Today in Latin America
Top Story — The majority-owner of Venezuelan news channel Globovisión, Guillermo Zuloaga, fled the country on Tuesday, in defiance of arrest warrants for usury and conspiracy issued Friday in connection with his car dealership, The Associated Press reports.
Zuluaga denied the charges and fled the country rather than appear in court, saying the legal actions are politically motivated and intended to silence the station’s criticisms of the leftist administration of Hugo Chávez.
The Globovisión channel had recently reported on a scandal involving decomposing food in government storage facilities, according to AP.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a U.S.-based press freedom group, criticized the arrest warrant in an blog post published on its Web site on Sunday.
“The fact that the warrant came a week after President Hugo Chávez publicly lamented that Zuloaga remained free is alarming, especially since Globovisión has been the target of a barrage of government investigations,” said Carlos Lauría, Americas director for the CPJ.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Documented immigrants should not be deported for minor drug infractions, the Supreme Court says. Read more at Alison Bowen’s “Beyond Borders” blog.
- Displacement of peasants by armed actors continues to plague Colombia, according to Marco Romero of the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES). Mike Samras reports on Romero’s talk in Washington.
- Check out this weekend’s World Cup schedule and the Latin America News Dispatch staff picks to win it all.
- Read Alison Bowen’s new piece, “Documented Immigrants Should Not Be Deported For Minor Drug Infractions, Supreme Court Says.”
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- In a nationally televised speech Tuesday Mexican President Felipe Calderón asked the country to support his administration’s war against drug cartels.
- 14 people dead died during a shootout between Mexican soldiers and gunmen near the mining town of Taxco in the southern state of Guerrero.
- Former Haitian Prime Minister Marc Louis Bazin died on Wednesday, at age 78.
- U.S. and Cuban officials squabbled over each other’s human rights records this week.
- Guatemalan emergency authorities said they are looking for sinkholes and other possible problems as heavy rains threaten the country.
- Luis Arturo Mondragon, the news director for Honduras’ Channel 19 in El Paraíso, was assassinated outside of his home, which brings the number of journalists killed in the country this year to nine.
- The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) held a day-long summit in Costa Rica to address economic issues.
- In the first quarter of 2010 Panama’s economy expanded 4.9 percent, thanks in large part to the transportation and tourism industries.
- Two members of Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group were sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2003 abduction of three U.S. citizens.
- The owner of a television station critical of the Venezuelan government has fled the country, after an arrest warrant was issued for him.
- Police in Ecuador are cracking down on hitmen who sell their services over the internet.
- According to traders from the Quito and Guayaquil stock exchanges, Ecuador has sold $594 million in domestic bonds since last month.
- Brazil extended tax breaks for products in industrial sectors that have lagged during the broader economic recovery in Latin America’s largest economy.
- Argentina soccer coach Diego Maradona had harsh remarks for soccer legends Pelé and Michel Platini, after the two criticized his coaching during the World Cup.
- Former Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who wrote about abuses during Argentina’s military dictatorship, said he could not recall his torturers during the trial of 14 former prison officials charged with crimes against humanity.
- Chile’s Senate scrapped changes to mining royalties in President Sebastian Piñera’s bill to fund post-quake reconstruction.
- Chile’s World Cup soccer team beat Honduras, 1-0, with Marcelo Bielsa scoring the winning goal.
- Uruguay’s World Cup team defeated host nation South Africa, beating them 3-0 with Diego Forlán scoring two goals.
Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.