Friday, November 7, 2014

Missing Mexican Students Murdered Says Attorney General

Forty-three Mexican students missing for forty-one days were reportedly murdered according to Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam.

At a press conference on Friday, Karam presented videos of two suspects who confessed to allegedly carrying out the killings of the students. They claimed that the students from Ayotzinapa were taken in large trucks to a dump in nearby village of Cocula where some of them where shot dead while others died from bags placed over their heads. The corpses were then thrown into the dump and burned for six to fifteen hours before being disposed into a river.

"The confessions we have gathered ... very sadly point to the murder of a large number of people," said Karam.

Despite the confessions, Karam kept open the investigation while forensics tests are conducted to properly identify the remains.

On September 26th, several dozen students were riding local buses back to their school following a protest over job discrimination in Iguala.  That evening, armed men from the town of Iguala fired upon the buses and killed three passengers while others fled in terror.  Eyewitnesses claimed that local police shot at some of the escaping students while others were caught and bundled into police vehicles.

Daily Headlines: November 7, 2014

* Mexico: Construction of a $4.3 billion high-speed rail line will be up for bids again three days after Mexican authorities awarded the contractor the project to a Chinese-led consortium.

* Brazil: Recently reelected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff promised to fight inflation with fiscal measures and make cuts to public spending.

* U.S.: According to the U.S. Labor Department the Latino unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in October, which marks the first time in over six years that the rate is below 7% for two consecutive months.

* Venezuela: One hundred nineteen Palestinian students arrived in Caracas on Thursday where they will study medicine with grants from the Venezuelan government.

Video Source – CCTV News via YouTube (Video uploaded on November 4th, three days prior to the Mexican government’s decision to put the contract back up for bids).

Online Sources – Bloomberg; Fox News Latino; Latin American Herald Tribune; The Latin Americanist; Xinhua

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 6, 2014

* Dominican Republic: The Dominican Republic withdrew as a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights weeks after the tribunal criticized a 2013 decision that stripped the citizenship of many Dominicans of Haitian background.
* U.S.: Exit polls indicated that there was a small increase in Latino voters participating in Tuesday’s midterm elections compared to 2010 while the number of Latinos in Congress rose from 28 to 29.

* Mexico: An estimated 65,000 university students participated yesterday in the first day of a three-day strike to protest the government’s actions in failing to locate 43 missing students.

* Brazil: Authorities in Brazil are investigating whether a Belem police officer went on a six-hour killing spree to avenge the death of a colleague.

Video Source – teleSUR English via YouTube (Video uploaded in October 2013).

Online Sources – ABC News; The Latin Americanist; Fox News Latino; GlobalPost; BBC News

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 5, 2014

* U.S.: The Election Protection Coalition reported receiving at least 14,000 phone complaints of problems during yesterday’s midterm elections including “reports of poll workers treating Latino voters rudely or failing to help” in Kentucky.

* Colombia: The head of the European Council announced that the E.U. will back the Colombian government’s peace talks with the FARC rebels.

* Mexico: The Mexican National Human Rights Commission will investigate the recent deaths of four people including three U.S. citizens and that may have been involved the Matamoros police.

* Venezuela: Operations at Venezuela’s largest oil refinery were suspended on Tuesday due to a blackout.

Video Source – AFP via YouTube

Online Sources – U-T San Diego; Reuters; teleSUR English; Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 4, 2014

* Mexico: Police apprehended the fugitive former mayor of Iguala and his wife who are believed to have ordered the disappearances of 43 students missing since September 26th.

* Bolivia: Ombudsman Rolando Villena expressed his worry over an apparent increase in violence against women in Bolivia including the recent rape and murder of a four-year-old girl.

* Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro announced that the Venezuelan minimum wage will be increased by 15% in a move that comes a week after he boosted military salaries by 45%.

* Cuba: Cuban officials presented a list of 246 projects that will require some $8.7 billion in foreign investment to the island.

Video Source – PBS NewsHour via YouTube

Online Sources – BBC News; NBC News; The Latin Americanist; NPR; Fox News Latino

Monday, November 3, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 3, 2014

* Latin America: Residents in countries like Mexico and Guatemala over the weekend commemorated their respective holidays to honor and respect the deeds.

* Argentina: The Argentine government suspended the operations of Procter & Gamble after accusing the household products giant of committing $138 million in tax fraud.

* Puerto Rico: Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla urged Puerto Ricans to unite and work harder to overcome the commonwealth’s “worst fiscal and economic crisis ... since the 1940s.”

* Brazil: Several hundred people took to the streets of Sao Paulo to protest water shortages and perceived inaction by local officials.

Video Source – YouTube user Charles and Ray Eames (1957 short film by famed industrial design duo Charles and Ray Eames on Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday).

Online Sources – euronews; Latin Post; Reuters; Hispanically Speaking News; Fox News Latino