Haiti: Protest Erupts Over Alleged Attack By U.N. Peacekeepers
September 6, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Several hundred Haitians took to the streets of a coastal town Monday to protest the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year old man by United Nations peacekeepers from Uruguay. The attack, which allegedly took place on July 20 on a U.N. base in the town of Port-Salut, only became public last week when cellphone footage emerged. The U.N. said that it was investigating the attack, but the Uruguayan military said the incident was a prank that got out of hand and a preliminary investigation showed no evidence of rape. Haitian President Michel Martelly “vigorously condemned” the attack and said in a statement that it was an “act that revolts the national conscience.” The alleged attack also threatens to derail an already tenuous relationship between the U.N. and Haiti. Many Haitians view the peacekeepers as an occupying force and are angry that Nepalese soldiers with the U.N. inadvertently caused the cholera epidemic that spread through the country.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
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- Levels of violence in the Mexican border city of Tijuana have fallen recently as the Sinaloa Cartel has allegedly gained control of the city.
- Rumors are swirling that former U.S. men’s soccer coach Bob Bradley has inked a deal to coach the Mexican squad Santos Laguna.
- Cuba’s reforms are making life easier for both Jews and Scrabble enthusiasts, The Los Angeles Times reports.
- Jamaica’s health minister says he will bring an anti-smoking bill before Parliament.
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that his country will not recognize Libya’s National Transitional Council, claiming it is “an instrument of intervention by NATO forces.”
- Supporters of Guatemala’s former First Lady Sandra Torres withdrew a legal appeal aimed at allowing her candidacy in next week’s presidential elections.
- A magnitude 5.9 earthquake rattled Panama on Monday near the country’s border with Costa Rica, but there were no immediate reports of damages.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez urged Muammar Gaddafi to resist the rebel siege in Libya and said that the North African leader has no plans of leaving the country.
- Colombia’s new defense minister said Monday that more innovation is needed in combating guerrillas and drug cartels operating within the country.
- Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa appointed Nathalie Cely as the country’s new ambassador to the United States.
- On the first National Day of the Pedestrians in Protection of Mother Earth in Bolivia, cars were not allowed on the roads for eight hours.
- The Uruguayan military dismissed an unidentified navy commander posted in Haiti with the U.N. after Uruguayan peacekeepers appeared in a video sexually assaulting an 18 year-old Haitian man.
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said that he was considering tax reforms to increase spending on education, but students and teachers who have been protesting for months say the measures won’t go far enough.
- The Chilean Defense Minister acknowledged that a psychic has been recruited to help locate the seventeen bodies still missing from a military plane crash on Friday.
- Paraguay was eliminated from the second Olympic basketball qualifying round after losing to Uruguay 79-66 on Saturday.
Image: Mediahacker @ Flickr.