Today in Latin America
Top Story — Throughout Latin America the response to the death of Osama bin Laden was met mostly with moderation and congratulatory remarks toward the United States.
However, Venezuela’s Vice-President Elías Jaua had some harsh words about the celebrations, which occurred in Washington, New York and other cities across the United States after the announcement of bin Laden’s death.
Jaua said he was speaking from a “human point of view,” and criticized the reactions in the United States to the killing.
“It surprises me to no end how natural crime and murder has become, how it is celebrated,” Jaua said, on Venezuelan state television. “At least before, imperialist governments were more subtle. Now the death of anyone, based on what they are accused of, but not only those working outside of the law like bin Laden, but also presidents, the families of presidents, are openly celebrated by the leaders of the nations that bomb them.”
Earlier on Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez continued his criticism of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) airstrikes on Libya. However, since the announcement of bin Laden’s death the Venezuelan leader has been quiet about the news.
Chávez’s Colombian counterpart, Presdient Juan Manuel Santos, congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama Monday and called the operation to kill bin Laden a “devastating blow to global terrorism.”
Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations issued a statement calling bin Laden’s death “an event of great importance in the efforts to free the world from the scourge of terrorism.”
Peruvian President Alan García went a step further and called it a “miracle” performed by recently beatified Pope John Paul II.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- An annual report by an independent advocacy group said that Mexico can no longer be considered to have a free press due to the violence related to the country’s ongoing drug trade.
- German President Christian Wulff visited Mexico’s pyramids of Teotihuacan, as part of a tour of Latin America that will take him to Costa Rica and Brazil.
- The Swiss government has asked a court to authorize the seizure of millions of dollars frozen in accounts belonging to former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
- The Mexican navy’s training ship, Cuauhtemoc, arrived over the weekend in the port of Havana for a one-week visit as part of its 2011 Mediterranean Training Cruise, Cuban media reported.
- A Honduran court dismissed the last two remaining charges Monday against former President Manuel Zelaya, removing a key obstacle to his return to the country.
- Marines detained five Guatemalan migrants in San Fernando, a city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, where 183 bodies have been found in the past month in 40 clandestine graves, officials said.
- Colombia experienced a sharp rise in the volume of child workers in the last five years, officials say a study reveals.
- A U.S. military mission that cornered and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was nothing short of a miracle, said Peru’s President Alan Garcia, who attributed the divine intervention to newly beatified pontiff John Paul II.
- Venezuela’s stock market was essentially flat over the last two weeks, as the market took a break for the Easter holidays and continued its dull action afterwards.
- Rush-hour commuters to Buenos Aires on Monday set train cars on fire at three different stations in apparent frustration for delays caused by a derailed passenger train ahead of them.
- Paraguayan Vice President Federico Franco said he would personally become President Fernando Lugo’s “francotirador” (sniper) if he decides to run for a second term as president.
- An eighteen year-old soccer fan was killed and twelve others were injured when fights broke out between fans of rivals Flamengo and Vasco during the Rio de Janeiro state championship over the weekend.
- A soccer game between Vila Nova and Goiás in Goiânia, Brazil was delayed for twenty minutes when hundreds of bees clustered on a goal post at Serra Dourada stadium.
Image: Chavezcandanga @ Flickr.