The week at a glance...Americas


Mexico City

Blogger flees: Mexico’s top blogger about the drug war has fled to Spain. The author of, who goes by “Lucy,” said her partner, who ran the tech side of the blog, called her last week and said one word: “Run.” She hasn’t been able to get in touch with him since. “I’m scared something terrible has happened,” she told The Guardian (U.K.). “‘Run’ was our code word for when something was very wrong.” The blog, which featured graphic photos and stories about drug murders and corruption that the mainstream media were too intimidated to cover, was widely read in Mexico, including by police and drug-gang members.

Guatemala City

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Ríos Montt reprieve: Guatemala’s top court has overturned the landmark genocide conviction earlier this month of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. The decision, citing an incident when Ríos Montt’s attorney was kicked out of the courtroom for a few hours, sends the case back to trial and revives concerns that the country’s judicial system is susceptible to political pressure. Ríos Montt’s conviction had been criticized by powerful political and business interests, including President Otto Pérez Molina, who commanded troops during the time of the genocide. Ríos Montt, 86, ruled Guatemala for a year and a half in the early 1980s, one of the bloodiest periods of the civil war. He had been sentenced to 80 years in prison for ordering a massacre of 1,771 ethnic Mayans.

San José, Costa Rica

Whose jet? President Laura Chinchilla has lost another cabinet minister to scandal. Her spokesman and communications minister, Francisco Chacón, has resigned after organizing presidential flights on a jet owned by a Colombian businessman who is under investigation for suspected drug trafficking. Chacón said the man had offered the jet “with the clear and express purpose of tricking me.” Chinchilla’s anti-narcotics chief and a presidential aide also resigned. It’s the 15th corruption scandal to claim a minister in the three years of Chinchilla’s struggling presidency. Her approval rating now stands at 12 percent. The attorney general’s office said it was considering charging the president with violating the anti-corruption laws.

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