Top Story — The governments of Brazil and Ecuador have agreed to help Haiti set up a new army to replace the U.N. peacekeepers who have patrolled the island since 1994. Haitian President Michel Martelly hopes to rebuild Haiti’s army after it was disbanded following widespread human rights abuses, and personally requested help to rebuild the army from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during her state visit earlier this year. Brazil, which heads the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, said it will send a military team to Haiti within the next few weeks to help assess the country’s military needs. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa also promised to help. Disgruntled former members of Haiti’s army have staged major protests and informal training sessions to revive the army, saying it’s time for the U.N. peacekeeping forces to leave. However, critics of the idea are concerned about the Haitian army’s human rights record and say that the country should focus on establishing a civilian police force and resettling the many homeless Haitians displaced by the country’s 2010 earthquake.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A 6.0-magnitude earthquake on the Mexico-Guatemala border has reportedly not caused any injuries or damage.
- Hundreds of protesters marched in Phoenix, AZ to protest Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law on Saturday.
- The two men who survived the car crash that killed Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá say that the crash was indeed an accident, supporting the Cuban government’s report of the crash.
- Puerto Rico’s updated penal code has established longer prison sentences for violent crimes in an effort to combat rising violence.
- A Dominican prosecutor has charged former Cincinnati Reds baseball player José Rijo of laundering money for a suspected drug trafficker.
- Researchers have discovered swords, barrels and chests on a sunken ship known to belong to the 17th century pirate Captain Henry Morgan.
- The Nicaraguan government has awarded a contract to two Dutch companies to research the feasibility of building a Nicaraguan canal that would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
- Professional poker players from the U.S. have begun to migrate to Costa Rica after the U.S. government went after three major online poker companies in April 2011.
- Members of the Kuna indigenous group off the coast of Panama have the highest rates of albino births on earth, but are highly susceptible to skin and eye problems due to living in the tropics.
- Kenyan police identified Olga Fonseca Gimenez, the acting ambassador for Venezuela in Kenya, as the victim of a grisly murder on Friday at her official residence.
- The Eastern War Front of the National Liberation Army, a Colombian guerrilla group known as the ELN, has claimed responsibility for kidnapping two female oil pipeline employees.
- The White House announced Monday that Peru and Bolivia have surpassed Colombia as the world’s top producers of cocaine.
- FIFA banned Colombian soccer player Lady Andrade for two matches after she punched U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach in the face at the Olympic Games on Saturday.
- Paraguay’s Sol airlines, the country’s only airline, is going out of business due to competition from Brazilian and Argentine carriers, following the fate of Uruguay’s Pluna.
- A white tiger mauled a zookeeper at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo, injuring the man’s shoulder, and was later shot by zoo employees on Sunday.
- Britain defeated Argentina 4-1 in a field hockey match Monday, highlighting political tensions between the two countries over the Falkland Islands.
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