The CIA’s intervention in Guatemala was the first of its kind. Due to the U.S. government’s secrecy on the matter, we are only able to make assumptions based on the facts given to us to determine the rationale of the CIA in terms of this invasion. Nick Cullather’s Secret History, Second Edition: The CIA’s Classified Account of its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954 collects the newly unredacted documents detailing the U.S.’s intervention in Guatemala, and the fallout that occurred as a result.
Guatemala places in the top ten among the most overcrowded prison systems in the world. A lack of infrastructure and financial corruption has left Guatemala in this situation. The economy of Guatemala correlates with this poorly maintained structure and system of prisons. A contributing factor to Guatemalan prison overpopulation is likely overpopulation within the country as well.
In June of this year, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego erupted with catastrophic consequences. Over two months after the eruption, the death toll from the volcano was 165, and 260 people were still missing as villages were flooded with ash and lava. In total, more than 1.7 million people were affected by the deadly eruption (World Vision, 2018). In 1985, Colombia’s Nevado del Ruíz volcano in the Andes mountains erupted resulting in one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in modern history.
Last week it was reported that the former vice president of Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, had been formally sentenced to 15 years in prison following her involvement in what is being called the “Magic Water” scandal. Baldetti was found guilty of participating in and directing a criminal network in the multimillion-dollar scheme, which redirected state funds intended to clean the contaminated Lake Amatitlan (Al Jazeera 2018).
In light of the developing national debate on whether or not we should celebrate historical figures with problematic pasts, Parran Hall, the main building for the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, has recently come under scrutiny due to the legacy of the man it is named after. Thomas Parran Jr, the former U.S. Surgeon General and Founding Dean of the school, played an active role in drafting the Social Security Act and founding the World Health Organization and advocated for universal healthcare. However, he was also the U.S.
In February, a team of researchers in the jungles of northern Guatemala uncovered a secret which has been buried for thousands of years under its dense forested cloak. According to the exclusive released by Tom Clynes from National Geographic, their mission revealed ruins of over “60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features” previously unbeknownst to scientists and scholars who study Maya history.
In Honduras, coastlines are suffocating under the overwhelming amount of trash which has been arriving relentlessly with the tides. Unlike the various bottles and wrappers that occasionally wash up on the busy beaches frequented in the U.S., the phenomenon, which has particularly rocked the ecosystem of the Honduran island of Roatan, is better described as a wall of trash; it spans several kilometers and extends seven meters below the surface of the water (Sanchez 2017).
Last month President Donald Trump announced plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and marking a break with years of U.S. policy that Jerusalem’s status must be decided in peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. On December 21st, the UN General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstaining, on a resolution demanding the U.S. rescind the decision. Of the nine votes siding with the U.S., Guatemala and Honduras were the only Latin American countries.