Today in Latin America
Top Story — Four police officers and one soldier, kidnapped by Colombia’s FARC guerrillas, called on the government to make a deal with the left-wing rebel group to secure their release.
Their plea was broadcast over a video released to local media. The video indicates that the hostages are still alive, although the actual recording date of the video is unknown.
The men in the recording have all been held hostage by the FARC since the late 1990s. They called on Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and presidential candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus to negotiate with the group.
“I want to tell President Álvaro Uribe and presidential candidates Juan Manuel Santos, Antanas Mockus and the rest that negotiation with insurgent groups should make an end to kidnappings,” said Jose Libio Martínez, according to Reuters.
Martínez was captured by the FARC along with Pablo Emilio Moncayo, who was freed earlier this year. Martínez also sent a message to his son, who was born after he was taken hostage by the FARC.
It is not clear yet if the FARC plans to release these men, but in March after Moncayo was freed the group said that he was the last one who would be freed unconditionally.
The release of this video comes only a day after the Colombian military announced that it killed six FARC rebels in an air strike and only a few weeks before a runoff election to decide the country’s next president.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Read the second installment of The Latin America News Dispatch’s World Cup Preview, featuring Group C and D.
- A case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights may challenge Brazil’s amnesty law, which shields people from punishment for political crimes committed during the military dictatorship.
- Silvio Rodríguez visits the United States for the first time in 30 years. The Latin America News Dispatch reports on the press conference he gave in New York City on Tuesday.
- Supporters of the DREAM Act started a hunger strike outside Senator Charles Schumer’s Manhattan office. Alison Bowen reports in the latest installment of Beyond Borders.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican police discovered Sunday six bodies, three with their hearts cut out, near the tourist resort of Cancun.
- A U.S. District judge sentenced a Mexican man to 14 years in prison for his involvement of the deaths of 19 people who died in a tractor-trailer, while being smuggled into the U.S.
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has ordered an investigation into the 1994 disappearance of Dominican opposition leader Narciso González Medina.
- The U.S. Embassy in Suriname has prohibited staff from using the country’s Blue Wing Airlines, citing security issues.
- Two members of Congress have freed $15 million in aid destined for civil society groups in Cuba.
- Foreign firms in Haiti are preparing themselves to take advantage of a construction boom financed by billions in international aid.
- The British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may turn out to boost Cuban off-shore drilling efforts.
- Guatemalan authorities have begun to exhume bones from a large well that they believe will provide clues about those disappeared during the country’s civil war.
- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Honduras to be readmitted into the Organization of American States (OAS) during a meeting in Lima, Peru.
- Costa Rica’s health ministry banned the use of stem cell treatment’s in spinal injuries and degenerative diseases such as diabetes.
- Venezuela plans to spend $82 million on its second order of Chinese K-8 military training jets.
- Peru’s quick economic recovery has more room to grow, according to Morgan Stanley economist Daniel Volberg.
- Argentina reported that it had completed 54 percent of its debt swap.
- A group of 17 police officers were arrested over the weekend in São Paulo, Brazil, on charges that they belonged to a death squad that alleged killed 23 people in April.
- A recent study ordered by Chile’s Supreme Court found that less than 10 percent of dictator Augusto Pinochet’s $21 million fortune was justified by his military salary.
Image: World Economic Forum @ Flickr.