Today in Latin America
Top Story — Peruvian President Ollanta Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency in the northern region of Cajamarca on Sunday, responding to ongoing protests against Newmont Mining Corp’s controversial $4.8 billion Conga mine project. Last week, the Peruvian government asked Newmont to temporarily suspend construction on the mine, but protesters want the project permanently halted, saying that the mine will lead to environmental problems like pollution and water contamination. Hours of negotiations between protesters and Prime Minister Salomon Lerner on Sunday failed to produce any agreements. Meanwhile, Humala’s government faces pressure from the mining sector to end the protests, which have led to closed schools and blocked roads, and to keep them from spreading to other parts of the country. The Conga project would be the biggest mining investment in Peru’s history. At a mining summit last Thursday, investors warned that Peru could lose $50 billion in mining and oil investments pledged for the next decade if the government fails to control the protests. The state of emergency in Cajamarca, starting at midnight on Sunday, will give security forces the power to restrict assembly and make arrests without warrants, but protest leaders have said that they plan to continue demonstrating.
Read more from the AP.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Arizona Senator John McCain said Sunday that the U.S. Latino vote is “up for grabs” due to voters’ dissatisfaction with both the Obama administration and Republican presidential candidates’ stances on immigration.
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón said Sunday that he would continue his strategy in fighting drug cartels and said that 21 out of 37 of Mexico’s most wanted criminals had been caught or killed during his presidency.
- Northern Mexico is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years, which has killed 1.7 million livestock and two million acres of crops.
- A recent survey estimates that 1.6 million internal refugees are fleeing Mexico’s drug war violence, but most low-income Mexicans can’t afford to enter the United States.
- A gunman opened fire inside an unemployment office in Caguas, Puerto Rico, killing one person and injuring another in an apparently targeted attack.
- Sonia Pierre, a 48 year-old human rights activist who fought for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent, died of a heart attack on Sunday.
- Haitian President Michel Martelly said that Venezuelan fuel and energy aid have helped Haiti recover from its January 2010 earthquake.
- Gunmen in eastern Guatemala murdered a 50 year-old woman and three of her daughters. Two younger children survived the attack and were taken to a hospital, where they are in serious condition.
- After twice denying a visa, U.S. authorities will permit a 7 year-old Salvadoran girl to travel to the U.S. to donate bone marrow to her 5 year-old sister, who has leukemia.
- Striking doctors in Costa Rica came to an agreement Friday after three days of negotiations and ended their strike.
- An American pilot and his Panamanian passenger were killed when their plane crashed 50 miles from Panama City.
- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency in Cajamarca on Sunday in response to ongoing protests over the now-suspended Conga gold mine.
- Leaders from 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries met Friday in Caracas for the inaugural meeting of CELAC, where they discussed regional integration and independence, as well as strategies for keeping their countries’ economies secure during the global economic crisis.
- Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano continued to erupt through the weekend, with no end in sight.
- Venezuela announced Saturday that it will purchase 20 jets from Brazil’s Embraer to add to the fleet of its state carrier.
- Brazilian Labor Minister Carlos Lupi became the sixth government minister in Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s administration to resign on Sunday over corruption allegations.
- A photograph of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was published by the magazine Época, showing the then 22 year-old guerrilla during an audience before military officials.
- Brazilian soccer star and activist Sócrates died of an intestinal infection on Sunday at the age of 57.
- A Paraguayan bishop denounced cell phones as “accursed and tools of sin” because he said they encouraged pornography and “inappropriate” relationships.
Image: Presidencia Perú @ Flickr.