Today in Latin America
Top Story — Men armed with assault rifles opened fire Friday during a family reunion in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, killing six people including one woman.
Seven men allegedly entered through the back door of a house in a residential neighborhood near the center of Ciudad Juarez, where they opened fire on the party-goers. Two men died on the spot and four others, three men and a woman died in the hospital.
Police are unsure whether the incident early Saturday was related to drug cartels, said Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general, according to CNN.
Ciudad Juarez, a city that lays directly across the border from El Paso, Texas, has become a hotspot for violence related to Mexico’s ongoing drug war. Over 6,800 people have been killed in the city since early 2008.
The United States government issued a travel advisory to U.S. citizens going to Ciudad Juarez due to the gross amount of violence tied to the drug trade.
Also on Friday, a Mexican marine and four alleged members of the Zetas drug gang were killed during a gunfight in suburb of Monterrey.
The marines were investigating several people inside two cars acting “suspiciously,” when they were attacked with grenades and gunfire. Following the gunfight, Mexican authorities seized two vehicles, three assault rifles, two shotguns and several clips.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Hispanic groups are attempting to mobilize voters amid concerns that voter turnout will be low for midterm elections.
- Criminal deportations have reached a record high under the Obama Administration. Raisa Camargo reports from Washington.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A small city in Arizona has joined the U.S. Justice Department’s suit against the state’s immigration law.
- In the month after Homeland Security officials started a review of Houston’s immigration court docket, immigration judges dismissed more than 200 cases, an increase of more than 700 percent from the prior month, new data shows.
- The wife of an American tourist reported shot to death by pirates on a border lake has given helpful new details about the incident to Mexican authorities, Mexico’s government said Saturday.
- Residents of Iztapalapa, a borough in Mexico City, cooked up a 230-foot-long (70-meter-long), almost 1 1/2-ton enchilada Sunday. Guinness record official Ralph Hannah announced that it was the world’s biggest.
- Gunmen in the drug violence-ridden border city of Ciudad Juarez have killed a local official, Rito Grado Serrano, and his son, Mexican officials said Sunday.
- United Nations troops and Haitian National Police officers are investigating a botched jail break on Sunday that led to three inmate deaths and the brief detention of seven people including three UN police advisors, authorities said.
- Public campaigning for Haiti’s upcoming elections opened Friday with a musical flair but no clear-cut favorite among the 19 presidential candidates vying to rebuild this earthquake-shattered nation.
- Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielman, arrested earlier this week in Spain for the crimes of extrajudicial execution and conspiracy, could go on trial there if the request for his extradition to Guatemala fails, a judicial official said Saturday.
- The government of El Salvador will strengthen its relations with Germany and Russia, according to a government report.
- The 40 Salvadoran companies participating in a delegation that accompanied President Mauricio Funes during a trip to Havana last week signed $5.2 million worth of contracts, El Salvador’s Diario El Mundo reported.
- Nicaraguan Tourism Minister Mario Salinas said Central American integration should be the key to developing tourism to its full potential in the years to come, just as it was instrumental in helping the region survive the crisis last year.
- The Costa Rican government is receiving nearly $56 million in donations and debt write-offs to expand its forest and marine conservation programs and become the first developing country to meet U.N. goals on protected areas.
- Colombia’s government presented on Friday a reform bill to Congress aiming to eliminate a tax deduction for investment by next year, reduce an energy surtax for industry and combat tax evasion.
- Authorities suspended a search Saturday for two miners trapped for four days in a coal mine in central Colombia and reported the deaths of two miners in separate accidents.
- Colombia’s Energy Minister Carlos Rodado has said that the process for awarding 76 oil blocks auctioned off earlier this year has been halted, local media reported on Friday.
- President Dmitri A. Medvedev said Friday that Russia planned to build the first nuclear power plant in Venezuela, and that the United States should not object because Russia’s intentions were “absolutely pure and open.”
- Rescuers have found the bodies of two of four miners trapped underground in a gold mine in southern Ecuador.
- President Evo Morales on Saturday urged farmers growing coca — the source plant for cocaine — to respect production limits because the excess crop was being funnelled to the illegal drug trade.
- The foreign ministers of Argentina and Brazil will arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay on Monday for a meeting at Mercosur parliament headquarters.
- Many of the recently-rescued Chilean miners have returned to impoverished living conditions despite their worldwide fame.
- Eleven people were killed and 30 injured when a bus carrying special needs athletes drove into a river in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
- Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona admitted Saturday that it was unlikely he would return as Argentina’s coach in the near future.
Image: Scazon @ Flickr.