Security & Strategic Review - January 2024

There were initial fears that an historic dispute between Venezuela and Guyana could escalate into military conflict following a 3 December Venezuelan referendum in which voters expressed support for the annexation of the oil-rich Essequibo region, which is claimed by Venezuela but lies within Guyana’s internationally recognised borders.... Read More
President Gustavo Petro’s flagship ‘total peace’ initiative has progressed in fits and starts since he took office in August 2022 and has been the subject of mounting criticism in the Colombian media.... Read More
Peru’s President Dina Boluarte signed an executive decree on 14 November which expedited the process for the deportation of illegal migrants.... Read More
In September 2022, Chileans rejected a draft for a new constitution, which was considered too left-wing.... Read More
Anti-gang units from Paraguayan and Brazilian security forces have been investigating an arms trafficking ring, raiding properties and arresting individuals in both countries on 5 December.... Read More
On 6 December Brazil’s lower house approved legislation which further criminalises gender violence.... Read More
In mid-November Uruguay’s main trade union organisation Plenario Intersindical de Trabajadores-Convención Nacional de Trabajadores (PIT-CNT) staged anti-government protests over the issue of corruption.... Read More
Mexico’s security forces have a habit of capturing high-profile drug traffickers several days before or after meetings between Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his US counterpart Joe Biden.... Read More
The avocado industry in Mexico’s western states of Michoacán and Jalisco is driving deforestation, as well as becoming increasingly linked to organised crime.... Read More
Local and international press freedom organisations raised alarm bells in Mexico following the shooting of five journalists in two separate incidents in Michoacán and Guerrero states on 28 November.... Read More
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has dismissed the results of an international report on education standards released on 5 December that revealed a backsliding in the performance of Mexican high schools.... Read More
Costa Rica finished 2023 with an unprecedented 907 homicides, up from 654 in 2022 – itself a record year.... Read More
In early January Honduras’s security minister, Gustavo Sánchez, boasted that there were 631 fewer homicides in 2023 compared with 2022, to total 3,030.... Read More
Environmental organisations in Panama and beyond have claimed a major victory after Panama’s supreme court (CSJ) struck down legislation in late November authorising a new contract between Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals (FQM)’s Panamanian subsidiary, Minera Panamá S.A.... Read More
Amid uncertainty as to whether Bernardo Arévalo, who convincingly won the 20 August presidential run-off election on an anti-corruption pledge, would assume office on 14 January (for more discussion of this see our sister Weekly Report), late last year Guatemala’s legislature acted on a constitutional court (CC) order to pick the new supreme court (CSJ) by mid-December.... Read More
After much prevarication over many months from the international community on how to respond to the multifaceted security and political crisis in Haiti, in October the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) did vote to send a Kenya-led international security support mission to the highly distressed country.... Read More
*** SOME PROGRESS AT COP28.... Read More

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