Today in Latin America
Top Story — Parts of South America have been hit by a strong cold front, that has left dozens of people dead.
In Argentina alone, at least 26 people have died from exposure, carbon monoxide inhalation and other weather related problems.
The cold front set in over last weekend and has caused snowy conditions throughout much of the region. South America is currently in the dead of winter.
In Paraguay, ten people have died from the cold and in neighboring Uruguay, two deaths were reported.
In Chile, after the death on one homeless person, Santiago’s homeless population took shelter in sports stadiums and other facilities and in the province of Aysen, communities there have been cut off because of heavy snow.
The cold front has also been harsh on the region’s livestock, with Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay all reporting large scale deaths of farm animals. Pregnant Alpacas were losing their babies and young Alpacas were dying due to the cold in Peru.
- The Board of Immigration Appeals is reviewing the case of Lesly Yajayra Perdomo. The board’s decision may make it easier for Guatemalan women to claim asylum in the United States, based on the argument that they face high levels of violence in their home country. Read more at the latest installment of Alison Bowen’s blog, Beyond Borders.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the $1.6 earmarked to combat drug trafficking has been spent without enough regard for whether the money is doing any good.
- The Mexican government promised university scholarships and free medical care to children who survived a day-care center fire that killed 49 kids last year.
- The United States has modified a pledge to take in Cuban political prisoners sent to exile to Spain, potentially complicating further releases.
- Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate remains over 16 percent and shows no signs of improving over the short term, according some the island’s leading economists.
- Diana Nyad, 60, plans to swim from Cuba to Florida.
- Some of those displaced from by Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake and living in makeshift camps are now facing eviction.
- Gunmen opened fire at a funeral for a slain bus driver in Guatemala City, killing one person and injuring three others Monday.
- Central American leaders gathered Tuesday for a meeting of the Central American Integration System in San Salvador to discuss the growing drug violence and organized crime and in the region.
- 2.5 tons of cocaine were seized on a speedboat off the southern coast of Nicaragua on Tuesday.
- National Museum archeologists in Costa Rica announced that they had discovered an 800 year-old pre-Colombian burial ground in Tres Rios, Costa Rica on Tuesday.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said in a speech Tuesday that the government has appointed a government representative to the board of Globovisión, the country’s most influential opposition television station.
- Bolivia will take over the presidency of the Andean Community from Peru during a ceremony Thursday.
- Colombia is celebrated the bicentennial of its independence Tuesday.
- A prominent Chilean businessman and longtime friend of Fidel Castro has been summoned to appear in court in Cuba on charges of embezzlement.
- Hundreds of dead penguins have mysteriously washed ashore on the beaches of Brazil’s São Paulo state.
- Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer legend who coached the national team to a disappointing loss in the 2010 World Cup, will reportedly remain the team’s head coach.
Image: Capirotazo @ Flickr.