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By Patrick Pierson.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780 - 1867 ), Pope Pius VII in the Sistine Chapel, 1814, oil on canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection 1952.2.23

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, “Pope Pius VII in the Sistine Chapel,” 1814. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

The economic and political turmoil in Venezuela continues. Venezuelans are flocking to neighboring Colombia in search of basic grocery items. The number of US asylum applications filed by Venezuelans is up 168% compared to the same time period last year. Recently, a number of animals have been stolen from a Caracas zoo and butchered for their meat. The economic crunch has also resulted in a coffin crisis, with poorer citizens now resorting to cardboard coffins. Further south in Bolivia, President Evo Morales launched a new ‘anti-imperialism’ military academy to counter US influence in the region.

Earlier this week, armed men burst into an upscale Puerto Vallarta restaurant and abducted the son of notorious Mexican drug lord El Chapo. This comes amid a rise in cartel violence over the past few months. On Thursday, Mexico’s human rights commission released a report detailing gross human rights violations by federal police officers during a raid on a ranch last year.

In the US, Twitter announced an uptick in its suspension of accounts for ‘promotion of terrorism.’ The Obama administration announced the transfer of 15 detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Also this week, the US Justice Department revealed plans to phase out the use of private prisons.

In Uganda, nine AU peacekeepers were jailed for operating a fuel racket in Somalia. Rwandan police engaged in a three-hour shoot-out with a terrorism suspect in Kigali this week. This article argues that the private sector should be doing more to counter threats from terrorism. Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced this week a plan to deploy Canadian troops to a UN mission in Africa.

2 Comments

  • Its interesting to see the DoJ move against private prisons for domestic use, but at the same time approve new contracts with private prison corporations to build and operate detention facilities to deal with the influx of migrants from Central America (see “Inside the administration’s $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers”, from Washington Post from about a week ago). I’m assuming this has something to do with the different jurisdictions of the DoJ, ICE, and DHS? Anyways, its an interesting look at further polarization between the rights/privileges of citizens and non-citizens, and the management of national borders.

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