Today in Latin America
Top Story— A report by Mexico’s National Public Safety System said that many Mexican police officers still earn $350 per month or less, despite efforts to increase wages and decrease corruption. The average wage for state police in Mexico is 9,250 pesos — the equivalent of around $670 per month or $8,000 annually, according to the report. The report, however, shows a great regional disparity in police wages. For example, in Tamaulipas, a border state known for high-levels of drug violence, police officers make only around 3,618 pesos, or $262 per month, while in the far less violent state of Aguascalientes, police officers receive five times more than that. The report added that police in the northwestern state of Baja California earn some of the highest wages, while police in southern Mexico make the lowest. As the country’s drug war continues to rage, Mexico has been plagued with violence directed toward police officers as well as rampant corruption by public officials — including both police officers and elected officials. The police chief of Ciudad Lerdo in northern Durango state and 39 of his officers were detained and questioned Saturday by federal police in connection with the July 10 disappearance of a federal officer. Nobody has been formally charged with any wrongdoing.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Though he couldn’t make it to the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez rallied his supporters in New York by phone from Cuba on Friday. Read the report from Roque Planas and Juan Víctor Fajardo.
- Check out our continuing coverage this week of the United Nations General Assembly.
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón called on the U.S. government to reduce weapon sales to Mexico and domestic demand for illegal drugs, in a talk before business leaders at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday. Mari Hayman has more.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Police in the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo found the decapitated body of a newsroom manager for the newspaper Primera Hora, along with a handwritten note saying she was killed for her postings on a social media site.
- Mexico’s small Green Party put its support behind leading presidential hopeful Enrique Peña Nieto in his bid as the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
- Agustín Carstens, head of the Bank of Mexico, said Sunday that Latin American central bank leaders see the current weakness in the region’s currencies.
- Athlete Diana Nyad abandoned her second attempt this year to swim from Cuba to Florida, after suffering stings from Portuguese man-of-wars that temporarily paralyzed her spine.
- The Obama administration’s new pick to run prosecutions at the Guantánamo war crimes court wants to bring more transparency to the base’s operations.
- Jamaica’s governing party said Sunday that Prime Minister Bruce Golding will step down some time with in the next few weeks.
- Puerto Rico has seen a spike in the level of murders this year, 75 percent of which are drug-related, according to island officials.
- A newspaper reporter in Nicaragua fled the country after allegedly receiving threats from supporters of the ruling Sandinista party.
- Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was granted a conditional release from jail by a French court, allowing him to be extradited to Panama to serve a 20-year prison sentence for human rights crimes.
- El Salvador plans to establish a National Council against Human Trafficking in an effort to assist victims of the crime.
- According to a new study, Costa Rica tops the list of countries in Central America for money laundering.
- Venezuelan opposition candidate Leopoldo López launched his presidential campaign Saturday, calling out President Hugo Chávez to challenge him after a human right’s court overturned a ban on his candidacy.
- Authorities in Colombia seized a submarine allegedly used by FARC guerrillas to transport drugs to various points in Central America.
- The mayor of the Colombian capital of Bogotá is being held in held in prison on corruption charges after a judge deemed him to be a flight risk.
- Bolivia’s foreign minister was briefly detained by marchers protesting plans to build a highway through an indigenous-inhabited nature preserve.
- A U.S. federal court Friday sentenced Bolivia’s former anti-drug police chief, Gen. René Sanabria, to 15 years in prison for his connection to a drug smuggling scandal.
- An Ecuadoran man, who was a controversial World Cup referee, was sentenced to over two years in prison after smuggling heroin into New York City’s Kennedy airport.
- The Chilean capital of Santiago and some of the country’s copper mines were paralyzed Saturday due to a massive power blackout.
- Police in Chile squared off with students at a prestigious high school Friday in the latest round of uprisings in the Southern Cone nation.
- A Brazilian newspaper reported that cattle infected with foot-and-mouth disease have crossed over into the country from neighboring Paraguay.
- The CEO of Latin America’s largest bank said that Brazil’s economy will be indirectly affected by the European debt crisis.
- Service has resumed on the train line connecting Argentina and Uruguay after administrative issues with the Uruguayan government were solved
Image: Nathan 2009 @ Flickr.