U.S. Military Reduces Presence In Haiti
February 15, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story –The U.S. will reduce its military presence in Haiti to 13,000 from its peak of 20,000 at the beginning of the month, according to The Associated Press.
The announcement comes three days after the U.N. said that 3,500 more troops from 16 countries would join the U.N. mission to maintain security and distribute aid, A.P. reports.
The use of the U.S. military to distribute aid and maintain security in Haiti has caused controversy, with America’s history of intervention in Haitian affairs awakening fears that the country’s sovereignty could be compromised. The U.S. military occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934.
Relations between the U.S. and Haiti remained controversial up to the present. Former President Jean Bertrande Aristide said the U.S. government forced him from office in 2004 — a charge that Bush administration officials denied.
Notwithstanding the political tensions between the two nations, the U.S. military has been received warmly by the Haitians in general, according to the A.P. Jacques Michilet, a 31 year-old Haitian even told the A.P. he thought his country should be annexed to the United States.
The Brookings Institution, a D.C.-based think tank, will hold a panel to discuss the proposal of turning Haiti into U.N. protectorate on Feb. 17.
Just published at the Latin America News Dispatch — James Rodríguez’s photo essay, “Forensic Anthropologists Exhume Possible Mass Grave Site Outside Villalobos, Guatemala.”
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A march against drug gang violence in Mexico brought hundreds of people to the streets of Ciudad Juárez.
- Judges in Phoenix courts say that increasing pressure to rule on immigration cases quickly is making it more difficult to rule fairly.
- The Haitian government banned commonly used quarry sand in order to improve the structural integrity of the country’s buildings in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa had a successful 0peration on his knee in Cuba over the weekend. Correa said the operation was not available in Ecuador.
- Honduras’ foreign minister, Mario Canahuati, hopes to arrange a meeting between new President Porfirio Lobo and President Barack Obama.
- Nicaragua’s new ambassador to Tehran, Mario Antonio Barkero Baltonedo, met with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki last week.
- Costa Rican police arrested two suspected Mexican drug traffickers Friday and confiscated about a ton cocaine .
- A United States federal indictment accused 25 alleged members of a Colombian cartel of shipping cocaine through Mexico to the U.S.
- Venezuela began talks to buy a supermarket chain owned by French company, Casino. The talks come a month after President Hugo Chavez ordered the expropriation of another supermarket chain owned by Casino.
- José Neto, Major of São Lourenço in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, prohibited funk or rap during the country’s carnival celebrations this weekend, saying the lyrics incite violence and disrespect to authority.
- The Argentine government blocked a British ship from leaving the country, saying the ship was carrying material for illegal oil drilling off the coast of the Falkland Islands.
- Both houses of the Uruguayan legislature will be led by women for the first time in history when the it convenes on Monday.
- The profile of drug dealers is evolving to include elderly women, Chilean police said Saturday. Chilean security forces have arrested 16 people over 60 years old since the beginning of the year on charges of drug trafficking, including two women in their seventies with two kilos of cocaine.
Image: U.S. Army @ Flickr.