Today in Latin America
Top Story — Peru’s Shining Path rebels kidnapped at least 29 natural gas workers reportedly employed by the Swedish firm Skanska on Monday, releasing most of them in the jungle hours later. The kidnapping took place early Monday in Kepashiato at the Camisea natural gas project in the Peruvian Amazon, and was the first major kidnapping by Shining Path guerrillas since 2003. A spokesperson for Skanska reported that 29 of the company’s employees were kidnapped and that all were Peruvian nationals, but police chief Col. Roland Bayona said 30 Skanska employees were abducted. The workers were allegedly kidnapped from their hotel in the village of Kepashiato early in the morning, and it is not clear how and why they were released. A military official in the Peruvian government suggested that the Shining Path took the workers hostage to slow the advance of the army, which he said was closing in on a group of rebels.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Two social workers and a policeman were shot dead in the Mexican state of Chiapas when gunmen apparently tried to rob them for money for a social welfare program.
- The U.S. government is reaching out to Mexican newspapers to help publicize the dangers of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to prospective immigrants.
- Nevada Republicans U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and U.S. Rep. Joe Heck met with the group Hispanics in Politics to affirm their opposition to the DREAM Act and other immigration reform policies.
- Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota said that she and the National Action Party will overhaul her campaign in an attempt to make it more aggressive.
- The death toll in a road accident in Haiti rose to 26 on Sunday, according to Haitian authorities.
- Dalvinder Singh Jagpal, an Indian citizen imprisoned in Cuba, was reportedly transferred to an isolation cell in a different prison after her shot a series of videos depicting poor prison conditions in Combinado del Este.
- Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will return to Miami on Monday night to apologize for a comment he made praising Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
- Costa Rican trade attaché Guillermo Cholele was kidnapped in Caracas Sunday night and his kidnappers are demanding a ransom, Costa Rican officials said Monday.
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is considered the most dangerous city in Honduras with a murder rate that doubles the country’s national average .
- Univision reported that a 10 year-old girl who is a member of the Wayuu tribe gave birth in Manaure, Colombia.
- Scientists are warning that the Amazon is becoming more susceptible to forest fires due to rising ocean temperatures and new weather patterns causing drought.
- The Chilean navy rescued four Brazilian documentary filmmakers off the coast of Antarctica after their boat capsized on Saturday.
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff discussed monetary policy and trade with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. on Monday.
Image: Presidencia Perú @ Flickr.