Friday, January 23, 2015

Daily Headlines: January 23, 2015

* Guatemala: Former Guatemalan police chief Pedro Garcia Arredondoz was ordered to pay $1.1 million in compensation to families of six victims massacred at the Spanish Embassy in 1980.

* Mexico: Human rights group Amnesty International urged the Mexican government to investigate the possible involvement of the military into the disappearance of forty-three students missing for near four months.

* Latin America: Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro became the sole contender to succeed Chile's Jose Miguel Insulza as head of the Organization of American States.

* Brazil: Will the Brazilian economy soon enter in a recession for the second time in less than two years?

Video Source – YouTube user AFP 

Online Sources – Latin American Herald Tribune; ABC News; MercoPress; Reuters

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Daily Headlines: January 22, 2015

* U.S.: “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz named by a panel of literary critics as the best 21st-centrury novel thus far.

* Argentina: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner alleged that prosecutor Alberto Nisman didn't commit suicide and he received false information during his investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing.

* Chile: Authorities will start a new a probe into the death of Chilean Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda who may have been poisoned days after the infamous military coup of 1973.

* Venezuela: President Nicolâs Maduro proposed increasing fuel prices and raising the minimum wage by 15% in order to try to boost a Venezuelan economy in recession.

Video Source – YouTube user Writer’s Confessions

Online Sources – Reuters; The Guardian; The Latin Americanist; TIME; Newsweek

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Daily Headlines: January 21, 2015

* Cuba: Senior U.S. and Cuban diplomats are currently meeting as part of the push to improve decades of fractured relations between both countries.

* Argentina: Judicial officials release the entire report made by recently killed prosecutor Alberto Nisman where he denounced a cover-up by the Argentine government regarding the 1994 AMIA bombing.

* Latin America: The Vatican recently announced that Argentine-born Pope Francis would visit Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador later this year.

* Guatemala: A Guatemalan court sentenced ex-police chief Pedro Garcia Arredondoz to ninety years in prison for a massacre at the Spanish Embassy in 1980.

Video Source – YouTube user CNN (“During his State of the Union speech (on Tuesday), President Obama explains why Congress should work to end any embargo against Cuba”.)

Online Sources – NBC News; Tico Times; The Latin Americanist; SBS; MercoPress

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Daily Headlines: January 20, 2015

* Mexico: An Austrian forensics lab reportedly told Mexican authorities that they do not have sufficient DNA residue to identify the possibly charred remains of more than forty missing students.

* Argentina: The investigator looking into the killing of top prosecutor Alberto Nisman said that she “could not rule out a provoked suicide” behind his death.

* Venezuela: Venezuela’s main opposition coalition have called on a “demonstration of empty pots against hunger and for change” in Caracas this Saturday.

* Haiti: President Michel Martelly swore in a new Cabinet yesterday but it may not be enough to calm increased political tensions in Haiti.

Video Source – YouTube via euronews (Video uploaded in November 2014).

Online Sources – NBC News; Reuters; El Universal; The Latin Americanist; ABC News

Monday, January 19, 2015

Top Argentine Prosecutor Dead in Possible Suicide (Updated)

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman died less than a week after he accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of a cover-up over the deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center.

Police located Nisman’s body with a single gunshot wound in the late night hours yesterday in his Buenos Aires apartment. Security Minister Sergio Berni hinted that Nisman committed suicide based on a pistol and used cartridge found near the body. Yet the prosecutor assigned to investigate Nisman’s death claimed that he had not left a suicide note behind.

The fifty-one-year-old passed away on the eve of scheduled testimony to a legislative committee on his allegations against Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others. Nisman claimed on January 14th that the pair signed a memo of understanding (MOU) with Iran in 2013 in order to protect former government officials suspected of masterminding the bombing. In return for this immunity, Nisman wrote in a 300-page report that Iran was supposed to increase oil and grain exports to the South American country.

“I have been working on this for over two years, because agents of the Intelligence secretary whose names I cannot disclose are involved,” the prosecutor said last week.

Update: "What could have compelled someone to make the terrible decision to take his own life?" asked Kirchner in a lengthy statement issued via Facebook on Monday evening.

The president vehemently defended her government's role in the investigation of the AMIA bombing as well as the MOU signed with Iran nearly two years ago. She also claimed that there is a "very sordid" history behind the investigator's death and criticized numerous "incendiary" headlines in the Clarin daily newspaper.

Daily Headlines: January 19, 2015

* Mexico: While police arrested the suspected chief hit man of the Mexican drug gang behind the disappearances of forty-three students, two scientists have raised doubts into the federal government’s investigation into the incident.

* South America: Only 216 of its 420 competitors finished this year’s edition of the grueling Dakar rally that wound through Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

* Brazil: Brazil’s government pulled its ambassador from Indonesia after a Brazilian national was executed on charges of drug trafficking.

* Venezuela: Followers of Venezuelan President Nicolâs Maduro welcomed him home following an official visit of seven countries that was unsuccessful in convincing OPEC nations to cut oil production. 

Video Source – YouTube user euronews (Last week there were clashes “between demonstrators and police outside military barracks in the Mexican city of Iguala where 43 students disappeared in September last year”.)

Online Sources – CBC News; The Seattle Times; euronews; Bloomberg; Jamaica Observer