Today in Latin America
Top Story— Protesters in Haiti took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of United Nation’s peacekeepers following an alleged case of sexual abuse by Uruguayan soldiers. Demonstrators wielding rocks clashed with Haitian police in riot gear outside of the earthquake-damaged Haitian National Palace. Police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd of several hundred protesters who then dispersed into the Champs des Mars, the park that is now a huge encampment of tents and shanties following the January 2010 earthquake. Local journalists reported that police had beaten two of their colleagues, but Haitian National Police spokesman Frantz Lerebours denied the allegations. Two hours later, clashes between police and protesters continued in a university near the plaza, where an ambulance took away an injured man while demonstrators continued to throw rocks at police. The protesters said they were angry about the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old Haitian man by U.N. peacekeepers as well as the cholera outbreak that has killed over 6,200 people and was likely introduced by a battalion from Nepal. “We are doing a peaceful march and asking for MINUSTAH to leave the country,” said protester Christo Junior Cadet, referring to the U.N. force by its French acronym.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
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- Arturo López Levy looks at what Defense Minister Julio Casas’ death means for the future of Cuba’s armed forces.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Police in Mexico killed four gunmen during a shootout that led to the release of five kidnapping victims in the western state of Michoacan.
- At least 17 people were injured when a roof collapsed at the San Ysidro border crossing between Mexico and the United States on Wednesday.
- Speaking in Arizona, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney promised to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the United States.
- The Cuban government accused former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson of blackmail and slander on Wednesday, denying his claims that he had been invited to the island to discuss the release of jailed U.S. subcontractor Alan Gross.
- Puerto Rico is investing $6.6 million in solar energy planels that it will install in homes, businesses, airports and schools.
- The lawyers for former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo asked a U.S. judge Wednesday to block his extradition to the United States on money-laundering charges.
- The Honduran congress cut back on a controversial security tax Wednesday after business leaders complained it was hurting mining investment.
- Panama plans to install a radar system along its coastline to alert it and three other countries, including the United States, of drug trafficking activity.
- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency in the Ucayali region on Tuesday night after indigenous groups blocked roads to protest the destruction of coca crops.
- Jorge Noguera, the former director of Colombian intelligence agency DAS, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the assassination of a professor in 2004 by paramilitaries.
- Venezuela’s ambassador to the U.N. informed the President of the U.N. General Assembly that members of ALBA oppose appointing a member of the Libyan rebel government to Libya’s vacated U.N. seat.
- Video footage of the crossing where a bus fatally collided with two trains in Buenos Aires shows that a garbage truck broke the barrier blocking the train tracks several hours before the crash.
- At least seven cases of typhoid in Santiago, Chile, have health officials concerned about a possible typhoid outbreak.
- Adecoagro SA has decided not to build a dam in the northeastern Argentine province of Corrientes due to potential environmental damage to the Uruguay River.
Image: United Nations Photo @ Flickr.