Today in Latin America
Top Story — The remains of 167 people discovered in a cave in Chiapas on Friday were buried in a pre-Colombian cemetery, according to Mexico’s main anthropology agency. While initial reports estimated that the badly disintegrating remains were only fifty years old, testing revealed that the bones may date back to the eighth century, according to the Chiapas state prosecutor’s office. Farmers found the remains on Friday at the Nuevo Ojo de Agua ranch, just eleven miles from the Guatemalan border, and alerted authorities. Forensic experts and anthropologists later discovered ancient pottery at the site and identified characteristic skull deformations that aligned with the ancient Mayan practice of flattening and elongating the foreheads of infants with wooden planks. Due to the recent discoveries of mass graves elsewhere in Mexico, authorities said Saturday that they would not rule out any possible explanation for the remains, including drug cartel violence.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The bodies of four young students in were discovered in plastic bags in Cuernavaca, Mexico on Thursday.
- Mexican police seized drugs, firearms, and flat-screen TVs, among other items, from two prisons in the state of Michoacán on Saturday.
- Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke faces a sentence of up to 23 years for drug trafficking and murder this week in Manhattan.
- Employees evacuated the Dominican consulate in Ouanaminthe, Haiti due to increasing violence on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
- The Catholic Archdiocese of Miami said Friday that it would add charter flights between Miami and Havana for Pope Benedict XVI’s March 26-28 visit to Cuba.
- Salvadoran voters decided Sunday whether to give the ruling FMNL a win in congressional and municipal elections despite a statistical dead heat with rival party ARENA.
- Guatemala’s DGM migration authority reported on Saturday that 5,200 Guatemalan migrants were deported from the U.S. in the first two months of 2012.
- Crime and violence in El Salvador are approaching levels similar to those during the civil war, with the second-highest murder rate in the world behind Honduras.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said that voters would “not see that much” of him as he recovers from surgery in Cuba and evaluates his political plans for the future.
- Peruvian Education Minister Patricia Salas said that a fire at a state education warehouse caused an estimated $103 million in damages to laptops and other materials for rural schools.
- Tatiana Piñeros, the new head of Bogotá’s social welfare agency and a transgender woman, highlights the growing number of LGBT people holding political office in Latin America.
- Brazilian prosecutors told the Estado de São Paulo newspaper Sunday that cases of disappearance may fall outside the country’s amnesty law and thus would permit crimes committed during the country’s dictatorship to be prosecuted.
- On a visit to Chile, the UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said he hoped that Chile, Brazil and Uruguay could understand “that it not alright when a large and powerful country sets a blockade to reduce the quality of lifestyle of people living in remote islands,” referring to Argentina and the Falkland Islands.
- Brazil asked Mexico to set a limit on the number of automobiles it exports to Brazil during trade talks between the new nations.
Image: detroitstylz @ Flickr.