Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 25-27: Femicide Law in Nicaragua; Mining Controversy in Peru; Money-Laundering at Mexcican branches of U.K. Bank

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SourceMex, July 25, 2012

 U.S. Senate Report Reveals Illegal Activities at Mexican Branches of British Bank HSBC in 2000-2010

The Mexican operations of British-based HSBC are part of a US Senate investigation on money laundering and other violations by some of the bank’s North American subsidiaries.  A report by the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that HSBC branches in Mexico helped the Sinaloa cartel, also known as the Pacific cartel, use the US financial system to manage its finances.  The report also implicated prominent politicians in money-laundering operations, including a former governor of Tamaulipas and an ex-mayor of Cancún.

Supreme Court Expected to Rule in August on whether Rights of French Citizen Florence Cassez were Violated

A committee of Mexico’s high court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) is expected to begin a review of the case of French citizen Florence Cassez in August to determine whether the manner in which she was detained violated her right to due process.  Justice Olga Sánchez Cordero will chair the deliberations, which will begin at the start of the court’s next session. 

NotiCen, July 26, 2012

Cash-Strapped Femicide Law Takes Effect In Nicaragua

The Ley Integral contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres, Ley 779 went into effect in June,, with the goal of eradicating femicide.  According to  local women’s rights groups, more than 700 femicides--murders of women at the hands of men--have occurred in the past decade.  Just how effective Ley 779 will be in tackling the "epidemic" remains to be seen, particularly since Nicaragua’s Ministerio Público (MP) has not yet secured the budget funds needed to fully enforce it. 

Costa Rica’s "Invisibles" Debut with Massive March and Washing Façade of Congressional Headquarters

Some 3,000 "invisible" Costa Ricans debuted as a movement, peacefully and energetically marching down several of the capital’s main avenues and streets to support human rights and demand social reform. Participants came from a host of civil-society organizations, mainly of the country’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex (GLBTI) community, thus providing the core of slogans, chants, and phrases on banners and signs in the march characterized by colorful floats, creative costumes, and cheerful music.  The GLBTI population makes up about 500,000 of this Central American nation’s approximately 4.3 million people.

NotiSur, July 27, 2012

Mining--a Bone of Contention in Peru

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala has proposed "a new relationship with extractive activities, especially mining," which will have "an environmental and social vision."  He made the proposal on June 20 at the plenary meeting of world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil June 20-22.  Humala announced the creation of a multisectoral committee that will have 30 days in which to come up with a set of proposals to build a new relationship with extractive industries.  It is expected that on July 28, the one-year anniversary of his administration, he will present these proposals.

Colombian General with Ties to Drug Traffickers Extradited to U.S.

For the first time ever, the US Justice Department has indicted a Colombian brigadier general.  Mauricio Santoyo Velasco was the security chief during four of the eight years of the administration of former President Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and ended his active career as the police attaché in the Colombian Embassy in Italy.  He opted to avoid the humiliation of being detained by his fellow officers and then extradited, instead turning himself in to US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Bogotá.  The formal indictment filed with the Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia, accuses Santoyo Velasco of responsibility for a series of crimes for which, if convicted, he could spend the rest of his days in prison.

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