Top Story — Alondra Luna Nuñez, a 14-year old Mexican girl, was returned to her home Wednesday after Mexican authorities had sent her last week to live in the United States on the suspicion that she was the missing daughter of an American woman, a premise discredited by DNA testing.
Nuñez’s case gained international attention after a video of federal authorities dragging her from a classroom on April 16 kicking and screaming was posted on social media. Authorities were operating on orders to send the girl to Dorotea García, a Houston woman who claimed Nuñez was her daughter that had been illegally brought to Mexico by her father. Although Nuñez’s family discredited García’s claim, their pleas to let Nuñez stay were ignored.
The video succeeded in drawing enough attention, however, that the Mexican Foreign Ministry felt compelled to request a DNA test. While Nuñez waited for the results of the test with García in the United States, she posted a video on social media urging her parents in Mexico not to worry and that she was okay.
After DNA testing proved Alondra was not García’s daughter, she was repatriated to Mexico and reunited with her family Wednesday. Meanwhile García’s real daughter remains missing.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Skirmishes and arson attacks erupted again in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state on Wednesday after authorities captured four suspected drug gang members.
- Republican members of the U.S. Congress and critics of the Obama administration’s efforts at immigration reform will hold a hearing on Thursday questioning the president’s policy of offering free flights to the children of Central Americans granted refugee status, an effort at discouraging the dangerous overland trip north that critics say is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
- Pope Francis will visit Cuba on his way to the United States in September, the Vatican announced Wednesday, after helping behind the scenes to broker a historic thaw in relations between the two countries.
- Haiti’s government will appeal a controversial court ruling that exonerated two men accused in a high-profile kidnapping case, a decision that attracted strong international criticism.
- Puerto Rico’s main government bank announced on Wednesday that the U.S. territory’s government may be forced to shut down in the coming months due to a budget deficit that will make it unable to secure credit, echoing a 2006 crisis that was only resolved by an unpopular tax hike.
- According to a recent report by UK-based NGO Global Witness, more environmental and land activists have been killed per capita in Honduras than in any other country in the world.
- Police in Peru opened fire Wednesday on farmers opposed to a Mexican-owned mine in the country’s southern Arequipa state, killing one and wounding 12, according to the areas local health director.
- The Spanish ambassador to Venezuela has been recalled over what Spain’s foreign minister refers to a “level of verbal irritation” from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and “absolutely intolerable” accusations, after Maduro referred to the Spanish prime minister as a supporter of terrorism for backing the released of jailed Venezuelan opposition figures.
- A surge in mineral and gas prices has led to economic and commercial growth in La Paz and neighboring El Alto, where members of the Aymara Indian community have seen the demand for their fashionable-yet-traditional garments soar.
- The Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, currently embroiled in a corruption scandal involving top members of the governing Workers’ Party, has reported a loss of $2 billion to corruption, an overall loss of $7.2 billion and a impairment charge worth $14.8 billion over a decrease in asset value for the last year.
- A powerful volcano eruption in southern Chile has led authorities to order the evacuation of 1,500 residents from the neighboring town of Ensenada, as well as the inhabitants of two nearby settlements.