Today in Latin America
Top Story — Boxing champion Edwin Valero was found hanged with his own clothes in his jail cell early Monday morning. The Venezuelan police said he had committed suicide. He showed signs of life when authorities first reached him, but they were unable to rescue him, they said.
Valero had been arrested in connection with the murder of his wife, whose body was found in a hotel in the Venezuelan city of Valencia.
“It’s a tragedy, a tragic, tragic waste,” said Bob Arum, Valero’s promoter.
Valero was a national star in Venezuela and a prominent supporter of the left-wing government. He had a large tattoo of Venezuelan flag and President Hugo Chávez and on his chest.
The boxer’s death coincided with the celebration commemorating Venezuela’s 200 years of independence. Foreign heads of state including Raúl Castro of Cuba and Evo Morales of Bolivia visited Venezuela for the bicentennial ceremonies in the morning. In the evening, Venezuela hosted a summit meeting of the Boliviarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA, in Spanish), a coalition of left-wing Latin American governments founded in 2004.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Political analyst Claudia López took some time to discuss paramilitary politics in Colombia with The Latin America News Dispatch after her recent talk at New York University. Watch the newscast here.
- By targeting gangs, police may end up profiling immigrant communities. Alison Bowen has more on her blog, Beyond Borders.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl called for the deployment of 3,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
- A 2007 Arizona law criminalizing the knowing hiring or undocumented immigrants has rarely been invoked.
- Mexico’s peso and stocks fell Monday after concerns about fraud charges against Goldman Sachs and he Greek debt crisis.
- Legendary Cuban tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina died at 91 on Monday.
- Cuba’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega said Cubans were impatient for change to get the country out of a “difficult situation” in an interview published on Monday.
- Haitian American and other groups propose a “people surge” to aid Haiti’s recovery from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- Costa Rica’s new luxury mall symbolizes a new trend toward ostentatious wealth and increasing divide between rich and poor in a country long known for social equality.
- A rockslide at a volcano outside Guatemala City killed a Venezuelan tourist and her guide.
- A Virginia resident, who pleaded guilty to bribing Panamanian officials, will receive the longest-ever prison sentence for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Gold mining companies plan to invest as much as $4.5 billion in Colombia over the next ten years, due to rising gold prices and unexplored areas.
- Ecuadorean finance minister Maria Elsa Viteri stepped down from her post over the weekend.
- Two alleged FARC guerrillas were killed in Ecuador by the country’s military on Sunday.
- Peru’s tax agency will fine four mining companies who illegally bought gold on the black market from wildcat miners as a way to avoid paying taxes.
- Delegates from country’s around the world have gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia for the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.
- Brazil’s energy agency Aneel suspended the Belo Monte dam auction scheduled for Tuesday.
- Police in Brazil detained an 83-year-old priest after allegations that he molested boys as young as 12, an a video showed him in bed with a 19-year-old.
- Argentina is awaiting approval from Italy for a highly anticipated debt swap.
- Chile’s peso is at a two-and-a-half week low against the dollar, despite expectations due to post-earthquake reconstruction.
- Argentina and Uruguay are trying to resolve fallout from the construction of a paper mill on their mutual border. Decisions will made in The Hague in the Netherlands, and cannot be appealed.
Image: The Examiner, under Creative Commons.