Central America 07/02/11
Nicaragua withdraws soldiers from Isla Calero but claims ownership in newly published map, while the Human Rights Watch protests transgender killings in Honduras.
Nicaraguan troops have withdrawn from the disputed territory of Isla Calero. Costa Rican aerial surveillance confirmed the retreat, yet Foreign Minister René Castro warned that the absence of troops might be a Nicaraguan ploy to ‘trick’ and ‘confuse’ the members of the International Court of Justice.
Google Maps inadvertently contributed to the dispute in October 2010 by attributing the ‘Harbour Head’ bay to Costa Rica. It has now corrected the mistake, returning Harbour Head to Nicaragua on its online map.
Nicaragua published its own map this week, placing the disputed territory within its own borders. Predictably, Costa Rica protested the new map, with Castro declaring, ‘My country entirely rejects any legal value [Nicaragua] wants to give with these maps.’
The pressure group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Honduran government to investigate the murders of six transgender women over the past two months. The government has condemned the killings, but the HRW says it is failing to prosecute attacks on transgender people.
Indyra Mendoza, the director of the lesbian campaign group Red Lésbica, says the murders have shaken the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Honduras.
‘We need legislative change and preventative programs to end discrimination in Honduras, because at the moment we are living our lives in hiding,’ she added. In total, 34 members of the LGBT community have been murdered in Honduras since May 2009.
Japan has agreed to invest 50 million Guatemalan Quetzalas ($6,370,000) into the construction of the Centre of Investigation and Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the national park of Tikal.
Tikal is a famous Mayan archaeological site and popular tourist attraction in northern Guatemala. The Centre will work in conservation, restoration, investigation and education.
El Salvador has risen into the top 100 footballing nations in FIFA’s latest world rankings. The Salvadorian national team ascended 18 places from 116 to 98, while Honduras remain the highest ranked country in Central America. As recent champions of the Copa Centroamericana, they climbed 17 places to become number 39 in the world.