Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Ecuadoran government detained 46 police officers who allegedly participated in last week’s revolt against President Rafael Correa in which five people died and 274 were injured.
Ecuadoran Interior Minister Gustavo Jalkh said that prosecutors have voice recordings that suggest that last Thursday’s uprising was more than a spontaneous revolt due to a new law that would strip police officers of promotion bonuses.
The accused police officers were detained late Tuesday and are awaiting formal charges. The state must seek punishment against the policemen “with all the firmness of the law,” Correa said.
Correa added that the coup may not be over and that “it will be very difficult in the future to guarantee the situation, maybe not on the same scale, won’t happen again.”
U.S. President Barack Obama called Correa on Wednesday to ask that the problems in that country be resolved through democratic means. Obama also reiterated U.S. support for the Andean nation and Ecuador’s democratic institutions.
“The President underscored the importance of resolving any tensions in Ecuador in the context of the country’s democratic and constitutional order,” according to a White House statement.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Photojournalist James Rodríguez explores the controversy surrounding Goldcorp’s Peñasquito Mine in Mazapil, Mexico.
- Congress postponed a vote on a bill that would ease restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba. Raisa Camargo reports from Washington.
- With Venezuela having gone through historic parliamentary elections on Sunday, Juan Fajardo takes a look at how both supporters and opponents of Hugo Chávez have used marches and street protests to vie for control of public space in this photo essay.
- A new government program aims to make Chile a haven for start-ups. David Mauro has the story.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The operators of a dairy farm in Michigan’s Thumb region have been charged with conspiring to hire undocumented immigrants.
- U.S. and Mexican officials are just now fully employing a gun-tracing program touted as a key deterrent to weapons-smuggling, nearly three years after it was first announced in Mexico and weeks after an inspector general’s preliminary report called it underused and unsuccessful.
- Officials say a south Texas college student has been shot and killed in Mexico.
- When Fidel Castro suddenly decided to shed his trademark olive green military fatigues and don street clothes in public for the first time in 35 years, a white guayabera shirt over blue slacks is what he put on.
- United Nations initiatives aimed at tackling gender-based violence in Haiti and improving the country’s educational system are among 18 new projects approved today to help the Caribbean nation recover from January’s devastating earthquake.
- In what officials described as the largest investigation into police corruption in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department on Wednesday announced the indictments of 89 police officers and 44 other people in Puerto Rico on drug trafficking charges.
- Guatemala on Wednesday issued a formal request for full disclosure on how US scientists deliberately infected hundreds of people here with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946-1948.
- Fugitive financial adviser Jeff Cassman has been arrested in Guatemala, nearly two years after he fled the country.
- The governments of Cuba and El Salvador signed three cooperation agreements in the fields of health, education and culture as part of the official visit to the island by Mauricio Funes, president of that Central American country, Cuba’s state-run press reported.
- Panama’s largest airline, Copa Holdings SA, raised its projected capital expenditure in 2011 and 2012 to between $200 million and $300 million a year up from a previously announced $150 million, Chief Executive Pedro Heilbron said Wednesday.
- Venezuela President Hugo Chávez has ordered an intervention of his country’s main international airport, outside Caracas, because the state-owned facility isn’t making a profit for the cash-strapped government.
- A court official in Spain says a judge wants to question ex-members of Colombia’s FARC rebels to investigate that organization’s links to the Basque separatist group ETA.
- Authorities say a coal mine explosion in northeastern Colombia has killed six workers.
- Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Wednesday called on Venezuela to respond to his request for help in investigating suspected training of ETA members in the South American country.
- Two women competing to be mayor of the Peruvian capital, Lima, will have to wait another week for the result.
- Chilean President Sebastíán Piñera called for a suspension of consultations between his country and Argentina after the latter country granted asylum to ex-guerrilla Sergio Apablaza, whom Piñera hoped would be extradited to Chile.
- The Chilean government has established a new reserve off Easter Island that is roughly the size of Greece and is designed to protect vulnerable marine life in the region.
- Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo returned to Paraguay Wednesday after receiving cancer treatment in São Paulo, Brazil.
- Several dead bodies appeared on Google Street View after the company opened a version of its street-level online mapping service in Brazil.
Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.