Today in Latin America
Top Story — A lawyer representing former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega said Tuesday that French authorities have agreed to extradite him to his native Panama. French Prime Minister François Fillon signed Noriega’s extradition papers on July 6 and he was notified of the decision last week, according to the former Panamanian military leader’s lawyer, Yves Leberquier. On Tuesday, Panamanian authorities said that they had not been notified that Noriega’s extradition papers had been signed, but they are looking into the matter. Noriega faces 20 years in prison if returned to the Central American nation, where he is wanted for the death of a military commander. Before being sent to France last year to face money laundering charges, Noriega spent two decades imprisoned in the U.S. after being deposed in a 1989 U.S. invasion. It is still unclear when he will be sent back to Panama.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican authorities arrested an alleged drug trafficker suspected of involvement in the abduction and killing of 20 tourists last September in the resort city of Acapulco.
- Authorities in the Mexican state of Michoacan are searching for six employees of polling firm Consulta Mitofsky who disappeared over the weekend.
- Mexico’s peso declined yesterday as U.S. consumer spending dropped for the first time in almost two years.
- Dominican television reporter José Agustín Silvestre was kidnapped and killed on Tuesday in the city of La Romana.
- Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) agreed Tuesday to stop blocking $20 million funds to USAID for programs to promote democracy in Cuba. The programs are illegal on the island because the Castro government views them as interventionist.
- Police arrested three suspects in the slayings of a mother and daughter who were beheaded during a home invasion last month, officials said Tuesday.
- Tropical Storm Emily struck Puerto Rico Tuesday and was headed toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where more than 630,000 people are still homeless after last year’s earthquake.
- The lawyer for former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega said French authorities have agreed to extradite him to his native Panama.
- The U.S. government released formerly classified documents that reveal the country’s close ties with Guatemala in the lead-up to the botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
- Honduras’ representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) will chair the regional group’s the Special Committee on Migration Issues.
- The government of El Salvador invited pharmaceutical companies to set up operations in the Central American country.
- The number of people who died in Ecuador’s Los Ríos province from drinking bootlegged alcohol containing methanol has risen to 33.
- Colombia’s indigenous remain stuck in the middle of a war between FARC rebels and the government, according to a pair of reports from reporter William Lloyd George.
- Bolivian police arrested four Peruvian members of the Shining Path guerrillas on Monday, who were distributing pamphlets against the leftist Evo Morales government.
- Southern Copper Corporation, Peru’s largest copper producer, said Tuesday it expected a positive result from talks with the Ollanta Humala administration about plans for a new windfall tax on foreign mining companies.
- The Venezuelan congress approved a law that threatens the autonomy of sports federations, putting the government on a collision course with FIFA.
Brazil plans to step up its fight against imports from Asia by strengthening border controls, increasing anti-dumping measures and offering $16 billion in tax breaks to help revive the country’s ailing manufacturers.
- The presidents of Argentina and Uruguay met Tuesday in Buenos Aires to discuss strengthening bi-lateral ties between the neighboring countries.
- Due to high fuel costs, starting in late October Chile’s LAN airlines will cancel its flights between the Peruvian capital of Lima and the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.
- Argentina confirmed that it has signed Alejandro Sabella to be the head coach of the country’s World Cup team in 2014.
Image: World Economic Forum @ Flickr.