Today in Latin America
Top Story — A wave of violence swept over Mexico this weekend, leaving at least 11 people dead and more injured in two separate attacks.
In one attack, unidentified gunmen killed nine people in a drug rehabilitation clinic in the northern Mexican city of Gómez Palacio. The attack is similar to one earlier this month in northern Mexico that left 19 people dead.
In recent years, attacks on drug rehabilitation clinics have become more frequent as drug cartels have targeted the centers, which they allege protect dealers from rival gangs.
Among the dead was the owner of the clinic that housed 49 people, said State Deputy Attorney General Ramiro Ortíz.
In another attack on Saturday, three people were killed and six were injured when a political rally in the southern Mexican town of Nachig turned violent.
A mob armed with clubs, stones and guns attacked a rally for for Domingo Pérez, a mayoral candidate representing the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in Aug. 4 elections. The violence lasted several hours and, in addition to the killings, 15 homes and 20 cars were burned.
Gunshots were fired from a moving vehicle during the attacks, according to officials from the Mexican state of Chiapas, where Nachig is located.
The attackers were allegedly followers of Jose Hernández of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who is in a dispute with the PRD’s Pérez. Hernández was arrested later, along with five other people.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Arizona’s controversial immigration law could face a challenge as early as next week from the Obama administration. Find out more at Alison Bowen’s Beyond Borders blog.
- Peru has topped Colombia as the world’s largest producer of coca leaf, but Colombia remains the largest manufacturer of cocaine.
Headlines from the Latin America News Dispatch
- Mexican police arrested Manuel Garibay, an alleged key figure in the Sinaloa drug cartel, last week in the border city of Mexicali.
- Tropical Storm Alex soaked Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Central America this weekend, as four people died and hundreds of tourists fled resort islands.
- Puerto Ricans are being targeted in massive document-fraud schemes, in which their names and social security numbers are being sold on the black market to hide undocumented immigrants in the United States, prompting the territory’s government to void all birth certificates issued there before July 1.
- Haitian President René Préval has selected Nov. 28 as the official date for Haiti’s presidential election, and postponed legislative elections.
- U.S. Border Patrol authorities took 34 Cuban immigrants into custody after they reached a beach in South Florida on Sunday.
- Guatemalan officials said that Goldcorp, the second-largest gold producer by market value, must stop operations in one of its mine, due to a probe of alleged environmental damage and human-rights abuses.
- Two bus passengers were killed in El Salvador Friday, less then a week after 19 people died in two similar attacks.
- Two former Panamanian presidential administrations spoke to the Colombian guerrilla group FARC to avoid violence spilling into the Central American nation,
- The Venezuelan government said it will pay for the 11 oil rigs it seized from U.S. company Helmerich and Payne.
- The Ecuadorean government hopes to secure 25 percent of the gross income from the country’s oil sector, according to a bill sent to Congress Friday.
- A Bolivian passenger bus fell off an Andean mountain road early Sunday, killing 25 people and injuring 44 more.
- Historical archives consisting of 35 million pages chronicling the violence committed by the Brazilian government during the last military dictatorship rotting in a building in Brasília.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva skipped this weekend’s meeting of the G-20 in Toronto to oversee government relief efforts after rains and flooding in the northeastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco left more than 50 dead and 100,000 homeless.
- Argentina’s economy grew at its fastest pace in almost two years in April, expanding 9.7 since last year, the government announced Friday.
- Chilean public spending will rise in 2011, but not as much in 2009, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Friday.
- Suspected Mexican drug cartel member Francisco Barreto was arrested last week as an alleged accomplice in the shooting of Paraguayan soccer star Salvador Cabañas.
Image: Intellichick@ Flickr.