Today in Latin America
Top Story — Friends and relatives of Honduran inmates killed in last week’s catastrophic prison fire clashed with police on Monday to gain access to a morgue and identify their loved ones. Prosecutor spokesman Melvin Duarte said that police chased the crowds away from the scene with tear gas, but reported that no one was injured. Hundreds of people have reportedly been waiting outside the morgue in Comayagua for nearly a week after a deadly fire killed 359 inmates late last Tuesday. According to Duarte, the crowd grew angry when they saw that some of the prisoners’ bodies were being lain on the streets to be loaded into a truck for transfer to a medical school for identification. Of the hundreds of prisoners killed in Tuesday’s fire, only 32 bodies have been identified. The remains of 16 inmates have been returned to their families.
Read more from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A prison riot on Sunday killed at least 44 people in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
- Polls put Josefina Vázquez Mota, Mexico’s first female presidential candidate, behind frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto.
- Some undocumented immigrants who fled the state of Alabama after its strict new immigration law have returned.
- Haiti’s minister of the interior spoke with members of the Praisefest Ministries group to arrange what could be the first cruise to Haiti in 25 years.
- Cuban Catholic dissidents Rev. José Conrado Rodríguez, Oswaldo Payá and Dagoberto Valdés said they would attend Pope Benedict XVI’s masses in Santiago del Cuba.
- Jamaica’s tourism minister said he was suspending a $1 million project to beautify the tourist destination of Ocho Rios over complaints over how the money was allocated and spent.
- A fire at an open-air marketplace in Comayaguela, Honduras on Saturday affected an estimated 20,000 marketplace tenants and was still partially burning on Monday.
- Five year-old Yarelis Bonilla was released Monday from the hospital after receiving a bone marrow transplant from her Salvadoran sister, who was initially blocked from entering the U.S.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Saturday that he would no longer pursue a proposal to let military tribunals handle alleged human rights abuses by the military.
- Members of Peruvian indigenous groups said that the country’s prior consultation law for projects affecting indigenous communities did not meet international requirements.
- 27 adults and two children died in Ecuador on Sunday when a bus crashed off a cliff near the town of Quajara.
- Seventeen inmates escaped from a Peruvian jail on Sunday, but six have reportedly been recaptured.
- Bolivian Deputy Minister for Social Defense Felipe Caceres said that 70 percent of crime in the country is linked to the drug trade.
- The Chilean government has closed its border with Peru after heavy rains washed landmines onto the road near the Arica-Tacna border crossing.
- Authorities in southern Brazil said Monday that 20 tourists were attacked by palometas, fish closely related to piranhas, in the Toropi River.
- A stray dog outside a Paraguayan prison alerted authorities when three prisoners attempted to tunnel their way to freedom last Friday.
- Scientists doing a test-run of equipment designed to detect life on Mars found microbes living under the sand in the Atacama desert.
Image: submarginals @ Flickr.