Top Story — Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, was killed in a car crash on Sunday in eastern Granma province along with another dissident. The car Payá was in reportedly left the road and hit a tree, leaving two other passengers from Spain and Sweden injured and another person dead. Paya, 60, was a devout Catholic who received the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2002 and was twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In 2002, Payá spearheaded a petition known as the “Varela Project” that gathered over 30,000 signatures to call for a referendum on one-party rule in Cuba, but it was rejected by the Cuban government as a U.S.-backed plot to overthrow the government. In spring 2003, many of Payá’s supporters were arrested and jailed in a government crackdown, and were released in 2011. Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez broke the news of Payá’s death, which was confirmed by the bishop of Granma on Sunday.
Read more from Reuters.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Thousands protested in Mexico City on Sunday to denounce Enrique Peña Nieto’s victory in Mexico’s disputed July 1 presidential elections.
- At least six people were killed in drug-related violence on Friday and Saturday in the Mexican state of Veracruz, according to police.
- Virginia voters surveyed by a Quinnipiac University poll said 2 to 1 that they’d like an Arizona-style immigration law, but Virginia has actually had a similar law on the books since 2008.
- The U.S.’s $1.8 billion pledge for post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti has not substantially improved the lives of most Haitians.
- Jamaican authorities said they burned almost 15,000 pounds of seized marijuana on Saturday.
- Puerto Rico’s government is trying to keep cock-fighting viable in government-owned clubs despite a weakened economy.
- The Honduran government has pushed through a constitutional change to establish semi-independent city-states and a “special development region” that would allow Honduras to use the supreme court of another country (Britain via Mauritius) as its court of appeal.
- The Costa Rican branch of the Boy Scouts released a statement saying it would not discriminate against its members based on sexual orientation, unlike the U.S.-based parent organization, which has reaffirmed its ban on gays.
- Venezuelan authorities said at least 22 people died during a 20-day prison riot in the Cepra penitentiary in Mérida.
- An indigenous court at the Toribio reservation in Cauca, Colombia on Saturday sentenced four Nasa Indians who joined the FARC rebels to flogging: 10 lashes for the minor, and 30 lashes for three adults.
- The Colombian army said Sunday that rebels blew up a section of the Cano-Limon oil pipeline in Boyaca province on Saturday.
- Peruvian distance running phenom Gladys Tejeda, who ran while herding cows in the Andean highlands, will compete in her third marathon ever at the Olympic Games in London.
- Chile’s attorney general said Friday that the government would investigate 61 schools for cases of child molestation after a number of teachers in Santiago were accused of abusing their students.
- Raúl O. Garcés, a 73 year-old Uruguayan journalist who spent most of his career as a correspondent for the AP and was forced into exile at the height of Uruguay’s dictatorship, died of a heart attack Saturday.
- Brazilian bossanova standard “The Girl from Ipanema” is turning 50 in August.
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