chat for the next half hour or so about the peace process after the no vote and what it means for Colombia’s future. Let me start with the first obvious question: Will Santos be able to save the peace process?

Networked Notes - 19 October 2016

Eduardo's Cunha's preventive arrest represents a potential problem for the Temer Government and the Brazilian political system as a whole. In the past week, plea deals involving Temer's close confidants and cabinet members --Eliseu Padilha, Moreira Franco and Romero Jucá-- for receiving bribes from Odebretch were leaked. Cunha's arrest puts additional pressure on these key government members, who Cunha now views as political enemies responsible for his downfall. 

Rio de Janeiro Overview - July 2016

Rio's security situation took a turn for the worse this year as the state government’s funding ran out. However, the situation improved visibly in July, as federal forces began to enter the city and state coffers got an infusion of federal funds. The money temporarily saved the state government, which used it to pay police salaries. From Marines to Federal Highway Police, patrols and reconnaissance began around 15 July 2016. Additionally, the Military Police and organized criminal groups arrived at an unspoken agreement to stop violence in return for allowing drugs sales to go unmolested by law enforcement. As it is, the city will never be as safe as it will be in the next month and a half during the Olympic Games. The city and country will likely surprise observers with how well they pull off the high profile event.

Teacher Protests in Mexico

Shortly after his inauguration in 2012, President Enrique Peña Nieto presented a packet of education reforms, which was later approved by both houses of Congress and deemed constitutional in 2013. However, the government has faced growing resistance to the implementation of the education reforms, especially in areas where teacher unions are particularly strong, like Oaxaca.

Networked Notes - 28 June 2016

A slew of over-reaching analyses have been written about the impact of Brexit on Latin America specifically and on emerging markets in general. While the UK’s decision to leave the EU certainly impacts the region in a limited fashion, Latin American governments have taken note of the media attention and are prepared to make Brexit a great scapegoat for their ongoing economic problems for at least the next quarter. Mexico announced pre-planned budget cuts, including some controversial cuts in education, the day the UK voted to leave. Argentine officials are happy Brexit artificially weakened the peso. At least one official in Venezuela made the ridiculous suggestion that Brexit was part of the economic plot against the Maduro government. Expect to see additional Latin American governments in the coming weeks point their fingers at the UK and Europe.

Networked Notes - 31 May 2016

Outside of a very small group of governments including El Salvador, nearly the entire hemisphere has decided to ignore Brazil’s change of government, some eagerly and others reluctantly, the administration of Michel Temer in Brazil. While certain media, including Venezuelan-backed Telesur, have tried to portray the Temer administration as a U.S. plot, in reality, most of the hemisphere is de-facto accepting the interim president.

Networked Notes - 20 April 2016

With 367 votes in favor, the margin of the vote in Brazil’s lower house was well above the 342 votes needed to impeach President Dilma Rousseff and move the issue to the Senate. That total was padded by a number of defections by former allies of President Rousseff and former President Lula including four former cabinet ministers from Rousseff’s government. The PT has a long memory and the party is likely to throw resources at defeating at the people they view as traitors in the future.

February 2016 in Argentina

President Mauricio Macri is pushing forward with his agenda to change several government policies, especially with respect to economy. The Macri administration has been working closely with Mediator Daniel Pollack to resolve the holdout hedge funds problem and regain access to global financial markets. In February 2016, Argentina presented, for the first time, a formal offer to the “vulture funds” of US$6.5 billion -- the original amount claimed in 2010 when the dispute began, but 25 percent less than the US$9 billion ordered by New York Judge Thomas Griesa. 

Honduran President Assures Authorities Will Go After Extortionists’ Assets - But Will It Work?

As 2015 came to a close, La Prensa reported Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández’s praise of the country’s security achievements, especially the 20 point reduction in Honduras’s homicide rate in two years. Hernández also announced the implementation of a new security strategy in January 2016; assets seizures for extortion ring leaders. Tiempo detailed the Fuerza Nacional Antiextorsión (FNA), the Fuerza de Seguridad Institucional Nacional (Fusina), and a newly created cadre of anti-extortion judges with national jurisdiction will work closely to implement this new strategy. Hernández cited the impact of assets seizures on drug traffickers, money launderers, and in relation to corruption as the primary reason for implementing the same strategy against extortionists. According to La Tribuna, the President also called on the public to report extortion more frequently.