Victor Bout, AKA ‘Merchant of Death’, Gets 25 Year Sentence
April 6, 2012 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death”, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison after he was caught in a sting operation by DEA agents posing as Colombian guerrillas. Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 and extradited to the U.S., where he was convicted last year of agreeing to sell arms to agents posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America’s oldest guerrilla group. The false revolutionaries said they wanted to attack U.S. pilots assisting the Colombian government in its offensive against the FARC. Bout met the disguised agents in a Bangkok hotel room and agreed to sell them 100 surface-to-air missiles and 5,000 AK-47s. Bout’s attorneys said they would appeal the conviction, because Bout never actually managed to sell the weapons.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Jaime Avila Jr. pled guilty in U.S. federal court for buying two firearms linked to the killing of a federal agent in the U.S. government’s botched gun smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
- Republican Rep. Micky Hammon, author of Alabama’s controversial immigration law, said he would make revisions to sections of the law that have been put on hold by U.S. courts.
- José Antonio Acosta Hernández pled guilty in El Paso for masterminding the killings of three people linked to the U.S. consulate in 2010.
- The director of San Juan’s Sports and Recreation Office said that protesters had 48 hours to clean up a park they’d been living in for the last five months as part of the Occupy Movement.
- 930 people participated in a reading marathon in the Dominican Republic, reading aloud for a record 1000 hours.
- An inmate was killed in a riot at Guatemala’s Canada Prison Farm when inmates protested the removal of some other prisoners to a different prison.
- Costa Rica’s finance minister and the head of direct taxation were forced to resign this week for allegedly failing to pay their taxes.
- Survival International said that 2/3 of land on a natural gas block is set aside for protecting uncontacted indigenous tribes.
- U.S. citizen and rice farmer Jacob Ostreicher has reportedly spent 10 months in a Bolivian prison without being charged after he was accused of laundering drug money.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez arrived back in Venezuela after radiation treatment in Cuba.
- Chilean senators defeated a bill that would have allowed abortions in cases of rape, when a woman’s life was endangered or when a fetus was given a low probability of survival.
- Investigations and survivor testimonies have revealed that some Argentine military heroes of the war against Britain over the Falkland Islands were also involved in interrogating victims of the country’s military dictatorship.
- Chile’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that allowed construction to resume on a $7 billion hydroelectric dam project in Patagonia after it was challenged by environmental groups.
- The UNCHR criticized a Brazilian ruling that a man who had sex with three 12 year-olds was not guilty of statutory rape because the children had worked as prostitutes.
Image: U.S. Justice Department @ Wikipedia.