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Central America

Costa Rican activists launch medical marijuana effort as cannabis overtakes tobacco

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Central America Cannabis is still illegal in Costa Rica, but a new government study reveals that it has overtaken tobacco as the smoking substance of choice in the traditionally peaceful Central American nation. Simultaneously, Costa Rican activists have launched a new association to press for a medical marijuana program. These developments come as a crusading anti-gay conservative was defeated in the presidential race by a center-left candidate who campaigned on a gay marriage platform. Will cannabis be the next item on Costa Rica's cultural agenda?

Panama parliament debates medical marijuana measure

Posted on March 8th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Central AmericaPanama may be the next Latin American country to pass a medical marijuana law, with the nation's National Assembly now debating a measure. But, in sharp contrast to that in neighboring Colombia, the Panamanian program would fly pretty close to the ground. In a play to social conservatives, the law would only allow imports, and users would be limited to extracts rather than herbaceous cannabis. And even this may face a fight from opposition lawmakers.

Nicaragua: army assassination disguised as marijuana raid?

Posted on November 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Central AmericaThe International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women march in Nicaragua's capital Nov. 25 was ironically set upon by the riot police, with several women detained. The Managua march was emotionally charged, as it was led by Elea Valle—a campesina woman whose husband and two young sons were killed two weeks earlier in a raid by army troops on their home in the country's eastern rainforest.

Rights violations seen in federal Mara crackdown

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

border wallCivil rights organizations in New York are trying to determine if police and school officials on Long Island helped federal authorities detain students in the country illegally on the basis of dubious claims of ties to Central American gangs. The controversy comes days after President Trump's inflammatory speech before law enforcement officers in Long Island's Suffolk County on July 28. There was a major outcry over Trump's urging of police to be "rough" with suspects in the speech. This outrage nearly eclipsed media coverage of his pledge in the speech to "destroy" the MS-13 gang network, calling its members "animals."

El Salvador: Barrio 18 'Revolutionaries' sentenced in massacre

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Central AmericaA judge in El Salvador on May 24 sentenced seven accused members of the country's feared mara gang networks to 390 years in prison each for the March 2016 massacre at the town of San Juan Opico. Authorities say the maras kidnapped three day laborers and eight electric company workers at the town, just outside the capital San Salvador—and then killed them, without waiting for a ransom. The mara networks have been factionalizing in a struggle over the cocaine trade through Central America, as well as the lucre from their new sidelines of extortion and kidnapping. The seven sentenced are said to be from a new faction with the disconcerting name of the Barrio 18 Revolutionaries—implying they actually seek to challenge  the state, in the style of Mexico's Zetas.

Sessions pledges crackdown on Latin gangs

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

Shadow WatchAttorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking to the Justice Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) on April 18, pledged that the Trump administration will have "zero tolerance for gang violence" from "transnational criminal organizations"—particularly singling out MS-13, the Central American narco-network that has its roots on the streets of Los Angeles.

Guatemala: Barrio 18 gang in deadly prison siege

Posted on March 21st, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Central AmericaAt least three guards were killed when riot police were sent in to storm the Etapa 2 juvenile detention center outside Guatemala City, where members of the notorious Barrio 18 narco-gang had seized cell-blocks and taken hostages March 20. Riot troops were ordered to take the facility despite desperate pleas from guards being held hostage. Latin American Herald Tribune reports that before the bloody climax, hostages had shouted from windows, urging authorities to negotiate with their captors. "We are begging and the government doesn't want to do anything," one reportedly cried. "They give no attention to our lives."

Nicaragua nabs cocaine lord of Miskito Coast

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Central AmericaA Colombian cartel operative who established Central America's remote and lawless Miskito Coast as a major cocaine transfer point, building a mini-empire in the region of jungle, savanna and offshore cays, has since Feb. 7 been cooling his heels in Managua's notorious El Chipote prison, according to a Feb. 26 report in Nicaraguan daily La Prensa. Although his capture was confirmed by his attorney, Nicaraguan authorities failed to announce the arrest of the country's most-wanted crime lord, Amauri Carmona Morelos AKA Alberto Ruiz Cano.

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