Mexican Gov. Says Drug War Death Toll Over 47,500
January 12, 2012 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Mexican government released statistics Wednesday showing that more than 47,500 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared war on the country’s drug cartels over five years ago. The count mirrors results tabulated by the Mexican media and human rights organizations and was released hours after two decapitated heads were found inside a burning SUV near one of Mexico’s high-end shopping malls. The discovery is feeding fears that the violence is making its way into the capital and into parts of the country that have so far been relatively untouched by the drug war. “If they don’t put an end to this, it could become more frightening here,” said Christian Falbi, a 24-year-old college student who lives in an apartment building within walking distance of the mall, according to the Associated Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican police found two bodies inside a burning SUV outside a Mexico City shopping mall on Wednesday.
- A state senator from Missouri is sponsoring a bill that would require verifying the immigration status of children enrolled in Missouri public schools, among other requirements.
- An attorney for the Guantanamo Bay war crimes tribunals instructed lawyers not to adhere to a new regulation that would subject Guantanamo Bay inmates’ legal correspondence to security review.
- Fifty people have been accused in a document fraud scheme that involved selling Puerto Rican citizens’ identities to undocumented immigrants in the mainland U.S.
- In a speech in Cuba on Wednesday, visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked why Iranian and Latin American people are “punished” by the U.S.
- The Obama administration announced it will spend $1 million to study new rules for protecting medical research volunteers, with an additional $775,000 going to fighting sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala.
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega urged Israel to destroy its nuclear weapons in an effort to foster peace in the Middle East.
- Gunmen killed four adults and four children in a part of Honduras plagued by land disputes.
- A House delegation led by Speaker John Boehner was in Colombia Wednesday to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos about trade, energy and economic security issues.
- Despite claims by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez that she had long since returned home, an expelled Venezuelan diplomat only left the U.S. this week.
- Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman he met at a casino.
- The Brazilian government announced that it would grant legal amnesty to Haitian immigrants currently in the country, but will deport future refugees entering Brazil without visas.
- An Uruguayan Supreme Court official promised that the country’s justice system will reach out to a young Haitian man allegedly abused by U.N. peacekeepers.
- Chile’s national prosecutor, Sabas Chahuán, said the country won’t designate a special task force to investigate fires and other incidents in the country’s south.
Image: Elisa Vireca @ Flickr.