Today in Latin America
Top Story— As election season in Mexico begins to heat up, President Felipe Calderón said that members of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) may work with drug cartels. Calderón, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) who began his assault of the nation’s drug cartels shortly after taking office in 2006, said that there are many PRI members who “think the deals of the past would work now,” according to an interview with The New York Times. He did not say specifically which PRI members he was referring to. His comments come a day after he said a state governed by the PRI had been left in the hands of a drug cartel. Other members of PAN and some analysts have criticized the PRI – once Mexico’s dominant political party that held sway for seven decades – for making secret deals with drug cartels in the past to keep the peace in Mexico. Calderón’s comments are rare in country where the president largely stays away from party politics and may be a sign of his anger toward the PRI, which has been extremely critical of the drug war’s high death toll. “This is really serious,” said Javier Oliva, a political scientist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “The president has an obligation to prove this now. To name names…The president is regressing into a negative stance of being president of the PAN, and not president of Mexico.”
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- A class action lawsuit filed in Illinois has the potential to change the rules under which Immigration and Customs Enforcement can issue a detainer for those suspected of immigrating illegally. Check out the report by Amy Elmgren.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Mexican army rescued 61 men held captive by a drug gang near the country’s border with the United States.
- Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann signed a pledge promising to finish the fence along the Mexican border by 2013.
- A bloody prison fight in the Mexican city of Matamoros Saturday left 20 inmates dead and 12 injured.
- The Ladies in White dissident group protested on Sunday in Havana and allowed men to join them for the first time, following the death of one of the group’s leaders, Laura Pollán.
- Haiti’s Parliament formally approved Garry Conille as prime minister over the weekend, along with his ambitious plan to spur economic growth by attracting foreign investment.
- Some 200 people gathered as part of the global protests in sympathy with Occupy Wall Street in the financial district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to protest capitalism and cuts to government spending.
- The death toll from torrential rains in Central America has risen to 74 after 20 people died in El Salvador.
- Gunmen killed six men and wounded three others in Honduras when they opened fire on four luxury SUVs leaving La Mesa international airport in the city of San Pedro Sula.
- A Guatemalan judge postponed a hearing to decide if former General Mario López Fuentes should stand trial for massacres during the country’s decades-long civil war.
- The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has hit Costa Rica, with some 200 demonstrators taking the streets of San José to protest corporate greed and failed economic policies.
- At least 32 have become sick with the H1N1 swine flu virus in Nicaragua over the last week.
- Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported Sunday that former members of the Colombian military are actively training members of the Zetas, the Mexican drug cartel.
- Some Bolivian voters plan to invalidate their ballots rather than vote for judges approved by Congress as part of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ judicial reforms.
- A poll by Ipsos Apoyo says that Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating dropped 3 points to 62 percent in September.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will return to Cuba for further medical testing on Saturday.
- A poll by Argentina’s Giacobbe & Asociados says that Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner holds a 53.1 point lead in the polls approaching the country’s October 23 elections.
- Brazilian parliament member and former soccer star Romario said the government should put pressure on Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira, now under investigation for corruption, to improve preparation for the 2014 World Cup.
- Brazilian Agriculture Minister Mendes Ribeiro will undergo surgery for a recurring brain tumor.
Image: Gobierno Federal @ Flickr.