Showing posts with label Guatemala - mamamia !!. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guatemala - mamamia !!. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Zelensky Picks Up An Amigo


Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei & Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

In a surprise move to most of us not deeply involved with US and World Statesmanship, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei joined  the  forces of solidarity with the Ukraine. After non-intervention as far as even emotional support for the Ukraine and the Summit of the Americas where Guatemala along with Mexico and others declined to attend, the layman's attitude towards these non-attendees was, well, that's it for them.

Interestingly, just recently reported is that DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is on his way to Honduras to meet with President Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento to discuss migration challenges: 

 ~ From Border Report:

Mayorkas Traveling to Meet With Honduran President 

 Are we seeing a trend - or a shift in attitude towards the Ukraine from our neighbors to the south? Well don't count on it completely...yet....if ever.

Still, compare the vote outcome from the OAS Declaration of 02/25/22 and Guatemala's positions which are completely in line with what Giammattei said in this AP interview:

  ~ From AP:

Guatemala's President Visits Ukraine, Expresses Solidarity

 "GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei visited Ukraine on Monday and expressed his solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Giammattei met with Zelenskyy in the capital, Kyiv, becoming the first Latin American president to make the trip.

Many Latin American leaders have avoided taking a stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That reflects in some cases decades-old ties to Russia and in others a wariness of U.S. foreign policy goals.

“We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who have resisted with courage,” Giammattei said at a joint news conference. “As long as human lives are lost, we cannot silence our voices.”

“Let it be clear that since the beginning of this conflict, Guatemala has raised its voice,” he said. “We will always be consistent with our words. Guatemala does not and will not remain silent.

Zelenskyy thanked Giammattei for his support for sanctions on Russia and Guatemala’s support for an international tribunal on crimes committed during the war. 

Ukraine’s president noted that Latin America, like many other parts of the world, has suffered from higher prices due to the fighting in Ukriane, which is a big producer of agricultural and other commodities.  

“Only together can we protect our world,” Zelenskyy said.

Critics of Giammattei’s government said the president has more pressing issues he should be dealing with at home, including corruption and human rights.

“The entire world knows the way in which President Alejandro Giammattei has been eroding democracy and promoting impunity in his country. One trip to Ukraine is not going to change that reality,” said Carolina Jiménez, president of the Washington Office on Latin America.

The U.S. government has sharply criticized the weakening of anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala and last year cancelled the U.S. visa of Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras, who has been pursuing former prosecutors.

Instead of going after corruption, the government has been filing legal charges against the former anti-corruption officials themselves, and more than 20 of them have fled the country.

Giammattei’s government and prosecutors accelerated efforts begun by his predecessor to undo a U.N.-backed anti-corruption campaign that put several top officials, including former presidents, behind bars. They say those prosecutions themselves were irregular."


 How bad is it in Guatemala ?

I'm not sure we need to go back to 1954 - maybe at a later date - but it's been rough. The most current update to 2020 (two years shy) that I could find is here: Guatemala Profile/Timeline.

But that and other timelines fall short of what exactly is between the lines.

Take drugs and drug violence, for example:

  ~ From Insight Crime:


 The Jalisco Cartel's Quiet Expansion in Guatemala





The Food Crisis

In the past couple of months we really did not hear much of anything from Mexico and the Latin American countries, including Guatemala, when Russian forces were stealing, just driving off with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of Ukrainian much needed farm equipment, not to mention stealing tons of grain; and recently after targeting northernmost cities, hospitals and schools killing civilians in a terrorist rage and reneging on an accord to allow safe passage of grain through the Black Sea by bombing the port at Odessa & Mykolaiv they have created yet more bloody barbarian twisted disasters. Such liars and deviants. What do these events tell you about Putin and all of the countries in the world who absolutely refuse to condemn him? Fuck them.

But the  Russian sting, and the holding of the world as hostage to Putin's war is having sinister and disgusting effects - Putin intends to starve (or freeze) everyone he can to get his way. Just like Stalin. Wake up Mexico !

 ~ From: The Progressive Magazine  (mind you, this was printed last March)

" The Guatemalan government has taken steps to hide the realities of the impact of poverty on the country. In 2020, the government of Alejandro Giammattei censored the publication of a study by the United Nations Development Programme’s 2020 National Human Development Report, which painted a bleak image of the country. The document, however, was later released in February 2022 through the Guatemala Leaks project, which includes Guatemalan independent media outlets No Ficción, Plaza Publica, and Agencia Ocote. "


The Other Americans: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Is Hurting Guatemalans Poor 





Some charts and downloads for y'all

 ~ From the Visual Capitalist:

3 Reasons For The Fertilizer & Food Shortage 





 ~ From Reliefweb: (Download Original Report on link)

Global Hunger Crisis:Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador



 Latest Updates on Ukraine:

Someone turned off the gas !

CNN: Russia's War In Ukraine

Updated 4:01 p.m. ET, July 26, 2022

Good video interview with retired Lt. General Mark Hertling on upcoming "inflection point"which could spell big trouble for the Russians on the link:


 CNN: July 25, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News 




Meanwhile,  somethings to hold you over:


Human Rights Watch - Guatemala Events of 2021 


Guatemala Food Security Outlook 


Guatemala Travel Advisory from the US State Department

US Financial Aid To Guatemala

"Guatemala receives an average of $178,236,292 in foreign aid from the US per year. According to the data on US foreign aid per country, in the last two decades, Guatemala has received billions of dollars in aid from the US government with the aim to develop the country's overall economic and political environment.Nov 22, 2021"
"The U.S. Government has provided $26.4 million to El Salvador, $81.5 million to Guatemala, and $57.1 million to Honduras to support the fight against COVID-19 and strengthen health systems.Apr 19, 2022"
Keep in mind as you are reading through the White House Report, that AMLO  really does not like USAID - so does that mean he's going to help out Guatemala and give them monetary and other support ? I don't think so Joe.
 ~ From The White House: 
Statements and Releases 
The other side...COHA is throwing interference:
 ~ From COHA:
By Patrick Synan


Guatemala, typically the largest recipient of CARSI funds,[31] has appeared yearly on the World Report since the 1990’s. Prior to 2010, reports generally portrayed a society engaged in a hard struggle to heal after decades of civil war. However, a continuing feature of this struggle was the state’s inability to hold the military accountable for crimes against civilians. Reports from 2006 to 2009 open with virtually the same five paragraphs:

“A dozen years after the end of Guatemala’s brutal civil war, impunity remains the norm when it comes to human rights violations. Ongoing violence and intimidation threaten to reverse the little progress that has been made toward promoting accountability. Guatemala’s weak and corrupt law enforcement institutions have proved incapable of containing the powerful organized crime groups that, among other things, are believed to be responsible for attacks on human rights defenders, judges, prosecutors, and others.

Guatemala continues to suffer the effects of an internal armed conflict that ended in 1996. A United Nations-sponsored truth commission estimated that as many as 200,000 people were killed during the 36-year war, and attributed the vast majority of the killings to government forces.

Guatemalans seeking accountability for these abuses face daunting obstacles. Prosecutors and investigators receive grossly inadequate training and resources. The courts routinely fail to resolve judicial appeals and motions in a timely manner, allowing defense attorneys to engage in dilatory legal maneuvering. The army and other state institutions resist cooperating fully with investigations into abuses committed by current or former members. And the police regularly fail to provide adequate protection to judges, prosecutors, and witnesses involved in politically sensitive cases.

Of the 626 massacres documented by the truth commission, only three cases have been successfully prosecuted in the Guatemalan courts. The third conviction came in May 2008, when five former members of a paramilitary “civil patrol” were convicted for the murders of 26 of the 177 civilians massacred in Rio Negro in 1982.

The July 2005 discovery of approximately 80 million documents of the disbanded National Police, including files on Guatemalans who were murdered and “disappeared” during the armed conflict, could play a key role in the prosecution of those who committed human rights abuses during the conflict. By October 2008 …the country’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office had processed seven million of those documents, primarily related to cases presently under active investigation. The office plans to open the first part of the archive in 2009.”[32]

Each of these documents identifies a perpetually weak judicial system and frightened civil societies fumbling in the shadow of an untouchable military and police force. Furthermore, the nearly identical text over four years suggests that no immediate improvements were likely without international pressure. But it isn’t obvious how channeling funds to an army that “resist[s] cooperating” and police who “routinely fail to provide adequate protection” would solve these issues. Subsequent reports do not tell a tale of success.

Far from being a repeat of the previous four years, the 2010 World Report shows an even further decline in the state of human rights in Guatemala. The summary of the section reads:

“Guatemala’s weak and corrupt law enforcement institutions have proved incapable of containing the powerful organized crime groups and criminal gangs that contribute to Guatemala having one the highest violent crime rates in the Americas. Illegal armed groups, which appear to have evolved in part from counterinsurgency forces operating during the civil war that ended in 1996, are believed to be responsible for targeted attacks on civil society actors and justice officials. More than a decade after the end of the conflict, impunity remains the norm when it comes to human rights violations. The ongoing violence and intimidation threaten to reverse the little progress that has been made toward promoting accountability.”[33]

Rather than aiding military and law enforcement officials in addressing violence and organized crime, CARSI coincided with the strengthening of “illegal armed groups” with ties to military forces. The 2011 Report describes military efforts to address gang violence resulting in “social cleansing.” In other words, the detention and/or disappearance of union organizers and social activists,[34] The 2012 Report describes similar activity.[35]

According to the 2013 Report, “President Otto Pérez Molina (…) increasingly used the Guatemalan military in public security operations, despite the serious human rights violations it committed during the country’s civil war.”[36] This tendency was identified again in 2014.[37] In 2015, HRW found that a force of 20,000 armed service members was active in a country whose territory measures 42,000 square miles.[38]

In a 2015 observation report, the IACHR echoes HRW’s concerns about the state’s overreliance on the military to address domestic security challenges; in response it recommends a “return to the police reform agenda, specifically the plan named ‘The Police We Want.’”[39] This is a particularly intriguing recommendation because “The Police We Want” is published by USAID, the organization through which CARSI funds are channeled. However, further IACHR reporting offers no indication that its recommendation was followed.

The USAID plan was supposed to operate from 2012 to 2020, but in 2014 a new framework for police reform emerged. The Integral Police Model for Community Security (MOPSIC) prioritized community-oriented policing (COP). According to Arturo Matute of the University of the Valley of Guatemala, it was popular among some of the largest foreign aid organizations operating in Guatemala.

“The donor community has backed preventive strategies in the police through the years, including the development of MOPSIC. The U.S. has provided the largest amounts of financial support through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).”[40]

Despite the promising nature of the framework, however, the rollout of MOPSIC has been weak. Matute observes that presently, “police agents are scarcely trained in it.”[41]

Despite the inefficacy of police reform, there were some advances in the justice system between 2013 and 2019. The World Reports during this timeframe applaud a series of high-level convictions. In 2013, former president Efrain Ríos Montt was found guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide. In 2015, Otto Pérez Molina was implicated in a tax fraud scandal and resigned. The major force behind this discovery was the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN-led investigative team operating in Guatemala since 2006 with a mandate to examine high level corruption cases. The 2016 World Report acknowledged this significant step forward along with restrictions on U.S. aid to Guatemala under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (this provision had a limited effect on CARSI funds).[42] For a few short years, accountability appeared on the horizon.

The IACHR also expressed some cautious optimism in its 2015 report, writing: “ The IACHR notes changes in favor of a society committed with human rights, promoted by the work of public officials compromised with justice and human rights defenders as well as social leaders. The support of international human rights agencies, as well as the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, for its acronym in Spanish), has been critical to those efforts.”[43]

The momentum dissipated, however, in 2018 when Jimmy Morales “flanked by military and police officers, announced that he would not renew CICIG’s mandate when it expire[d] (…) in September 2019. The following week, he announced that he had prohibited CICIG Commissioner Iván Velásquez—who was on a work trip abroad—from re-entering the country.”[44] This was the beginning of a political purge that only advanced in both speed and intensity during the Giamattei administration under the Attorney Generalship of Consuelo Porras.

The current state of Guatemala is quite grim. Far from witnessing a reduction in crime and gang violence since CARSI was first enacted (despite the package’s stated purpose of addressing these problems), the country now faces a regime dedicated to erasing the branches of state that could make any positive difference. Like Secretary Blinken, the most recent HRW World Report condemns the dissolution of anti-corruption institutions by Consuelo Porras and Giamattei. Neither the White House nor Human Rights Watch, however, mentions the uninterrupted flow of military funding.[45]"



  Well, let's wait & see what Catherine Osborn has to say in the next few days.


Mexico, Mexico, Mexico.....

 And go here for the latest on Mexico - Best reports on the USMCA, energy policies, todo los !! Sign up for their emails ! I don't think you can get anymore current than this site, excellent reports and clarifications:

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Locally que paso ?

 Well, so far there has not been any coverage in Zeta over Guatemala's realignment on the world stage.

However, in Tijuana this month of July, we are up to 148 executions, giving the YTD total in TIJ at 1,058 dead.

 ~ From Zeta:

Suman 148 Homicidios en Julio en Tijuana

 Destacados martes, 26 julio, 2022 1:02 PM



  An oldie but a goodie, Marimba didn't seem too popular:


over & out for now