Top Story — Uruguayan President José Mujica qualified a proposed bill that would allow the Uruguayan state to regulate and sell marijuana, saying that he would only do so if 60 percent of Uruguay’s population supports the measure. Mujica made the statement on the presidential web page after his initial proposal reignited a global debate on the legalization of narcotics as a way to reduce drug-related violence in the hemisphere. According to a recent Interconsult poll conducted in Uruguay, 38 percent of Uruguayans agree with Mujica’s initiative and 60 percent are opposed. Uruguay already permits the possession and personal consumption of marijuana, but Mujica’s bill would have given the state sole authority over the cultivation and distribution of cannabis.
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Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
Mariana Bueno reports from Montevideo on Uruguayans’ reactions to a bill that would allow the state to grow and regulate marijuana consumption as a way to combat drug violence and crime.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican authorities arrested a suspect in a violent attack by twelve gunmen at a Christian youth summer camp on Friday. The gunmen terrorized, robbed and raped seven of the children attending the camp.
- Mexican police detained at least 120 people in a youth flash mob in Mexico City on Sunday.
- A lesbian couple in California is seeking class-action status for a lawsuit against the U.S. government for denying residency to noncitizen members of same-sex couples whose marriages aren’t recognized under the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
- Cuban health authorities confirmed 170 cases of cholera in the country and said they suspect eight more.
- Dominican authorities arrested three men suspected of murdering a Swiss businessman in a robbery attempt.
- Thousands of Haitians gathered to celebrate the 59th birthday of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, though Aristide was not in Port-au-Prince at the time.
- A Guatemalan judge has freed former colonel Byron Disrael Lima Estrada for good behavior after the latter served 11 years of his 20-year prison sentence for murdering Guatemalan bishop and outspoken human rights advocate Juan José Gerardi.
- Salvadoran authorities say that a gang truce between the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs has cut the country’s homicide rate in half in just four months.
- Honduran citizens are worried about being caught in the crossfire as the U.S. DEA partners with the Honduran armed forces to combat drug trafficking.
- A peasant farming activist in Honduras said that workers’ cooperatives to sell palm oil have long waiting lists despite increasing conflict between private landowners and landless peasants.
- A Venezuelan poll released Monday revealed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez maintains a 15-point lead over presidential rival Henrique Capriles.
- Ecuadorean boxer Jaime “La Bestia” Quinonez was murdered Saturday by two gunmen while dining at a restaurant where he was a regular customer.
- Peru’s ministry of employment unveiled a four-year pilot plan, partially financed by the U.S. government, that is intended to eradicate child labor in Peru.
- Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas announced that Colombia will begin a project to convert trash on San Andres Island into electrical power starting in September.
- Bolivia’s La Razon reported that a real estate economy thrives in Bolivian prisons, where some inmates act as landlords and rent out cells while others renovate and flip them for a profit.
- An eight-person delegation from the European Parliament arrived in Paraguay to investigate the circumstances surrounding the impeachment of former President Fernando Lugo and the new government of President Federico Franco.
- Former Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Melo’s ex-wife said that her former husband practiced what she described as black magic rituals while in office, and says she is planning to write a tell-all book.
- Argentina will commemorate the second anniversary of the passage of a law permitting same-sex marriage in the country, which was signed July 21, 2010.
- Placido Domingo is portraying Chilean poet laureate Pablo Neruda in an international production of “Il Postino”, earning an ovation from an audience in Santiago that included Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.
Image: floresyplantas.net @ Flickr.