Today in Latin America
Top Story — In a narrow 58-56 vote, Chile’s House of Deputies on Wednesday approved a long-awaited anti-discrimination law that was introduced seven years ago. Chileans outraged by the murder of Daniel Zamudio, a 24 year-old gay man who died March 27 after a brutal beating, called on the House to pass the law, which was approved by the Senate in November. After Zamudio’s death, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Chile to pass laws against hate crimes and discrimination, and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said that approval of the law should be accelerated. Some Protestant churches in Chile, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, expressed opposition to the law and said that it could pave the way for legalizing gay marriage. Some passages of the law must be finalized before it becomes official. Meanwhile, four suspects have been jailed for Zamudio’s killing, and prosecutors have asked for murder charges.
Read more from the AP.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard unveiled a free BlackBerry app created to warn residents of Mexico City up to 50 seconds before a major earthquake strikes.
- Mexico extradited Jesus Zambada, a suspected drug kingpin, to the U.S. on Wednesday to face charges in U.S. federal court.
- Opponents of Arizona’s immigration law traveled to Berlin to ask Daimler Motor Company executives to take a stand against the law after a German employee of the company was arrested, but Daimler said no.
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón will visit Cuba on April 11th and 12th, his first visit to the country while in office.
- Work crews in the Dominican Republic dumped 1,500 square feet of sand along Santo Domingo’s boardwalk to create a beach for Dominicans unable to afford travel during Holy Week.
- Haitian President Michel Martelly traveled to Miami for surgery on his shoulder.
- The arrest of alleged drug lord Horst Walther Overdick in Guatemala and other top kingpins may indicate that the traditional structure of drug cartels will be forced to change.
- The consortium building new $3.2 billion locks for the Panama Canal says that construction will be delayed by at least 3 months.
- U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Chevron would not have to pay a $28.1 million fine for time lost by Ecuadoran defendants in a previous injunction by the judge.
- A wildlife group in Peru said that it had discovered 615 dead dolphins beached along a 90-mile stretch of coast, a possible result of acoustic testing by oil companies.
- The ten FARC hostages released on Monday said that they’d tamed wild animals as pets to help survive their time in the jungle.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said Wednesday that he would be returning to Venezuela from Cuba where he underwent a second radiation treatment.
- About 150 members of Brazil’s elite security forces are patrolling Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, after police officer Rodrigo Cavalcante was shot dead there Wednesday morning.
- Investigators raided Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou’s apartment Wednesday to see if he was involved in saving a printing company from bankruptcy and awarding them a contract to print money.
- With 800 days to go before the 2014 World Cup, Brazil’s Ministry of Sports released information showing that construction on stadiums in the twelve host cities is on schedule.
Image: jpcatepillan @ Flickr.