Colombia has just emerged from 50 years of civil war, but its future is still uncertain. Amid the optimism prompted by the peace deal between the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, it is easy to assume the slaughter of trade unionists and other activists is a thing of the past. However, 534 people were murdered from 2011 to last year — 134 of those trade unionists — according to Justice for Colombia, the British trade union-based campaign against paramilitary violence against the Colombian labour movement.
Prominent Mexican left-wing politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanded on January 10 to know how the authorities could catch an escaped gangster, but were unable to find the 43 students kidnapped in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state in September 2014. The National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leader and twice presidential candidate hit out at the government following the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin Joachin “El Chapo” Guzman on January 8. The student teachers from Ayotzinapa, meanwhile, are feared dead at the hands of a gang. Their remains have not been found.