Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Mexican military arrested a leader of the border gang Barrio Azteca in connection with the death of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez.
A Mexican federal police spokesman declined to release the name of the gang leader, but local media reports suggest that the leader is Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, who was arrested in a car Friday and held on a weapons possession charge.
On March 13, Lesley A. Enriquez, a consulate employee, Arthur H. Redelfs, her husband and Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a Mexican employee at the consulate, were killed after leaving a party. The 7-month old daughter of Enriquez and Redelfs was in the back seat of the car when her parents were killed.
Following the killings, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) and other U.S. agencies rounded up suspected members of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso, Texas for questioning.
“We think there may be some connection with the Aztecas, and we did an operation in El Paso to generate leads,” said Andrea Simmons, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I., according to the New York Times.
Barrio Azteca is rooted in the Texas prison system and operates on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, where members allegedly hire themselves out to the Juárez drug cartel. The alleged leader of the gang’s Juárez operation, Eduardo Ravelo, was on the F.B.I.’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives last year and is currently being sought by U.S. investigators.
Valles de la Rosa is also wanted in Mexico for the 2009 murder of rival Los Mexicles gang member, Marco Zapata Reyes.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A new study finds that mentally disabled immigrants facing deportation are not receiving adequate legal or medical attention.
- Mexico’s Homex company said Monday it plans to work with the Indian construction company Puravankara to build housing projects in the southern Indian city of Chennai.
- Hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas declined an invitation from the Spanish government to relocate to Spain. Fariñas says he will let himself die if the Cuban government does not release 26 political prisoners accused of conspiring with the U.S. to subvert the revolutionary government.
- The Haitian government will unveil its $3.9 billion reconstruction and restructuring plan at the United Nations on Wednesday.
- Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin revealed that he is gay on his Twitter page, saying “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” Martin said he had kept his sexual life private until Monday because of concerns that his homosexuality would damage his career.
- Panama hired Morgan Stanley to help sell $95.9 million worth of bonds that are due in 2036.
- Somali pirates hijacked a Panama-flagged ship Monday off the coast of Yemen.
- Costa Rica will host the inaugural Latin American Global Medicine & Wellness Congress in San Jose on April 26-28th, 2010.
- The Venezuelan Supreme Court barred Wilmer Azuaje, a critic of President Hugo Chávez, from speaking to the media about criminal charges that allege that he struck a police official.
- Guns N’ Roses lead singer, Axl Rose, threatened to walk off stage after being pelted with objects during a concert in Lima, Peru.
- Workers at Peru’s Shougang Hierro iron mine went on strike Monday, while strikes at other mines throughout the country continue.
- Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launched an $878 billion investment plan Monday. The money is destined for infrastructural improvements, with $530 billion intended for use between 2011 and 2014.
- In June, the International Whaling Commission will release a report on the demise of young whales in Argentina’s Patagonian coast since 2005. Suspected causes of death include biotoxins, disease, and hunger.
- Chile will spend around $2.5 billion to rebuild homes lost in the February earthquake, according to President Sebastián Piñera on Monday.
- Paraguayan soccer player Derlis Florentín died Sunday morning in a car accident at the age of 26. Florentín allegedly lost control of his vehicle, crashing into another car, before veering off the road.
Image: scazon @ Flickr.