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Hello to all our Today in Latin America subscribers. The LAND staff will be taking vacation until the beginning of September, meaning our daily newsletter will be on hold until then. Nos vemos en Septiembre. Top Story — Mexico’s National Human rights Commission has heavily criticized the government’s investigation into the likely massacre of 43…

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, during 2014 arrest (Image: CNN, screenshot)

Top Story — The head of Mexico’s prison system as well as two other prison officials, including the director of the Altiplano maximum-security prison from which powerful drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped on Saturday, have been fired, and a $ 3.8 million has been issued for information leading to Guzmán’s capture, according to…

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The Sinaloa Cartel chief Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped for the second time in his life from a Mexican prison on Saturday night. Guzmán, who is widely considered the world’s most powerful drug trafficker, reportedly escaped from the Altiplano prison through an underground tunnel a mile long, which he accessed through a 20-inch hole in…

Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange. (Image: Government of Ecuador, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Top Story — The whistleblower website Wikileaks has released documents detailing the extent of the U.S. surveillance that targeted Brazil’s president and others, causing a major diplomatic row in 2013. The documents, according to Wikileaks, show that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and several other key government officials, tapping their…

Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Gardéa Padilla. (Image: La Fortaleza, public domain)

In a televised speech delivered in a somber tone on Monday, Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said that Puerto Rico’s $73 billion public debt is “unpayable,” confirming similar remarks made yesterday to The New York Times and laying out steps for the restructuring of the U.S. commonwealth’s debt obligations. “The public debt, considering the…

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during an October press conference in which he addressed the delays in reaching a peace agreement. (Image: César Carrión, Government of Colombia)

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — The ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, could end more than 50 years of internal armed conflict. But they have not gone without a hitch. Despite some progress, tensions have been escalating in the last several months, threatening to bring negotiations to…

(Diosdado Cabello speaking, Rafaelsigala12, CC BY SA 4.0)

Top Story — Representatives from the United States and Venezuela reportedly met on Saturday while visiting Haiti, a possible sign that the two governments are seeking to redress long-standing tension. U.S. diplomat John Shannon, an adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, spoke with Diosdado Cabello, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly. Cabello, widely considered…

Cuahtémoc Blanco, the likely mayor-elect of Cuernavaca. (Image: Hefebreo, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The party of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto appears to have won a majority of legislative seats in Sunday’s midterm elections as votes continued to be tallied on Monday, suggesting that widespread dissatisfaction will not prevent Peña Nieto from putting forward his agenda over the second half of his presidency. The election of at least…

Jaime Rodríguez, who is poised to be Mexico's first independent governor. (Image: Estefania Acevedo, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Top Story — In congressional elections marred by gang violence and widespread protests, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party is expected to keep a slight majority as polls closed Sunday. The elections were seen as a litmus test for Peña Nieto, who has faced discontent over poor economic growth and several conflict-of-interest…