Today in Latin America
Top Story — Peruvian President Ollanta Humala fired two-thirds of the country’s top police commanders in a move intended to root out corruption. Thirty of Peru’s 45 police generals have been forced into retirement, including the country’s overall commander and the head of the anti-drugs force. Besides being one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Peru is also one of the fastest growing producers of cocaine with a United Nation’s report released in June forecasting that it will soon take over Colombia as the world’s largest producer of the drug. A number of the officers forced into retirement by Humala have been accused of taking bribes from drug traffickers. Critics accused Humala of acting in haste and doing favors to friends by promoting dozens of officers in the armed forces. One general claims to have been fired even though he had not been linked to any wrongdoing. Humala is a former solider who took office in July on the promise of a tough stance toward corruption and drug trafficking. Peru’s Vice President Omar Chehade said that the changes to the police came only after “rigorous evaluation” of the security forces.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Authorities in Mexico arrested the former mayor of Monterrey over the weekend for irregularities that could have led to the death of 52 people at a casino that was set ablaze.
- Mexican marines seized over 4 tons of marijuana, arrested 36 cartel members and killed 11 others in five days of raids in the state of Tamaulipas.
- Four people in Tennessee are suing U.S. immigration agents for allegedly illegally entering their apartment while looking for a suspect.
- Authorities in the Cayman Islands south of Cuba have detained 19 Cuban boatpeople in the fifth such incident February.
- The number of cholera cases in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince has tripled in recent weeks, according to Doctors Without Borders.
- Police in the Dominican Republic say they arrested a German citizen on charges of defrauding European investors of over 47 million euros.
- A U.S. defense contractor says it will make the next generation of Marine Corps backpacks at its manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico.
- At least four Colombians were killed and two others wounded in a shoot-out outside a nightclub in Guatemala over the weekend.
- Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas met with his Salvadoran counterpart Mauricio Funes over the weekend in effort to rally support in his quest for recognition of statehood at the United Nations.
- The number of attacks on armored vehicles in Costa Rica has dropped to almost zero in recent years, according to officials.
- U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing for the passage of a free trade agreement with Panama, which is up for vote on Wednesday.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will return to Cuba next week to undergo more tests to evaluate his on-going cancer treatment
- Indigenous demonstrators in Bolivia have once again taken up their march to protest the construction of a road in the country’s Amazon basin.
- Ecuador filed two counterclaims against a ConocoPhillips’ subsidiary for a total of $504 million as part of its defense strategy in an arbitration claim.
- Over 27,000 cattle in Paraguay were vaccinated against foot-and-mouth to contain an outbreak of the livestock disease in the country.
- One of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months said the men discussed cannibalism in the first days of their ordeal.
- Brazil held its gay pride parade over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro and called on authorities to enact legislation to outlaw homophobia.
- Telecom Argentina has launched a movie streaming service called ArnetPlay that hopes to rival Netflix.
Image: Presidencia Perú @ Flickr.