Friday, June 29, 2012
* Paraguay: The Mercosur bloc will allegedly suspend Paraguay over the controversial impeachment of President Fernando Lugo but will not push for economic sanctions.
Update: Mercosur did indeed temporarily suspend Paraguay until new presidential elections take place in April 2013.
The suspension thus allowed Venezuela to become a member of Mercosur since the Paraguayan legislature was the only opposition preventing Venezuela's membership.
* Ecuador: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that he “almost certainly will not” leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London and surrender to local police.
* Venezuela: Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan oil minister and president of state-run oil firm PDVSA, claimed that the company would start exploratory drilling off the Cuban coast.
* Colombia: Police commanders alleged that the FARC rebels use children as young as fourteen in order to detonate explosives.
Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English
Online Sources including Update- BBC News, Boston.com, euronews, LAHT, Reuters
Thursday, June 28, 2012
* Haiti: A United Nations report found that rape cases in Port-au-Prince are rarely prosecuted partly due to the destruction of records after a major earthquake in 2010.
* Puerto Rico: The American Civil Liberties Union will take Puerto Rico's beleaguered police department to court over allegations of abuse and excessive force against protesters.
* Argentina: Former strongman Jorge Videla brazenly accused the mothers of babies who disappeared during the “Dirty War” era of acting as “active militants in the machinery of terrorism” and denied accusations that he was behind over thirty forced adoptions.
* South America: Plaintiffs in Ecuador have filed a lawsuit against Chevron in Brazil in order to try to enforce a multibillion-dollar verdict against the oil firm.
Video Source – YouTube via Channel 4 News (From June 2011 – “Human rights groups estimate many hundreds of women have been raped since the earthquake struck and with Haiti's justice system in pieces, men are rarely punished.”)
Online Sources- Time, France24, Boston.com, Reuters
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
* Ecuador: “Thousands of people asking the Ecuadorian government to accord asylum to Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, sent a steady stream of messages saying why they support him,” according to a public statement.
* Bolivia: The government announced that it reached a deal with striking police officers after a week of protests throughout Bolivia.
* Cuba: A U.S. judge issued a temporary injunction against a new Florida law that would ban companies from getting government contracts if they also do business in Cuba or Syria.
* Latin America: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao ended a tour of Latin America by proposing to set up a $10 billion credit line to the region for infrastructural projects.
Video Source – YouTube via Voice of America
Online Sources- The Australian, CBS News, Reuters
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
* Bolivia: Despite calls by the government to “avoid any bloodshed” scores of police on strike clashed with supporters of President Evo Morales in La Paz yesterday.
* U.S.: Hours after the Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law the Justice Department set up a hotline to report "potential civil rights concerns" related to that law.
* Ecuador: The last surviving member of the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoises died on the Galapagos Islands on Sunday.
* Argentina: China is seeking to deepen its economic ties to Latin America by signing a series of agricultural agreements with Argentina.
Video Source – YouTube via CNN
Online Sources- BBC News, CBS News, CNN, Bernama, The Latin Americanist
Monday, June 25, 2012
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) issued a mixed verdict on Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law.
The majority of the high court voted to uphold one of the key provisions of the law that permits police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop. In doing so, the USSC rejected the stance that only the U.S. federal government can enforce immigration laws.
Yet the judges also struck down parts of SB 1070 that they viewed as an intrusion into federal law. The court rejected the following three sections:
- obligating all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers;
- making it a state criminal offense for an undocumented immigrant to seek work or hold a job; and
- allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.