Evo Morales was re-elected yesterday. (Photo source unknown, it came in our email.)
- Recent articles in Time, the Wall Street Journal, and Reuters discuss Latin American disenchantment with the Obama administration following its handling of the coup in Honduras.
- Citing poll data gathered in July and September, however, Gallup finds Latin Americans’ approval of U.S. leadership hitting a median of 51%, way up from 35% in 2008.
- Evo Morales was overwhelmingly re-elected to another term on Sunday. The best overview we’ve seen is the 3-part series and wrap-up on the Democracy Center’s “Blog from Bolivia.”
- The Government Accountability Office, the independent auditing arm of the U.S. Congress, issued a report [PDF] last week documenting very slow delivery of U.S. aid to Mexico under the “MÃ©rida Initiative.” As the “Just the Facts” blog points out, the report bears some resemblance to a 2003 GAO report [PDF] documenting slow delivery of U.S. aid to Colombia under “Plan Colombia.”
- The Fellowship of Reconciliation shares [PDF], and analyzes, the latest list of Colombian military and police units vetted and cleared to receive U.S. assistance.
- Those involved in efforts to facilitate the next FARC unilateral hostage release in Colombia – which is to include Corporal Pablo Emilio Moncayo, whose father is a leading advocate of negotiations – say that they have entered the “logistical” phase. A good sign.
- Two excellent discussions of Colombia’s agrarian “counter-reform,” and the central role of narcotrafficking and forced displacement, appear on the websites of Semana magazine and the CINEP think-tank.
- Semana profiles the Colombian Army’s inspector-general, whose work on the “false positives” scandal is revealing strong divisions in the armed forces on the issue of human rights.
- Colombia’s Supreme Court handed a 40-year jail term to one of the most prominent “para-politicians,” former Sucre governor and ambassador to Chile Salvador Arana. He was found guilty of helping form paramilitary groups and conspiring to murder the mayor of the town of El Roble, Eudaldo DÃaz (the subject of a recent edition of the ContravÃa television program).
- Sucre is one of several places where El Tiempo found that the relatives of convicted “para-politicians” are running to fill their loved ones’ former positions in the 2010 congressional elections.
- Captured paramilitary leader and narcotrafficker “Don Mario” testified last week that Vicente CastaÃ±o, one of the most powerful paramilitary leaders long believed to be a fugitive, committed suicide in March 2007.
- Citing multiple sources, Colombia’s INDEPAZ think-tank publishes a list [PDF] of 278 municipalities (counties, of which Colombia has about 1,100) that registered a presence of “new” or “emerging” paramilitary groups in 2009.
- Hard-right Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady is the latest conservative U.S. voice calling on Colombian President Ãlvaro Uribe not to run for another term in 2010.
- As Hugo ChÃ¡vez moves drastically to cut off trade with Colombia, Venezuela in October ceased to be Colombia’s number-two trading partner (after the United States). China now occupies Colombia’s number-two position.