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Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
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Guatemala

On Thursday, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on three leaders of Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”), a gang of 30,000 members spread throughout El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States.

The Guatemalan government’s inability to create effective mechanisms to address Indigenous grievances and ensure a peaceful resolution of conflicts has eroded governance in the area.

On Wednesday, nearly 800 people filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Johns Hopkins University for its role in a research study that infected more than 1,600 Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases in the 1940s and 1950s.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov culminated a four-country tour of Latin America on Thursday in what was widely seen as Moscow’s latest bid to counteract Western sanctions over Russia’s policies in Ukraine and Crimea.

Three Guatemalan journalists were killed and another seriously injured last week, exposing the high price to pay for reporting in the nation’s provinces.

During a recent visit to Guatemala on March 2, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden praised the achievements made by the UN-sponsored Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala , but Central American leaders seem to differ.

Last Friday, Judge Claudia Escobar announced in a statement that a number of Guatemalan judges are being harassed and persecuted after speaking out against corruption during the election of the new Supreme Court and Appellate Court magistrates in 2014.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) opened its 58th session on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Monday in Vienna, Austria, with several Latin American countries—Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and Bolivia—lobbying for a reform of global counternarcotic strategy.

In response to accords to establish a lower monthly minimum wage of 1,500 quetzales ($196.6) in the Guatemalan municipalities of Estanzuela, Masagua, San Augustine and Guastatoya, protesters blocked at least 22 roads in various parts of the country, including border areas and major highways.

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