Today in Latin America
Top Story — Chilean Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said Chile should hurry along anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation after 24 year-old Daniel Zamudio, a young gay man, was savagely beaten by assailants in Santiago on Saturday. Zamudio sustained multiple head injuries and a broken leg and is currently in a medically-induced coma. His attackers reportedly drew swastika-like shapes on his chest, but prosecutors said that there is still no firm evidence that Zamudio’s attackers were neo-Nazis, as his parents have claimed. Chile’s Congress is currently considering anti-discrimination legislation, and Hinzpeter said the attack provided “added urgency” to move the legislation along and consider passing an anti-hate crime law as well. The identities of Zamudio’s attackers remain unknown, but gay rights organization Movilh has started a publicity campaign asking witnesses of the attack to come forward.
Read more from BBC News.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican officials said that they found sixteen bodies in three clandestine graves on the outskirts of Monterrey, in an area where 51 bodies had been found in 2010.
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted a deferral for the deportation order of Daniela Pelaez, a high school valedictorian in Miami.
- Six people, including one thirteen year-old girl, were killed when police and gunmen exchanged fire in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday.
- Gunmen killed Haiti’s former Central Bank governor. His son pled guilty to bribery last month and is cooperating in an investigation targeting former government officials.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met with Cuban President Raúl Castro on Wednesday in Havana, but was doubtful that Cuba would be invited to the Summit of the Americas.
- The Dominican Republic’s First Lady, Margarita Cedeño, filed a complaint Tuesday alleging that a TV commentator falsified documents to accuse her of corruption.
- Florida Senator Marco Rubio is advocating that deceased Puerto Rican war veteran Modesto Cartagena receive a medal of honor posthumously for his service in the Korean War.
- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that he would seek $107 million from Congress to help fund regional security in Central America in 2013, but Central American leaders said it was insufficient.
- The Belize Coalition to Save Our National Heritage mobilized 28,000 voters in Belize to participate in the February 29 “People’s Referendum” on offshore drilling, despite the fact that the referendum was not included in the official March 7 ballot.
- An Illinois teenager is training to represent El Salvador in boxing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
- Colombian guerrilla group ELN said it would be willing to end attacks on oil companies and their employees if the government paid them a $10 per barrel social tax.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will return home to Venezuela from Cuba next week.
- Ecuador’s Board of Judges dismissed Judge Nicolas Zambrano, who ruled on the iconic $18 billion decision against Chevron Corp, for failing to order preventative detention for a suspected drug trafficker.
- Citing ill health, Argentine transport minister Juan Pablo Schiavi resigned after being harshly criticized in the wake of the Buenos Aires train accident that killed 51 last moth.
- A Brazilian truck drivers’ strike is threatening to cause a major fuel shortage in São Paulo by stopping deliveries of gasoline and ethanol.
- The U.S. State Department designated Argentina as a “major money laundering country”, along with Curação and St. Maarten.
Image: Movilh Chile @ Flickr.