Today in Latin America
Top Story — Authorities in Ecuador want to buy back half a million bottles of contaminated alcohol in an effort to prevent more deaths after 48 people died and hundreds were more were sickened from liquor tainted with methanol. The country’s health minister said that the buyback includes 14 brands of wine and other alcohol that were contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol, that is used for industrial purposes. Stores have been barred from selling the liquor since July, but over 500 people have been injured by the alcohol with some left permanently blinded. $400,000 has been set aside by Ecuador’s government to buy back the alcohol at 80 cents a bottle, which was made by small provincial providers that didn’t have the required health permits.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- More than 230,000 people have been displaced by Mexico’s drug war, about half whom are seeking refuge in the United States. Yet the U.S. government approves very few Mexican asylum applications. Raisa Camargo explores why in this report from El Paso.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican authorities arrested five gang members who confessed to involvement in last week’s torching of a casino in Monterrey.
- A U.S. federal judge blocked Alabama’s controversial immigration law for up to 30 days, saying more time is needed to consider challenges to the statute.
- The Sinaloa drug cartel looks to be the largest distributor of methamphetamine to the U.S., according to In Sight.
- Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango resigned after the local news media found pictures apparently of him on a Grindr, a gay cruising app. Many writers in the U.S. media are comparing the case to that of Anthony Weiner.
- Health and human rights officials are concerned about the babies being born into Haiti’s tent camps.
- Cuban political dissidents told The Miami Herald that the authorities had used tear gas over the weekend to detain protests in the eastern province of Santiago, though the information could not be independently confirmed and was not reported by other foreign journalists on the island.
- WikiLeaks has released all 2,000 cables in its possession sent by the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo.
- A report on the CIA’s involvement in the Bay of Pigs invasion highlights the intelligence agency’s far reach into Central America during the 1960s.
- At least 83 people in Guatemala died in U.S. medical experiments on sexually transmitted diseases in the 1940s.
- A U.S. citizen living in Costa Rica was arrested after authorities discovered 293 marijuana plants in his home.
- Human Rights Watch has asked the Venezuelan government to shield prison rights activist Humberto Prado, who has received numerous death threats for exposing conditions in Venezuelan prisons.
- Venezuelan weekly 6to Poder remains in business after a Venezuelan court revoked a decision to shut the paper down for depicting high-ranking female officials as cabaret dancers.
- Chileans of different political orientations are upset at the new Valech Commission report for naming as victims two former political prisoners who eventually collaborated with the Pinochet dictatorship and another former prisoner who is wanted for assassinating a senator in 1991.
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said Monday that his government takes full responsibility for the death of 16 year-old protestor Manuel Gutierrez Reinoso and called for talks with student leaders.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica celebrated improved bilateral relations by reactivating a train route between the two countries that hasn’t run for 30 years.
Image: Seuss @ Flickr.