Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mexico: Investigators ID One of 43 Missing Students

Forensic experts in Argentina have reportedly identified the charred remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, one of forty-three Mexican students missing since September 26th.

According to a post published on December 6th on the Escuela Normal de Ayotzinapa Facebook post, what was left of Mora was found amidst where in a garbage dump where three detained hit men claimed that the young adults where tortured, killed and had their remains burnt.

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed the news at a December 7th news conference. He claimed that the remains of the twenty-one-year-old were identified by a team from Austria that compared a bone fragment with the DNA of Venancio's parents.

"Using data from the University of Innsbruck, it was determined that the remains belong to a male with a probability a billion times higher, that’s ‘b’ for billion, of being the biological son of Ezequiel Mora Chavez and the sibling of Omar Mora Venancio and Hugo Mora Venancio than for any other unrelated person,"  asserted Murillo Karam.

He also claimed that the results support his hypothesis presented last month alleging that the students were allegedly kidnapped by police from the town of Iguala and subsequently massacred by a local drug gang.

"This is scientific proof that the remains found at one of the scenes (of the crime) along with the confessions of some of the detained suspects coincide with our investigation," Murillo Karam said.   
Austria team though the result were tipped off to a parent of one of the missing students.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Today's Video: The Holiday Spirit

Nearly three thousand people gathered in Honduras on December 1st to break the Guinness world record for the world's largest human Christmas tree.  The 2945 participants dressed in red, green and other holiday colors as they broke the previous record done in Argentina last year.

"In Honduras, we can live in peace and tranquillity with opportunity to earn an income, to be happy and to give our children and our children's children a Honduras that will always has faith and hope," declared President Juan Orlando Hernandez after receiving recognition of the new record from a Guinness representative.  Despite the lovely gesture, it will take much more than a large human tree to bring "peace and tranquillity" to a country wracked by rampant violence.

Daily Headlines: December 5, 2014 (Updated)

* Uruguay: According to an Uruguayan media report the country will take in six Guantanamo military prison detainees before the end of this month.

Update: U.S. defense officials on December 7th confirmed the transfer of the six Guantanamo prisoners to Uruguay.

* Mexico: President Enrique Peña Nieto visited Guerrero state for the first time since forty-three students went missing about ten weeks ago but did not go to the village of Iguala where the disappearances occurred.

* Latin America: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that shifting “economic and financial conditions worldwide” could affect Latin America in the near future.

* U.S.: The Latino unemployment continues to decline and fell to 6.6% last month, which is more than 2% compared to November 2013.

Video Source – YouTube user teleSUR English (Video uploaded in August 2014).

Online Sources – Bureau of Labor Statistics; BBC News; Times of India; ABC News

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Daily Headlines: December 4, 2014

* Venezuela: The U.S. State Department condemned the Venezuelan government for charging opposition activist Maria Corina Machado with conspiring to kill President Nicolás Maduro.

* Latin America: According to Transparency International, Uruguay and Chile are the least corrupt countries in South America while Paraguay and Venezuela are the region’s most corrupt.

* Colombia: The FARC guerillas and Colombian government agreed to resume peace talks that were suspended following the capture of several hostages including an army general.

* Chile: Four women tortured during the military dictatorship led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet are seeking stronger punishments for those accused of raping political prisoners.

Video Source – YouTube user euronews (English)

Online Sources – U.S. Department of State; Fox News Latino; The Guardian; Transparency International

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Daily Headlines: December 3, 2014

* Peru: As the U.N. Climate Change Conference is underway in Lima, Peruvian officials have tried to downplay the country’s environmental problems.

* Guatemala: A court ruled that former strongman Efrain Rios Montt can remain under house arrest until a new trial to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

* Cuba: The White House and several Cuban-American legislators have called on the prompt release for aid worker Alan Gross as today marks the fifth anniversary of his capture.

* Dominican Republic: Francisco Dominguez, the Dominican Republic’s top prosecutor, reportedly met with his Vatican counterpart to discuss the case against an archbishop accused of sexual abuse.

Video Source – YouTube user DW (English)

Online Sources – Deutsche Welle; GlobalPost; USA TODAY; Radio Vatican

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daily Headlines: December 2, 2014

* Mexico: As Enrique Peña Nieto enters his second year as Mexico’s president, ten of thousands of protesters in Mexico City called on him to quit and leave office.

* Latin America: Thirty-four prisoners reportedly broke out of a Haitian jail while a Venezuelan human rights group claimed that forty-one inmates died after being intoxicated last week.

* Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff chose Armando Monteiro, the former head of Brazil’s “most powerful business lobby”, as the next minister of industry and trade.

* Colombia: General Ruben Dario Alzate resigned from his post in the Colombian military about thirty-six hours after he was released by the FARC guerillas.

Video Source – Fusion via YouTube

Online Sources – Bloomberg; ABC News; Reuters; The Guardian

Monday, December 1, 2014

Daily Headlines: December 1, 2014

* Uruguay: Tabaré Vazquez returns to the Uruguayan presidency, and will surely continue plans for a law legalizing the production and sale of marijuana.

* Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro announced last Friday that government spending will be slashed amid plunging oil prices but ruled out cuts to social programs.

* Puerto Rico: San Juan’s public transportation system is paralyzed today as a result of a strike over a proposed oil tax increase.

* Mexico: The China Railway Construction Corporation will reportedly bid again on a high-speed railway line even though Mexican officials recently revoked a Chinese-led bid.

Video Source – euronews via YouTube

Online Sources – MercoPress; ABC News; Reuters