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Migration News Brief 7.24.2020

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Source:LAWG Intern/Box

A compilation of recent top articles and reports related to issues of U.S. immigration and enforcement policy and migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish). Please feel free to send us recommendations or requests for upcoming news briefs:lalvarez@lawg.org.

Spotlight 

Voces: U.S. and Central American advocates denounce deportations, ACAs, and human rights violations during the pandemic
Ian Tisdale, Latin America Working Group, July 23, 2020
“The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, (NISGUA) in collaboration with LAWG, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and several other United States and Central American based organizations recently held a webinar with advocates from the U.S., Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras denouncing the continuation of these policies during the pandemic.”

Graphic: Unsafe Third Country Agreements
Lauri Alvarez, Latin America Working Group, July 22, 2020

COVID-19

General

PAHO calls on countries to intensify efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19 among indigenous people in the Americas 
Pan American Health Organization, July 20, 2020
“To interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 in indigenous communities, PAHO recommends that inidgenous leaders participate in actions to detect cases early, obtain laboratory confirmation, isolate positive cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts.”

As COVID-19 Ravages Latin America, Demands for Debt Relief Resurface
Laurence Blair, World Politics Review, July 20, 2020
“As the coronavirus pandemic takes a terrible toll across Latin America, with over 3.5 million cases and nearly 150,000 deaths, the region is increasingly facing a financial and humanitarian emergency. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, GDP is forecast to contract by 9.3 percent in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund—the region’s largest economic contraction on record, and far worse than the outlook for African and Asian economies. The United Nations expects the value of South America’s exports to fall by nearly a fifth this year due to shrinking international demand and weaker commodity prices”

Pandemic tensions revive protests in Latin America
Lucía Lacurcia, The Tico Times, July 19, 2020
“The pandemic has caused 3.7 million infections and close to 160,000 deaths in Latin America so far, and without the imminent prospect of the curve flattening, patience is wearing thin for some sectors, who have mostly obeyed the guidelines of the authorities. A call for a “cacerolazo” — banging pots and pans, or otherwise making noise as protest  in Chile on Tuesday night degenerated into hotbeds of violence.”

United States

“I want to continue living”: Some in ICE custody feel particularly vulnerable to the spreading coronavirus
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, July 19, 2020
“Since late March, coronavirus cases among ICE detainees have steadily grown. More than 3,500 immigrants have tested positive for the virus while in the agency’s custody so far. Nearly 1,000immigrants who tested positive remain detained and are under isolation or monitoring. At least 220 immigrants have also tested positive after ICE deported them to their home countries. Some immigrants have been hospitalized, but the agency has not publicly said how many.”

How the Coronavirus spread through one immigration facility
Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2020
“The origins of the outbreak are uncertain, but accounts of workers and detainees reveal shortcomings in how the private company that manages the center handled the disease: There was an early absence of facial coverings and a lack of cleaning supplies, and symptomatic detainees were mixed with others.”

The Jail-to-Deportation Pipeline Turns Deadly for Immigrants in the Pandemic
Emma Winger, Immigration Impact, July 16, 2020
“Another man has died in immigration detention from COVID-19. His tragic and avoidable death marks the deadly end to a jail-to-deportation pipeline that disproportionately targets Black and Brown people. On July 13, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a press release announcing that Onoval Perez-Montufa had died from COVID-19. The release says nothing about who this man was, why he came to the United States from Mexico, or what grieving family he leaves behind.”

El Salvador

El Salvador to postpone second phase of economic reopening, president says
Nelson Renteria, Reuters, July 19, 2020
“Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Sunday that he would postpone the second phase of the country’s economic reopening, slated to begin Tuesday, after evaluating inputs from experts and the Salvadoran health ministry. Just on Saturday, the president had reiterated his intention to move forward with the next stage of restarting the economy.”

The Pandemic’s Deadly Display
Víctor Peña, El Faro, July 17, 2020
“A family bids farewell to its matriarch from outside the cemetery, peeking over the outer wall. As some hospitals, morgues and cemeteries have no more room for the sick and dead, bodies lie sprawled out across the capital city. As restrictions have eased just over three months since the start of the mandatory national quarantine, scenes of the pandemic are reaching new dramatic heights.”

Guatemala

Casos de coronavirus en Guatemala alcanzan los 39 mil y se reportan otros 17 fallecidos
Oscar García, Prensa Libre, 20 de julio de 2020
“El tablero habilitado por Salud para conocer los casos de coronavirus mostró nuevos datos a partir de las 9 horas de este lunes 20 de julio. Aunque la información está actualizada al 19 de julio hasta las 23.59 horas. Casos positivos acumulados en Guatemala se registran 39 mil 39, es decir hubo un aumento de 362 contagios. Se reportan otros 17 fallecidos por coronavirus y la cifra total asciende a 1 mil 502 muertos”.

Indígenas de Guatemala sobreviven a volcán y pandemia con cosecha comunitaria
Agencia EFE, Prensa Libre, 18 de julio de 2020
“Con una vida de constante incertidumbre ante la presencia del volcán, que el pasado 3 de junio de 2018 arrasó con comunidades de la ladera contigua, al sur, los comunitarios indígenas kaqchikeles se defienden de la escasez y del contacto al exterior por el coronavirus con hortalizas diversas protegidas por macrotúneles y riego por goteo. Son las comunidades Las Cruces, Ojo de agua, Bethania y Hermógenes Montellano, del municipio San Pedro Yepocapa, en el departamento de Chimaltenango”.

Honduras

Prevén que crisis de la pandemia producirá más migración en Honduras
Radio Progreso, 23 de julio de 2020
“Producto de la desigualdad social y la falta de políticas públicas para reducir la pobreza y la violencia, una vez que pase la emergencia provocada por el Covid-19, según el Sociólogo e Investigador, Elvin Hernández, se prevé el aumento de hondureños y hondureñas migrando hacia Estados Unidos. Hernández, quien es parte del Equipo Reflexión Investigación y Comunicación, Eric-sj, recuerda que muchas empresas han cerrado operaciones o han despedido a buena parte de su personal. Además, más del 60% de la población hondureña que vive de la economía informal está perdiendo su sustento diario”.

EU gives Honduran health system $93 mln to tackle coronavirus
Gustavo Palencia, Reuters, July 22, 2020
“The European Union has granted Honduras 80 million euros ($93 million) in aid to help the impoverished Central American nation’s health system cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, an EU representative said on Wednesday. Despite strict measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, local hospitals have struggled to cope with the number of patients with respiratory illnesses in Honduras, which has registered 35,345 infections and 988 deaths from the virus.”

Discriminación contra comunidad LGTBI ha aumentado durante la pandemia
El Pulso, 20 de julio de 2020
“Más de cinco personas de la comunidad LGTBI de Honduras han sido asesinadas en el marco de la pandemia elevando la alerta de organizaciones debido a que son grupos de vulnerabilidad siendo discriminados por la sociedad, por el sistema de salud y de justicia. En la presentación, a través de la página Unidos por la Justicia, del “Informe situacional de las personas LGTBI en relación a la pandemia del COVID 19”  por el Centro para el Desarrollo y Cooperación LGTBI (SOMOS CDC), el director Alex Osorto, revela que que el 84 por ciento de la población LGTBI manifestó que han sido afectados económicamente por el covid-19”.

In Times of Pandemic, Struggles Continue for Honduras’s Most Vulnerable
Seth Berry, El Faro, July 17, 2020
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 50 percent of Hondurans were living in poverty—20 percent in extreme poverty, earning less than two dollars a day. Because of the global economic standstill, the World Bank predicts that poverty levels will rise for the first time since 1998. In the face of this crisis, the misfortune that existed in the poorest communities never left, and seemingly never will.”

Mexico

Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll passes 40,000 mark
France 24, July 22, 2020
“This week President Manuel Lopez Obrador vowed to improve health standards in the nation to help it combat the virus threat. He pledged to protect those vulnerable to COVID-19, including tackling ‘diseases caused by hunger and poverty,’ launching ‘a permanent campaign’ to promote healthier eating and lifestyles and treating hypertension diabetes and obesity as a priority.”

El margen de ocupación hospitalaria impide visualizar la tragedia de la covid-19 en México
Carmen Morán Breña, El País, 20 de julio de 2020
“El criterio de la ocupación hospitalaria, en el que el semáforo del desconfinamiento deposita el gran peso para medir la situación, se revela ahora como uno de los datos menos fiables. Por varias razones. No se sabe si hay menos camas ocupadas porque está bajando el número de enfermos graves o porque se está aumentado el número de camas disponibles. Carecer de esa referencia es, de nuevo, diagnosticar a ciegas. Si además, como afirma el Gobierno, las muertes extrahospitalarias o certificadas sin pruebas concluyentes van a incrementar la cifra real de fallecidos tres veces”.

U.S. Enforcement

AP Exclusive: Migrant kids held in US hotels, then expelled
Nomaan Merchant, AP News, July 22, 2020
“The Trump administration is detaining immigrant children as young as 1 in hotels, sometimes for weeks, before deporting them to their home countries under policies that have effectively shut down the nation’s asylum system during the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. A private contractor for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is taking children to three Hampton Inn & Suites hotels in Arizona and at the Texas-Mexico border, where they are typically detained for several days, the records show. The hotels have been used nearly 200 times, while more than 10,000 beds for children sit empty at government shelters.”

Thousands in California to Face Delays If Feds Furlough Immigration Workers
Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED, July 21, 2020
“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should postpone plans to furlough about 13,400 employees, now that the agency has projected it will end this fiscal year with a budget surplus instead of the $571 million deficit it forecast earlier this year, said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Montana Sen. Jon Tester, both Democrats who sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee.“We ask that you take immediate action to save USCIS employees from unnecessary furloughs,” wrote Leahy and Tester in a letter to Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow.”

Miami federal judge orders a new fact-finder to investigate ICE detention centers
Monique O. Madan, The Miami Herald, July 20, 2020
“Over the weekend, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke assigned Matthew C. Dates – a Miami attorney who represented Secret Service agents during their testimony before the grand jury investigating President Clinton in the 1990s – to determine whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have violated her court orders aimed at preventing coronavirus cases behind bars.”

Trump offers confusion, contradictions on immigration order
Jill Covin, Astrid Galvan, AP News, July 20, 2020
“President Donald Trump is promising new executive action on immigration as he returns to the defining issue of his administration. But Trump has offered contradictory and confusing statements about his plans in recent days. His comments come after the Supreme Court rejected his efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which protects young immigrants brought to the country as children.”

ICE libera a transgénero hondureña después de 1,051 días
La Tribuna, 19 de julio de 2020
“La hondureña Kelly González Aguilar, quien durante años estuvo confinada en aislamiento solitario, recuperó esta semana su libertad y abandonó el centro de detención en el que estaba internada al este de Denver, informaron este jueves dirigentes proinmigrantes de Colorado. “Muchas gracias a todas las personas que respaldaron la campaña #FreeKelly, firmando peticiones, llamando al Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE), llamando a los congresistas, participando en semanas de acción, escribiendo cartas a Kelly, creando eventos de solidaridad y mucho más”.

Immigrants close to U.S. citizenship find delays and uncertainty
Dianne Solis, The Dallas Morning News, July 18, 2020
“In March, citizenship ceremonies around the nation were canceled because of the coronavirus. They are now happening again, but in much smaller numbers. But the delays are not just due to the virus: President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies have led to an intensified scrutiny of those going through the citizenship process. Some agencies that assist immigrants with citizenship applications say intensified scrutiny of applications will make the current backlog of 700,000 swell.”

U.S. border expulsions of migrant children continue, with few allowed to seek refuge under virus order
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, July 17, 2020
“Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials along the frontier with Mexico made more than 1,650 apprehensions of unaccompanied minors in June. Despite laws that protect unaccompanied and underage migrants from speedy deportations, only 61 of them — or fewer than 4% of total arrests last month — were transferred to the Office of Refugee of Resettlement, which Congress charged with caring for these children.”

CBP fires four, suspends dozens over racist, violent Facebook groups
Daniella Silva, NBC News, July 17, 2020
“Customs and Border Protection fired four employees and suspended more than three dozen others without pay after a year-long investigation into their involvement in Facebook groups featuring violent, sexist and racist posts against migrants and Latino members of Congress. CBP said in a statement to NBC News on Friday that after an investigation into 138 cases of “inappropriate social media activity,” four employees were removed from service, 38 were suspended without pay, 33 were disciplined with reprimands or counseling and 63 of the allegations were unsubstantiated.”

The Border Patrol Was Responsible for an Arrest in Portland
Ken Kilppenstein, The Nation, July 17, 2020
“The Portland arrest of Mark Pettibone, first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, followed several similar arrests involving officers from a Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC)—CBP’s equivalent of a SWAT team—as well as the US Marshals Special Operations Group. A CBP spokesman confirmed to The Nation that CBP agents were responsible for the arrest, pointing to authorities under the Protecting American Communities Task Force.”

Trump offers confusion, contradictions on immigration order
Jill Covin, Astrid Galvan, AP News, July 20, 2020
“President Donald Trump is promising new executive action on immigration as he returns to the defining issue of his administration. But Trump has offered contradictory and confusing statements about his plans in recent days. His comments come after the Supreme Court rejected his efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which protects young immigrants brought to the country as children.”

Mexican Enforcement

La epidemia abre oportunidades a médicos refugiados en el país
La Jornada, 20 de julio de 2020
“Al igual que ella, muchos profesionales en salud procedentes de Centro y Sudamérica –refugiados o solicitantes de asilo en México— se han incorporado a los cuadros médicos de combate al Covid-19, con el apoyo de la oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para lo Refugiados (Acnur) y de la Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados (Comar)”.

Root Causes

Fears growing for five indigenous Garifuna men abducted in Honduras
Nina Lakahi, The Guardian, July 23, 2020
“Fears are growing for the safety of five black indigenous men in Honduras who were abducted from their homes last weekend by heavily armed gunmen in police uniforms. The victims are Garifuna fishermen from the town Triunfo de la Cruz on the north coast – a region where communities are embroiled in a longstanding struggle to save their ancestral land from drug traffickers, palm oil magnates and tourism developers aided by corrupt officials and institutions.”

Delegada de Alemania para los Derechos Humanos se pronunció sobre crímenes contra LGTBI, periodistas y defensores de derechos humanos en Honduras    
Dina Meza, Pasos de Animal Grande, July 22, 2020
“La Delegada de Alemania para los Derechos Humanos y Ayuda Humanitaria: en Honduras dijo que “Una democracia viva necesita una sociedad civil activa y crítica y una prensa libre”, al referirse a los crímenes contra la comunidad LGTBI; defensores de derechos humanos; muertes de periodistas, ataques en redes sociales a críticos , así como la desapaerición forzada de cuatro garpífunas, entre ellos Sneider Centeno, presidente del Patronato del Triunfo de la Cruz, que fueron llevador por la fuerza por hombres vestidos con unifomes de la DPI  y DLCN el pasado 18 de julio.”

Femicides rise in Mexico as president cuts budgets of women’s shelters
David Agren, The Guardian, July 22, 2020
“Violence against women has surged in Mexico since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the country’s president has downplayed the problem and slashed the budgets of agencies charged with addressing women’s issues. Figures released this week show that crimes such as femicides climbed 7.7% in the first half of 2020, when compared with the same period last year, and shelters have reported a sharp rise in the number of women attempting to flee domestic violence.”

Al no cumplir sentencia, Estado es cómplice de la violencia contra comunidades garífunas
Radio Progreso, 21 de julio de 2020
“La Ofraneh condena el secuestro de los dirigentes garífunas y exige se les respete la vida. Así mismo, repudia que el Estado lejos de cumplir con el mandato de la Corte Interamericana, continúa entregando el territorio a empresarios para su explotación, permitiendo, además, operaciones ilícitas del crimen organizado en la zona. A  pesar del confinamiento que vive el país por la pandemia del Covid-19,  los hechos violentos no han cesado”.

Fosdeh pide auditoría internacional en manejo de fondos destinados a emergencia en Honduras   
Proceso Digital, 21 de julio de 2020
“El Foro Social de la Deuda Externa y Desarrollo de Honduras (Fosdeh), mediante un amplio comunicado hizo un llamado urgente a gobiernos, organismos internacionales y bilaterales de cooperación y financiamiento para evitar que el alto grado de corrupción e impunidad existente aumente el sufrimiento de la mayoría de la sociedad. En tal sentido, exigen que de cualquier fuente financiera o de cooperación cuyos recursos hayan capitalizado el fondo multimillonario asignado por el Congreso Nacional, a Inversión Estratégica Honduras, para que investigue y audite, con rigor e imparcialidad, los procesos de adquisición de obras, bienes y servicios destinados presuntamente a enfrentar la emergencia sanitaria”.

La mitad de los niños y adolescentes en México viven en pobreza: Unicef
Forbes México, 20 de julio de 2020
“Casi la mitad de los niños y adolescentes en México siguen viviendo en pobreza y, a pesar de los programas sociales existentes, un 60% carece de acceso a seguridad social, por lo que este es uno de los principales retos del país especialmente en tiempos de coronavirus. Con motivo del “Informe Anual 2019: Avances y desafíos para la niñez y la adolescencia en México“, el representante del Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef) en México, Christian Skoog, señaló este lunes en entrevista con Efe que “casi el 50% de los niños viven en pobreza y, en el contexto de la pandemia, todo muestra que aumentará más”.

Crisis económica obliga a migrantes a prostituirse
William Chacón. Cuarto Poder, 20 de julio de 2020
“Indicó que al ser Chiapas la puerta de acceso a México, es la principal ruta para los migrantes que desean llegar a Norteamérica; se complica el poder contar con cifras oficiales sobre el fenómeno de la prostitución, pero refirió que por ejemplo, se estima que al menos siete u ocho de cada 10 mujeres trans migrantes se dedican al trabajo sexual, ante la necesidad de sobrevivir. A esta situación de riesgo para las y los migrantes se suma la discriminación y el acoso de algunos cuerpos policíacos; y ante toda esa presión no les queda más que ofrecer su cuerpo a cambio de dinero o que las dejen pasar”.

OACNUDH condena la desaparición forzada de Alberth Sneider Centeno, Presidente del Patronato de la comunidad Garífuna de El Triunfo de la Cruz, y de tres personas más pertenecientes a la comunidad.
OACNUDH, 19 de julio de 2020
“La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (OACNUDH) condena la desaparición forzada del defensor de los derechos del pueblo Garífuna Alberth Sneider Centeno, Presidente del Patronato de la comunidad del Triunfo de la Cruz y miembro activo de la Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) y de tres personas más pertenecientes a la comunidad Triunfo de la Cruz”.

Jordán Rodas insta al presidente a respetar DD.HH. y evitar racismo
CRN Noticias, 18 de julio de 2020
“El procurador de los derechos humanos, Jordán Rodas, instó este sábado al presidente, Alejandro Giammattei, a respetar los derechos humanos de la población indígena; así como a escuchar sus opiniones y “abstenerse de emitir comentarios que fomenten el racismo y la discriminación”. Rodas lamentó que el mandatario increpara ayer viernes a uno de los líderes indígenas del municipio kaqchikel de San Juan Comalapa, en Chimaltenango”.

Secuestran a tres integrantes de la OFRANEH y atentan contra la comunidad garífuna de Santa Rosa de Aguán
Red Defensoras, 18 de julio de 2020
“El día 18 de julio de 2020, cerca de las 6:00 am, Snider Centeno presidente del patronato de la comunidad garífuna Triunfo de la Cruz, fue secuestrado de su propia vivienda por un grupo de hombres no identificados que portaban chalecos antibalas. Además del secuestro de Snider, se reporta la desaparición de Aparicio Mejía García y Joel Martínez Álvarez, quienes se presume fueron atacados por el mismo grupo criminal y llevados a bordo de tres vehículos con rumbo desconocido”.

Accessing Justice: Femicide and the Rule of Law in Latin America
Annelise Gilbert, Beatriz García Nice, Olivia Soledad, Anya Prusa, New Security Beat, July 17, 2020
“The pandemic is just making visible a reality that has been going on for decades,” said Claudia Calvin, Founder of Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building) and a member of Nosotras Tenemos Otros Datos (We Have Other Data). She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event on femicide and the rule of law in Latin America. The panelists discussed the longstanding roots of this issue and new barriers to protecting women and preventing violence during the pandemic in the launch event for a project examining gender-based violence in Latin America, co-hosted by the Brazil Institute, Latin America Program, Mexico Institute, and Maternal Health Initiative.”

Élites, redes de poder y régimen político en Honduras
Oxfam, julio de 2020
“Élites, redes de poder y régimen político en Honduras recopila los mecanismos y estrategias particulares que asumieron las élites y grupos de poder para apropiarse de los bienes y recursos del país, además de valorar las consecuencias de sus acciones sobre la nación.”

Appointing Judges in Guatemala…From Prison
Álvaro Montenegro, El Faro, July 17, 2020
“Guatemala is in the midst of a contentious legal battle, as networks of corrupt politicians and organized crime are trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to attack the country’s courts. They are also disrupting over 100 cases against government officials and business leaders brought since 2015 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, a United Nations-backed entity that was expelled from the country in 2019). The battle began with accusations against political cronies of former president Otto Pérez Molina, who resigned three years into his term after months of demonstrations against his administration; he has been in prison since September 2015.”

Presidente del CPH: Al Estado de Honduras no le interesa resolver los crímenes contra periodistas
Heidy Dávila, Pasos de Animal Grande, 17 de julio de 2020
“No hay una política de Estado para darle una respuesta a la sociedad y familia de los periodistas, hemos tenido conocimiento de varios casos que incluso el colegio los ha presentado en el mecanismo, por amenazas, intimidación y otros que tienen medidas de protección”, denunció el presidente del Colegio de Periodistas de Honduras, CPH. El 01 de julio de 2020 el periodista German Vallecillo y su camarógrafo Jorge Posas fueron asesinados en La Ceiba, por supuestamente sicarios que se conducían en motocicleta al mediodía de esa fecha.”

Actions, Alerts, and Resources

Report | A Legacy of Injustice: The U.S. Criminalization of Migration
National Immigrant Justice Center, July 23, 2020
“This report provides an in-depth look at how the U.S. government has used entry and reentry prosecutions to violate the rights of people like Oliver who are seeking asylum or who hope to return to their spouses or children, many of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Our research found that such prosecutions destabilize and permanently separate families, violate international and domestic asylum laws and basic due process protections provided to individuals facing criminal charges, and perpetuate dehumanizing and racist treatment of migrants.”

Honduras: consecuencias del golpe de estado en Honduras, aún vigentes, incrementan las desigualdades económicas y políticas
ICEFI, 22 de julio de 2020
“Un estudio presentado este miércoles por la Fundación Heinrich Böll Stiftung -en un evento digital organizado por el Icefi- profundizó en las condiciones económicas y políticas en el país centroamericano tras el golpe de estado de 2009, cuyas consecuencias agravan las condiciones de vida de la mayoría de una sociedad afectada por la pandemia del Covid-19”.

In Latin America, COVID-19 Risks Permanently Disturbing Civil-Military Relations
Adam Isacson, WOLA, July 20, 2020
“In response to the pandemic, Latin American governments are heavily deploying soldiers in population centers. These soldiers are playing roles, including auxiliary policing, that bear little or no resemblance to “defense.” This use of military forces isn’t unusual for a natural disaster, when the military is often the only institution that can be mobilized to respond to a crisis that is discrete and time-bound. But COVID-19 is a different kind of natural disaster: it’s happening everywhere, for an indefinite amount of time.”

Family Separation: Two Years Later, the Crisis Continues
KIND, July 16, 2020
“This report details KIND’s work on behalf of separated children since the end of the zero tolerance policy and highlights the gaps that remain in preventing wrongful separations in the immigration system. Absent concrete actions to limit family separations and ensure accountability, these gaps will tragically persist and children will continue to be ripped from their parents without assurance of reunification. This report also provides recommendations to help ensure that life-altering decisions about when separations should occur are made by professionals with expertise in child welfare, rather than law enforcement.”

P.S. Do you know of someone who might be interested in receiving the Migrant News Brief? Tell them to email lalvarez@lawg.org