Today in Latin America
Top Story — The wife of ousted former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, was confirmed Wednesday as a presidential candidate in Honduras’ November 2013 general elections. Castro de Zelaya will represent her husband’s new Liberty and Refoundation Party, nicknamed “Libre,” which was registered with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras on October 30. Libre, comprised of five factions, includes the socialist Popular Resistance Force (FRP), July 5, June 28, the Progressive Resistance Movement (MRP), and the People Organized in Resistance (POR). Public opinion polls of presidential candidates rank Castro de Zelaya second behind television presenter Salvador Nasralla in next year’s elections. Zelaya, who was overthrown in Honduras’s June 2009 military coup, is currently prohibited for running as a presidential candidate by the Honduran Constitution.
Read more from Telám (in Spanish).
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The helicopter crash that killed Mexican Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora and seven others could have been caused by pilot error or instrument failure, according to the lead investigator
- U.S. federal authorities in Chicago announced their first prosecution of suspected drug traffickers with alleged ties to Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel.
- Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would revoke the professional licenses for people who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.
- GOP candidate Herman Cain reached out to the Cuban-American community in South Florida Wednesday, promoting his 9-9-9 plan in Spanish.
- The Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince has seen a significant drop in homicide rates in recent years, notwithstanding the public perception that crime is rising there, two social scientists said said Wednesday.
- Federal agents in Puerto Rico have seized over $4 million worth of cocaine from a house owned by professional boxer Iván Calderón. In related news, the island is on track to pass its 1994 record for most homicides in one year.
- Five men from the Dominican Republic were charged in the United States with cocaine trafficking as part of a crackdown on Caribbean smugglers.
- Nicaragua’s electoral council said Wednesday that recently reelected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), will have a two-thirds majority in Congress.
- Britain’s Human Dignity Trust will begin its international campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in Belize, where same-sex sexual relations can result with a prison sentence of up to ten years.
- A study by the National Institute of Statistics of Guatemala (INE) reports that 60 percent of Guatemalan workers make less than minimum wage.
- Colombia’s FARC rebels named Timoleón Jiménez, alias “Timochenko,” to be the guerrilla group’s new commander after leader Alfonso Cano was killed on November 4.
- Colombian Congress voted to withdraw the government’s controversial education reform bill after weeks of student protests, prompting the students to end their boycott of classes.
- Venezuelan prosecutors charged eight people on Wednesday in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who was rescued last Friday.
- The Ecuadorean Defense Ministry said one soldier was killed and two others injured in a confrontation with drug smugglers near the Colombian border on Wednesday.
- Ecuadorean officials have told the U.S. Department of Justice that they must send evidence to Ecuador to try Luis A. Guaman, accused of murdering a woman and her two year-old son in Massachusetts. U.S. officials say they want Guaman extradited to the U.S. to face charges.
- A study published in Nature on Wednesday predicts that more than 160 frog species are at risk in the northern Andes, which has the most frog species in the world.
- Chilean students’ demands for greater public education funding have not been met, despite months of protests.
- Chevron says that it placed a cement plug in an oil well off Brazil’s southeast coast that was leaking an estimated 220 to 330 barrels a day.
- A U.S. citizen was detained in a Buenos Aires airport after being found with a gun, ammunition, and pepper spray.
- Piranhas have infested a popular Brazilian tourist destination on the Paraguay River, biting at least 15 swimmers.
Image: HablaGuate @ Flickr.