Top Story — The plan by Mexican members of hacker group Anonymous to expose collaborators with the Zetas drug cartel in retaliation for an alleged kidnapping seem to have collapsed, with some members backing away from the idea and others saying the kidnapping never happened. Anonymous’ threat to reveal the names of people who allegedly collaborate with the Zetas, including political figures, raised concerns that the group would release unverified information, putting innocent people’s lives at risk and marking everyone mentioned for retaliatory violence by the Zetas. “Loss of life will be a certain consequence if Anonymous releases the identities of individuals cooperating with cartels,” private intelligence agency Stratfor said on Oct. 28.
Anonymous originally delivered the threat to release the identities of alleged Zeta collaborators in a YouTube video posted on Oct. 6. Spanish speakers can view the video below.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexico’s Tourism Board will launch an ad campaign Friday featuring hidden cameras to alter the perception that the country is dangerous.
- Mexico’s Defense Department says soldiers have rescued 15 Honduran migrants who had been kidnapped and were being held in a house in Nuevo Laredo.
- The number of citizenship applications has spiked in South Florida, in what may be part of a trend in which naturalizations increase markedly during presidential election years.
- Republican Sen. Charles Grassley grilled senior Justice Department official Lanny Breur over the practice of “gun walking,” a key part of the “Fast and Furious” operation, which is under investigation by Congress.
- Dominican first lady Margarita Cedeno will run as the vice presidential candidate with Danilo Medina for the Dominican Liberation Party for the 2012 elections.
- Police in Puerto Rico say they seized $500,000 in cash Wednesday during a routine traffic stop.
- Brazil wants to help Cuba update its economic model and increase imports, Brazilian Ambassador José Eduardo Martins said Wednesday at the Havana International Trade Fair.
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers with Cuban roots blasted the Obama administration on Wednesday for not doing more to block oil and gas drilling in Cuban waters.
- Nicaragua’s Constitution may bar presidential re-election, but President Daniel Ortega is widely expected to win another term of office Sunday.
- The president of the National Autonomous University of Honduras, Julieta Castellanos, accused the police of sabotaging the investigation into the murder of her son and another student.
- A 5.4 tremor shook the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica on Wednesday, leaving little damage and no reported injuries.
- Eight prisoners died in a prison riot in San Cristobal, Venezuela on Wednesday. Prisoners took four police officers hostage in the riot.
- Three Colombian soldiers were killed and at least four injured during a confrontation with FARC rebels in southwest Colombia on Wednesday.
- Henrique Capriles Radonski, Pablo Perez and Leopoldo López will all challenge Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez for the presidency in Venezuela’s 2012 elections.
- A freight train crashed with a bus full of schoolgirls in Argentina’s San Luis province, killing five children and two adults.
- Brazilian police purposely crashed their car into the wing of a small plane before it could take off with stolen goods in Riberão Preto.
- Brazilian senator Katia Abreu said that Brazil doesn’t produce enough ethanol to be able to increase exports to the U.S., saying the country needs added investment to do so.
- Colombian model Angie Sanclemente Valencia, who faces trial in Argentina, could be sentenced to five years in prison for drug smuggling.