Security & Strategic Review - February 2023

In December, the US-based press freedom group Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) warned that 2022 was the most violent year for the press in Latin America and Caribbean for the last two decades – a situation which it says is “especially critical” in El Salvador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Guatemala, citing the resurgence of “caudillista [strongman] political regimes”.... Read More
The Colombian NGO Indepaz published its annual report on the power dynamics and geographical spread of Colombia’s internal conflict on 1 January, outlining shifting trends from 2021-2022.... Read More
Worrying trends in food insecurity and malnourishment have only gotten worse in Latin America, according to the latest regional overview of the region by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), published 18 January.... Read More
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso met his US counterpart Joe Biden at the White House on 19 December to discuss deepening the economic and security partnership between the two countries, including strengthening economic integration through the bilateral Trade and Investment Council Agreement and the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Initiative.... Read More
Bolivia’s Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo presented the latest figures on coca leaf cultivation and eradication on 20 December, announcing that, according to field data collected by the interior ministry, the government had exceeded its target for coca eradication for the second year running – achieving a net eradication of 10,260 hectares (ha) of coca leaf in 2022.... Read More
In just the first month of his new government, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has done his utmost to mark a break from the administration and policies of his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023).... Read More
Things are not easy for Chile’s President Gabriel Boric as he approaches the end of his first year in government with record-low approval ratings and struggling to get the support of a hostile congress.... Read More
Chile’s important salmon industry is no stranger to controversy, having often been flagged for excessive use of antibiotics, environmentally damaging practices, and encroaching on the lifestyles of indigenous communities.... Read More
Mexico’s security forces began 2023 in a triumphant manner.... Read More
The issue of electoral reform came to a head at the end of last year.... Read More
A major breakout from a state prison in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua state, on 1 January was due to “a system of corruption”, according to the then-Chihuahua state attorney general (AG) Roberto Fierro Duarte.... Read More
In early January, the interim director general of Costa Rica’s judicial investigation agency (OIJ), Randall Zúñiga, confirmed that a record 656 homicides were registered in the country in 2022.... Read More
In early January the local civil-society group Cristosal flagged up concerns regarding the excessive use of force by security officials in El Salvador’s Soyapango municipality, San Salvador department – a stronghold of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), one of the country’s two main gangs (Barrio 18 being the other).... Read More
A major factor in Haiti’s current multifaceted crisis is the role of the country’s gangs which have exploited the power vacuum left by the July 2021 murder of former president Jovenel Moïse (2017-2021).... Read More
The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) under Prime Minister Gaston Browne won a slim 9-8 victory in the 18 January general election, losing six of its seats in the 17-seat House of Representatives.... Read More
In January the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) announced that the World Bank (WB) had provided US$40m to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project to improve health facilities and laboratory capacities, strengthen public health systems and emergency management, institutional capacity building, project management and coordination, and contingency emergency response.... Read More

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