Today in Latin America
Top Story — Port-au-Prince Mayor Jean Yves Jason announced Wednesday that he intends to move nearly 20,000 Haitians living in one of the country’s largest refugee camps to temporary shelters on Morne Cabrit mountain north of the capital. The refugees have been living in the Champs de Mars plaza across from the destroyed National Palace since the 7.0 magnitude quake last January that killed more than 300,000 people, according to Haitian government figures. Before the quake, the Champs du Mars was the political center of Haiti’s capital city, home to the palace and government ministries as well as police and army headquarters. Citing an “act of banditry”, the mayor says that criminal activity has prompted his decision to close the camp. According to the Associated Press, students at Champs de Mars have burned tires in protest of the shooting of another student when his laptop computer was reportedly robbed. The mayor’s plan to relocate the refugees and provide them with compensation must be approved by Haiti’s central government. Despite government plans to close six camps in public areas and relocate the residents, Haitian President Michel Martelly has publicly opposed the forced removal of refugees in Haiti, where some 630,000 people still remain without shelter nineteen months after the earthquake.
Read more from the Associated Press.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Violence against Mexico’s LGBT community is darkening what should be its shining moment — the passage of milestone legislation, including a law legalizing gay marriage in Mexico City. Daniel Hertz reports from Mexico’s capital.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Wednesday was the deadline for Arizona to file a petition defending its tough anti-immigration law to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- A Mexican court ruled that alleged Mexican drug-trafficker Sandra Ávila Beltrán, also known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” will not be extradited to the United States and will remain in Mexican custody for the time being.
- An anti-technology group claimed credit for at least two bombings of researchers in Mexico and mentioned five other researchers whose work it opposes.
- Colombian police arrested a woman who allegedly worked as a front for the money laundering activities of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.
- The “people-to-people” trips to Cuba reauthorized by the Obama administration start leaving Miami today.
- The Environmental Protection Agency ordered Battery Recycling Company to reduce lead pollution at its plant in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
- U.S. federal prosecutors dropped all charges against a Nicaraguan lawmaker accused of playing a role in defrauding an Egyptian businessman.
- U.S. trade officials are moving forward to enact tougher actions to ensure that Guatemala enforces its labor laws under a free-trade agreement.
- Honduras and Canada plan to sign a free trade agreement on Friday, opening up both countries’ markets to traditional and non-traditional exports and boost investment.
- Earlier this week, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly approved a $300 annual tax for the country’s corporations, foreign companies with offices in Costa Rica and limited liability corporations.
- Venezuelan prosecutors charged two former prison officials and a soldier for corruption and the facilitation of drug and arms trafficking inside El Rodeo Prison, where a riot killed 22 people in June.
- The Colombian government is waiting to extradite Indonesian fugitive and former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin, who is accused of accepting $3 million in bribes and has in turn accused other party members of corruption.
- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani met with Brazilian Deputy Foreign Minister Maria Edileuza Fontenele on Tuesday to strengthen diplomatic ties.
- An opinion poll by Ibope on Wednesday showed that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating, while still high, has dropped to 67 percent in the wake of budget cuts and this week’s corruption scandals.
- An explosion at a Petrobras refinery in Bahia Blanca, Argentina killed one worker and injured another on Wednesday.
- Paraguayan soccer star Salvador Cabañas, who survived being shot in the head last year, said at press conference in Mexico on Wednesday that he planned to make a comeback.
Image: Timoluege @ Flickr.