Top Story — Colombia has signed an agreement to begin peace talks with the FARC, the country’s largest rebel group, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday. The talks are scheduled to begin next month in Norway and continue in Havana, Cuba. The agreement did not call for a ceasefire and did not provide safe zone for the FARC, as the last attempt at a peace process did.
The FARC held a press conference in Havana, where they played a videotaped message from Commander Timoleón Jiménez. Jiménez said the Colombian government had not agreed to the ceasefire, but the rebels were coming to the negotiating table because the Santos administration had agreed to discuss the issues of land restitution and rural development.
Read more at the Associated Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexico has launched a campaign with Lucha Libre wrestlers to fight obesity. The campaign is one of many similar initiatives launched in recent years to fight obesity among youth in Latin America.
- Mexico’s naval special forces have captured Mario Cárdenas Guillén, alias El Gordo — a man believed to be one of the two leaders of the Gulf Cartel.
- Police arrested ten people who identified themselves as undocumented immigrants for blocking an uptown intersection near the site of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Jamaican prosecutors said Tuesday they will charge a veteran policeman with the murder of a heavily pregnant woman.
- Miami-based, U.S.-funded Radio Martí featured an interview with a Cuban porn actress last month who offered advice to Cubans interested in the profession.
- A fire at a home for the elderly and disabled in the Puerto Rican city of Bayamón killed three and sent others to the hospital.
- Guatemala will open seven new sites to oil exploration, as Central America’s biggest crude producer struggles to reverse declining output.
- The government of Honduras signed a deal Tuesday to hand over land to private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal systems.
- Facing high oil prices and a ballooning current account deficit, Ecuador’s 12-year experiment with dollarization of its economy may be at a crossroads.
- Griselda Blanco, a pioneering drug trafficker known in her time as the “Queen of Cocaine,” was shot dead Monday as she exited a butcher shop in Medellín. She was 69.
- Colombia’s FARC rebels released an unusual rap video.
- Argentines are feeling increasingly trapped inside their country by government restrictions on access to the foreign cash needed to travel.
- The Brazilian government will boost import taxes again to help local industry.
- There have been 22 murders connected to upcoming municipal elections in Brazil over the last three months.
- Chile’s Congress approved a tax overhaul on Tuesday aimed at providing funds for the country’s public school system, which has seen contant protests in recent years.
- Former President Tabaré Vázquez is the most popular politician in Uruguay, according to a recent poll.
Image: Center for American Progress @ Flickr.