Today in Latin America
Top Story — The U.S. government deported Tuesday a Guatemalan man who allegedly participated in a 1982 massacre that left 162 people dead in the Central American nation’s decades-long civil war. Pimentel Rios, who was working as a maintenance worker in California at the time of his detainment, was flown by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Guatemala where he was turned over to authorities to face charges in the December 1982 killings of men, women and children in the village of Las Dos Erres. The former soldier was allegedly a member of an elite army unit known as the Kaibiles, who hunted down supposed leftist guerrillas. Detained in 2010, a judge ruled this May that he could be extradited for his suspected involvement in the extra-judicial killings. Rios is one of four former Guatemalan military officers linked to the killings who have been arrested. “For the families who lost loved ones at Dos Erres, justice has been a long time coming, but they can take consolation in the fact that those responsible for this tragedy are now being held accountable for their crimes,” said ICE director John Morton.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A Mexican court sentenced four men convicted of the murders of 15 young people attending a birthday party last year in Ciudad Juárez to serve 240 years in prison each.
- Mexican authorities captured an alleged U.S.-born member of the Tijuana drug cartel, who is wanted in the U.S. on federal conspiracy and racketeering charges.
- A teacher from Texas, who was arrested when 88 pounds of marijuana were discovered in her car as she attempted to cross between Mexico and the U.S., was released from custody.
- The death of a 4-year-old girl at the hands of her own father has shaken Puerto Rico, where the phenomena of mental illness and domestic violence appear to be increasingly linked.
- The mother of Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died after an 85-day hunger strike, gave emotional accounts Tuesday of her son’s death in captivity to dismayed lawmakers.
- A minister in the British government claimed that Costa Rican police are responsible for preventing police cooperation in the search for a missing journalist.
- Venezuela’s Finance Commission Tuesday approved broad terms for the issuance of $10.5 billion in debt that will be sold in dollars and local currency during the second half of this year.
- The Ecuadoran government is planning to auction in October seven oil blocks for private companies interested in bidding for oil-service contracts, Minister of Nonrenewable Natural Resources Wilson Pastor said Tuesday.
- The worst snow storms in Bolivia in the last 20 years have left thousands of people stranded, as more snow is forecast for the coming days.
- The Polish couple that went missing more than a month ago in the Peruvian jungle was murdered during a robbery while boating down a river in Peru’s Ucayali region.
- Federal prosecutors in Brazil Tuesday charged three people in connection with a plane crash that killed 199 people in 2007.
- Workers at Chile’s state-owned Codelco mining company returned to work Tuesday, one day after going on strike over fears of privatization.
- Argentina is blocking Paraguay’s power sales to Uruguay by arguing for more lucrative terms from the country’s landlocked neighbor.
- Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona was not hurt after a car he was a passenger in crashed into a bus on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Image: PNC de Guatemala @ Flickr.