Today in Latin America
Top Story — The death toll in Haiti’s cholera outbreak passed 1,000, three weeks after the disease was first detected, as riots hit Haiti’s second-largest city Monday.
The death toll hit 1,034 with about 16,800 people hospitalized since the disease surfaced in late October, according to the health ministry.
Thick smoke covered the sky in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, which began around six in the morning. Rioters set ablaze a police station and threatened to burn the United Nations compound in the city, while two Haitians died in the riots, including one shot by a peacekeeper.
U.N. soldiers and Haitian police fired tear gas and projectiles to disperse at least 1,000 protesters at the compound, local radio reported. Six U.N. peacekeepers were also injured in a second protest Monday in the central city of Hinche.
The first case of cholera was reported Monday in the Dominican Republic, which shares half the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The patient is a Haitian migrant who had recently returned to the Dominican Republic after a 12-day vacation.
The case was reported in Higuey, near the tourist hotspot of Punta Cana. The news alarmed Dominicans, but so far no locally originated cholera cases have been reported.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Latin American indigenous language speakers face communication obstacles in New York City.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- An Australian man filed a lawsuit against Mexican immigration service, after detained for more than four months.
- Mexican authorities arrested a man wanted in the United States for over a decade in connection with three drug-related slayings and on drug charges.
- U.S. President Barack Obama met today with top Congressional Democrats to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform during the lame-duck session.
- Internationally-renowned blogger Yoani Sanchez said the human rights award she received from a Danish think tank Tuesday provides a measure of consolation for years of government harassment and loss of personal freedom in her native Cuba.
- Cuba’s Raúl Castro says the island “has no alternative” but to embrace the economic changes he has proposed, and claimed they are based on brother Fidel’s ideas, according to the Communist Party daily Granma.
- The Dominican Republic has detected its first case of cholera, following the outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Haiti last month.
- The United Nations on Tuesday blamed political and criminal “spoilers” in Haiti for attacks on U.N. peacekeepers, saying those agitators sought to sabotage elections this month by manipulating public fear over a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,000 people.
- Costa Rica says it will seek a meeting of the Organization of American States’ commission of foreign ministers to discuss its border dispute with Nicaragua.
- The number of peasants killed in a clash with private security guards in the Caribbean province of Colón increased to five, a spokesperson for the Honduran Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.
- Two more inmates died as a result of a fire on Wednesday in a prison in Ilobasco, El Salvador, bringing the death toll to 19.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos spurned a U.S. request to extradite an alleged cocaine kingpin from Venezuela, saying Tuesday that the suspect will be sent back to face charges in his home country.
- China will be a major financing and engineering partner in a gold mining development project in Ecuador seen as a crucial step toward the country’s economic development.
- Bolivia’s leftist government said on Tuesday it had agreed a bill to nationalize the country’s pension system and lower the retirement age to 58.
- The Chilean government said it would step in to mediate a 12-day strike by miners at the Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc Collahuasi copper mine.
- The Argentine and Uruguayan foreign ministers both said that they were satisfied with the standards they agreed to Sunday to settle a seven-year pulp mill dispute on the Rio Uruguay.
- New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg made his pledge to help Uruguay official by donating $500,000 toward the country’s defense in its legal dispute with Philip Morris International.
Image: British Red Cross @ Flickr.