News from Latin America

Colombia 9-24-2021 police officer is charged with murder

Five months ago, violent protests racked Colombia. In the aftermath of a recebt clash between protesters and police, Santiago Murillo, 19, was shoot and killed. It is alleged that he was shot as he walked home. He was alone and not engaged in any violent activity. Authorities charged Major Jorge Molano with murder in the death of Murillo. It is unclear what led up to the shooting. The facts do not suggest that the victim was engage in any protest activity. Consequently, there does not appear to be any legal justification for the shooting. International human rights groups are calling for a thorough and independent inquiry into Colombia’s response to the protests.

Haiti 9-23-2021 U.S. envoy resigns in protest

Ambassador Daniel Foote was the special envoy to Haiti. He had a reputation for handling complex diplomatic situations. In protest over the treatment of Haitians at the U.S.’ southern border, Ambassador Foote quit his position. He tendered a detail letter of resignation. He believed that the U.S.’ treatment of Haitian migrants was deplorable. He said that he would not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti.” The Haitians are arriving from Spanish speaking countries and not Haiti proper. It is believed that 1,400 Haitians have been return to Haiti. Another 3,200 migrants have been removed the pop camp in Texas to be processed at other locations in Texas. The U.S. is trying to empty out the encampment. The State Department said the resignation was unfortunate and defended President Biden’s actions and policy concerning the Haitian migrants..

Mexico – US 9-21-2021 border agents on horseback seen by millions on social media

Illegal immigration at the US’ southern border has caused political distress for President Biden. Migrants from Central American countries have been streaming across the border for months. Litigation in US courts has sought to deal with the problem. The conflicting legal decisions have prevented the establishments of a coherent immigration policy. Many politicians argue that new legislation is needed to deal with the growing problem. Now Haitian are crossing into the country in records numbers. More than 15000 Haitians are camped in squalid conditions under an overpass-bridge that connects Del Rio to Mexico’s Cuidad Acuna. The Haitians are supposedly seeking a better life in the US. Borders agents on horseback tried to push back Haitians trying to wade on to US soil. The US plans to investigate the alleged abuse.

Cuba 9-18-2021 has its Covid drug approved by Vietnam

Poorer nations are struggling with obtaining Covid vaccines doses for its citizens. The makers of the vaccines are companies who want to get paid for its product. They are under no legal obligation to provide the vaccine at a discount. The UN established an organization to obtain vaccine doses from richer nations for distribution to poorer nations. Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced that Cuba’s Abdala Covid vaccine has been approved for distribution in the country. The Southeast Asian nation is battling a severe outbreak of the Delta variant. Only 6.3 % of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated. There has been 667,650 cases of infection and 16,637 deaths from Covid-19. According to officials in both countries, Cuba will supply Vietnam large quantities of the vaccine. Later this year it will transfer production technology so that the vaccine can be locally produced. Administration of the Cuban vaccine requires three shots. It is believed to be 92.28% effective.

Argentina 9-17-2021 President Fernandez shuffles his cabinet

The pandemic has stressed the country’s economy to the breaking point. Argentines have seen a substantial reduction in their standard of living. As always politics in the country remains complicated. Allegiances have swayed and broken under the stress of the economic hardships. The country is facing a crisis with moderates and populists advocating dramatically different policies. President Fernandez administration fell into crisis during the week. High-ranking government officials from both camps, populists, and moderates, publicly feuded with each other. The infighting led to a substantial reshuffling of the President’s cabinet.  powerful Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had lashed out at what she said were errors made by the government, sharpening tensions between the moderate faction around President Fernandez and the former president’s own supporters.