Today in Latin America
Top Story — Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez dismissed rumors that he is sicker than the government claims and warned his enemies to “stop dreaming” of his death. Chávez has not been seen in public since his June 10 operation in Cuba to remove a pelvic swelling and his prolonged absence has stirred speculation that he may be receiving treatment for prostate cancer. The Venezuelan government insists Chávez is fine and denies a report by the Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, which cited unnamed U.S. intelligence officials saying Chávez was in “critical condition” at hospital in Havana. “President Chávez is recovering well from his surgery. His enemies should stop dreaming and his friends should stop worrying,” Vice Foreign Minister Temir Porras said on his Twitter page Saturday. “The only thing that has metastasized is the cancer of the Miami Herald and the rest of the right-wing press.”
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Former General Héctor López Fuentes made his first court appearance on June 20 on charges of orchestrating genocide against Guatemala’s Ixil Mayan people in 1982 and 1983. Photojournalist James Rodríguez attended the proceedings and shot these photos.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Mexican military dug up human remains in 11 pits at an abandoned ranch in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León.
- A U.S. federal judge Friday temporarily blocked parts of an Indiana immigration law cracking down on undocumented immigrants.
- The Mexican national soccer team beat the U.S. Saturday to win the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- A Vatican expert on Cuba told U.S. diplomats in 2007 that Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega had pushed to shutter a highly regarded Roman Catholic magazine that often criticized the communist system, according to a State Department cable made available by WikiLeaks.
- Former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier was summoned before an investigating magistrate for the second time in as many months.
- Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño says he is running for re-election next year.
- Cases of cholera are on the rise in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, the United Nations World Health Organization reported Friday, saying more than 18,000 new cases in Port-au-Prince have been recorded recently.
- Costa Rica filed a compliance report to the International Court of Justice in The Hague last week over Nicaragua invading the restricted area of the Isla Calero.
- An intelligence report claims that over 1,800 hand grenades stolen from the Salvadoran Army were meant for the Zetas drug cartel.
- Honduran President Porfirio Lobo announced Friday a permanent shark sanctuary in the country’s waters.
- Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami announced on Saturday the seizure of five and a half tons of cocaine in the eastern state of Bolívar, in the biggest drug bust so far this year.
- More than 250 women in a remote town in southwest Colombia are refusing to have sex with their partners until the central government follows through with a decades-old plan to pave the town’s only access road.
- Canada’s Bear Creek Mining is threatening a legal challenge against Peru after its mining rights were revoked in a move that raises the risk for other resource companies doing business in the mineral-blessed South American country.
- Federal prosecutors in Miami say a retired Bolivian general and another Bolivian national have pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that Economy Minister Amado Boudou would be her running mate in October’s presidential elections.
- Soccer fans rioted Sunday as River Plate was relegated to Argentina’s second division for the first time in the club’s history.
- A controversial open pit mining project for iron ore in Uruguay will need approval from voters, according to Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica, who called for a popular referendum.
- Brazil’s former food minister José Graziana da Silva will lead the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
- Chilean students called for educational reforms by re-enacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in front of La Moneda palace in Santiago, pronouncing the country’s education system “dead”.