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Articles

  • Antigua 10x Festival
    Antigua10X brings together leaders, thinkers, change-makers, advocates and entrepreneurs who live to make 10X impact a reality. Three areas of impact will be explored: Learning, Community and Business.
  • Hope Fading for Guatemalan Spring
    The high hopes created by Guatemala’s peaceful, democratic change of government last year are hitting the shoals of reality.  Guatemalans managed a major political crisis in 2015 in an exemplary way: massive citizen demonstrations against authorities accused of corruption lasted four months without a single incident of violence.  
  • Venezuela: Trying to Stay Afloat
    Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro continues to receive increasingly bleak economic news, and his modestly positive policy responses seem unlikely to help.  Oil revenues dropped 293 percent from 2014 (US$37 billion) to 2015 (US$12.5 billion).  The value of oil exports, which account for 95 percent of the country’s export earnings, has dropped to a 30-year low ($30 a barrel), accelerating a recession, paralyzing shortages, and soaring inflation. 
  • HablaGuate
    The U.S. Embassy has learned that tourists visiting the Volcan de Agua National Park over the past month have reported numerous armed robberies.  For this reason, the U.S. Embassy has restricted personal travel to the area for its own employees and advises U.S. citizens that visiting the Volcan de Agua National Park at this time may carry a higher than usual security risk. If you do choose to travel in the area, please visit the U.S. Embassy website for updates and monitor local media coverage for ongoing developments.  
  • The Zika Virus and a New Debate on Reproductive Rights
    The call by half a dozen Latin American and Caribbean governments for women to put off pregnancies – as the World Health Organization warns the feared Zika virus is “spreading explosively” – is stimulating a new debate on reproductive rights in the region.  El Salvador’s Health Ministry has urged women to “avoid becoming pregnant this year and next,” and Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, and others are issuing similar advisories.  A mosquito-borne disease spreading rapidly in the Western Hemisphere for the first time, Zika is blamed for causing devastating neurological birth defects in newborns whose mothers contract the virus during pregnancy.  The U.S. Center on Disease Control has advised pregnant women to avoid travel to the more than 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries now hosting the disease.
  • CDC Upgrade-Zika Virus
    The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City informs U.S. citizens that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is upgrading its advisories regarding the Zika Virus.  For general information about Zika, please visit the CDC website.  To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas or visit the CDC website. 
  • HablaGuate
    Eighteen former military leaders -- including former generals, a former army chief of staff, and a former military intelligence chief -- were arrested on Jan. 6 on criminal charges related to massacres and disappearances from the internal armed conflict. Fourteen of the arrests pertain to an investigation on a military base known as CREOMPAZ in Cobán (formerly called Military Base 21), where the remains of hundreds of people have been found and where the identities of at least 97 people have been confirmed as individuals disappeared during the 1980s, when the ex-officials were in power. Four of the arrests relate to the disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, a minor, in 1981.
  •  Brazil: Not-so-Happy New Year
    A vicious combination of corruption scandal and economic malaise suggests a troubled new year awaits Brazil.  Economists estimate gross domestic product has contracted 3 percent this year and will decline a similar amount in 2016, while inflation and weak government finances hamper efforts to stimulate growth. 
  • Oligarchy in Retreat: Guatemala’s Election
    Guatemala appears to be, for better or worse, entering the denouement of a climactic year for its ongoing corruption investigation, which saw its peak just weeks ago when the Guatemalan National Congress voted to strip former President Otto Perez Molina of his political immunity. Molina is now facing trial for his suspected involvement in the custom house bribery scandal known as “La Linea.” At least 28 officials within the national customs group called SAT collaborated to collect bribes in exchange for lowering the tariffs that were legally required to be levied on corporations, and included various importers, lawyers, and even a former intelligence agent. All told, the ranks of the guilty swelled to 64.1
  • HablaGuate
    I arrived in Guatemala City in early August to cover the upcoming national elections and to visually document the political changes that Guatemala had been undergoing earlier in the year. It was an unprecedented moment in Guatemala’s history, something I wanted to witness and, above all, understand

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