Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán dead at 86

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA PERU: Abimael Guzmán, the guerrilla leader who led a rebel group in a bloody protracted war against the Peruvian state died in prison on Saturday […] The post Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán dead at 86 appeared first on Latin America News Dispatch.

Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán dead at 86

THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA

PERU: Abimael Guzmán, the guerrilla leader who led a rebel group in a bloody protracted war against the Peruvian state died in prison on Saturday at the age of 86. Guzmán, also known as Chairman Gonzalo, was the founder of the Maoist guerrilla organization the Communist Party of Peru – Shining Path.

A former university professor, Guzmán led Shining path to take up arms against the government in 1980, leading to what would become.the deadliest civil conflict in Peru’s history as an independent country.

 Shining Path championed the cause of dispossessed campesinos and indigenous people, and won the support of many across rural Peru. But the group was also known for indiscriminate violence against civilians, notably in a of 69 peasants in Lucanamarca, Ayacucho, and a 1992 car bombing on in the Miraflores district of Lima. In total, around 70,000 people were killed in the conflict, which began to wind down after Guzmán was arrested in 1992 and told his followers to lay down their arms a year later. Since then, smaller armed groups associated with Shining Path have continued to operate in the country.

Politicians from across the political spectrum reacted to Guzmán’s death with statements , including President Pedro Castillo, who blamed Guzmán for “the loss of countless lives.”

SOUTHERN CONE

BRAZIL: President Jair Bolosonaro issued a effectively banning social media platforms from censoring posts or accounts that spread false information last week. 

The measure prohibits social media companies from removing or suspending posts or user accounts except for certain violations. Misinformation and disinformation are not among the causes provided for in the order, which include nudity, pedophilia, terrorism, and encouragement of drug use.

The measure was published amidst concerning the President’s repeated claims at rallies and on social media that the country’s voting system is . Polling low in popularity ahead of next year’s Presidential elections in Brazil, commentators have suggested that Bolsonaro is attempting to discredit the election result should he lose.

CHILE: Declassified documents published last week by the show that Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) helped destabilize the Socialist government of Salvador Allende in Chile at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

reveal that then-Australian Foreign Minister William McMahon approved installation of a clandestine office in Santiago in December 1970. ASIS agents arrived in the Chilean capital in mid-1971 and worked with local informants to feed intelligence to the CIA.

A Labor government replaced the Liberal administration in Australia at the end of 1972 and the new prime minister, Gough Whitlam, in Chile. The Santiago base was shut down in July 1973 but it is believed that an agent remained behind even after the coup on September 11.

ANDES

VENEZUELA: Fugitive former Venezuelan intelligence officer Hugo Carvajal by Spanish police in Madrid last week on the request of United States prosecutors. U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York say that Carvajal was involved in a conspiracy to traffic cocaine from Venezuela to the United States and that he to the Colombian rebel group FARC when he was military intelligence chief from 2004 to 2011.

 In 2019, Carvajal and threw his support behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Later that year, he fled to Spain, where he was briefly detained by Spanish authorities before becoming a fugitive.

 Carvajal’s lawyer says that the drug charges are false and that she will oppose the extradition request.

CARIBBEAN 

REGION: The between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union was convened last week. The meeting explored ways to foster of peoples, trade and investment and discussed solidarity in addressing global issues such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The heads of state and government also acknowledged the historic and cultural ties connecting the regions.

The summit was part of a renewed push from regional leaders to stimulate relations between the Caribbean and Africa. Between 2018 and 2020, there were several cross-Atlantic visits and plans are in place for the establishment of a . In mid-2020, at the invitation of the African Union, CARICOM member states joined the African Medical Supplies Platform to facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccines.

HAITI: The government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and opposition parties reached an on Saturday to avoid further civil conflict. 

The agreement mandates that by the end of 2022 and sets a three-month timeline for the drafting of a new constitution. A revised constitution had been the major project of President Jovenel Moïse before his assassination on July 7. A new 33-member National Constituent Assembly will be charged with carrying out this task.

In the interim, the parties have agreed that Prime Minister Henry will govern the country with the support of a non-partisan Council of Ministers. The provisional cabinet must be assigned before Monday, September 20.

CENTRAL AMERICA

EL SALVADOR: El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin as its national currency on Tuesday, becoming. The law to make the cryptocurrency legal tender was passed in June of this year, but experts have warned that it could cause problems in the future and add risks to the country’s already fragile economy.

On Tuesday, hundreds of protestors marched in the capital, San Salvador, to oppose the adoption of Bitcoin as an official currency. The new currency had a rocky start, with a government-made digital wallet called Chivo, and the price of the cryptocurrency.

The administration of President Nayib Bukele says that using Bitcoin as an official currency will expand access to financial products and make it easier for Salvadorans to send and receive remittances.

NICARAGUA: The in Nicaragua’s crackdown on opposition figures is writer and politician Sergio Ramírez, a prominent novelist and onetime ally of President Daniel Ortega. Prosecutors ordered the arrest of the 79-year-old writer last week for “inciting hate and violence.” Ramírez was out of the country when the warrant was issued, and says that. 

Ramírez was a supporter of the Sandinista revolution that toppled the dictatorship of the Somoza family in 1979, and served as vice president under President Daniel Ortega from 1985 to 1990. Ramírez broke with Ortega in 1995 and founded a rival political party, the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).

NORTH AMERICA

MEXICO: Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that criminal penalties for people who receive abortions. The ruling opens the way for people facing prosecution across the country for receiving abortions to have the charges dropped. Almost all Mexican states have laws on the books that mandate jail time for people who receive abortions. The only states that do not are Hidalgo, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Mexico City. 

The court ruling only invalidated a law criminalizing abortion in the border state of Coahuila. But it also means that abortion bans in 27 other states if they are challenged.  

MEXICO: A 7.1-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, leaving at least three people dead and damaging almost 8,000 homes. The earthquake’s epicenter was from the city of Acapulco, and it caused damage in 40 of the 81 municipalities of the state of Guerrero. It was also felt in Mexico City. Over a million people in Guerrero were. On Sunday, Governor Hector Astudillo said that electricity had been restored to almost all of the localities which had lost service. The quake also covered roads with debris, leaving them unpassable. Army teams are working to clear roads, including the Tlapa-Marquelia highway and the Acapulco-Chilpancingo highway.

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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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