Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican authorities, including the widely esteemed and U.S.-trained Marines, have committed hundreds of human rights abuses, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch Wednesday. The 220-page report entitled “Neither Rights Nor Security” documents some 234 cases of killings, torture, forced disappearances and other acts of violence allegedly committed by state security forces. The group says the Mexican government does not adequately investigate incidents of violence allegedly committed by security forces, leading to a climate of impunity. Representatives of Human Rights Watch met with President Felipe Calderón to discuss the results of the research. Calderón agreed to examine the cases, but also issued a statement saying that the greatest threat to public security is not the Mexican military or police, but the drug cartels.
Read more from The Los Angeles Times and view a video discussing the research that went into the report.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Latinos continue to back Obama by a two-to-one margin over potential Republican challengers, but they also know little about the current GOP candidates, according to a poll by Univisión/Latino Decisions.
- Mexico revised its economic growth forecast downward for this year and next.
- Cuba’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Darío Delgado, said a crackdown on corruption would continue and warned that no one would be immune from corruption.
- A group of aspiring soldiers and former troops criticized Haitian President Michel Martelly Wednesday, saying he is backing away from his promise to restore the country’s army.
- Nicaraguan police said Wednesday four people have been killed and 12 injured in violence following Sunday’s elections.
- Guatemala has captured more top-level drug traffickers in the last two years and than in the previous decade, thanks in large part to increased assistance from the United States, according to an analysis by InSight Crime.
- Costa Rican tax authorities searched the offices of the national soccer federation on Tuesday, looking for allegedly withheld information from a friendly match against Argentina.
- Peruvian Vice President Omar Chehade said he was innocent of corruption charges and said he would not resign despite Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s call for him to step down.
- Colombian paramilitary leader Carlos Mario Jiménez, aka “Macaco,” was sentenced to 33 years in prison by a U.S. federal court for drug smuggling.
- Venezuelan businessman Nelson J. Mezerhane sued the Venezuelan government in U.S. federal court for seizing his shares of broadcasting company Globovisión, which is critical of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
- Human rights investigators in Paraguay found remains thought to belong to political prisoners killed under Alfredo Stroessner’s 1954 to 1989 regime, but said Wednesday there is no money to pay for tests that would identify the victims.
- A Brazilian federal court upheld a legislative decree allowing construction of the controversial Belo Monte dam project in Pará state.
- Thousands of protesters marched in the Chilean port of Valparaíso on Wednesday to call for more public education funding.
- Chile’s national soccer team has cut five players from its squad for two World Cup qualifying games because they got drunk and broke their team curfew.