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Captured soldiers’ release puts Colombia peace process on stronger footing

On 25 November Colombia’s defence ministry confirmed that the two army privates recently captured by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrillas had been released and delivered to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Rocky second anniversary for Colombian peace process

Just one week after returning home from a five-day trip to Europe to raise funds to finance post-conflict projects in Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos suspended the peace process with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc). He announced his decision to break off talks with the Farc on 16 November, almost two years to the day after they began. He accused the Farc of crossing the line by taking hostage an army general, Rubén Darío Alzate, and two others, and said there would be no resumption of talks until they were released. After three days of uncertainty the Farc revealed that it would free the three and Santos promised to renew the talks as soon as it did so.

Peña Nieto at the two-year mark

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto will mark two years in office this December – that’s one third of his six-year term. The president’s most significant economic achievement so far has been to secure congressional support for 11 major structural reforms. While it will take a few years for the results to feed through, international markets have been deeply impressed with the scale of the economic changes. Unlike other big Latin American economies, Mexico is now on its way to recovery. But these gains may be at risk because of the government’s poor record on security.

Killings & mass abductions in Guerrero reveal web of organised crime influence

The abduction and suspected massacre of 43 students on 26 September in Iguala, Guerrero, in which the local authorities and municipal police were implicated, in collusion with the criminal gang Guerreros Unidos, has triggered a wave of protests — some violent — across much of Mexico. Outrage at the event has been aggravated by the perceived slow response of the federal government and the revelation of the extent of the influence that criminal organisations have over much of the state.

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