An anti-narcotics police officer runs toward a helicopter after the destruction of a cocaine lab in Calamar, Guaviare state, Colombia, Aug. 2, 2016 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

In 1821, Gen. Francisco de Paula Santander told a congress full of statesmen, “Guns will give you your independence, but laws will help you keep it.” Santander was addressing representatives of Gran Colombia, the political state that once covered most of northern South America, including what is today Colombia and Venezuela. Ten years later, Gran Colombia split up, and Colombia and Venezuela set off on separate paths. But both countries disregarded Santander’s statement, as their histories have been marked by a string of armed conflicts that eroded laws and justice. Still, after decades spent fighting militias and rebel movements while […]

People share rations of beans at a World Food Program distribution site in Congo’s troubled Kasai region, March 13, 2018 (DPA photo by Kate Bartlett via AP Images).

The United Nations is sounding the alarm over the large-scale and ongoing expulsion of migrants and refugees from Angola, which has triggered a humanitarian crisis along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. So far this month, nearly 330,000 people have been forcibly deported from Angola into the Congolese border regions of Kasai, Kasai Central and Kwango. On Friday, Michelle Bachelet, the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights, warned that the migrants face an “extremely precarious situation” and raised the prospect of renewed communal violence in an unstable region. Six people have already been confirmed dead, reportedly at the […]

Nigerian soldiers man a checkpoint in Gwoza, Nigeria, April 8, 2018 (AP photo by Lekan Oyekanmi).

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria—Lirfa Dashe, a lieutenant in the Nigerian army, was due to get married this month. Instead he is buried in the cemetery of Mai Malari barracks, alongside other soldiers killed in the seemingly endless conflict against the jihadist insurgency of Boko Haram. At the entrance to the cemetery, located in this city in northeastern Nigeria, is a cenotaph with the names of the fallen inscribed on plaques. There are 1,307 names etched so far, stretching back to 2013. Mai Malari, the home of the army’s Seventh Division, is just one of several sites where soldiers killed in the northeastern […]

People are seen through a banner showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against the nation-state law, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 30, 2018 (AP photo by Oded Balilty).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss political polarization and violence in the United States in the run-up to the congressional midterm elections. For the Report, Shira Rubin talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Israel’s recently passed nation-state law and why it has outraged the country’s Druze minority in particular. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a free preview […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, and Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, second right, attend the Future Investment Initiative conference, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Criticism of Saudi Arabia is easy to come by these days. As the kingdom has struggled to get its story straight on the killing earlier this month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh has encountered a chorus of condemnation from Berlin, Brussels, London, Ottawa and many voices in Washington. Even U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to turn on his Saudi allies this week, referring to their shifting statements on the murder as “the worst cover-up ever.” From Africa, however, the […]

A health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, eastern Congo, Sept. 9, 2018 (AP photo by Al-hadji Kudra Maliro).

In many ways, there is no country better prepared to respond to an Ebola outbreak than the Democratic Republic of Congo. Back in 1976, when Mobutu Sese Seko was in power and the country was known as Zaire, the disease was first discovered in the northern village of Yambuku, near the Ebola River, for which it is named. That initial outbreak resulted in 318 cases that killed 280 people—a fatality rate of nearly 90 percent. Since then, Congolese and international health workers have responded to, and eradicated, eight other outbreaks, more than any other country. And they’ve often succeeded in […]

Members of the Druze minority rally against Israel’s nation-state law, Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner).

YARKA, Israel—When soldiers from this small community in Israel’s lush Galilee region are killed in combat, Walid Mula turns up with advice and guidance. The affable 49-year-old is the director of a support group for bereaved families, and it falls to him to make hours-long house calls. Over sweet tea and snacks, he talks grieving relatives through the logistics of burying the dead, including the role of the Israeli state in financing funerals and memorial ceremonies. Yarka is a community made up of around 1,000 members of the Arab-Israeli Druze minority. The Druze in Israel total 140,000, or around 2 […]

U.S. Lt. Col. William Clark, second from left, talks with Gen. Abdul Raziq, a police commander in southern Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Aug. 7, 2009 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

In one fell swoop last Thursday, a gunman eliminated two of the most powerful officials in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province and critically injured a third. The Taliban quickly claimed credit for the attack, which killed Gen. Abdul Raziq, who held the title of provincial police commander but was in reality a prominent 39-year-old warlord in an official uniform. In the past decade, the Taliban’s insurgency has grown to cover all corners of the country, swarming the non-Pashtun northern crescent and pushing to reclaim southern Afghanistan. The Taliban has made gains in Helmand and Uruzgan provinces, with advances more recently into neighboring […]

Cover photo: Migrants sit in front of Spanish police officers at the port of Algeciras, southern Spain, July 31, 2018 (AP photo by Marcos Moreno).

Explore how the global refugee crisis has transformed and continues to transform Europe. Download your FREE copy of The European Refugee Crisis: Current Policy Failures and Potential Solutions today. In the wake of the largest European refugee crisis since World War II, the influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have had a profound impact across the EU, closing minds and borders. So far, the EU’s refugee policy has undermined norms and the EU itself. Tragically, its approach appears doomed to fail, as it ignores the push factors driving people to make the trip. Download The European Refugee […]

A family bathes in one of the irrigation ditches at a hideout in a banana plantation on the island of Mindanao, Philippines (Lindsay Fendt).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the implications of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder for Saudi Arabia’s international partnerships and the Middle East. For the Report, Lindsay Fendt talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about the Philippines’ other campaign of extrajudicial killings, this one targeting anti-mining activists in Mindanao’s Compostela Valley. Lindsay’s two-part series of in-depth articles is the second to be funded by WPR’s International Reporting Fellowship. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter […]

Migrants wait to be transported to a police station after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Algeciras, Spain, June 26, 2018 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Roughly 300 people will wade into the shallow water off the coast of Libya today, moving under the cover of night and according to the shouted instructions of their smugglers. Most will have come from sub-Saharan nations like Nigeria and Eritrea, having traveled for months along a route plagued by armed gangs and predatory police for the opportunity to climb into a rubber raft and float toward a future in Europe and beyond. In 2016 and 2017, nearly 8,000 migrants drowned while attempting this dangerous Mediterranean crossing. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly late last month, U.S. […]

A farmer surveys his crops at a hideout in a banana plantation on the island of Mindanao, Philippines (Lindsay Fendt).

Editor’s Note: In July 2019, this story won the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market from the Society of Environmental Journalists. This is the second installment of a two-part series on killings of environmental activists in the Philippines, funded by WPR’s International Reporting Fellowship. The first installment can be found here. MINDANAO, Philippines—On a secluded banana plantation on the Philippine island of Mindanao, nearly 400 people pass each night in tents, huts and makeshift dormitories. They bathe in the plantation’s irrigation ditches, surrounded by blue bags of pesticides that have fallen from the banana plants. The entire […]

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, of the right-wing Social Liberal Party, arrives for a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

In the first round of their country’s most tumultuous presidential election in recent history, Brazilians voted overwhelmingly for far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro, who fell just short of winning outright. The clear favorite heading into the runoff later this month, the former army captain has run a defiant and deeply divisive campaign—attacking women, racial minorities and LGBT rights, and romanticizing Brazil’s Cold War-era military regime. The stakes of this election are of course high for Brazilians, who are dealing with a years-long economic and political crisis that has crippled the country, on top of rising crime. But migrants fleeing the dictatorship […]

A young protester holds a placard during an anti-mining rally in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, April 23, 2007 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

Editor’s Note: In July 2019, this story won the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market from the Society of Environmental Journalists. This is the first installment of a two-part series on killings of environmental activists in the Philippines, funded by WPR’s International Reporting Fellowship. The second installment ran Oct. 18. COMPOSTELA VALLEY, MINDANAO, Philippines—It was just after dawn on the southern island of Mindanao, but police officers already had a call to respond to. Winding their way through the scenic green mountains of the Compostela Valley, they approached the scene of the crime, a patch of dirt […]

Police officer Jorge Alberto Canizalez watches the streets from the back of a pickup during a nighttime patrol in San Salvador, El Salvador, Aug. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the implications for U.S.-Saudi ties. For the Report, Anna-Catherine Brigida talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about the dangers facing Salvadorans deported by the U.S., many of whom are returning to a country they barely know. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a free preview […]

Anti-government protesters march outside Central American University, Managua, Nicaragua, Sept. 26, 2018 (AP photo by Alfredo Zuniga).

Despite recent statements from President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, that things are back to “normal” after their response to what they described as an “attempted coup,” there is nothing normal about what’s happening in Nicaragua. Following the release of a United Nations report detailing the suppression and criminalization of protests that began in April, there have been further efforts to silence government critics. In late August, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a blistering report on the political violence in Nicaragua that has killed more than 300 people and […]

A Syrian refugee family sits at the immigration office of Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, Nov. 18, 2015 (Photo by Shin Jun-hee for Yonhap via AP Images).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series on immigration and integration policy around the world. Hundreds of Yemeni asylum-seekers found their way to the South Korean resort island of Jeju this summer, sparking protests in a country that does not have a long history of dealing with foreigners of different ethnicities. Over 700,000 South Koreans have since signed a petition calling on the government to limit the entry of asylum-seekers, forcing President Moon Jae-in’s administration to scramble in response to the backlash. In an interview with WPR, Darcie Draudt, a doctoral candidate in political science at Johns […]

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