Today in Latin America
Top Story– A judge in Mexico has ordered an alleged capo in the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel held for 40 days at a government facility as a form of house arrest.
Sergio Villarreal Barragán, who was captured by Mexican marines Sunday during a raid carried out in the city of Puebla, was ordered to be held in this manner so that authorities can gather evidence while preparing formal charges.
The alleged Beltrán Leyva cartel member, known as “El Grande,” is currently being held at a Mexico City detention facility. Two men arrested with Villarreal Barragán on Sunday are also being held for questioning.
Meanwhile in the violence-ridden Mexican state of Michoacán, the entire 45-man police force in the town Purepero resigned after saying that there job was too dangerous. Soldiers and state police have taken over patrol duties in the 25,000 temporarily.
With the country reeling from the violence inflicted on the country by the three and half year drug war that has killed over 28,000 people, Mexico is looking for some bright spots as it celebrates the bicentennial of the 1810 war that threw off Spanish rule.
The capture of two rival cartel figures without a fight in less than two weeks apart is a hopeful sign and one that has Mexican officials thinking this may be a new trend in the drug war.
This, however, does raise the issue that the government may be targeting some cartels while leaving others alone.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Molly O’Toole shares some images from her recent 852-mile, 72-hour trip across the Southwest border, from San Diego, California to Arizona and back in this photo essay.
- The extradition of key Colombian paramilitary leaders to the United States is disrupting a historic amnesty program intended to demobilize units and deliver basic information, such as the location of bodies, to victims’ relatives. ProPublica explains in this investigative report.
- Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, lead author of the controversial immigration bill SB 1070, sat down with Molly O’Toole to discuss illegal immigration and elections. Here’s what he had to say.
- With classes about to begin, undocumented students are breathing a sigh of relief. Alison Bowen explains why.
- Chile has a new education initiative that it hopes will attract more qualified teachers. Read more about the new program in this article by Dispatch contributor David Mauro.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. President Barack Obama assured Hispanics on Wednesday he was not walking away from immigration reform while expressing disappointment that he had not delivered on a 2008 promise to overhaul U.S. policy
- Tropical Storm Karl hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday and could reach hurricane strength once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, potentially threatening major Mexican oil installations.
- Washington’s plan to build a fence on the border with Mexico has cost $3 billion and has not deterred undocumented immigrants or drug traffickers from entering the country, according to a new U.S. documentary.
- Cuba’s foreign minister said Wednesday that President Barack Obama has missed a golden opportunity to improve relations, lamenting that nearly two years after he offered an olive branch to America’s traditional foes, the U.S. leader has “not lived up to expectations.”
- Protesters on the popular tourist island of Vieques, just east of Puerto Rico, paralyzed ferry transportation on Wednesday as they demanded better service.
- Port workers unpacking an order of ornamental palms from Guatemala in Auckland, New Zealand, found an unwanted stowaway when a boa constrictor eyed them from on top of a crate.
- New rains bring further destruction and increase risks for people in Guatemala.
- Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro called Wednesday for Japanese assistance in achieving the country’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021, saying his nation needs technologies for environment-friendly vehicles and financial aid.
- Panama’s economy grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter versus the same period a year ago, the government said on Wednesday.
- Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a government request to end bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements with Germany, the U.K. and Northern Ireland
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said Wednesday that his country should ask the United States to extradite a man convicted in 2003 bombings who fled to Miami and is seeking asylum.
- Peru’s economy expanded less than economists forecast in July as fishing output declined and growth in public-works spending slowed.
- The U.S. State Department has said Colombia was making progress in human rights and urged Congress to approve giving it more than 30 million dollars in US military aid for fiscal year 2011.
- Brazilian industrial magnate, Eike Batista, said that he plans to build a billion dollar electric car factory that will produce 100,000 vehicles per year within four years.
- The 33 trapped Chilean miners could be rescued by November, according to the chief engineer in charge of rescue operations.
- Uruguay’s economy continued to grow in the second quarter of 2010, thanks in part to a steep rise in electricity, gas and water supply.
Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.