Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of Puebla and more

This Saturday is the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, but unlike popular belief it does not celebrate Mexico’s independence. (That would be on September 16th). Beer adverts aside, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when Mexican forces beat the French military in the city of Puebla. (Mexico had been under French control from 1862 to 1867).

There have been a number of key military battles over the past two centuries that took place in the Americas that are still remembered. Here are some of them (with the help of Wikipedia):

* Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot (1802) - One of the first major battles in the Haitian Revolution. Though the French would win the battle, Haitian rebels ultimately prevailed after the French suffered massive losses.

* Battle of Chacabuco (1817) - Despite being outnumbered by nearly a 3:1 margin, Jose de San Martin and Bernardo O’Higgins led Chilean forces against the Spanish in this battle fought just outside Santiago.

* Battle of Boyacá (1819) - El Libertador Simón Bolivar commanded about 3000 soldiers including “a small British Legion” in this battle which would assure independence for Nueva Granada.

* Battle of Ayacucho (1824) - This was the decisive battle for Peru’s independence; as a result of the Independence army’s victory, Spanish forces agreed to leave Peru.

* Battle of Cerro Corá (1870) - The final battle in the brutal War of the Triple Alliance which would lead to Brazilian occupation of Paraguay for several years.

* Battle of Celaya (1915) - “The single bloodiest battle of the Mexican Revolution” which led to the beginning of the end for Pancho Villa’s forces.

* Battle of Carrizal (1916) - Battle between U.S. Expeditionary Forces and Pancho Villa’s troops nearly led to a war between Mexico and their northern neighbors.

* Battle of Yaguajay (1958) - A turning point in the Cuban revolution; the battle was won by rebel forces led by Fidel Castro and would soon lead to the end of Fulgencio Batista’s rule in Cuba.

Links- Wikipedia, National Geographic,, PBS


Friday, May 4, 2007

Follow-ups on Hugo Chavez, beauty queens, and more

The following are a list of follow-up articles on recently reported stories here on The Latin Americanist:

Links- The Latin Americanist, International Herald Tribune, Living in Peru, Xinhua, Ireland On-line,, WHBF, CNN, BBC News

Images- BBC News, Al Jazeera

Shady math and Colombia’s “record” drug bust

(I don’t like to indulge in conspiracy theories, but the following tale from Colombia caught my attention).

On Sunday, Colombian authorities claimed that they were involved in the largest drug bust in the country’s history (image). Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos even boasted that it was “the greatest number of tons (of cocaine) ever seized.”

Fast forward to Wednesday when Colombian police revised their figures on how much cocaine was actually seized. Citing “confusion…made in the initial sight count of the drug,” the actual amount of confiscated cocaine was nearly half of the amount initially estimated. (13 tons versus 25 tons).

*Puts on tin foil hat*

Note that the revised figure was released after Colombian president Alvaro Uribe arrived in Washington, DC on Tuesday, talked with President Bush at the White House, and gave several speeches praising his administration. (It is possible that the revised figures were even publicized after Uribe met with Democratic legislators on Wednesday). Perhaps the Colombian police withheld the changed number until after Uribe traveled to DC and met with key politicos. Possibly the revised figure wasn’t really “revised” after all and the Colombian authorities hid the real number in order for Uribe to leave on an extraordinary note for Washington.

*Takes off tin foil hat*

Or maybe I really ought to just lay off the occasional conspiracy theory and toss my tin foil hat in the trash.

Image- Melbourne Herald Sun

Links-, The Telgraph, BBC News, The Latin Americanist, ABC News

Republican debate touches on immigration

Ten Republican presidential hopefuls met last night in a debate remembered for the constant mentioning of Ronald Reagan and some differing over President Bush’s policies. Regarding the latter, several of the candidates commented over the issue of immigration (via Forbes):

John McCain-

“The status quo is not acceptable. We have to secure our borders. But we also need a temporary worker program, and we have to dispose of the issue of 12 million people who are in this country illegally. This issue is an important and compelling one, and it begins with national security. But we also need to address it comprehensively."

Tom Tancredo-

“No more platitudes, no more obfuscating with using words like, 'Well, I am not for amnesty, but I am for letting them stay.' That kind of stuff has got to be taken away from the political debate, as far as I'm concerned, so people can understand exactly who is where on this incredibly important issue.”

Duncan Hunter-

“Right now, the border is 2,000 miles of a very porous area where hundreds of thousands of people come across on an annual basis…Some from communist China, some from Iran, some from Korea. We have to secure the border. That's the biggest failure of the federal government."

Ron Paul-

“The purpose of government is to protect the secrecy and the privacy of all individuals, not the secrecy of government. We don't need a national ID card.”

Meanwhile, the immigration debate in Congress may heat up as Democrats are considering introducing their own proposal.

Links- Guardian UK, Bloomberg, Forbes

Image- CNN

Daily Headlines: May 04, 2007

* Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori denied plans to seek political asylum in order to avoid trial for corruption charges.

* Cuba’s government placed additional restrictions on foreign travelers coming into the country according to the Miami Herald.

* Overcrowding and the lack of promised aid from the U.S. are hurting Haiti’s prisons, according to an audit by the US Agency for International Development.

* While Argentina has lost millions of tons of soybeans due to bad weather, the country’s corn industry is getting a big boost from drought-ridden South Africa.

* Rest in peace to Brazilian media magnate Octavio Frias de Oliveira who died on Sunday.

Links- CNN, Miami Herald, Caribbean Net News, Bloomberg, The Latin Americanist, Los Angeles Times

Image- CNN

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Great Scot! Is Panama to blame for Scotland’s union to the Brits?

The annals of history serve as a rich tapestry of events that may seem far-fetched but are actually true. Take the case with the push for Scottish independence that was hindered by a disastrous attempt to colonize in Panama.

By the late 1600s, the Scottish economy was doing poorly from constant warfare, lack of a sustainable market outside its borders, and widespread famine. As a solution, the Bank of Scotland established a colonization company which then decided to create an outpost in Panama. It was a huge gamble in that half of Scotland's liquidity was invested in the project despite the raising of private funds.

What did the colonists find in Panama? Certainly not the welcome wagon:

“The conditions were horrible. It was unsuited for agriculture and the Indians they met were uninterested in the trinkets they brought them. This is probably because they only brought useless things like wigs, combs, and mirrors. During the spring of 1699, torrential rain brought disease to the colony and many died from malaria and yellow fever. About 10 colonists were dying each day and the rest had to live on a pound of nasty, moldy flour per week”.

With the economy in absolute ruin the Scottish government would soon sign the 1707 Acts of Union which politically incorporated Scotland into the United Kingdom.

Three centuries later all is not lost in the campaign of Scotland’s independence. Pro-independence factions are expected to win in today’s Scottish parliamentary elections.

Links- Wikipedia, The First Post, Scotland’s Past, The Panama Report, Bloomberg


IADB: Remittances to L. America have slowed down

According to figures from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the amount of money sent from immigrants in the U.S. to Latin America has been at a slower rate in January and February than during the same period last year. This could spell trouble for countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Jamaica whose economies rely on funds received from abroad:

“We don't know if it's a trend or a minor correction," (IADB official Donald) Terry said. "If it becomes a trend as opposed to a moment in time, this would not be good in terms of U.S. interests in Central America.”

Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia received the most money in remittances in 2006; however, remittances to Central America countries totaled almost 65% of all remittances to Latin America in 2004.

An interesting addendum to the story- a global economics blog linked to a recent Wall Street Journal article connecting the U.S. housing slump to the slowdown in remittances.

Links- The Indianapolis Star, Inter-American Development Bank, Migration Policy Institute, RGE Monitor

Image- The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Shootout at Havana airport

In a story which is just beginning to unfold, a shootout occurred this morning at Havana’s international airport. The story has yet to be acknowledged by the official Cuban press, but it seemed like two or three recently deserted members of the Cuban army tried to hijack a civilian plane when they engaged in a gunfight with airport security. Sources vary on any fatalities that may have occurred.

Here are the only three links we could find on the incident:

  1. Deutsche Presse-Agentur (via Monsters & Critics)
  2. Miami Herald
  3. Luces y sombras (blog)
Update #1: More on the shootout via Global Voices Online.

Update #2: The Associated Press and BBC News report on the shootout, too.

Image- (Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba)

News briefs on Immigration

* Political commentator Lou Dobbs latest diatribe against immigrants (and a lame one at that)- choosing May Day as the date for pro-immigrant marches.

* Presidential candidate Bill Richardson and Texas officials join a growing list of politicos that have raised doubts over added fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.

* U.S. immigration officials gave an extension to the Temporary Protection Status for another 18 months; the measure affects citizens of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

* Oops! A case of mistaken identity led to the deportation of a legal immigrant from El Paso, Texas to Guatemala.

* Here’s an interesting statistic- according to U.S immigration authorities there’s been a 20% increase in the amount of deportations in 2007 compared to last year.

Links- International Herald Tribune, The Latin Americanist, Guardian UK, El Paso Times, USA TODAY

Image- University of San Diego

Report: Brazilian anti-crime measures are failing

Human rights group Amnesty International released a report today criticizing Brazil’s government for their woeful lack of security around the country. The report mentions the "patchwork of violent fiefdoms” found in the slums of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and denounced the increased militarization of police forces to combat crime.

The report (which can be read in its entirety here) goes on to make several recommendations on how to lower violence in Brazil including:

  • “the introduction of human-rights based policing”
  • prison reform
  • programs to lower extrajudicial killings

Links- Amnesty International, Newsday, Reuters AlertNet

Image- Guardian UK

Mining strike continues in Peru

Peru’s government and labor leaders enter another day of negotiations with the hope of stopping a mining strike that has gone on since Monday. The government claims that the strike has drawn “tepid support” though the prices of copper have gone up this week as the strike progresses.

Mining is one of Peru’s primary industries; the striking miners (image) have demanded better pay and improved labor rights.

Links- Reuters, Forbes, CIA Factbook, BBC News

Image- BBC News

Daily Headlines: May 03, 2007

* Yet another problem related to Santiago, Chile’s transit network: increased air pollution while cleaner running buses are gradually being implemented.

* Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko- deemed as Europe’s “last dictator” by the U.S.- will pay an official visit to Venezuela soon.

* China’s government is peeved at the Caribbean island of St. Lucia for breaking off diplomatic relations with them and re-establishing ties with Taiwan.

* $261 million in cuts were proposed in the latest budget from Puerto Rico’s governor.

* Yesterday, Argentines commemorated the silver anniversary of the sinking of the warship General Belgrano during the Falklands War.

Links- The Latin Americanist, MercoPress, BBC News, El Universal, CBS News, Caribbean Net News, Channel 4 News

Image- BBC Mundo (Transantiago bus stop)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Titulares de las Americas

The following is a quick overview of several headlines making the rounds in the Latin American press:

Links- La Nacion, Hoy Bolivia, RCN, The Latin Americanist, Jornada, La Nacion, La Prensa Libre, elPeriodico de Guatemala, El Pais

Image- La Prensa (Fire razing several hectares of Nicaragua’s Volcán Masaya National Park)

Giuliani blasts Chavez, defends Venezuelan lobbying links

In a speech to The Latino Coalition yesterday, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani deemed Hugo Chavez as a “dangerous” leader who would have “little power” if it weren’t for oil revenues. However, the former New York City mayor echoed previous statements defending his law firm’s ties to Citgo, which is controlled by Venezuela’s state-run oil company.

In the same speech, Giuliani rejected claims that he has taken a more right-wing stance on immigration compared to his time as mayor. According to NBC's Carrie Dann, Giuliani was:

“careful to portray the immigration debate through the prism of national security -- his strongest issue by far”.

Links- Guardian UK, Newsday, The Latin Americanist, New York Sun, New York Daily News, MSNBC- First Read

Image- FOX News

Bush praises Colombian prez during DC visit

Colombian president Alvaro Uribe is ''a true democrat, a strong leader and a friend'' according to U.S. President George W. Bush who met with Uribe this morning at the White House (image). Bush went on to add that a free trade between both countries is more than an economic pact and it represents “strategic interests” in the region.

Uribe’s reception in the U.S. capital has been mixed; according to El Tiempo he was received by a standing ovation at the Council of the Americas though he was greeted by dozens of protestors before speaking at the Center for American Progress.

Uribe will be in Washington until Friday in order to promote free trade and to defend his administrations’ increasingly controversial ties to right-wing paramilitary groups. An integral part of Uribe’s strategy will be to convince Democrats in Congress who have been increasingly doubtful of him. To wit, Uribe’s staff has hired a lobbying firm with close ties to Democratic politicians.

isacson at Plan Colombia and Beyond provides a pretty good list of pros and cons of Uribe. (I won’t get nit-picky over the summary though my personal views on Uribe tend to gravitate towards the “cons”.)

Uribe’s time in DC will not be exclusively lobbying and speeches; tomorrow night he will receive the Light unto the Nations Award from the American Jewish Committee.

Links- Miami Herald, El Tiempo, RCN, Council of the Americas, Center for American Progress, The Latin Americanist, ABC News, CNN,, Plan Colombia and Beyond

Image- BBC News

Violence ends immigrants' rights march in Los Angeles

Though most of yesterday’s pro-immigrant marches in the U.S. transpired peacefully with hundreds of thousands of marchers, violence erupted in Los AngelesMacArthur Park. According to one blogger’s eyewitness account, several “anarchist youth” provoked Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers who responded by shooting tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd that included “mothers with children, the elderly and handicapped, and many others who were peacefully congregated.”

(Hat tip for last link: Global Voices Online).

Even reporters covering the Los Angeles march were not immune from the officers’ reaction as police “knocked over (Telemundo) cameraman Juan Guerra and reporter Gabriel Huerta was hit by a plastic bullet.”

In an interview this morning Telemundo national news anchorman Pedro Sevcec called yesterday’s incidents “lamentable” and emphasized the “disproportionate” amount of force from the LAPD. Video to the interview as well as footage of Sevcec being caught in the middle of a chaotic scene may be accessed here.

LAPD Commissioner William Bratton promised an internal investigation of the incidents in MacArthur Park.

YouTube has a video of CNN reporting incident in question; despite it being provoked by “eight young people” (according to Sevcec), the video certainly indicates that the reaction by police was more than necessary:

Links- Daily Herald, Raw Story, Gothamist, LAX-LIM,, Univision, YouTube

Daily Headlines: May 02, 2007

* Freight trucks from the U.S. and Mexico will be allowed to travel on highways in both countries according to the Mexican government.

* Is this good or bad news? – A senior Iranian MP praised Latin America for having “good democratic governments.”

* U.S. banana company Chiquita (sound familiar?) posted first quarter losses partly due to problems with operations in Chile.

* Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries are on a special U.S. government “piracy watch list” released this week.

* Upside Down World looks at the latest legal proceedings against ex-­Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.

Links- The Latin Americanist, Reuters, Hardbeatnews, Upside Down World, ISNA, ABC News,

Image- U.S. Department of Transportation

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Will the 2010 soccer World Cup be staged in the Americas?

Mexico, England, and the U.S. are a few possible substitutes who may host the 2010 World Cup in case South Africa cannot do so according to FIFA head Sepp Blatter. South African soccer officials immediately played damage control as Blatter revealed FIFA'S backup plan in an interview yesterday:

“There are other countries ready to organize tomorrow morning or in two days, or two months, a World Cup…The United States of America, and Mexico, they can do it, Japan, they can do it. They have enough stadia. You say England can do it, and I am sure. Spain, they can do it. There are a lot of countries, but they don't need to be ready."

The U.S. hosted the World Cup in 1994, while Mexico hosted the World Cup twice including in 1986 when they were selected as the replacement for Colombia.

Links-, Times of India,, BBC News, Wikipedia


Mex. City mayor on abortion: “We’re in the 21st century”

Mexican daily La Jornada published an article yesterday where a defiant mayor Marcelo Ebrard (image) claimed to be “with a calm conscience and ethical perspective” over the issue of abortion. Nearly a week after Mexico City’s legislature decriminalized first trimester abortions, Ebrard said that:

“Simply put, we are in the 21st century, not the 16th; we will act according to the law and the Constitution. We are obligated to carry out the law and that is what we shall do.”

Ebrard also responded to the possibility of being excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church (“let’s see if they do it”); however, he did not directly comment on remarks by Cardinal Norberto Rivera at doctors to refuse abortions at public medical clinics.

Side note- the Los Angeles Times published an article today examining the repercussions of partially legalizing abortion on Mexico City’s black market.

Links- La Jornada, The Latin Americanist,, Miami Herald

Image- Lideres Mexicanos

Brazil moves towards generic AIDS drugs

Brazil’s government took a huge step in providing generic drugs for its AIDS treatment program by breaking the patent held by drug manufacturer Merck. The move came after Merck refused the government’s request to lower the price of their medicine.

Brazil’s AIDS treatment program has been “internationally renowned” and provides free treatment to over 100,000 people. Though several Latin American nations and drug manufacturers came to a 2005 agreement on the cost of AIDS medicines, Brazil has continued to seek lower prices for drugs.

Image- Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Links- Scientific American, Bloomberg, BBC News, Christian Science Monitor

Number of Haitians caught at sea skyrocketed

In one month the U.S. Coast Guard stopped more Haitian migrants than in all of 2006. Nearly 1000 Haitian migrants were caught in the month of April, which Coast Guard authorities estimate may not diminish:

"It'll probably continue like this through the summer…every summer is busy.”

366 Haitians who tired to enter the U.S. were deported yesterday; not included in that group were over 100 Haitians who arrived on Floridian shores in late March (image).

On a slightly related note, 13 Cubans are currently at a Border Patrol facility after arriving near Key Biscayne this morning.

Links- CNN, South Florida Sun-Sentinel,, The Latin Americanist, Miami Herald

Image- CBS News

May Day today

Today, May 1st, is observed in most of the world as a day to commemorate the “social and economic achievements of the international labor movement.” Some May Day events were marred by violence and disruptions though in the case of the Koreas today was a day for unity.

Regarding the Americas, the Cuban press has praised the “millions of Cubans” who have participated in today’s May Day parade in Havana. Yet so far Fidel Castro has been a no-show, despite the many rumors surrounding a possible public appearance and the publication of his latest article.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez followed up yesterday’s announcement that his country would withdraw from the World Bank and IMF by taking over “operational control” of oil projects in the Orinoco region. Additionally, the Venezuelan government will raise the minimum wage effective today.

Lastly, pro-immigrant rallies will take place around the U.S. today though it is anticipated that they will not be as large or widespread as demonstrations on May Day 2006. Yet local officials in Los Angeles are expecting approximately 500,000 people to march today, while organizers of a Chicago rally are anticipating that more people will show up in reaction to immigration raids last week.

Links- Wikipedia, ABC Online, IOL, International Herald Tribune, Granma,, The Latin Americanist, Monsters & Critics, CNN, Reuters, Boston Herald, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times

Image- (Flyer handed out in Los Angeles promoting today’s immigrant rights march)

Daily Headlines: May 01, 2007

* “Our current immigration system is in need of reform” declared U.S. president George W. Bush as he gave the commencement speech to graduates of Miami Dade College on Saturday (image).

* The U.S. Supreme Court denied hearing a case brought up by two detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

* Apparently taking a cue from Hugo Chavez, Peruvian president Alan Garcia was given Congressional permission to partially rule via decree.

* Executives at Brazilian oil firm Petrobras said they were pleased with negotiations with Bolivia’s government over the ownership of gas refineries.

* A Guyanese woman suspected of being a “vampire” was lynched by a mob.

Links- The Latin Americanist, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Guardian UK, Reuters UK, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, BBC News

Image- Gulf Times

Monday, April 30, 2007

Chavez pulls out of World Bank

-Contributed by Alison Bowen

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez officially pulled Venezuela from the U.S.-backed World Bank and International Monetary Fund after criticizing the organizations at a weekend summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

According to an April 30 Associated Press article, Chavez also demanded the World Bank return the ”few bucks” left after Venezuela recently repaid debts ahead of schedule.

The announcement came after the summit of the organization, which was formed by Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2004 and now includes Nicaragua and Bolivia.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with his leftist allies to discuss objectives of the ALBA, which include strengthening trade and deepening the bond of the region to create ”one big homeland”.

Chavez has also pledged Venezuela’s support of 100 percent of the energy needs for ALBA members as well as Haiti.

Fellow leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales said at the summit that the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes discriminates against Latin American governments.

“I didn’t know that body existed, but we’re pulling out anyway,” Chavez said, suggesting Latin American countries could instead create national bodies to settle company disputes.

Other leaders, including Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, are hoping to separate themselves from the International Monetary Fund. Ortega and Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa both want to leave the IMF.

In April 29 comments, Chavez responded to the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights challenge of Venezuela’s decision not to renew the license of Radio Caracas Television, which is operated by the opposition. Chavez called the challenge by the OAS “the last straw” in the meddling of outside coalitions in Venezuelan affairs.

Image: Avmaroc

Links: Associated Press, PressTV, Escambray

Weekly Debate: How popular are L. American leaders?

Yesterday, Ecuadorian-based polling firm Cedatos released a report comparing the national popularity polls of several Latin American leaders. According to Cedatos’ figures the three most popular leaders are Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe, and El Salvador’s Tony Saca with over 70% approval ratings. Meanwhile, the bottom three according to Cedatos are Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez (41%), Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias (39%), and Paraguay’s Nicanor Duarte (33%).

(Note that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was not included in Cedatos' report and the most unpopular leader of the Western Hemisphere is U.S. President George W. Bush with a paltry 29%).

So who is your choice for the most popular leader in the Americas? Do you agree with Cedatos’ findings? Is the data accurate? What do you think?

Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment to this post and/or by voting in our poll located on the sidebar (closes on May 7).

Links- El Tiempo, Cedatos, Angus Reid Consultants

Will May Day be Fidel’s day out in public? (Take two)

Last week Cuban officials publicly gave conflicting accounts as to whether or not former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro will appear in public during tomorrow’s May Day celebrations. The latest voices to chime in to the debate are the presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela who are close allies of Fidel:
  • Evo Morales remarked on Sunday that he was “certain that, on May 1, comrade Fidel will resume his role leading Cuba and Latin America.”
  • Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez declared that “Fidel is in charge” of Cuba after receiving a “philosophical letter” from him on Saturday.

(Hat tip on second link: VivirLatino).

All speculation aside, the protagonist himself has yet to comment over whether or not he will appear in public for the first time since ceding power in July 2006. Fidel has written several recent articles in the Cuban press, though otherwise he has kept a relatively low profile.

Links- The Latin Americanist, BBC News, USA TODAY, VivirLatino

Image- CNN

“Dirty War” leaders face justice

Last night’s march by The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (image) was a fitting end to the week where three former leaders during Argentina’s “Dirty War” period suffered legal setbacks.

On Wednesday a federal court overturned the pardons to ex-president Jorge Rafael Videla and naval chief Eduardo Massera, which would force them to serve previous life sentences for human rights violations. Though the decision was largely symbolic since Videla and Massera are currently under house arrest for other crimes, human rights activists and families of “Dirty War” victims were pleased with the court’s ruling:

“‘This restores the route to justice and democracy,’ said Andrea Pochak of the Centre for Legal and Social Studies, a human rights group that has followed dirty war cases. ‘It is a gesture of vital importance for the future.’”

In addition, former president Reynaldo Bignone will go on trial with six others after being accused of kidnapping babies of people killed and “disappeared” in the early 1980s. Thousands of Argentines grew up with foster parents after being forcefully separated from their parents who were politically persecuted. The issue remains a sensible one and has even been portrayed in a popular Argentine telenovela.

Links- Reuters, Sydney Morning Herald, BBC News, The Latin Americanist

Image- BBC News