Today in Latin America
Top Story — All of the 33 trapped Chilean miners were brought safely to the surface Thursday night as the miner’s foreman came above ground after a 22 1/2 -hour rescue operation.
At 8:55 p.m. Eastern Time the rescue operation to save the men, who have been trapped underground for the longest period of time ever and survived, ended when Luis Urzua surfaced.
“We have done what the entire world was waiting for,” Urzua said to Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, according to The Associated Press. “The 70 days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing.”
Rescue workers hugged and sang the Chilean national anthem as the families and friends of the miners sprayed champagne and confetti.
“You’re not the same after this and neither are we,” President Sebastián Piñera told Urzua in televised remarks, according to Business Week. “We will never forget this.”
The miners have been trapped underground for more then two months after a rock collapsed above them at San José gold and copper mine. There are still six rescue workers who still need to be brought up from the mine.
“Tonight we experienced a night we will never forget – full of emotion, full of joy,” Piñera said, according to the Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A mentally disabled U.S. citizen who spoke no Spanish was deported to Mexico with little but a prison jumpsuit after immigration agents manipulated him into signing documents allowing his removal, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.
- The decapitated head of a Mexican investigator looking into the disappearance of an American in Mexico was turned over to the Mexican army said the sheriff of Zapata County, Texas.
- Escalating violence in Monterrey, one of Latin America’s most affluent cities and seen as a symbol of Mexico’s economic prowess, is arguably the most dramatic development in Mexico’s four-year campaign against powerful drug cartels.
- Cuba put residents on alert Wednesday as a weakened Hurricane Paula neared the island after drenching Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, officials said.
- Senegal is one of the poorest countries in the world and its GDP is only marginally higher than Haiti’s, but that hasn’t stopped the government from going ahead with a plan to offer a new home to 163 victims of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake who arrived on a chartered jet Wednesday.
- Invasive crocodiles are making themselves at home in the densely populated Puerto Rican capital and pose a potential threat to humans and pets, researchers said Wednesday.
- Spanish police say they have arrested former Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielman, who was wanted in connection with the alleged killing of seven prisoners in 2006.
- Immigration officials in Costa Rica are considering restricting Mexican and Guatemalan visas to enter the country.
- Honduras will ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to intervene in the legal battle over maritime borders between Colombia and Nicaragua.
- The Permanent Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Political Parties (COPPPAL) closes its 29th plenary meeting on Tuesday in El Salvador.
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad focused on developing relations further between the two friendly countries.
- On Wednesday, the president of the Dominican Republic’s National Business Council rebuked Costa Rica’s effort to impose a “straightjacket” on the Caribbean country’s trade relations.
- A Panama-flagged Japanese cargo ship hijacked in Kenyan waters at the weekend has been located anchored off a Somali port town regarded as a pirate stronghold, a Japanese media report said Wednesday.
- Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chávez on Wednesday set off on a tour of friendly nations including Russia, Iran and Libya with a shopping list ranging from nuclear power and tanks to olive oil.
- Carlos Maman, the only Bolivian trapped in the Chilean mine emerged from the deep yesterday to an offer from Bolivian President Evo Morales to return home where a guaranteed job and a house awaited him.
- OPEC looked set Wednesday to keep oil production levels steady while the outlook for prices appeared uncertain against a backdrop of a fragile economic recovery and falling dollar.
- Four unknown assailants shot and killed the two brothers of mayoral candidate Vilmar Acosta in the Paraguayan town of Ypehu on Tuesday, prompting Acosta’s supporters to burn down a house they believed belonged to the suspects.
- Britain, France and Italy are competing to sell warships to Brazil as the South American country seeks to boost its coastal defenses and deep-sea exploration.
- The Uruguayan government has hired the Washington-D.C. based firm Foley Hoag to defend it against a lawsuit brought against the country by Phillip Morris Products S.A. for restricting the sale of cigarettes.
- Argentine researchers have discovered the oldest fossils of land plants to date, suggesting that plants colonized land much earlier than previously believed.
Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.