Thursday, April 4, 2013

Costa Rica Takes on Human Trafficking; Venezuela Enters Post-Chávez Era; Mexico Economy Sluggish in Near Term

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for April 3-5

Costa Rica's Campaign Against Organized Crime Includes Crackdown on Human Trafficking
 In its effort to counter organized crime, and as a Central American nation that is at the same time a destination, passing-through route, and source for trafficking in people, Costa Rica is striving to curb this illegal activity on which it has focused particular attention. In one of its most recent moves, Costa Rica put into force tough legislation, reforming the country’s penal code and setting prison terms ranging from three to 23 years for those directly or indirectly responsible for the crime and related activities. The Ley Contra la Trata de Personas y Creación de la Coalición Nacional was passed last Oct. 8 by the unicameral Asamblea Legislativa (AL), signed Dec. 3 by Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla, and put into force last month, after it was published in the Diario Oficial La Gaceta on Feb. 8. George Rodríguez  Read More
Slow U.S. Recovery Could Limit Growth in Mexico’s Economy in Short Term, but Reforms Could Boost Long-Term Prospects
When President Enrique Peña Nieto’s took office, he immediately entered into an agreement with the opposition parties in Congress to promote deep reforms that would set the foundation for long-term economic growth . But Mexico's economic prospects for the short term are more uncertain because of the sluggish US economy, which has resulted in reduced exports north of the border. Additionally, remittances have fallen for eight consecutive months, and a recovery is not expected in the near term. Carlos Navarro  Read More

Venezuela Enters Post-Chávez Era
President Hugo Chávez, the American statesman with the greatest political impact in the last quarter century, died on March 5 in Venezuela. "Controversial, loved and hated, eclectic," wrote Uruguayan political analyst and Sen. Constanza Moreira. His death opened the door to a new electoral process that could lead to the definitive consolidation of the Revolución Bolivariana or to its demise. In compliance with the Constitution, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) set April 14 as the date to choose the next president. Andrés Gaudín  Read More
The Day Elena Caba Ilom Met Guatemalan Dictator Efraín Ríos Montt
The trial against Guatemala's former president, retired Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, for genocide against the Ixil people, began on March 19. Ríos Montt developed Plan Victoria 82 and Plan Sofía in 1982 to target and eliminate communities considered "subversive," including several villages in the Guatemalan highlands. At a hearing on March 25, Elena Caba Ilom, an Ixil woman who was a victim of the attacks when she was only 8, narrated what occurred on April 3, 1982, when, according to the Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH), Guatemala’s truth and reconciliation commission, the Army massacred 90 defenseless civilians in the village of Chel. Louisa Reynolds Read More

Mexican Court Ruling Complicates ex-President Ernesto Zedillo’s Case in U.S. Court
The question of whether ex-President Ernesto Zedillo (1994-200) can claim immunity from prosecution for his alleged complicity in a massacre in Chiapas in 1997 just became murkier. A ruling by an appeals court in Mexico City in March has cast some doubt on whether the ex-president, who is on the faculty of Yale University in Connecticut, can claim immunity in a US lawsuit filed by 10 individuals who claim to be survivors of the massacre in the community of Acteal in Chiapas during Zedillo's presidency.   Carlos Navarro  Read More

New Four-Country Latin American Body Unites Pro-U.S. Allies
Within a region that has developed an integration process in recent years leading to the creation of several economic and political bodies--from the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR) to the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC)--four countries sharing both a common ideology and a Pacific coastline (Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile) have formed a new organization. The Alianza del Pacífico (AL) was first proposed in early 2011 by then President Alan García of Peru. The union was formalized in June 2012 and began to operate late last year. Andrés Gaudín  Read More

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