In Guatemala, Attacks On Activists And Criminalization Of Dissent Drive Migration To US
Attacks on human rights activists in Guatemala are at a 20-year high, with a bloody tide of 15 murders and over 1,000 assaults in 2020 alone, according to watchdog group Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala (Udefegua). Various Guatemalan human rights groups consider this repression a key driver of migration that the U.S. has yet to denounce firmly enough. (Josue Decavele/Getty Images)Now, Guatemalan rights groups say many of the people and organizations trying to improve these conditions are under grave threat. Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman Jordán Rodas. (Edited by Judith Isacoff and Alex Willemyns)The post In Guatemala, Attacks On Activists And Criminalization Of Dissent Drive Migration To US appeared first on Zenger News.thewestsidegazette.com
In Mexico, Harris defends against criticism over border
Vice President Kamala Harris has brushed off questions about her decision not to visit the U.S.-Mexico border as part of her work to address the spike in migration to the U.S. She says it's “legitimate” to be concerned about the situation at the border but a simple visit wouldn't address that.
In Guatemala, Kamala Harris details efforts to stem the tide of migrants to U.S.
Harris, who has been tasked with leading the Biden administration’s ambitious effort to stem the flow of migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, is slated to meet with elected officials and civic leaders in Guatemala and Mexico this week.news.yahoo.com
Harris responds to questions about immigration during joint press conference with Guatemala President
Vice President Kamala Harris responded to a reporter’s question on immigration in the United States during a joint press conference with Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday.news.yahoo.com
Harris targets corruption, immigration on Latin America trip
With Kamala Harris visiting Guatemala and Mexico on her first foreign trip as vice president, the Biden administration is expected to announce new measures to fight smuggling and trafficking, and hopes to announce additional anti-corruption efforts as well on Monday.
'Do not come': Harris seeks 'hope at home' for Guatemalans
Vice President Kamala Harris has offered an optimistic outlook for improved cooperation with Guatemala on addressing the spike in migration to the U.S. But after her meeting with Guatemala's president Monday, Harris also delivered a direct warning to migrants considering making the trek: “Do not come.
Harris targets corruption, immigration on Latin America trip
With Kamala Harris visiting Guatemala and Mexico on her first foreign trip as vice president, the Biden administration is expected to announce new measures to fight smuggling and trafficking, and hopes to announce additional anti-corruption efforts as well on Monday, a senior administration official said. The official, who briefed reporters traveling with Harris on Sunday, spoke on condition of anonymity to preview announcements before they have been made public. Harris has been tasked by President Joe Biden with addressing the root causes of the spike in migration to the U.S.-Mexico border, and her aides say corruption will be a central focus of her meetings with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday and Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday.news.yahoo.com
VP Harris meets with Guatemalan justice leaders before visit
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has met with a group of leading voices on Guatemala’s troubled justice system, sending yet another signal to Central American leaders that the U.S. government is interested in addressing the region’s corruptionwashingtonpost.com
Harris meets virtually with Guatemalan president
Vice President Kamala Harris has told Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei that the U.S. is planning to increase relief to the Northern Triangle region and “strengthen our cooperation” to better manage the steep increase in migration at the U.S. southern border.
Hundreds of migrants set out from Honduras, dreaming of US
(AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)SAN PEDRO SULA – A few hundred Honduran migrants set out for the Guatemalan border before dawn Tuesday in hopes of eventually reaching the United States, but by afternoon they had largely dispersed. There were three checkpoints before the border on the Honduras side where authorities checked documents, especially for those traveling with children. That caravan, which grew to a few thousand migrants, was eventually dissolved by authorities in Guatemalan using tear gas and riot shields. Mexico last week began restricting crossings at its southern border to essential travel and stepped up operations to intercept migrants, especially families, in the south. The Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have accounted for the majority of migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border in recent years.
Guatemala declares emergency measures as new caravan rumored
Migrants disembark on the Mexican side of the border after crossing the Usumacinta River from Guatemala, in Frontera Corozal, Chiapas state, Mexico, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Guatemala issued a similar decree in January to stymie a previous caravan, arguing it represented a public health risk amid the coronavirus pandemic. During the previous attempt in January, Guatemalan police and soldiers launched tear gas and wielded batons and shields to stop a group of about 2,000 Honduran migrants at a roadblock. AdSeveral caravans of mainly Honduran migrants have tried to cross Guatemala and Mexico to reach the U.S. border, though none has succeeded since 2019. U.S. authorities reported more than 100,000 encounters on the southern border in February, the highest since a four-month streak in 2019.
Hondurans await results in primary elections
(AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández’s name keeps popping up in the New York trial of an alleged drug trafficker. And one of the candidates running to replace him in Sunday’s primary elections has been convicted in the same court of laundering money for the same cartel. Polls closed at 5 p.m. and the vote count had begun, but there was no immediate word on when results would be available. Political analyst and three-time former presidential candidate Olban Valladares said the elections are an opportunity for Hondurans to begin to free themselves of failed leaders. But voters will also choose the candidates who will compete for the 128 seats of the National Congress in November, as well as 298 local governments and other positions.
Families begin burying murdered Guatemalan migrants
(AP Photo/Moises Castillo)COMITANCILLO – Families of some of the 16 Guatemalan migrants killed near the Mexico-U.S. border in late January began burying their remains Saturday in the town of Comitancillo, where 11 of the victims were from. The migrants' charred bodies arrived Friday night to the region near Guatemala's border with Mexico after being sent from the other side of Mexico, Reynosa, just across the U.S. border from Texas. “We are seeing his coffin, we will not see his face anymore,” reflected Magdalena Dalila Miranda, the young man's sister. Because the bodies had been burned, it took weeks for positive identifications through DNA samples, but the families in Guatemala had already started mourning. The massacre raised memories of another migrant massacre in Tamaulipas in August 2010, when members of the Zetas cartel killed 72 migrants near the town of San Fernando.
Drug trafficker says he bribed Honduras president
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2020, file photo, Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez arrives for the swearing-in ceremony for Guatemala's new President Alejandro Giammattei at the National Theater in Guatemala City. AdThe accusation came in the third day of testimony in the trial of alleged drug trafficker Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez. U.S. prosecutors have made it clear that allegations against President Hernández would arise during the trial, though he has not been charged. During that trial, the president was accused of accepting more than $1 million from Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Alvarez said that he had never taken money from Rivera Maradiaga, who called the politicians he allegedly bribed “narco-politicians.”Ad“I don’t have anything to hide,” Alvarez wrote.
Mexican president works from isolation after virus test
López Obrador appeared “with resolute spirit, working and looking good,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who is also isolating and awaiting test results, said on Twitter. On Monday, the WHO chief said via Twitter: “I am sorry to hear that you have tested positive for #COVID19, President @lopezobrador— . Stay strong!”At the start of the pandemic López Obrador was criticized for leaning into crowds and giving hugs. López Obrador is known to be stubborn and more often doubles down on a position rather than retreat in the face of criticism. ___Associated Press video journalist Lissette Romero and AP writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and writer Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.
Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala
A Honduran migrant child is helped off a Guatemalan army truck after being returned to El Florido, Guatemala, one of the border points between Guatemala and Honduras, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. A once large caravan of Honduran migrants that pushed its way into Guatemala last week had dissipated by Tuesday in the face of Guatemalan security forces. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)EL FLORIDO – A once large caravan of Honduran migrants that pushed its way into Guatemala last week had dissipated by Tuesday in the face of Guatemalan security forces. They were passed from Guatemalan border agents to their Honduran counterparts and then boarded buses that would take them back to their hometowns. Guatemalan forces effectively dissolved multiple migrant caravans last year.
Guatemala forces stall migrant caravan with tear gas, batons
Honduran migrants clash with Guatemalan soldiers in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Guatemalan authorities estimated that as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants crossed into Guatemala as part of an effort to form a new caravan to reach the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)VADO HONDO – Guatemalan police and soldiers launched tear gas and wielded batons and shields against a group of Honduran migrants that tried to push through their roadblock early Sunday. The roadblock was strategically placed at a chokepoint on the two-lane highway to Chiquimula in an area known as Vado Hondo. The security forces beat them back and deployed tear gas.
Guatemala tries blocking caravan of 9,000 Honduran migrants
Honduran migrants hoping to reach the U.S. border rest on the side of a highway, as soldiers patrol the road in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Guatemalan authorities estimated that as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants crossed into Guatemala as part of an effort to form a new caravan to reach the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan soldiers blocked part of a caravan of as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants Saturday at a point not far from where they entered the country seeking to reach the U.S. border. On Friday night, two groups of more than 3,000 Honduran migrants each pushed their way into Guatemala without registering, part of a larger migrant caravan that had left the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula before dawn. The Honduran migrants are trying to cross Guatemala to reach Mexico, driven by deepening poverty and the hope of a warmer reception if they can reach the United States border.
Migrant caravan on the move in Honduras in uncertain times
Before the large breach, Guatemalan authorities had reported picking up only small groups of Hondurans and returning them to the border. Mainor Garcia, a 19-year-old laborer from San Pedro Sula, carried a purple knapsack as he walked along the highway early Friday. In recent caravans, Guatemalan authorities have stopped small groups of migrants at roadblocks and returned them to Honduras. Other attempted caravans last year were broken up by Guatemalan authorities before they reached Mexico. __Escalon reported from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Honduran migrants trek north toward Guatemalan border
About 200 Honduran migrants resumed walking toward the border with Guatemala early Thursday, a day before a migrant caravan was scheduled to depart the city of San Pedro Sula. That first group set out Wednesday but paused at night before reaching some 75 police officers, dressed in riot gear, who waited along the highway on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula. By Thursday, more migrants arrived at San Pedro Sula's bus terminal. On Thursday, Mexico's National Immigration Institute posted videos showing hundreds of agents and National Guard members drilling on the southern border. The decree noted the threat of migrants entering without required documentation and without following pandemic-related screening at the border.
US motions expand drug claims against Honduras president
(UNTV via AP)NEW YORK – U.S. federal prosecutors have filed motions saying that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández took bribes from drug traffickers and had the country's armed forces protect a cocaine laboratory and shipments to the United States. The documents quote Hernández as saying he wanted to “'shove the drugs right up the noses of the gringos' by flooding the United States with cocaine." The motions filed Friday with the U.S. Southern District of New York do not specifically name the president, referring to him as “CC-4,” or co-conspirator No. During that trial, the president was accused of accepting more than $1 million from Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán — an accusation repeated in the new motions. At this time, CC-4 was pursuing election as the President of Honduras as a member of the Partido Nacional de Honduras (the “National Party”),” the motion said.
Macron is the latest world leader to catch COVID-19
Trump announced in October that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus. DONALD TRUMPPresident Donald Trump announced in October that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus. BORIS JOHNSONThe British prime minister was the first major world leader confirmed to have COVID-19, after facing criticism for downplaying the pandemic. Other top officials in former Soviet states who were infected include Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. 2 man in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, was hospitalized for COVID-19 last month and has recovered.
Protesters torch Guatemala's Congress building amid unrest
Riot police form a cordon as flames shoot out from the Congress building after protesters set a part of the building on fire, in Guatemala City, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Oliver De Ros)GUATEMALA CITY – Hundreds of protesters broke into Guatemala's Congress and burned part of the building Saturday amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and the legislature for approving a controversial budget that cut educational and health spending. About 1,000 protesters were demonstrating outside the Congress building. Discontent had been building over the 2021 budget on social media and clashes erupted during demonstrations on Friday. Both the former president and Baldetti are in jail awaiting trials in various corruption cases.
Guatemala digs through landslide where 100 believed buried
A barefooted woman makes her way around debris brought on by a landslide on a road blocking traffic, in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta, in Purulha, northern Guatemala Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. In a news conference, President Alejandro Giammattei said he believed there were at least 100 dead there in San Cristobal Verapaz, but noted that was still unconfirmed. Her home in La Lima, a San Pedro Sula suburb, is 150 feet from the roiling Chamelecon river and only a short way from the international airport’s runway. It said rescues were happening Friday in San Pedro Sula and La Lima, but the need was great and resources limited. The U.S. State Department said in a statement Friday that four U.S. helicopters from the Soto Cano Air Base near Tegucigalpa had flown to San Pedro Sula to participate in rescue operations.
Weakened Eta drenches Central America; at least 57 dead
A pregnant woman is carried out of an area flooded by water brought by Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)TEGUCIGALPA – The rain-heavy remnants of Hurricane Eta flooded homes from Panama to Guatemala Thursday as the death toll across Central America rose to at least 57, and aid organizations warned the flooding and mudslides were creating a slow-moving humanitarian disaster across the region. Eta had sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and was moving north at 8 mph (13 kph) Thursday. When what’s left of the storm wobbles back into the Caribbean it will regain some strength and become a tropical storm again, forecasts show. “Whatever comes out (of Central America) is going to linger awhile,” said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
Many in migrant caravan bused back to Honduran border
Early Saturday, hundreds of migrants who had entered Guatemala this week without registering were being bused back to their country's border by authorities after running into a large roadblock. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)RIO DULCE – Hundreds of U.S.-bound Honduran migrants who had entered Guatemala this week without registering were being bused back to their country's border Saturday by authorities who met them with a large roadblock. Police said that hours earlier, migrants had boarded buses and army trucks to be taken back to the border. They heard about the caravan that formed earlier this week in San Pedro Sula via WhatsApp and Facebook. I don’t know to whose benefit, but we’re not naive.”The new group was reminiscent of a migrant caravan that formed two years ago shortly before U.S. midterm elections.
Trump joins growing list of virus-infected world leaders
He was moved to intensive care in April after his virus symptoms dramatically worsened a day after he was hospitalized for what were called routine tests. (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP, File)JOHANNESBURG – President Donald Trump has joined a growing group of world leaders who have been infected with the coronavirus. BORIS JOHNSONThe British prime minister was the first major world leader confirmed to have COVID-19, after facing criticism for downplaying the pandemic. Other top officials in former Soviet states who were infected include Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. GAMBIAVice President Isatou Touray tested positive in July along with the ministers of finance, energy and agriculture.
Migrants cross Guatemala despite government threats
A new caravan of about 2,000 migrants set out from neighboring Honduras in hopes of reaching the United States. But further ahead on the highway through northern Guatemala, about 1,000 migrants met a police and army roadblock late Friday that prevented them from advancing. On Thursday, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei vowed to return the migrants to Honduras, citing efforts to contain the pandemic. Hundreds of migrants crossed into Mexico, were allowed to walk for several hours up a rural highway and then detained. Even if the migrants were allowed to cross Mexico without interference, the U.S. has essentially closed its border to legal immigration and entering illegally is as difficult as ever.
Hundreds of Honduran migrants set out for US amid pandemic
Honduran migrants hoping to reach the U.S. entered Guatemala on foot Thursday, testing the newly reopened frontier that had been shut due to the new coronavirus pandemic. Guatemala’s president quickly vowed to detain them and return them to Honduras, saying the migrants represented a threat to the health of Guatemalans amid efforts to contain the pandemic. In one group were four teenagers, all friends and neighbors from San Pedro Sula, from which hundreds of migrants had set out the previous night. Mexico and the United States deported hundreds of migrants back to their home countries to try to empty detention centers. Mexico has typically offered migrants the opportunity to seek asylum there, but many have their minds set on the United States.
Guatemalan president tests positive for new coronavirus
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the new coronavirus arrives at Constitution square for the independence day celebration in Guatemala City, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Friday he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but he told a local radio station he feels well. Up to now, I have body aches, it hurt more yesterday than today, like a bad cold,” the president said. Guatemalans returning to their country and children under 10 would not be subject to the test requirement. The country of 16 million has more than 83,600 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 3,036 deaths.
Guatemalas ex-economy minister charged in money-laundering scheme involving Miami companies
MIAMI Former Guatemala economy minister regularly received backpacks, duffel bags, and briefcases full of dirty money and at least two Miami companies were involved in a $10 million money-laundering scheme, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida. Acisclo Valladares, the 44-year-old son of Guatemalas ambassador to the United Kingdom and a father of four, knew the money came from narcotrafficking and used it to help bribe corrupt politicians in Guatemala, prosecutors said. This case demonstrates the unfortunate links that sometimes exist in Central and South American countries among drug traffickers, business people, and corrupt politicians, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements Homeland Security Investigations in Miami and Customs and Border Protection in Miami also worked in the case which involves asset forfeiture. Now in South Florida, Valladares is facing a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Signs that Guatemala's justice system is under attack
With the departure of the United Nations-backed anti-corruption commission last year that supported a war against some of the countrys most powerful political, business and criminal leaders, Guatemalas pursuers have become the pursued. The U.N.-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala left the country in September, after then-President Jimmy Morales decided not to renew its mandate. Both prosecutors are in the United States, which is also where Guatemalas former Attorney General Thelma Aldana went after leading Guatemala's anti-corruption fight. It is a clear attempt by criminal and corrupt networks to take control of the justice system to obtain impunity and protection for themselves," she said. With the justice system under attack from outside forces and from within, President Alejandro Giammattei has remained on the sidelines even though its his party that controls Congress.
COVID hits dozens of Latin leaders, including presidents
FILE - In this May 25, 2020, file photo, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, wearing a face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic, stands among supporters as he leaves his official residence of Alvorada palace in Brasilia, Brazil. Bolsonaro said Tuesday, July 7, he tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus's severity while deaths mounted rapidly inside the country. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)
COVID hits dozens of Latin leaders, including presidents
Bolsonaro said Tuesday, July 7, he tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus's severity while deaths mounted rapidly inside the country. And in Venezuela, 57-year-old socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said Thursday on Twitter that he, too, had tested positive, at least temporarily sidelining a larger-than-life figure considered the second-most-powerful person in the country. An Associated Press review of official statements from public officials across Latin America found at least 49 confirmed cases of new coronavirus in leaders ranging from presidents to mayors of large cities, along with dozens, likely hundreds, of officials from smaller cities and towns. Many leaders have used their diagnoses to call on the public to heighten precautions like social distancing and mask wearing. They have to be responsible.Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei placed his entire Cabinet and their staff in quarantine Thursday after one of his ministers tested positive.
The Latest: Beijing shuts main food market after 7 new cases
(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING Beijing closed the citys largest wholesale food market Saturday after the discovery of seven coronavirus cases in the previous two days. In the battle against COVID-19, public health workers spread across states, cities and small towns make up an invisible army on the front lines. ___Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak___HERES WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:SEOUL, South Korea South Korea has reported 49 new coronavirus cases. ___SAN DIEGO A top U.S. Border Patrol official says coronavirus cases are on the rise in certain pockets of the agency. AP reported Thursday that border states Arizona and Texas have seen a recent rise in coronavirus cases.
Guatemala president fumes over 119 infected deportees from US
GUATEMALA CITY Guatemala's president questioned his country's relationship with the United States, revealing frustration over the U.S. continuing to send deportees infected with COVID-19 to a country struggling to manage the crisis. This of allies with the United States isn't true, President Alejandro Giammattei said Thursday. Guatemala is an ally of the United States, but the United States is not Guatemala's ally. Guatemala has confirmed 119 deportees arrived with COVID-19 from the United States. Giammattei said the infected deportees were creating serious problems in his country's already overloaded health system.
More Guatemalan deportees from US test positive for virus
(AP Photo/Moises Castillo)GUATEMALA CITY Three Guatemalans deported from the United States this week tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival in their country, Guatemala's Foreign Ministry said Friday. More than 100 Guatemalan deportees have tested positive after arriving from the U.S. Guatemala suspended flights several times, including after that case, to pressure the U.S. government to better screen deportees. The country's health officials have complained that the deportees represent a significant portion of Guatemala's infections. The U.S. had started testing deportees for the virus before their flights, but another deportee tested positive this month even after the U.S. certified he had tested negative before leaving.
Infections soar as Mexico moves toward restarting economy
Customers walk through a partially-open public market in the Xochimilco district of Mexico City, Friday, May 15, 2020. As Mexico moves toward a gradual reactivation of its economy Monday, the number of new coronavirus infections grows higher every day, raising fears of a new wave of infections that other countries have seen after loosening restrictions. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)MEXICO CITY As Mexico moves toward a gradual reactivation of its economy Monday, the number of new coronavirus infections grows higher every day, raising fears of a new wave of infections that other countries have seen after loosening restrictions. Mexico has seen a total of 4,767 deaths so far. This is the most difficult moment.Health officials have said the real number of infections is far higher.