During his successful election campaign, President #Donald Trump constantly referred to the Mexicans and the problems illegal immigrants were causing in #The United States. Yet he failed to mention that Mexico and many other South American countries struggle with long term problems and often due to foreign interference in their affairs.

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Mexico

The country continues to face political instability and the attention placed on it by President Trump’s rhetoric is not helping.

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The recent protest against the White House ordered deportations has had the effect of raising the profile of populist politicians rather than reinforce President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Furthermore, the continuing wars between drug lords which were probably responsible for the murder of journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto on Friday will only make Mexicans look for other places to live and thus push people to continue to risk entering the United States illegally.

Brazil and Argentina

As reported by the Guardian Argentina and Brazil are currently embroiled in an argument which is as much about history as it is for any other rivalry between the two countries.

The Argentinean government has protested to the Brazilian government for allowing Royal Air Force planes to use Brazilian air space as they transport British troops to the contested Falkland Islands which the Argentineans consider their sovereign territory..

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The recent desecration of the Darwin cemetery on the islands where 237 seven Argentinean soldiers who died in the 1982 Falklands War are buried shows that this will continue to be a source of discord well into the future.

Columbia

A trial in the United States also shows how the past still haunts the present and how the period of the military dictatorships still casts a shadow not only on these country but others.

As reported by the Guardian, facing court in Washington on drug charges is Hernán Giraldo Serna, but these charges are not the worst crimes he committed. A former army officer, troops under his command murdered 270 people in the north of the country and he raped many young girls and women, 24 of whom then bore his children.

The court has allowed the family of one of his victims, Julio Henríquez, to testify on the impact of these crimes, the first time a commander of that bloody period will face the family of his victims.

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This will be a historic occasion for the country to confront its bloody past.

This is part of a period of South American history where there are too many mysteries that will haunt relations with the United States for some time on the future.

Operation Condor

With the rise of left wing parties in #South America in the 1960s and 70s the military hierarchy in many countries decided to take matters into their own hands. As a result many South and Latin American countries staged coups d’états and created military dictatorships. The most famous of these was the coup against Chile’s Salvador Allende and the dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet in 1973.

Known as Operation Condor, this period of history was marked by kidnappings, torture and death where the number of victims has never been ascertained as many were thrown into the Atlantic Ocean from air force planes. In Argentina many of the pregnant female victims were killed after giving birth and the children given to childless military couples.

Although it is know that America’s CIA cooperated with many of these dictatorships, the full details are unknown and probably will continue to be until all the surviving victims and above all the perpetrators are already dead.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will do well to remember this history when they deal with the South and Latin American countries. No true peace will come until these countries have confronted and laid to rest their ghosts from the past. This cannot be done without the United States.

If Donald Trump wants to enter the history books for any one single act, it would be to finally open these archives. It is well past time. #President Donald Trump