- Write a critique of U.S. policy toward the Americas in less than 1,000 words? No problem. See my essay “Good ‘Politics,’ Bad Policy” on the website of FOCAL, the Canadian Foundation for the Americas.
- The International Crisis Group has capped a months-long research effort with an excellent two-part report on anti-drug policy in Latin America. Highly, strongly, emphatically recommended.
- Were Gen. Leonardo Gallego, head of the MedellÃn police at the time, and Gen. Mario Montoya, who is now head of Colombia’s Army, involved in a 2003 episode in which five non-combatants were killed and presented as dead guerrillas? A February article in the Colombian magazine Cambio, which we missed when it was first published, indicates that Gallego and Montoya may have had something to do with the case.
- 14 U.S. Senators wrote a letter (PDF) to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the end of February expressing concern about the increase in these “extrajudicial executions” committed by the Colombian armed forces.
- Civilians have been killed and wounded in the crossfire in fierce combat between guerrillas and the Colombian army in the largely indigenous municipality of ToribÃo, in the southwestern Colombian department of Cauca. Indigenous leaders cited in El Tiempo charge the Colombian Army with indiscriminate use of bombs. In a press release, the army’s Third Brigade blamed the FARC.
- A new Facebook group seeks to recruit 1,000 people to march to a remote FARC encampment in June to demand the release of guerrilla hostages.
- We’ve posted videos of Southern Command’s annual testimony to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to Google Video (the videos are too long for YouTube).
- Miami Herald columnist AndrÃ©s Oppenheimer bemoans the near-total absence of Latin America coverage in the U.S. media. He interviews the authors of a recent study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism:
“Latin America was not measured as a separate category, but it is safe to assume that it accounted for less than the 0.5 percent devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The study’s authors told me that even some of the most dramatic events in Latin America got very little coverage in the mainstream U.S. media.”