Today in Latin America
Top Story — El Salvador’s highest court ruled Wednesday that nine former military officers will not be extradited to Spain to face charges for their alleged involvement in the murder of six Jesuit priests during the country’s civil war in 1989. The decision came after a Spanish court ruled in May that the nine men were among a group of 20 officials who should stand trial for shooting the priests for their outspoken criticism of human rights abuses during the twelve-year civil war in which about 75,000 people died. The six priests, five of whom were Spaniards, were shot to death in the home they shared in San Salvador, along with their housekeeper and her young daughter.
Salvadoran Judge Ulises del Dios Guzman told reporters Wednesday that although Interpol had requested that the men be located, Spain has yet to issue a formal request for extradition. The former officers turned themselves in voluntarily in August and are not being detained. El Salvador’s Supreme Court said that it would consider an extradition request if one is issued.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Human rights groups and migrants’ rights activists criticized Mexico’s failure to arrest anyone in connection to the massacre of 72 migrants last August in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
- Mexico’s soccer federation said that it is ready to defend its decision to clear five players who tested positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol.
- A commentator for a Mexican radio program said that motorists in Mexico City should rid the capital of cyclists by “flattening” those that get in their way.
- A Miami judge awarded a Cuban exile $2.8 billion in a civil suit against Cuba over the forced suicide of the man’s father following Fidel Castro’s rise to power. The Cuban government says it will not pay the claim.
- Hurricane Irene left Haiti relatively unscathed, causing only flooding and isolated damage, according to the United Nations.
- The Bahamas, on the other hand, was getting battered by the Category 3 hurricane as of Wednesday afternoon.
- A Nicaraguan official said that the Central American nation is willing to consider granting Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi asylum.
- A bill up for consideration in Costa Rica would prevent members of organized crime groups from obtaining parole.
- Around 900 million barrels of crude oil have been found in two basins in Panama, representing about $15 billion to the country over 20 years.
- A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Wednesday, but there were no initial reports of damage or injuries.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that Libya’s tragedy is only beginning with the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi.
- A candidate for city council in the Colombian city of Cali was killed by a gunman while purchasing cell phone minutes.
- Minsters from Venezuela and Russia signed three agreements this week to promote scientific, cultural and diplomatic relations.
- Protesters and police squared off as part of a 48-hour strike in Chile to protest the unpopular policies of President Sebastían Piñera.
- A ban in Argentina on visiting fans at soccer matches was lifted, fours years after it was enacted amid rising violence inside and outside stadiums.
- Google celebrated the 112th birthday of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges with an illustrated logo as the search page’s Google doodle.
Image: Damejiar @ Flickr.