Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Central America

Newsline: Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

The chief deputy of the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino has been accused of giving more than 25,000 dollars to Caminemos Juntos USA-Mex, a non-profit whose reputation is questionable. This scandal comes after Proceso, a national magazine in Mexico, published a story that accused Salomon Rosas, the chief deputy at the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino, of embezzling Mexican federal funds intended to teach workshops to undocumented immigrants. In 2017, the Mexican government allocated $400,000 of federal funds to the consulate in San Bernardino, which was used to pay 14 local nonprofits and organizations. Rosas said he thinks the accusations are “defamatory and offensive.”

Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

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Newsline: Brazil recalls ambassador in Nicaragua after death of Brazilian

Brazil condemned the violence against anti-government protesters in Nicaragua and recalled its ambassador in Managua after the death of a Brazilian student. Raynéia Gabrielle Lima, a medical student at the American University in Managua, was killed by gunshots in unclear circumstances on Monday, a Brazilian foreign ministry statement said. “The Nicaraguan ambassador was called in to give an explanation and our ambassador has been recalled from Managua,” a ministry spokesperson said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nicaragua-brazil/brazil-recalls-ambassador-in-nicaragua-after-death-of-brazilian-idUSKBN1KF00H

Newsline: Man pleads guilty to shooting US diplomat in Mexico

A California man has pleaded guilty to shooting a U.S. diplomat in Mexico. Zia Zafar entered guilty pleas in a Virginia federal court Friday to attempted murder of an internationally protected person and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The 33-year-old Zafar, of Chino Hills, California, admitted shooting and wounding a vice consul in Guadalajara on Jan. 6, 2017. Zafar is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 7. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for attempted murder and a mandatory minimum of 10 years on the firearm charge. The charges were filed in Virginia because Zafar was brought into the country in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Dulles International Airport is located.

https://wtop.com/virginia/2018/07/man-pleads-guilty-to-shooting-us-diplomat-in-mexico/

Newsline: US Embassy in Haiti requests more Marines, security personnel amid violence

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has requested additional security personnel including Marines as the Haitian capital has been gripped by days of protests over a government plan to raise fuel prices and cut food subsidies, according to multiple reports. A request made by the embassy includes a Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit consisting of about 13 Marines and other personnel to reinforce existing embassy security, CNN reported. The request has been approved by Trump administration officials, the network added. Staff at the embassy have been instructed to shelter in place by State Department officials, and a travel advisory urging U.S. citizens to stay away from the airport unless absolutely necessary was issued.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/396348-us-embassy-in-haiti-requests-more-marines-security-personnel-amid-violence

Newsline: U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua reports gunfire near her house

The U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua said she’s heard gunfire at her Managua home amid violence throughout the country in recent days. Sunday, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights reported at least 14 people were killed in the cities of Diriamba, Jinotepe and Dolores in attacks carried out by pro-government paramilitaries against anti-government groups. Other reports have the weekend death toll up to 20.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/07/09/US-ambassador-to-Nicaragua-reports-gunfire-near-her-house/2481531110555/

Newsline: U.S. embassy in Haiti warns Americans to stay inside amid violence over fuel prices

The U.S. embassy in Haiti warned Americans to shelter in place due to ongoing protests in the capital. Several airlines also canceled flights in and out of Port-au-Prince, the embassy said. The Haitian government on Saturday suspended a fuel price hike after violence in Port-au-Prince and the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant had originally said the country needed to raise prices to balance the budget and gave no indication he would back down. But his administration bowed to pressure after demonstrators took to the streets in protest.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/haiti-violence-us-embassy-warns-americans-to-stay-inside-today-2018-07-07/

Newsline: Canada’s embassy in Haiti taken for $1.7 million by gang of swindlers and fraudsters

Canada’s embassy in Haiti was overrun by a criminal organization after more than a dozen locals hired to work at the diplomatic mission in Port-au-Prince swindled more than $1.7 million through numerous schemes and frauds, internal investigation reports reveal. An internal probe of the embassy’s finances and staffing from 2015 to 2016 uncovered systematic fabrication of documents, fraudulent bills, forged signatures, misdirected cheques, secret commissions and personal use of Canada’s diplomatic license plates. A Canadian court has now branded the local embassy employees a criminal organization.

https://windsorstar.com/news/world/canadas-embassy-in-haiti-taken-for-1-7-million-by-gang-of-swindlers-and-fraudsters-internal-report-reveals/wcm/969d802d-37f1-4289-b6b6-48e12ace3401