Friday, November 18, 2005

Mesoamerica: Central America News and Analysis

I found this great monthly magazine call Mesoamerica. It's about ten solid, packed black and white pages, with no advertising. Their website really doesn't do their printed magazine justice. So I will just go ahead and give a quick synopsis of their news:

  1. Tropical storms devastated Central America. 2,500 people have died. Mexico has hundreds and thousands of people displaced. 130,000 Guatemalans have lost their homes, and tragically the town of Panabaj was completely buried and declared a mass cemetery. They are tired and don't know where to dig anymore. 53,000 El Salvadorians have lost their homes and the Santa Ana volcano erupted poisoning water supplies and damaging public infrastructures. Honduras has 2,800 evacuees. Nicaragua has 3,000 evacuees. Costa Rica has 283 communities, 70 bridges, and 219 roads affected.
  2. Guatemala has some serious prison gang issues. The nation's prisons are bloated by a slow system where only 60% of the inmates have been sentenced for a crime. El Salvador prisoners have started a hunger strike to protest overcrowding, lack of medical and HIV assistance, and visitation rights among other things.
  3. The Kaibiles where captured in Mexico with Guatemalan military arms. They were traveling north to help out the Zetas, a group of Mexican Army deserters turned mercenaries for the Gulf Drug cartel. If you do coke or heroin, these are your delivery men. The Zetas have been accused of murdering rival drug traffickers, prosecutors, policemen, and journalists.
  4. A new Mayan city has been discovered in the northern zone of Guatemala. Amazing that they are still finding cities!
  5. 105 Chilean mercenaries joined 129 Honduran counterparts in Honduras for military training for Iraq duties. Turns out Honduras doesn't allow nonnationals to train in their country for duty in another country. Some of these mercenaries have rap sheets in their home country, but they can get between $900-$1500/month for work in Iraq. The soldiers were eventually shipped to Iraq early since Chile wouldn't take their countrymen back. The pictures in a different paper where men aiming broom sticks, because they didn't have enough guns. Why are we teaching these people to use guns, weapons of mass destruction? Right...
  6. In Nicaragua the judiciary branch and the legislators joined forces to oust the president, threatening to place Nica under a two-headed dictatorship of un-elected party bosses. The Nica ambassador to the US: "the threat to democracy is coming from an unholy alliance of legislature and a judiciary trying to overthrow a freely and democratically elected president." The U.S Sec. of State, at the request of Nica government ministers, has threatened to deny $4billion in debt relief and the exclusion of Nica from CAFTA (link scroll down). The 'unholy alliance' took an about face, deterred decision until Jan. and a new legislature is voted in, and stated that the "Yankee government" does not frighten anyone in the world much less Nicaragua. Yeah right...unfortunately.

The next magazine review will cover "The US Government and the Tactics of Deception and Disinformation in Latin America."

All of this is from the Mesoamerica news magazine, October 2005, which is unavailable on the web.

No comments: