By Patrick Pierson.
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.