On the surface, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's 9-year sentence for corruption seems reminiscent of numerous corruption cases targeting former or current presidents in Latin America. But behind the accusations are varying degrees of collusion and control, from heading a criminal enterprise to a one-off criminal act of personal enrichment.
A Panama court has convicted and sentenced three members of a Nicaraguan-led human trafficking network focused on exploiting people for manual labor, a promising sign for a region still struggling to combat the illicit industry.
President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama visited Washington, DC this week, where he presented development-focused proposals for dealing with security challenges in Central America that differed sharply from the enforcement-centric approach proposed by the administration of US President Donald Trump days earlier.
Panama's former President Ricardo Martinelli has been arrested in Miami and may now be extradited to face multiple criminal charges in his home country, at time when the future of US-Central America cooperation in fighting impunity remains uncertain.