Catholic Abuse Scandal Hits Brazil; Chilean Church Asks Victims For Forgiveness

April 21, 2010 7:32 am 1 comment

Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI.

Today in Latin America

Top Story – A Brazilian priest accused of pedophilia and engaging in sexual conduct with boys as young as 12, was detained by police following a congressional hearing.

Msgr. Luiz Marques Barbosa, 83, was detained on Sunday after a TV station broadcast a video of him in bed with a 19-year old. Barbosa’s detention, along with other recent sex scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, made headlines throughout Brazil, which has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

Brazilian Sen. Magno Malta said that Barbosa’s detention and the subsequent investigation was not an attack on the Roman Catholic Church, but on child abuse. He claimed that Barbosa’s detention was a milestone in the fight against child abuse in Brazil.

The Roman Catholic Church has been hit hard by sex scandals involving its clergy recently. In the past few weeks allegations against priests have arisen throughout Latin America, including in Uruguay, Mexico and Chile.

In Chile, the Church Tuesday acknowledged 20 confirmed or alleged cases of child abuse by priests and asked victims for their forgiveness.

Besides the predominately Catholic Latin America, allegations of abuse have also arose in throughout the world including in Germany, where it’s been suggested that Pope Benedict mishandled abuse cases as bishop before being named to the papacy.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • In the wake of a report criticizing 287(g) and similar programs that deputize local officials to enforce federal immigration law, we wondered what supporters of these programs consider their biggest successes. So Alison Bowen asked around to find out who’s been detained and deported in these programs. She contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which trains the officers, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies, both groups that support 287(g). Read the latest post at her blog Beyond Borders to find out what they told her.
  • 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.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • A taco vendor in Salt Lake City was stabbed after his assailant learned he was Guatemalan.
  • A Mexican citizen plans to sue the Roman Catholic cardinals in Mexico City over an allegation that in the 1980s they moved an alleged pedophile priest from Mexico to the United States.
  • A man, whom border authorities shot at after he allegedly attempted to flee inspections, is a suspect in a string of robberies in the Denver, Colorado area.

Caribbean

  • The Puerto Rican government announced that it will invalidate all birth certificates issued before this summer in order to curb fraud. The decision means that more than 40 million Puerto Ricans, including 1.2 who reside in the U.S., will have to apply for new documents.
  • The head of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, asked the Cuban government to release political prisoners who are sick. (Spanish)
  • The U.S. military is scheduled to end its disaster relief mission in Haiti in June. There are currently about 2,000 U.S. troops in Haiti, down from over 22,000 in Feb.

Central America

  • A group backed by the United Nations working to eradicate illegal security groups who violate human rights in Guatemala has been successful, and its mandate should be strengthened to cover corruption and organized crime.
  • Nine months after the Honduran coup that overthrew Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, the country is still isolated, and remains outside SICA, The Central American Integration System. Only about 30 countries worldwide officially recognize the administration of right-wing President Porfirio Lobo.
  • Costa Rica inaugurated a new wind farm in the Guanacaste region. Costa Rica already covers about 80 percent of its energy demand with hydro and geothermal power.

Andes

  • A Colombian general and five other members of the country’s military died in a helicopter collision on Tuesday.
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said Colombia could be a serious threat to its neighbors if presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos wins the presidential elections.
  • Bolivian President Evo Morales said that eating chicken will cause men to lose their hair and virility, due to the female hormones injected in them.

Southern Cone

  • Brazil awarded a contract Tuesday to build and operate a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon. The contract represents a major defeat for environmentalists and local indigenous people, who will be negatively affected by the dam.
  • Brazil will delay imposing trade sanctions against products made in the United States for 60 days during settlement negotiations over cotton subsidies.
  • Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 yeas in prison. A tribunal ruled that Bignone shared responsibility in 56 cases of torture, break-ins, and illegal detentions in the Campo de Mayo military base between 1976-1983.
  • The International Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Uruguay met its underlying obligations regarding a paper mill built on a shared border with Argentina, and rejected Argentina’s request that the $1.1 billion plant be dismantled.
  • Chile’s Central Bank said that the Chilean government’s plan to spend $8.4 billion on earthquake reconstruction is “balanced” and consistent with the Central Banks views.

Image: sam_herd @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

1 Comment

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Argentina North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Top Story — Looking to take advantage of its vast and mostly untapped shale oil and gas deposits, Argentina’s Congress has passed a controversial bill that will make it easier for foreign capital to invest in the country’s energy sector. The bill, which had already passed through Argentina’s Senate, drastically lowers the minimum investment needed for companies to avoid import controls and foreign exchange regulations — a serious boon to potential investors. It now moves on to President Cristina Fernández […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Top Story – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto  met for the first time with family members of the 43 missing students from Guerrero state on Wednesday in Mexico City. Before the meeting, family members said they were prepared to voice their “indignation” over the country’s fruitless search for their missing loved ones and to demand the president do more. Since the 43 students went missing after being attacked by police on Sept. 26, the search for them has been marked […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Top Story — The search continues for Mexico’s 43 missing students in Guerrero state as authorities have not been able to confirm that new mass graves contain the students’ remains. Sunday marked one month since the students from the rural Ayotzinapa Normal School went missing after being arrested in the town of Iguala after commandeering several busses to use them in a protest. According to Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, local police turned the students over to members of […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Colombia Dispatches United States Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    NEW YORK CITY — Diana Gómez and Shaira Rivera, two young women from Colombia, visited several U.S. universities this month to raise awareness about Colombia’s current peace negotiations to end decades of armed conflict. Both their fathers were killed in the war. Their fathers, congressional aide Jaime Gómez and union worker Guillermo Rivera, were killed in Colombia in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Although their cases have not been resolved in court, the young Gómez and Rivera accuse Colombian state forces […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Top Story — Cuba’s government has sanctioned the construction of the first Catholic church to be built in the country in 55 years, the latest development in a continued trend of growing acceptance of religion on the island. The church, to be funded by members of the U.S.-based exile community in Tampa, Florida, will be constructed in Sandino, a town located in the province of Piñar del Rio on the island’s western coast. The church’s construction indicates a growing connection […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Top Story — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won her re-election bid in the closest race in the country’s history, taking just over 51 percent of the vote to beat her opponent Aécio Neves. The tight victory marks the end of a campaign cycle that stunned observers for the atypically vicious attacks from both sides. Rousseff, of the left-populist Workers’ Party, opened her victory speech by saluting fellow party member and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose two-term tenure […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →