Today in Latin America
Top Story –Jamaica announced a state of emergency on Sunday in areas of Kingston, after suspected drug gang members shot at two police stations and set a third on fire with molotov cocktails. One policeman was wounded during the attacks, Reuters reports.
The alleged gang members were suspected supporters of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The U.S. government has requested that Jamaica extradite Coke under charges of drug and arms trafficking, according to The Associated Press.
The Jamaican government ignored a U.S. extradition request for Coke for nine months, straining diplomatic relations, but Jamaica’s attorney general signed the request last week.
Coke is suspected to lead the Shower Posse drug gang, notorious for committing hundreds of murders in the 1980s. Coke has ties to Jamaica’s governing Labor Party, according to the AP.
Both of Jamaica’s major political parties have historic ties to drug gangs, according to The New York Times.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert on Friday, warning of the possibility of violence if police clashed with criminal gangs.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Police appear to be making strides toward containing drug trafficking violence in Rio de Janeiro. Find out why in this Dispatch.
- A special report on Colombia’s DAS intelligence service’s plan to disinform the public, impede political opposition and intimidate the country’s citizens.
- Read about the 16 people arrested in New York for acts of civil disobedience while protesting for comprehensive immigration reform at Alison Bowen’s blog Beyond Borders.
- An article on the struggles faced by undocumented immigrants who have graduated from college in the United States by Julio Salgado.
- North America
- A probe into the disappearance of former Mexican senator and presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos was suspended after his family said that they plan negotiate his return.
- A former producer of the television show “Survivor”, who is wanted for questioning in Mexico about his wife’s death, returned to the United States.
- The U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti is investigating reports that dozens of prisoners were shot during a jail riot in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- A student strike called to protest austerity measures continues to paralyze the University of Puerto Rico.
- The Cuban government has agreed to move many of the country’s 200 political prisoners closer to their homes.
- FIFA’s suspension of El Salvador was lifted Friday when the country recognized a commission set up by FIFA to monitor the Salvadoran Football Federation (Fesfut).
- A group of Honduran judges started a hunger strike over the weekend, claiming they were illegally fired by the Supreme Court for their opposition to the country’s coup last June.
- A Belize-based Internet firm was shut down by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Friday for suspected distribution of spyware and viruses.
- A former Colombian police major alleges that the brother of President Álvaro Uribe led a paramilitary group in the 1990s and that the group’s hit men trained at a ranch, where the Uribe family ran an agro-business.
- President Hugo Chávez said that Venezuela plans to increase oil production by some 300,000 barrels a day.
- Due to equipment failures at two hydropower dams, Ecuador declared a state of emergency.
- A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rattled southern Peru Sunday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
- The retired Bolivian general who captured Ernesto “Che” Guevara is under house arrest in connection with an alleged plot against President Evo Morales.
- The Pakistani man arrested in Chile for entering the U.S. Embassy bearing traces of explosives was returned to prison Saturday after an appeals court overruled an earlier decision that there was not enough evidence to detain him.
- A Polish priest was arrested in Rio de Janeiro Sunday for suspected abuse of a 16 year-old altar boy, marking the third sexual abuse case involving a priest in Brazil in the past three months.
- Paraguayan soccer star and shooting victim Salvador Cabañas was released from a rehab clinic in Buenos Aires Sunday.
- Argentine doctors arrived in Venezuela Friday to treat Argentine rock star Gustavo Cerati after he suffered a stroke last week.
- 30 people were injured Saturday in Bangladesh when soccer fans from two different villages clashed over their loyalties to the Brazilian and Argentine national teams.
Image: bbcworldservice @ Flickr.