Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Mexican Foreign Ministry protested on Wednesday against a proposed Arizona law that would allow police greater authority to detain suspected undocumented immigrants and compel them to provide proof of immigration status.
The Arizona legislature has already passed the bill, SB 1070, but Governor Jan Brewer has yet to sign it.
The message echoed a statement last week from the Mexican Embassy criticizing the proposed law.
“The Mexican Embassy observes with great concern the potentially serious effects for its nationals’ civil rights that could result from certain legal initiatives, like SB 1070,” the statement said.
The press release also said that the Mexican government worried that the law could have “possible negative effects” on relations between the Mexico and Arizona if it were to pass.
The bill has caused controversy nationally, with some opponents saying it amounts to racial profiling.
Approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants live in the state of Arizona and 90 percent of them are from Mexico, according to Mexico City’s The News, citing figures from the Pew Hispanic Center.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- With the conference under way in Cochabamba, Nikolas Kozloff, author of No Rain in the Amazon: How South America’s Climate Affects the Entire Planet, asks how climate change will affect El Niño — an irregular weather pattern that periodically wrecks havoc on the Andes.
- 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
- An explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has left 11 people missing and officials says has the potential to be a major spill.
- The Mexico City archdiocese stripped a priest with an abuse conviction of his license to work as a priest in the city.
- The Haitian government wants to halt food and healthcare aid, arguing that it disrupts the local economy.
- U.S. federal agents detained a passenger on a New York-bound flight from Africa during a layover in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Authorities said the passenger, whose identity was not disclosed, was on a no-fly list.
- The Inter American Press Association is urging Honduran authorities to investigate the killings of six journalists following the murder of journalist Georgino Orellana late Tuesday as he left a TV studio in the city of San Pedro Sula.
- The Organization of American States expressed “profound worry” about the worsening political situation in Nicaragua, which led to more violent street clashes on Wednesday.
- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Thursday it was doubtful that the House will take up pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama this year.
- Colombian Roman Catholic Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos in a radio interview defended the church’s position of not reporting sexually abusive priests to the police.
- A former army general in Venezuela said that Cubans are involved in training Venezuelan troops and have roles in intelligence, weapons, communications and other areas.
- The human rights group Survival International criticized Peru’s government for allowing Spanish oil company Repsol to build seismic lines and heliports in a tribal area.
- Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo wants to impose military rule in the northern half of the country to help soldiers put an end to attacks by a group of leftist guerrillas.
- A Roman Catholic bishop in Brazil says he strongly supports the police investigation of three priests in his region accused of sexual abuse.
- Despite the ruling on the disputed pulp mill on the mutual border of Uruguay and Argentina put forth by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the countries announced they will meet next week to try to achieve a compromise.
- China continues to refuse imports of Argentine soybean oil until quality is improved.
Image: jonathan mcintosh @ Flickr.
This post has been corrected. An earlier version said the law “would allow police to stop suspected undocumented immigrants and compel them to provide proof of immigration status.” In fact, the allows police to compel suspected undocumented immigrants to provide proof of documentation only after a police officer has made “lawful contact” with the suspect.