Today in Latin America
Top Story — A law legalizing gay marriage in Mexico City took effect yesterday, with the city government granting a dozen of the first licenses.
Judith Vázquez and Lol Kin Castañeda were among the first couples to receive a license under the new law. “This is a social transformation,” Vázquez said of the law.
The couple spoke with The BBC about the legislation’s significance–see the interview here.
The law has caused controversy since it passed in December, pitting a socially liberal Mexico City against against the more conservative states that surround it, the Catholic church and the center-right Felipe Calderón administration.
Mexico City is one of three cities that have legalized gay marriage in the hemisphere; the other two are Washington, D.C. and Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Just published at the Latin America News Dispatch:
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a warning to people going on spring break to not travel to Mexico due to increased levels of violence.
- President Obama met with two Senators to discuss immigration reform.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists, a media watchdog organization, asked the Cuban government to release 22 jailed reporters.
- A lack of available land is hampering the Haitian government’s efforts to relocate those displaced by the country’s Jan. 12 earthquake.
- A lawsuit filed in New York against Coca-Cola alleges the company failed to prevent violence committed against union leaders of its drink bottlers in Guatemala. Coca-Cola denies the allegations.
- The Americas director for Human Rights Watch said attacks on opponents of last June’s coup continue to take place and asked the Attorney General of Honduras to promptly investigate the crimes.
- Guatemala beat El Salvador 2-1 Wednesday night in an exhibition soccer match in Los Angeles, CA.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Costa Rica Thursday to take part in the Pathways to Prosperity conference with Latin American leaders and to meet with outgoing Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, and with President-elect Laura Chinchilla.
- The United Nations gave Colombian singer Shakira a medal for her work with impoverished children.
- IndyCar racing’s Dale Coyne Racing hired Venezuelan Milka Duno to drive the full 2010 season. Duno, who raced in the series for the last four years, is one of the few female drivers in the sport and will compete in her first full season this year.
- A 7-year-old boy died Tuesday after an attack by a puma in a Peruvian zoo.
- The Chilean government lowered the death toll in the country’s Maule province as the number of missing was mistakenly added to those reported dead.
- Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she would use money from the country’s foreign currency reserves to pay off debt and appealed a court order that blocked her recent attempt to use the funds.
- Families of those disappeared during Uruguay’s civil military dictatorship are displeased with newly-inaugurated President José Mujica for not mentioning their concerns in his recent speeches (Spanish).
Image: Thelmadatter @ WikiCommons