Today in Latin America
Top Story — In a move heralded by gay rights activists, Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the issue of same-sex marriage is a legislative matter that must be addressed in the country’s Congress. The court ruled that gay couples in de facto unions constitute a family and gave Congress two years to legislate the status of same-sex marriages. If no moves are made in two years, then gay couples in Colombia will be allowed to formalize their unions before a notary public. While many Colombian churches asked the court not to legalize same-sex marriage, gay-rights supporters took to the streets to celebrate the ruling. “We would’ve preferred for the court, as guarantor of rights of minorities and in particular guarantor of equality, would have itself extended marriage to same-sex couples,” said Diana Guzmán, a lawyer involved in the action. “Nonetheless, we think this ruling is a step forward.”
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Cuba commemorated the attack on the Moncada barracks of July 26, 1953, that propelled Fidel Castro to national fame and became the first battle of the Cuban Revolution. Get a visual sense of daily life in Havana 58 years after the historic day in this photo essay by Jorge Royan.
- ICE and immigration activists are battling over the controversial U.S. deportation program, Secure Communities. Roque Planas reports on the latest developments in the fight.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican soldiers inadvertently crossed into the U.S. after being unable to turn around at the new Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge over the Rio Grande.
- A police reporter in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz was found dead behind the offices of another newspaper with investigators alleging she was killed by drug cartels.
- A Democratic lawmaker from Illinois was arrested for staging a sit-in outside the White House to protest the deportations of undocumented immigrants.
- The Cuban government approved Tampa International Airport’s plans to operate charter flights to the island. Service is supposed to start in September.
- U.S. authorities are investigating Dutch bank ING Group for violating sanctions the United States has placed on Cuba and Iran–two countries designated as “state sponsors of terrorism.” Bo
- Operations conducted by the United States, Honduras, Panama and Colombia seized almost eight tons of cocaine headed for Central America.
- A U.S. court sentenced a South Florida man to 252 months in prison and five years supervised release in connection with a series of Costa Rica-based business opportunity fraud ventures.
- S&P revised its outlook for Panama’s sovereign rating from stable to positive and said the ratings upgrade is further evidence that the Martinelli Administration’s pro-growth policies are creating prosperity for the nation.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that the chemotherapy he is undergoing for cancer will make him bald.
- Peruvian President Alán García leaves office today, finishing his second term as leader of the Andean nation.
- A Chilean television show about tortures and disappearances during the Pinochet dictatorship is drawing criticism from right-wing politicians who argue the show has no place on Chile’s state-funded public television.
- A large iron portrait of Eva Peron was unveiled earlier this week on the front of Argentina’s social development ministry building, the site of her historic speech before her death from cancer in 1952.
Image: Abustaca @ Flickr.