Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican police killed a man believed to be the victim of a kidnapping after he killed two of his captors, a former police officer, and a former army officer in Tijuana during his escape. The man, not identified by name, was being held in a house in Tijuana’s Lomas Conjunto Residencial when he reportedly got ahold of an AK-47 and gunned down two of his captors while he was still in handcuffs. The man left the house and shot two security officers guarding an SUV to make his getaway in the car. He opened fire when he came across a group of municipal police, and they shot back, finally killing the kidnapping victim. Authorities later entered the house that the man had escaped from and found the bodies of his captors, along with marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, and tactical gear. There was evidence that a room in the house was being used to torture people being held captive there. Mexico’s Council for Law and Human Rights reported that kidnapping in Mexico rose 32 percent between 2010 and 2011, from 13,505 to 17,889 per year, or 49 kidnappings each day.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- An Arizona contractor was sentenced to probation for knowingly hiring undocumented workers under the state’s immigration law.
- Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said that 300 people accompanied him to Cuba to hear Pope Benedict XVI speak in a trip meant to “promote healing and reconciliation” according to Wenski.
- Protesters gathered Thursday in Port-au-Prince on the 25th anniversary of Haiti’s constitution, alleging that Haitian President Michel Martelly is abusing the constitution.
- Héctor Pesquera became Puerto Rico’s new police chief hours after police chief Emilio Díaz Colón resigned amid allegations of corruption.
- Jamaica’s industry, investment and commerce minister said he is working with the World Bank to design a dollar bond targeted at Jamaica’s diaspora community.
- 10,000 indigenous Guatemalans marched to Guatemala City after a more than 120-mile journey from the northern city of Coban to protest mining and advocate for land rights in the region.
- At least 13 inmates died during a fire and riot in Honduras’ San Pedro Sula prison, according to authorities.
- Panamanian and Colombian security forces announced Tuesday that they destroyed a FARC camp in Panama’s Darien Gap in a joint operation.
- Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina began the process to renew the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) on Wednesday.
- Peru denied Argentina’s request to extradite General Francisco Morales Bermudez, a Peruvian general allegedly involved in the kidnapping and torture of opponents of his 1975-80 regime and deporting them to Argentina.
- A poll of Venezuelan voters reported that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who just returned from radiation treatment in Cuba, has more than a 10-point lead in the polls over rival Henrique Capriles.
- Petroleos de Venezuela says it needs an $8 billion dollar investment in order to construct an oil pipeline between Venezuela and Colombia.
- Retired military officers arriving at Rio de Janeiro’s Club Militar to celebrate the anniversary of Brazil’s 1964 military coup were met by over 200 protesters holding up signs of the disappeared.
- Young Chilean protesters clashed with police while commemorating the “Day of the Combatant”, which marks the anniversary of the deaths of two Chilean youths killed by police in 1985.
- British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Argentina’s new ambassador in London that Britain would “steadfastly defend” the contested Falkland Islands.
Image: Knight Foundation @ Flickr.