Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican authorities detained five alleged members of a kidnapping and extortion ring in the Mexico City region that was known for leaving the heads of pigs outside homes and businesses as a warning. Police said the “Pig’s Heads” gang was involved in the abduction last August of a Mexico City business woman as well as extortion demands on textile companies that found the the pig head warnings outside their doors. The five members, including the alleged leader Eduardo Sánchez Zuniga, nicknamed “El Bla Bla,” were detained after police received information from a gang member who was arrested in February.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Five young people were killed by gunmen while ordering food at a roadside stand in northwestern Mexico.
- Indigenous activists in Mexico displayed the bodies of three slain indigenous Triqui as a protest to demand that authorities do more to end a conflict among rival Triqui groups.
- A captured top member of the Sinaloa cartel said that he was a confidential informant for the U.S. government.
- A federal appeals court vacated its ruling declaring a northeastern Pennsylvania city’s immigration law to be unconstitutional
- Abercrombie and Kent, one of the first travel companies to offer trips to Cuba under new rules authorizing people-to-people contacts this year, suspended its programs over concerns that its tours may not meet the requirements set out by the U.S. Treasury Department.
- The Daily Beast interviews U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Paul Farmer about his new book “Haiti after the Earthquake.”
- Two former executives of Miami-based Terra Telecommunications Corporation were convicted by a federal jury for bribing officials to secure contracts with Haiti’s state-owned Teleco.
- The Dominican Republic suffered extensive damage from Tropical Storm Emily Friday, but Haiti emerged largely unscathed.
- Two formerly conjoined twins in Guatemala celebrated their tenth birthdays over the weekend, defying odds against their survival.
- Canada’s prime minister Stephan Harper will start a tour of Latin America on August 12, making stops in Costa Rica and Panama.
- The Organization of American States will provide technical support to El Salvador for the Inter-American Ministers of Labor meeting.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez arrived in Cuba Sunday for the next phase of his cancer treatment.
- NPR reports on the rise of the baby stroller in Bolivia, where it is displacing the traditional sling mothers have used for centuries to carry their babies.
- Ecuador expects to receive between $100 million and $200 million next from early payment of future mining royalties, President Rafael Correa said Saturday.
- Peruvian bonds rose for the third week in a row, as investors speculated the country could provide a haven from global market turmoil.
- The 33 rescued Chilean miners were pelted with fruit by protesters in the Chilean capital of Santiago, where they were celebrating the one year anniversary of their rescue.
- Authorities in Argentina have arrested seven people in connection to the killing of two French tourists who were found dead on a hiking trail.
- Brazil will not sell U.S. Treasuries or change its foreign currency reserves holdings as a result of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
Image: Gobierno Federal @ Flickr.