- The Government Accountability Office has just released a new report about U.S. anti-drug cooperation with countries in the “transit zone” of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It contends that “U.S. government assistance has improved international counternarcotics cooperation with the eight major drug transit countries GAO reviewed, except Venezuela.”
- JosÃ© Obdulio Gaviria, President Ãlvaro Uribe’s super-conservative “super-advisor,” paid a stealth visit to Washington late last month. Cambio magazine ran a cover story on Thursday about this controversial official and the rather remarkable statements he made at a two-hour public appearance before 30 invited guests at the National Press Club. (”Colombia has no armed conflict,” “Colombia has no paramilitaries,” “Colombia has no displacement,” etc.)
- President Uribe has agreed to postpone for six months the extradition of paramilitary leader “H.H.,” who was offering significant amounts of information to investigators about past human rights abuses.
- A press release from Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry criticizes Georgia’s “military offensive” against South Ossetia, supports Russia’s deployment of “peace forces” to Georgia, and criticizes the United States for “planning, preparing and ordering” the Georgian action.
- From Mexico to Argentina, we’ve noticed a significant increase in regional news coverage of crime and threats to citizen security.
- Numerous post-mortems of Sunday’s recall referendum in Bolivia, which ended up strengthening the positions of both President Evo Morales and most opposition governors, can be found here.
- El Salvador’s military sent its eleventh contingent of troops to Iraq since the war began. The 200-man Salvadoran presence in Al Kut is the only Latin American military contribution to the U.S.-led “coalition.”