Canada Under Pressure to Try Alleged Guatemalan War Criminal
November 29, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — A survivor of a 1982 massacre of hundreds of Guatemalan men, women and children is asking the Canadian government to try alleged war criminal Jorge Sosa Orantes in Canada instead of extraditing him to the United States. Ramiro Cristales, a Guatemalan immigrant living in Canada, said Monday that he witnessed members of Sosa’s military unit terrorize and murder his parents, siblings, and hundreds of others in the village of Dos Erres in a notorious massacre that took place during the height of Guatemala’s bloody civil war. The 53-year old Sosa, who holds Guatemalan, U.S. and Canadian citizenship, denies that he was involved in the murders. Sosa was arrested in Canada in January for lying on a U.S. citizenship application and would be tried only for immigration violations in the U.S., not for the crimes he is accused of committing in Guatemala. Lawyers Without Borders and the Canadian Centre for International Justice are asking Canada’s Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to deny the U.S. extradition request and allow Sosa to remain in Canada, where he could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Mass graves containing the remains of at least 162 people were unearthed in Dos Erres in 1994.
Read more from the AP.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A U.S. district court judge combined lawsuits filed separately by the Department of Justice and ACLU that both say Utah’s strict new immigration law is unconstitutional.
- A Mexican truck driver was sentenced by a California judge to more than 15 years in prison for a plan to traffic drugs through a tunnel between Mexico and California.
- Three passengers were shot dead Monday when a gunmen cut off their car on a busy avenue in Chihuahua, Mexico.
- The family of an 18 year-old Texas student brought to the U.S. as an infant says he shot himself due to Congress’ failure to pass the Dream Act and the lack of opportunities as an illegal immigrant.
- The wife of U.S. contractor Allan Gross, who is currently in prison in Cuba for trying to distribute satellite communications equipment, asked U.S. President Barack Obama to intercede Monday on behalf of her husband.
- Voters in Guayana went to the polls Monday to decide whether they would keep the ruling People’s Progressive Party in power after five consecutive terms or opt for one of two opposition parties instead.
- The Clinton Foundation has helped facilitate negotiations between Digicel and Marriott Hotels and Resorts to build a $45 million hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
- Two earthquakes struck off the coast of Puerto Rico early on Monday, but no injuries were reported.
- A 13-year old boy allegedly kidnapped by members of the Zetas drug cartel in the Mexican state of Chiapas last month was rescued by Guatemalan police, Interior Minister Carlos Menocal announced Monday.
- The U.S. has twice denied a visa to a 7 year-old Salvadoran girl who wants to enter the United States to donate bone marrow for her sister, a U.S. citizen who lives in New Jersey and has leukemia.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos thanked Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Monday for his help in capturing alleged Colombian drug lord Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, AKA “”El Valenciano” in Venezuela.
- Peru’s deputy minister for environmental management stepped down Monday over conflicts with highland peasants over mining projects.
- Four villages near the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador were ordered evacuated due to concerns over its recent activity.
- Dutch murder suspect Joran Van der Sloot filed a $10 million claim with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights alleging that he was improperly extradited from Chile to Peru to be tried for the murder of 21 year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores.
- A trial began Monday in Chile for six people accused of financing or setting off bombs in banks and other establishments between 2006 and 2010.
- The Brazilian health ministry said that the incidence of AIDS has remained stable and that new cases had fallen 0.61 percent between 2009 and 2010.
- Brazil said it would keep the pressure on wealthy nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol at a round of climate talks in South Africa on Monday.
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