Former Bolivian President Áñez charged with genocide

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA BOLIVIA: Bolivian prosecutors charged jailed former President Jeannine Áñez with crimes including genocide for the events following the 2019 coup which left her as interim […] The post Former Bolivian President Áñez charged with genocide appeared first on Latin America News Dispatch.

Former Bolivian President Áñez charged with genocide

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA

BOLIVIA: Bolivian prosecutors charged with crimes including genocide for the events following the 2019 coup which left her as interim president of the country on Friday. The charges relate to actions taken by Áñez, when she issued a decree giving the military responsibility for public security. In the next week, security forces shot 20 people to death and injured dozens of others in two clashes in Cochabamba and El Alto.

Early Saturday morning, Áñez apparently by cutting her wrists, according to her lawyers and government officials. The former president sustained injuries from the attempt but is not in danger. Jail officials are to determine why Áñez, who suffers from hypertension and anxiety, decided to try to take her life. Meanwhile, the European Union and the United States issued statements asking the Bolivian government to guarantee the safety and health of the country’s former president.

SOUTHERN CONE

CHILE/ITALY: Italy has of three former Chilean army officers for the 1973 killings of two Italian citizens in the aftermath of the military coup that began the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The three officers, Rafael Ahumada Valderrama, Orlando Moreno Vásquez and brigadier Manuel Vásquez Chahuán, had of the killings by an Italian court, and sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment.

The were the Italian citizens Juan José Montiglio, a student who volunteered as a bodyguard of President Salvador Allende, and Omar Venturelli, a priest who worked with indigenous Mapuche communities.

BRAZIL: President Jair Bolsonaro that the Brazilian Senate exercise its power of impeachment to remove Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, a judge who has clashed with the president over the perceived security of the country’s electronic voting system.

The request comes after Justice Moraes opened an investigation earlier this month into social media posts made by Bolsonaro that from a secret police report on hacking. In his request for Moraes’ impeachment, President Bolsonaro alleges that the justice broke the law when he opened the investigation without the involvement of prosecutors.

Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco has said that while the Senate will consider the request, he the judge should be impeached. An association representing Brazilian prosecutors, calling it an attempt to intimidate the judiciary and a threat to democracy in the country.

ANDES

COLOMBIA: Two members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), a leftist guerrilla organization in Colombia, were to face drug charges in the United States last week. Henry Trigos Celón and Yamit Picón Rodríguez, both members of the ELN, landed in Houston, Texas on Thursday, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Sam Sheldon. U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of Texas that Picón Rodríguez was a liaison between the ELN and the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel, and that Trigos oversaw the export of cocaine from Colombia to the United States. These extraditions are the first time that Colombia has extradited members of the ELN to the United States to face prosecution.

CARIBBEAN 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/VENEZUELA: The government of the Dominican Republic is of an oil refinery on Dominican territory after buying out the shares of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA. The refinery,, was originally built as a partnership between the Dominican government and Royal Dutch Shell, and was briefly fully owned by the government between 2008 and 2010, before PDVSA bought a 49% share of the refinery for $131 million in 2010—considerably more than the $88 million the DR paid for those same shares last week. Refidomsa is in the Dominican Republic, and has the capacity to process 34,000 of crude a day.

JAMAICA: Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Thursday that Jamaica will impose new tough to slow down the spread of the coronavirus on the island. Residents will be prohibited from leaving their homes for two three-day periods separated by a week, followed by one day of lockdown on September 5. With the lockdowns, the government hopes to contain a new wave of contagions that is stressing the country’s health system. In response to Holness’ announcement, some business leaders have with imposing lockdowns during the week, which they fear will suppress commerce. Over 1,300 people have died of COVID-19 in Jamaica, and less than 5% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated.

CENTRAL AMERICA

NICARAGUA: Nicaragua’s Ministry of the Interior (Migob) has for six non-profit organizations from the United States and Europe, including the British group Oxfam. According to Migob, the organizations failed to file required reports of their resources and income. However, the organizations say that Migob has not been available to receive such documents since 2018, and the revocation of permits as political repression. Other organizations affected include the United States-based National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, as well as NGOs from Denmark, Sweden and Spain.

HONDURAS: A raffle set up by the National Election Commission (CNE) on Saturday to determine the order political parties will appear on ballots in Honduras’ upcoming elections this November was postponed after between the representatives of different political parties. The conflict started when representatives from smaller parties objected to the preference given to the three largest parties (the Liberal Party, the National Party and LIBRE) to choose their placement on ballots. The disagreement led to shouting, shoving and fisticuffs, forcing the CNE to to the following day. LIBRE candidate Jorge Aldana fainted during the incident and needed to be removed on a stretcher to receive medical attention. A rescheduled raffle took place on Sunday without incident. 

NORTH AMERICA

MEXICO: Former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya announced last week that he is to avoid what he says is politically motivated prosecution for corruption. Anaya said that federal prosecutors plan to bring charges against him based on statements made by Emilio Lozoya, the jailed former CEO of Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company. Lozoya told investigators in 2020 that he had given funds to Anaya to support the latter’s political aspirations. Anaya said that the accusations are baseless and are part of a in the 2024 presidential election. Meanwhile, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he is not involved in any investigations into Anaya, and called on his former opponent to

MEXICO: Workers at a General Motors factory in Silao, Guanajuato, voted to agreed upon by the company and the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), one of the largest labor unions in Mexico. The rejection of the contract means that the CTM no longer has the exclusive rights to represent workers at the GM plant, and that may now attempt to secure the support of workers and negotiate collective contracts. The vote was a test of the, created by the USMCA trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada, which allows workers to be consulted about collective contracts.

The cancellation of the collective contract could be a precedent for other workplaces in Mexico, including in the state of Aguascalientes, which produce the March, Kicks, Versa models as well as other products. The GM plant in Silao produces the Chevrolet Silverado, the Chevrolet Cheyenne and the GMC Sierra.

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Guatemalans Protest Firing of Corruption Prosecutor

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA GUATEMALA: The firing of an anti-corruption prosecutor has sparked an angry reaction from civil society and demands for the resignations of President Alejandro Giammattei and […] The post Guatemalans Protest Firing of Corruption Prosecutor appeared first on Latin America News Dispatch.

Guatemalans Protest Firing of Corruption Prosecutor

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA

GUATEMALA: The firing of an anti-corruption prosecutor has sparked an angry reaction from civil society and demands for the resignations of President Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General María Consuelo Porras.

 Porras came under fire last month Juan Francisco Sandoval, a special prosecutor appointed to support the CICIG, an international body set up to investigate corruption in Guatemala. After the CICIG was disbanded in 2019 by President Jimmy Morales, Sandoval’s office took over many of the international body’s investigations.

Porras’ was that the latter had refused to follow instructions and had interfered with the functioning of her office. In a press conference after his dismissal, Sandoval called the firing “illegal” and pledged to contest it.

On Friday, Sandoval from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. The U.S. State Department also announced last week that it was temporarily suspending anti-corruption cooperation with Guatemala because of Sandoval’s firing. 

SOUTHERN CONE

BRAZIL: Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro to demand changes to voting laws in order to prevent fraud in next year’s presidential elections. The protesters were demanding that voting machines print paper receipts, making a physical recount possible. President Bolsonaro spoke to the demonstrators over videoconference, on the legitimacy of the election’s outcome over a year before the first votes are cast, and suggesting that he would not accept an electoral defeat.

CHILE: Workers at the in northern Chile voted overwhelmingly last week to reject a contract offer from BHP, the company that owns the mine. The company has requested government mediation, during which workers will be required to continue working for a period of up to 10 days. If an agreement is not reached by the end of that period, the union. Escondida is, accounting for about 5% of global annual production. In 2017, a 44-day strike by workers at the mine contributed to a decline of 1.3% of the country’s GDP.

ANDES

PERU: Leftist elementary school teacher Pedro Castillo was of Peru last week, inheriting a sharply divided congress in which his Perú Libre party holds only 37 of 130 seats and the world’s worst COVID-19 death rate. Castillo, who has not previously held public office, is the fifth person in five years to hold the office of president of Peru. In his inauguration speech, he promised to and write a new constitution, while reassuring his opponents that he will. On Friday, Castillo appointed as finance minister in a move that was seen as a further reassurance to moderates.

COLOMBIA: Prosecutors have against former Colombian Army General Mario Montoya for his involvement in 104 extrajudicial executions between 2007 and 2008. The killings were part of the “false positives” scandal, in which over 6,400 civilians were murdered by the Army before being registered as guerrilla fighters killed in combat. Montoya, who was Colombia’s top general from 2006 to 2008, is being charged with several counts of aggravated homicide. He is accused of, a policy which prosecutors say led to the murders of non-combatants.

CARIBBEAN 

HAITI: for a former Supreme Court justice and longtime political rival of deceased former President Jovenel Moïse for alleged involvement in the president’s July 7 killing. Police say that Judge Wendelle Coq-Thelot who killed President Moïse at her home twice before the attack. Moïse from the Supreme Court in February of this year along with two other justices, accusing her of having been involved in a coup plot. Coq-Thelot’s location is unknown, and her lawyers say the arrest warrant is illegal and are to dismiss it.

CUBA/UNITED STATES: The United States Treasury Department announced against the government of Cuba on Friday, in response to the repression of anti-government protests over the past month. The sanctions extend existing bans on international travel for officials in Cuba’s national police force. 

Thousands of Cubans in cities across the island to protest food and medicine shortages. The protests were met with repression by police, and as many as 700 people have been arrested, according to the NGO. Meanwhile, the governments of Mexico and Bolivia began sending and food to the Caribbean country last week.

CENTRAL AMERICA

EL SALVADOR/NICARAGUA: Nicaragua has to former Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, after prosecutors in his home country issued an arrest warrant against him for corruption crimes. Sánchez Cerén, who served as president from 2014 to 2019, has lived in Nicaragua since 2020, and is a rival of current president Nayib Bukele. Both politicians were members of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party until Bukele was expelled in 2017.

Sánchez Cerén is accused of illicit enrichment during his term as vice president from 2009 to 2014. His naturalization by Nicaragua will, as Nicaragua’s constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens.

 

NORTH AMERICA

MEXICO: Mexicans voted in a Sunday to decide whether or not to investigate living former presidents for corruption and other crimes. According to preliminary counts released Sunday night, between 89 and 96% of those who participated would like to see former presidents investigated. However, turnout was only around 7% of eligible voters, far from the 40% necessary for the referendum to be legally binding. Leaders of the ruling Morena party said that they would like to see regardless of the outcome of the vote. The opposition PAN party the government’s decision to hold the referendum, calling it “a presidential spectacle.”

MEXICO: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued an executive order to being held in federal prisons. The prisoners to be released include some older adults, victims of torture and people who are waiting to be sentenced. López Obrador also encouraged state governments to release people from state prisons if they fulfill the same characteristics. On Friday, the government of Mexico City announced that it will begin investigating from its prisons.

The post Guatemalans Protest Firing of Corruption Prosecutor appeared first on Latin America News Dispatch.

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