Paraguayan army soldiers patrol an area where two German citizens were killed by the Paraguayan People’s Army after they were kidnapped, in Yby Yau, Paraguay, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Enrique Zarza).

On Sept. 2, Paraguay’s conservative president, Mario Abdo Benitez, cleared his schedule to fly north to a forest on the edge of a ranch in the province of Concepcion. There, around 220 miles from the capital, Asuncion, he posed for photographs—a handgun visible at his side—in a camp belonging to the Paraguayan People’s Army, or EPP, an armed group with barely 50 members. A combined military-police task force, known as the FTC, had just concluded a “successful operation,” Abdo Benitez posted on Twitter. Soldiers had shot dead two EPP fighters, he announced, and were closing in on the others, who […]

A man uses his smartphone in front of portraits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, in Pyongyang, May 5, 2015 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

Before his arrest, Virgil Griffith had a reputation as a “cult hacker,” a “tech-world enfant terrible.” A 2008 profile in The New York Times Magazine, published when he was 25, called him the “Internet Man of Mystery,” and cast him as “a troublemaker … A twerp. And a magnet for tech-world groupies,” drinking White Russians and “revel[ing] in the attention of his female fans.” Griffith had become notorious the year before, when he launched WikiScanner, a website that used IP address databases to expose the anonymous editors of Wikipedia entries. The site’s release brought on a wave of news coverage, […]

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido during a meeting with members of the opposition in Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 18, 2019 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

After a rare period of unity, Venezuela’s opposition recently splintered over a familiar issue: whether to contest an election. A coalition of parties aligned with opposition leader Juan Guaido plans to boycott legislative elections that are scheduled for December, on the grounds that they will be rigged. Henrique Capriles, another prominent opposition figure, heads a much smaller faction that recently announced it will participate in the vote if electoral conditions are improved. That move could play into the hands of Venezuela’s repressive president, Nicolas Maduro, who is hoping to win international recognition of the election even though it will be […]

Demonstrators clash with police during protests in Bogota, Sept. 9, 2020 (AP photo by Ivan Valencia).

Security forces killed 13 people during two days of violent protests against police brutality last week in Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Sixty-six civilians and nearly 200 police officers were wounded. More than 200 buses were vandalized, and 54 small police posts were destroyed. If those numbers described a battle during the country’s 50-year internal armed conflict with guerrilla groups, it would have been one of the bloodier ones. It was a jarring sight to behold in “post-conflict” Colombia, four years after the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as the FARC, signed a peace accord […]

Police keep the highway connecting El Alto to the capital open to transit during a protest in La Paz, Bolivia, Aug. 17, 2020 (AP photo by Juan Karita).

It was probably just a matter of time before Bolivia’s response to the coronavirus became viscerally polarized. With an unelected interim government appearing to overstep its mandate and repeatedly pushing back new elections, and an opposition embittered by the ousting of the previous president, Evo Morales, over alleged electoral fraud, the Andean nation was already desperately divided before being hit by the pandemic. Now, however, Bolivia is mired in a partisan fight over who is responsible for the deaths of COVID-19 patients due to dire shortages of oxygen in hospitals. The trigger came last month when supporters of Morales blockaded […]