Today in Latin America
Top Story — As Republican Party presidential candidates debated immigration on national television Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Utah for a new immigration law that it says is unconstitutional. The government lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, contends that a law signed by Utah Governor Gary Herbert in March giving police and others broader authority to check citizenship status undermines the federal government’s right to set immigration policy. The Utah law is modeled on Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, which Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s office defended on Tuesday in a reply to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brewer asked the court to lift an injunction on portions of the law that have been blocked by a lower court.
Read more at the Washington Post.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Police in Mexico are investigating the authenticity of a recording in which a member of the La Familia drug cartel threatens voters to vote for a mayoral candidate endorsed by the gang.
- Mexican authorities seized $15.4 million in cash said to belong to the Sinaloa drug cartel in Tijuana, Mexico.
- Members of the U.S. border patrol discovered a tunnel used to smuggle drugs between Nogales, Mexico and Arizona.
- Congress’ Government Accountability Office backed up a statement by Arizona Senator John McCain that some border wildfires may have been caused by undocumented immigrants crossing illegally into the United States.
- A study funded by Canada’s International Development Research Center and the United Nations Development Program said that violent crime in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince has declined, although those in displacement camps were 10 times as likely to report sexual assault than other Haitians.
- Dominican authorities are investigating the background of would-be New York City bomber José Pimentel Sosa, who has no criminal record in his native country.
- Cubans are having mixed reactions to a mid-November reform that will allow them to purchase and sell property for the first time in more than half a century.
- Scientists in Guatemala identified the human remains found in a mass grave in 2003 to be union leader Amancio Villatoro and student leader Sergio Linares, both missing since 1984.
- Honduras will open a new $2 million naval base funded by the United States next month to patrol the Atlantic.
- Costa Rican authorities arrested three Colombians who were transporting 2,649 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday.
- Researches sponsored by NASA and the University of Costa Rica are using drones to help predict major volcanic eruptions.
- A Jesuit NGO has released a report that at least 1,741 Colombian civilians have been killed by the Colombian police or military and misidentified as rebels since 1984.
- Peruvian judges ruled that Joran Van der Sloot, accused of murdering a Peruvian woman in Chile, will face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
- Chinese officials are meeting with members of the Venezuelan government in Caracas to discuss their bilateral agreements.
- A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bolivia on Tuesday, but no injuries were reported.
- Seven Chilean demonstrators were injured after clashing with police while protesting an event honoring a former military officer convicted of murder during the country’s 1973-1990 dictatorship.
- Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and his wife in La Moneda palace on Tuesday.
- Officials from seven South American countries met in Manaus, Brazil on Tuesday to discuss increasing protection of the Amazon rainforest.
- Brazil’s deputy finance minister said that the country could post zero growth in the third quarter of 2011.
- Jailed Colombian beauty queen Angie Sanclemente said that her Argentine boyfriend and his uncle were involved in a drug smuggling ring comprised of fashion models, but that she was innocent.
Image: Gage Skidmore @ Flickr.