Danielle Gilbert

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Protesters demand the release of kidnapped Americans near the missionaries' headquarters in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 19. (Joseph Odelyn/AP)

Last weekend, 17 missionaries — 16 Americans and one Canadian — were kidnapped outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Kidnapping has become a regular occurrence in Haiti, the country with the world’s highest per capita kidnapping rate.

But even with rampant abductions, the targeting of foreigners is rare. As in other global kidnapping hot spots, the vast majority of kidnapping victims are local nationals. According to the Haitian Center for Analysis and Research for Human Rights, less than 5 percent of kidnapping victims since January have been foreigners.

A criminal gang called 400 Mawozo, known for violence, kidnapping and extortion, reportedly took the missionaries hostage.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gustavo Petro, presidential candidate for Colombia Humana, kisses his daughter Antonella as he shows his marked ballot to the news media, during the May 27 election in Bogota. Petro, a former M-19 guerrilla and former mayor of Bogota, now faces Iván Duque of the Democratic Center party in Sunday’s runoff. (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Last month, Colombians went to the polls to elect the successor to President Juan Manuel Santos. The unpopular and Nobel Prize-winning outgoing president was the architect of a 2016 peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (the FARC), ending five decades of civil war.

On June 17, after months of bitter and sometimes violent campaigning among candidates across the political spectrum, two men will advance to a runoff: the right-wing Iván Duque of the Democratic Center party and left-wing Gustavo Petro of Humane Colombia.

This is a deeply divisive election

In a country still healing from decades of violence, this election pits the hard right and left against each other.…  Seguir leyendo »