Heavy Rains Lash Central America And Leave At Least 19 Dead
October 13, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Torrential rains caused by a tropical depression have slammed into Central America and left at least 19 people dead, with more than 40,000 people hit by flooding and landslides. Tropical depression “12-E” lashed Guatemala the hardest, where President Álvaro Colom said at least 13 people were killed including four people who were electrocuted in floods. The other deaths were caused by flooding of rivers and landslides. Colom said Wednesday that the storms would likely continue for another 48 hours and warned the governors of his country’s 22 departments to stay on high alert. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that four people in his country had died and in El Salvador officials announced the deaths of a 19-year-old woman buried under a collapsed wall and a 63-year old woman killed in a mudslide. Tropical depression “12-E” is unrelated the the former Hurricane Jova, which pounded Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Tuesday.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A U.S. lawmaker subpoenaed thousands of key Justice Department documents for the investigation into the ATF’s gun-running operation Fast and Furious.
- A number of immigration rights groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block South Carolina’s crackdown on unauthorized immigration, claiming that it is unconstitutional and would encourage racial profiling.
- The alleged top money man for Gulf drug cartel was found dead in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
- Hurricane Jova killed two people in Mexico after making landfall, while a tropical depression contributed to 13 deaths across the border in Guatemala.
- The Pentagon removed a copyright seal affixed to its new Guantánamo war court Web site, after a Yale lawyer reminded the agency that the U.S. government cannot copyright its publications.
- A coalition of Miami-based Cuban exile groups said Wednesday they plan to set off fireworks off the Cuban coast to draw attention to the island’s dissident community.
- The arrival of a Chinese-built drilling rig for oil exploration in Cuba has been delayed once more, Reuters reports. It is now scheduled to arrive some time in the second half of December.
- The Dominican Republic unveiled its first wind farm Tuesday — a project that aims to reduce the country’s dependence on oil.
- Puerto Rico passed a law Tuesday banning the use of cell phones while driving, unless drivers use a handsfree device while talking.
- Former Guatemalan General Otto Pérez Molina holds a nearly 12-point lead in the run-up to next month’s second round presidential election.
- A conflict between security forces and farm workers in Honduras left 44 people dead, higher than previously believed.
- The Carter Center plans to send a small delegation to Nicaragua during the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in early November.
- The U.S. House of Representatives approved a free trade agreement with Colombia, with the Senate expected to follow suit.
- Henrique Capriles, Hugo Chávez’s main rival in Venezuela’s presidential election next year, launched his campaign Wednesday to become the sole opposition candidate.
- Thousands of supporters of Bolivian President Evo Morales have gathered in the capital of La Paz to show support for him in his dispute with indigenous protesters over a proposed highway.
- Ecuador called Wednesday for a presidential meeting of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) and said it would withdraw from the group if concrete solutions for problems affecting transport and trade weren’t solved by year’s end.
- A group of women in the Colombian town of Barbacoas have ended their sex strike after a their demand for road linking the town with the provincial capital of Pasto was met.
- Lawmakers in the U.S. want to block development loans to Argentina and force the country to settle with holders of defaulted debt in exchange for funding development banks.
- Brazil will negotiate changes in a higher tax on car imports in an effort to appease auto makers who have invested billions of dollars in new investments in the country.
- A 51-vehicle pileup in Chile that left five people dead and injured more than 20 has been blamed on intense fog.
- Uruguay will import $100 million more in fuels because of a strike that has halted maintenance work
Image: Gobierno de Guatemala @ Flickr.