Today in Latin America
Top Story — Six people were killed in Colombia after a helicopter delivering money to a local bank was attacked by gunmen.
More than a dozen attackers opened fire after the helicopter landed in Caloto, in the south-western province of Cauca. The regional police chief blamed leftist rebels.
The robbery occurred about 10 a.m. after the civilian aircraft landed on a soccer field used as a landing pad. The helicopter unloaded and took off, before the gunmen opened fire from nearby underbrush and killed four officers and a bank employee who had received the money
A 31-year-old female passer-by was shot in the head and died later at a hospital.
The Cauca province police chief Col. Carlos Rodriguez blamed the 6th Front of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He said that between 15 and 18 rebels, wearing camouflage uniforms, hid in two homes near the soccer pitch before mounting that attack.
The money allegedly belonged to Accion Social, the state social welfare agency.
In another attack Tuesday in a different region, presumed rebels killed a soldier and a civilian motorcycle rider in an attack on a military checkpoint.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
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- Nearly 60 pounds of iguana meat was seized by by customs officials on a bus at the Texas-Mexico border on Sunday.
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- Home mortgages will become available to much of the Haitian public for the first time under a new program funded by international donors, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Monday after a meeting of the earthquake reconstruction commission he co-chairs with Haiti’s prime minister.
- The head of a bioethics commission convened by President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that a 1940s study of STDs using patients in Guatemala was wrong and that a U.S. probe was continuing.
- Israel’s Holocaust memorial on Tuesday added a Salvadoran diplomat to its list of gentiles who risked their lives to help save Jews during World War II
- Two Spanish journalists arrested over the weekend while covering anti-mining protests in the Panamanian capital left on Monday for Spain.
- Venezuela condemned the suspension of Libya from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, because of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protestors.
- More than a dozen attackers firing assault rifles killed four police officers and two other people Tuesday in robbing a cash shipment that had just arrived by helicopter, officials said.
- A clash between Peruvian police and wildcat gold miners resulted in the death of one miner and the wounding of 14 others on Tuesday at a protest against the army’s seizure of illegal dredges in the Amazon basin, a witness said.
- Chile’s Concha y Toro has agreed to buy U.S. wine producer Fetzer Vineyards from Brown Forman Corp for $238 million.
- A television station in São Paulo aired amateur footage of an alleged UFO siting over the Brazilian city.
Image: Center for American Progress @ Flickr.