This September, the trial began for the murder of former Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations in Hondoras (COPHINH) coordinator and 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize winner, Berta Cáceres. On March 2, 2016, Cáceres and Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro were attacked in Cáceres’ home by hitmen hired by the executive president of Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA). The company leadership targeted Cáceres due to her involvement with indigenous protests against DESA’s plans to build a hydroelectric dam along the Gualcarque river.
News and Politics
On September 6th, Brazil Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Foro. Following the attack, Bolsonaro lost a significant amount of blood and was placed in the intensive care unit at Santa Casa Hospital where he was prepped for surgery. According to his doctor, all of his life-threatening injuries were stabilized during the procedure. Although a week of lost campaigning time so close to the election could seem detrimental to a candidate, the attack has actually increased Bolsonaro’s polling numbers, marking a turning point in the campaign.
On August 26th, the Colombian people headed to the polls to take part in a historic vote intended to curb the unchecked corruption that has plagued the country for many years.
This week, Paraguay’s new president declared that he will be reversing his predecessor’s decision to open a Paraguayan embassy in Jerusalem, now moving the embassy back to Tel Aviv. This decision by Mario Abdo Benítez, who just took office less than a month ago, has seen an angry reaction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who immediately ordered the closing of Israel’s embassy in Asuncion and the recall of its ambassador.
This past Spring, what started as student protests against the Nicaraguan Government’s negligence resulting in a forest fire has turned into a civil war. The forest fire, which destroyed over 12,000 acres of protected rainforest in the course of a week was so severe according to many due to the Nicaraguan government’s refusal to ask for aid from neighboring countries, and could have been extinguished much faster and have saved much more of the delicate ecosystem (Agren, 2018).