Today in Latin America
Top Story — Venezuela’s foreign ministry announced Wednesday the cancellation of a summit of foreign leaders meant to promote political dialogue and cooperation for development between Latin American and Caribbean nations. The news casts another shadow over the health of ailing President Hugo Chávez. Venezuela put on hold the Latin America and Caribbean Summit on Development and Integration, which was to be held next week because Chávez is in a “process of recuperation and extremely strict medical treatment” in Cuba. Chávez and the Venezuelan government have been unusually quiet since he underwent surgery on June 10 to remove a “pelvic abscess,” which has led some to speculate on the seriousness of Chávez’s medical condition and if he will be able to continue leading the country. Venezuelan officials said the summit, which was to be attended by a number of regional dignitaries including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, will be rescheduled for later this year.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- The Colombian city of Cartagena is famous for its well-preserved historical walled center and nearby fortress that were declared UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1984. However, beyond the wall is a city very much in contrast to the colonial charm of the historical center. Colombia-based photographer Trevor Bach ventured into Cartagena to capture these images.
- 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
- Eight players from Mexico’s Under-22 soccer team were suspended after a group of women allegedly stole $15,000 worth of items from the team’s hotel rooms.
- Hundreds of teachers in New York City who are from Jamaica, Trinidad and other Caribbean countries claim the city has not helped them obtain U.S. citizenship.
- The world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola, FEMSA, said Wednesday they are open to further deals, only a day after agreeing a merger with family-owned bottler Grupo Tampico.
- Evidence suggests that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people, a study by a team of epidemiologists and physicians says.
- The U.S. attorney for Puerto Rico says authorities have broken up the island’s largest heroin distribution ring with a raid on a notorious seaside slum.
- Lightening struck a small boat in Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, injuring six people and sending the boats driver into the water where he is still missing.
- Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said he wants talk with the country’s political and social leaders about changes to the constitution.
- Costa Rica sentenced a Canadian woman to eight years in prison after being found guilty of international drug trafficking.
- The Colombian Football Federation says backup goalkeeper Yineth Varon had hormonal treatment that led to a failed drug test at the Women’s World Cup and her suspension.
- The leader of a Colombian guerrilla group who was captured by Ecuadorian authorities was extradited to Colombia Wednesday, officials said.
- The four Mercosur member states plan to start negotiations to add Bolivia and Ecuador to the customs union, the Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota has said.
- Brazil and Paraguay signed an agreement saying that the states will cooperate more closely to combat organized crime.
- Spanish and Italian police have recovered $9 million worth of stolen jewelry, including a tiara that might have belonged to Argentina’s Eva Perón.
- NASA satellite imagery shows that ash is still spewing out of Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón volcano.
- A shark off the coast of northeastern Brazil took a bite out of the right thigh of a 21-year old surfer.