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Colombia continues to break records for cocaine production, report says
The South American nation produced a record estimated 1,379 tonnes of cocaine last year - up 31% on 2016 Colombia is desperate to shed its reputation as a nation dogged by the drug trade, but new figures from the United Nations show that it continues to break records for producing cocaine. In 2017, around 171,000 hectares (423,000 acres) of the South American nation's land was used to grow coca, the plant whose leaf is the base ingredient of cocaine - up 25,000 hectares (17%) on the year before, according to a report published on Wednesday by the United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Related: Farc deal opens path for Colombia's other rebels: 'The future has to be about war' Related: Colombian activists face 'extermination' by criminal gangs Continue reading.
Sep 19 6:23PM Guardian-Colombia

Guatemala bars anti-corruption chief, defying court ruling
Government officials argue that the binding court ruling issued on Sunday does not mention Ivn Velsquez by name Guatemala's government has defied a ruling by the country's top court to allow the return of the man who heads a UN-backed anti-corruption commission, with officials arguing they have the right to force his replacement. The announcement came after the constitutional court issued a unanimous and binding ruling late on Sunday that the administration must permit entry by the leader of the commission, which has pursued a number of high-profile graft probes, including one against President Jimmy Morales himself. Related: Guatemala on knife-edge after president moves to end anti-corruption body Related: Guatemala court says president must allow return of anti-corruption chief Continue reading.
Sep 17 10:34PM Guardian-Colombia

The former Colombian rebels weaving a route into civilian life
Two years after the dawn of peace in Colombia, former Farc guerrillas - many of whom have never known a life beyond conflict - have turned to the sewing machines that once tailored their battle fatigues to make a living Edison Sanchez smooths out a piece of fabric and begins work on a clattery electric sewing machine. Just two years ago, this same piece of equipment was used to make fighters' fatigues deep in the guerilla camps of the Colombian mountains. A member of the Farc, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, since he was 15, Sanchez, now 33, has been learning how to sew since 2016, when the combatants disarmed under the terms of a historic peace dealthat ended 50 years of conflict in which more than 260,000 people were killed and 7 million displaced.
Sep 10 6:00AM Guardian-Colombia

Venezuela: how is the region coping with its collapse?
The refugee crisis created by its implosion is comparable to that in Europe in 2015 As Venezuela's great experiment with Bolivarian socialism implodes, it is creating a humanitarian and refugee crisis comparable to Europe in 2015. Travelling by bus, boat and even on foot through treacherous terrain, about 1 million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia alone, and another 2 million are estimated to be in other, mostly neighbouring, countries. There, they often live in desperately unsafe conditions with little food and no medicine, sleeping anywhere they can.
Sep 5 2:58PM Guardian-Colombia