Today in Latin America
Top Story — Following quickly on the heels of an air raid that killed 33 FARC guerrillas last Wednesday, the Colombian military announced that a raid in Meta state on Monday killed another 36 rebels. According to Colombia’s chief of the armed forces Gen. Alejandro Navas, the attack had been planned for several months. The Vista Hermosa municipality where the bombing occurred was a traditional FARC stronghold where guerrillas were apparently training. The armed forces reportedly bombed and then raided the camp on foot, capturing computer equipment and five rebels, three of whom were women. Though the FARC has said it will release long-held hostages on April 2 and 4, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that Colombian troops “will not stop, will continue and will persevere” in defeating the rebels. Some analysts have expressed concern that the recent bombings and deaths of FARC rebels will delay the planned release of the hostages, but others argue that doing so would further damage the guerrilla group’s international reputation.
Read more from the AP.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Moya’s campaign said that they would press for an investigation into what appear to be illegally tapped private calls between members of the campaign.
- Georgia is considering a bill that would block water and sewage services for undocumented immigrants and not allow them to get marriage licenses.
- Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba on Monday, starting his 3-day trip in Santiago del Cuba where he was greeted by Cuban President Raúl Castro.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are planning to develop a hotel and conference center on property in Haiti purchased after the 2010 earthquake.
- Haitian President Michel Martelly visited the Dominican Republic on Monday to meet with Dominican President Leonel Fernández.
- Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli signed a new law Monday that prohibits mining on indigenous land and requires tribal approval for hydroelectric projects.
- Marlene Raquel Blanco, who served as director of Guatemala’s National Civil Police, was arrested Monday in connection with the extrajudicial killing of at least three people in 2009.
- Nicaraguan teachers live near or below the poverty line despite an effort by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to advance new education reforms.
- A teenage hotel worker from Panama, Adrian Vásquez, was rescued off the coast of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands after 28 days drifting at sea. Two friends who accompanied him had died of dehydration.
- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said that his country had no diplomatic problems with Britain after it turned away the British HMS Montrose in solidarity with Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands.
- Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said that a recent poll shows he is running neck-and-neck with Presdient Hugo Chávez in the lead up to the Venezuelan elections.
- Brazilian police in Minas Gerais state said that they were investigating the political motivation behind the murder of three land rights activists on Saturday, including a couple whose five year-old granddaughter survived the shooting.
- Brazil’s soccer federation said it wanted to allow Chile to take over hosting duties for the 2015 Copa America.
- An archeological dig at Rio de Janeiro’s buried Valongo wharf has unearthed artifacts from what was once the world’s busiest slave-trading port.
Image: Mauricio Moreno Valdes @ Flickr.