Latin America: Week in Review

Cuban Prisoners Freed after Amnesty International Labels Them Prisoners of Conscience

January 24, 2012 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top StoryCuba released three prisoners who were arrested at a protest and held for 52 days without charges, Amnesty International said Monday. According to the human rights organization, Ivonne Malleza Galano, Ignacio Martínez Montejo and Isabel Haydee Alvarez were arrested on November 30 and set free on January 20, just hours after Amnesty International listed them as prisoners of conscience. During a protest, Malleza and Martínez had reportedly been holding a banner that read “Stop hunger, misery and poverty in Cuba”, and Alvarez reportedly objected when the other two protesters were detained. On Monday, Cuban state media reacted to international criticism of the country’s human rights record in an editorial, denying that Wilman Villar, a 31 year-old inmate who died of an apparent hunger strike on January 19, was a true political prisoner. According to the Cuban government, Villar had been imprisoned for beating his wife and had received adequate medical care.

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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

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  • The Colombian army has launched a new operation, “Sword of Honor” to combat the FARC in a joint effort of the National Police, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, public prosecutors and the Armed Forces.
  • A Spanish newspaper claimed Monday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s cancer has spread, but the Venezuelan government denied the rumors.
  • Joran van der Sloot will appeal a 28-year sentence for the murder of Peruvian national Stephany Flores in May 2010.

Southern Cone

Image: STML @ Flickr.

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