Chile’s Ministers Asked To Resign Amid Growing Political Crisis

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Top Story — Chilean President Michelle Bachelet requested all her ministers submit resignation packages Thursday so that she could form a new cabinet in the coming days. Bachelet broadcast her decision during an interview with Canal 13, saying that a cabinet shift was needed to promote reform.

Bachelet has been trying to push through an ambitious reform package addressing issues such as education, the legalization of abortion in some instances and the country’s large socio-economic gap. A lagging economy and string of corruption scandals involving her family, however, have proven to be obstacles.

Bachelet’s decision comes amid her career’s lowest ever approval ratings.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • At least 100 migrants, including 18 from India and five from Sri Lanka, were rescued Wednesday from a house outside of Mexico City, where they were being held by a kidnapping gang, five of whom were arrested, authorities announced.
  • Mexican state deputy Renato Tronco Gómez has launched a competition on his Facebook page to find a team of body doubles to represent him at events, the finalists will receive cash prizes and winners will be expected to behave themselves as similarly to Tronco as possible.

Caribbean

  • Puerto Rico will furlough its government employees for two days each month, according to an announcement made Thursday, the latest measure taken in response to the island’s continued budgetary problems.

Central America

  • Residents of a remote community in El Salvador have begun returning to their homes, police said, after four people were killed in late April for straying from one gang’s territory into another, prompting the residents to flee.
  • Guatemala’s legislature has formed a commission to investigate Vice President Roxana Baldetti for her role in a customs corruption scheme known as “La Linea,” following an announcement by the Supreme Court that her immunity from prosecution could be lifted.

Andes

  • An Ecuadorian teenager has been sentenced to 20 hours of community service after making an obscene gesture toward President Rafael Correa’s motorcade—an incident that prompted the president to halt the motorcade, exit his vehicle and confront the teenager.
  • In Peru, currently the top coca-producing country in the world, couriers operate at the lowest rung of the international drug trade and face immeasurable risks due to “armed gangs, crooked police, and rival backpacker groups,” according to an in-depth report by The Associated Press.

Southern Cone

  • One current and one former member of Brazil’s military police have been arrested over the murder of eight members of a football fan club in São Paulo on April 18.
  • The spate of unusual names in recent Brazilian news, such as Elvis, Karl Marx and Richard Nixon “reflect the creativity, humor and eccentricity of a nation that may well go further than any other in its open-mindedness to unusual names,” writes Jonathan Watts in The Guardian.

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