By Patrick Pierson.
Vigilante killings by ‘the avenger’ are on the rise in Mexico. Volunteers are providing additional emergency services to help address gang violence in El Salvador. A number of police officers were killed in Brazil after gang members purportedly shot down a government helicopter. In Colombia, the government signed a new peace deal with the FARC after the original was upended in a plebiscite last month. Just a few days later, two suspected FARC guerrillas were killed in the north of the country. Are the Colombian people more divided than ever with respect to the peace accord? Cuba granted pardons to nearly 800 individuals after Pope Francis’ Holy Year appeal. Elsewhere, the Pope railed against an “epidemic of animosity” against marginalized groups.
Protesters in Malaysia are demanding that the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, resign. State-sanctioned violence continues against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Buddhist aid workers often face persecution for helping Rohingyas in the country. Pakistan officials have announced the dismantling of a cell of ISIS recruiters in Lahore.
Authorities in Kosovo have reported foiling a number of potential attacks by Islamic State. Serbian police busted the largest weapons cache in the country in over 15 years. Germany banned a radical Islamist group earlier this week. While in Greece, President Obama suggested an encouraging window remains for on-going talks regarding Cyprus. Amsterdam has found great success with the introduction of a night mayor, while thousands in Catalonia protest legal challenges by the Spanish government against pro-independence politicians.
Congo’s President Kabila warned against foreign interference in the country’s tumultuous political crisis. Over 600,000 people are facing a food shortage in Burundi while some rights groups are lobbying for a civilian protection force to be introduced in the country. In northeast Nigeria, millions are in need of humanitarian assistance. The militant group Boko Haram appears to be weakening in Cameroon while a separate militant group in the south of Nigeria has claimed another set of attacks against pipelines in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Unrest and ongoing conflict have many worried about the future of Libya.