Today in Latin America
Top Story — Investigators in Argentina have DNA and ballistics evidence implicating some of the eight suspects under arrest in the July killing of two French tourists. Argentine spokeman Marcelo Baez said that semen found in the body of one of the victims matches that of Gustavo Lasi, a part-time tour guide whose girlfriend was found in possession of a cellphone and camera belonging to the women. Lasi also allegedly owned a .22-caliber rifle that ballistics linked to the death of one of the women. Other tests matched a .22-caliber pistol to the shot that left the other French woman slowly bleeding to death. That firearm was recovered from the property of an ex-convict. The two French tourists and university students, Houria Moumni and Cassandre Bouvier, were found in July on a trail in an area overlooking the provincial Argentine capital of Salta.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Migrant deaths along the Arizona-Mexico border have fallen 38 percent since the same time last year with the Tucson sector reporting 132 deaths through July, compared with 212 in July of 2010.
- The U.S. State Department said that the next phase of the Merida Initiative will focus on assisting law enforcement in northern Mexico.
- The World Anti-Doping Agency said it plans to challenge the Mexico Football Federation for clearing five players of doping by accepting the claim that contaminated meat caused their positive tests.
- The first group of Americans to tour Cuba under relaxed U.S. travel rules were welcomed by the Cuban government Tuesday.
- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton launched a new business loan program in Haiti Tuesday, in an attempt to boost the economy following the Jan. 12 earthquake of 2010.
- A statue of Christopher Columbus that several U.S. cities rejected may finally end up in Puerto Rico.
- The Honduran government deployed troops to the northern state of Colón after violent clashes have left at least 11 people dead.
- A Costa Rican man wanted for indecent assault, sexual abuse of a minor and corruption of minors was arrested in the United States.
- 26 young Salvadorans received Taiwan-sponsored scholarships and will arrive in Taiwan in late August to pursue their studies.
- A group of Nicaraguan officials plan to visit Taiwan later this month in an effort strengthen mutual ties.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that his cancer was “not serious” as he returned from Cuba where he was undergoing chemotherapy.
- Ecuador’s police chief said the country’s police officers will no be required to take a lie detector test in order to root out corruption.
- U.S. customs officials found $600,000 worth of currency in two shipments of tortilla presses bound for Colombia.
- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said he will consider curbing natural gas exports to Mexico as demand from local power plants increases.
- A rare book collector in Utah claims that Butch Cassidy survived a gunfight in Bolivia and lived to write about it.
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed Tuesday to expand trade relations and further integrate their financial markets in preparation for a possible economic downturn.
- The Brazilian Senate approved a bill Monday that will abolish the 49 percent cap on foreign ownership of cable TV operators and will allow telephone companies to offer cable TV.
- Paraguay’s Chaco region, once sparsely inhabited, is now threatened by the incursion of cattle ranchers and private foreign investors as an estimated 10 percent of the forest has been wiped out in the last four years.
Image: T. Chen @ Flickr.