This Week in Conflict in the Americas…. June 16th-22nd, 2011

Hello, hope all is well!

Sorry, several of the This Week in Conflict reports are a little late this week, as I have been without power or Internet since Tuesday, one of the side-effects of living in a conflict zone. As such, stories are only updated until Tuesday evening. I will try to keep to a consistent posting schedule, as much as my access to the Internet allows me.

Peace!

Rebecca

 

This Week in Conflict is now being divided up!

Here is the new schedule:

This Week in the World of Conflict – posted on Mondays

This Week in African Conflict- posted on Tuesdays

This Week in Asian Conflict – posted on Wednesdays (includes Oceania and Australia)

This Week in Conflict in the Americas – posted on Thursdays

This Week in Middle Eastern Conflict – posted on Fridays

This Week in European Conflict – posted on Saturdays

Please submit any reports or stories of conflict around the world to apeaceofconflict@gmail.com or write in the comments below. Here’s a summary of what happened this week in the Americas:

  • A top drug official said that Latin American cocaine traffickers may be using submarines to move Europe-bound drugs across the Atlantic. The drugs are said to be smuggled into West Africa and then transferred north.
  • Police in Mexico have arrested a military deserter believed to have joined the Zetas drug cartel and participated in the massacre of 72 migrants near the US border on Saturday. A Reuters report called attention to a disturbing trend in the country’s war on drugs; that teen girls are being trained as drug cartel assassins. On Friday, at least 10 people died in drug killings in Matamoros and five people were killed in Acapulco. On Saturday, two men and one woman were found murdered by suspected hitmen in Mazamilta; and at least 11 died in drug violence in Ciudad Juarez. At least 22 people were killed in a string of weekend attacks blamed on drug gang violence, including four youths killed on Sunday in Guadalupe, another 14 in Michoacan, and the execution of three in a bar in Monterrey late on Saturday. On Monday, a journalist reporting on crime and politics, his wife and their 21 year old son were shot to death inside their home in Veracruz.
  • President Kirchner of Argentina called Britain a “crass colonial power in decline” for refusing to hold talks over the disputed Falkland Islands on Thursday, while Britain said it would only agree to sovereignty talks if the territory’s residents ask for it.
  • On Friday, it was reported that at least 3,500 troops from the National Guard in Venezuela stormed a prison near the capital in an attempt to quell a riot. At least 21 inmates and one security force member were killed and many more injured. On Sunday, some 3,500 prisoners were transferred to other prisons, and the stand-off continued in one prison wing, after attempts at negotiation failed. On Tuesday, prisoners were warning of a “massacre” happening inside, and human rights activists claimed to have received text messages from inmates containing urgent pleas to spare their lives.
  • On Saturday, authorities in Guatemala arrested the former armed forces chief accused of joining in massacres during the 1980s civil war. General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes is accused of participating in genocide and crimes against humanity.
  • A US judge dismissed all criminal charges against Osama bin Laden, closing a 13 year court case against him for the September 11th attacks. The judge issued a “nolle prosqui” order, a typical legal move once a defendant is deceased. On Monday, the US Supreme Court rejected a global warming lawsuit against five big power companies that would force coal-burning plants to cut emissions of gases that contribute to climate change. On Monday, a US federal judge approved a $3.4 billion settlement over the “mismanaged” Native American royalties, that US officials systematically stole or squandered from royalties intended for Native Americans in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases for more than a century.
  • Police in Brazil have been raiding slums dominated by drug trafficking gangs in an ongoing program to bring peace to areas near Maracana stadium ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. We can only hope that the attempt to “pacify” the area doesn’t lead to gentrification and removal of all “undesirables” for tourism sake as we have seen during previous games.
  • Reuters reported on the key political risks to watch for in Peru following the recent Presidential elections. The local human rights agency notes that there are some 200 social conflicts over natural resources, as well as continued conflicts with the Shining Path rebels.
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