Today in Latin America
Top Story — A Senate committee meeting in Chile was interrupted Thursday by student demonstrators and other protesters demanding a popular referendum to the country’s social problems, especially concerning education. The former Congress building in the capital of Santiago — which housed the country’s Congress before the 1973 military coup — was occupied for eight hours by protestors, who broadcast the episode by webcam. The occupation of the former Congress building came only hours after police in the coastal city of Valparaíso forcibly evicted demonstrators from the country’s current Congress. In Santiago, police confronted crowds outside, where the group wanted students to gather and march to the presidential palace of La Moneda. Student protest leader Camila Vallejo arrived at the legislature and Senate President Guido Girardi promised that the protesters would not be dislodged.
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
- A car exploded in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey while a military convoy chasing a suspicious vehicle was passing it.
- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has given details of her trials over the state’s controversial immigration law in her new book.
- Mexico is trying to tackle a rise in obesity among children after being labeled the country with the fattest children on the planet.
- Mexico’s lower house approved the income portion of the country’s 2012 budget, approving a wider deficit than originally proposed by President Felipe Calderón.
- Radio/TV Martí’s contract to broadcast baseball games into Cuba has led to allegations of “cyber war” by the Castro government.
- Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio’s family immigration story embellishes facts by portraying his parents as exiles from the Castro regime, when in fact they arrived more than two years before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, The Washington Post reports.
- Puerto Rico’s secretary of natural resources says authorities have moved more than 1,400 non-native monkeys from the island’s southwest.
- The death toll in Central America from torrential rains has risen to at least 97 people, due in large part to widespread flooding.
- The Supreme Court in Honduras cleared six army generals accused of forcing former President Manuel Zelaya out of office and flying him to Costa Rica.
- The Guatemalan government officially apologized to the family of former President Jacobo Árbenz, who was ousted from power 57 years ago in a CIA-backed coup.
- El Salvador’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by McDonalds for a $23.9 million judgment levied against the company in a contract dispute with a local business.
- The land dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica continues, with a Nicaraguan general accusing Costa Rica of tricking young people into remaining in the disputed territory.
- About one hundred protestors set up tents in La Paz’s Plaza Murillo after a two-month march to convince Bolivian President Evo Morales to permanently halt the construction of a highway through indigenous territory.
- Colombia’s defense minister announced Thursday that Jose “Mincho” Neftali, the commander of the FARC’s Western front, died with four other alleged FARC members in a bombing raid 50 miles from Cali.
- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said Thursday that he supported the investigation of Vice President Omar Chehade for corruption involving the eviction of workers from a sugar plantation.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez called former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi a “martyr” after he was apparently killed by a mob following a NATO strike on Thursday.
- A Chilean judge declined to press charges against former priest Fernando Karadima despite a request by three alleged sexual abuse victims who are now adults.
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visited Angola on Thursday, praising the former Portuguese colony as Brazil’s “brother.” She also visited South Africa and Mozambique.
- Brazil unveiled its schedule for the 2014 World Cup, which will require teams to travel great distances between cities such as São Paulo, Manaus, and Recife.
Image: heedmane @ Flickr.