Today in Latin America
Top Story — Police in Chile stepped up efforts to prevent protesters for education reform from gathering in any significant numbers, after student leaders broke off talks with the government Wednesday. The student leaders cited the government’s uncompromising stance on free education as the reason for abandoning talks. In the capital of Santiago, a huge deployment of riot police used water cannons and tear gas to break up a gathering of students led by activist Camila Vallejo. Several reporters were among the injured. Vallejo said that the police reaction was unprecedented even after five months of protests and asked for Chileans to bang pots in their neighborhood in protest against the government.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Local policemen in northern Mexico allowed a drug gang to use a jail to hold kidnap victims while ransom payments were being negotiated, according to one official.
- Mexico’s economy minister said that Mexican trucks will start crossing the U.S. border again in a couple weeks, ending a long-standing cross-border trucking dispute and giving an additional boost to Mexican manufacturers.
- Archaeologists in Mexico claim to have found a round stone Aztec ceremonial platform studded with carvings of serpents’ heads at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor ruin site.
- Haiti’s new prime minister says he hopes to build consensus as he helps to reconstruct the country’s infrastructure.
- Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuño, announced Thursday that the island will launch the largest solar energy project in Caribbean history.
- Honduras’ security minister said that the country’s police force could merge with the military in an effort to provide better security.
- Sony Music ordered Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to stop using the rhythm and blues song “Stand By Me” in a campaign ad for his reelection.
- University of Colorado at Boulder researchers unearthed an ancient white road leading from a Mayan village in El Salvador that was buried by a volcano 1,400 years ago.
- Costa Rica launched a new tourism campaign Thursday in an effort to target travelers in the United States and Canada.
- Colombian drug lord Jaime Alberto Marín-Zamora pleaded guilty to one count of cocaine trafficking conspiracy on Thursday.
- Oil output has dropped in Colombia as a result of a strike by oil workers at Petrominerales and Pacific Rubiales Energy oil fields since mid-July.
- Former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez was buried in Caracas on Thursday after his funeral at the Chiquinquira church.
- Argentina rejected France’s request to extradite Alfredo Astiz, an ex-military official who is currently being prosecuted in Argentina for the torture and murder of political prisoners during the Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Another ex-military officer, Alejandro Duret, was returned to Argentina from Chile to face his 15-year sentence.
- A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck northern Argentina on the Paraguayan and Bolivian borders. No injuries were reported.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. geological studies reported that there are potentially large and commercially viable gas deposits in Uruguay.
Image: Alejandro Bonilla @ Flickr.