Thursday, July 25, 2013

Zetas Leader Captured; El Salvador NGOs Seek Permanent Ban on Mining; Left Seeks Unity in Peru

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for July 24-26

Lawsuits, Closed Trial, Threaten Documentary that Exposed Corruption in Judicial System
The producer and the director of the highly successful movie Presunto Culpable (Presumed Guilty) are facing a host of lawsuits that threaten to dilute the impact of their highly successful documentary and threaten freedom of speech in Mexico. Furthermore, the lawsuits are generally supported by many members of the judicial branch, including the judge hearing the case, which has led director Roberto Hernández and producer Layda Negrete to predict that they will not receive a fair trial. -Carlos Navarro   Read More

El Salvador Mining Opponents Determined Not To Let Guard Down
Anti-mining activists have enjoyed a fair share of success in El Salvador, where a five-year-old moratorium on metals extraction continues to keep would-be miners at bay. But, rather than rest on their laurels, organizations like La Mesa Nacional frente a la Minería Metálica, an influential umbrella group, remain active and alert, lobbying hard for policy changes that, in their opinion, would better protect the country from the still clear and present danger posed by corporate mining interests. For starters, argue industry opponents, the government would do well to replace the moratorium with an all-out mining ban. -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar   Read More

In Bold Operation, Government Arrests Top Leader of Zetas Cartel
In what could have been a scene from a movie thriller, the Mexican military conducted a bold operation to capture the leader of the notorious and brutal drug-trafficking organization known as the Zetas. The detention of Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, also known as Z-40, is a major blow to one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations, but the jury is still out on what impact the arrest will have on the overall drug-interdiction campaign. For now, the arrest leaves the Zetas without one of its top leaders.  -Carlos Navarro   Read More

The Peruvian Left Unites Once Again
After 24 years, the Peruvian left has, once again, regrouped in a new coalition, the Frente Amplio de Izquierda (FAI), through which it will participate in the 2014 municipal and regional elections and the 2016 presidential balloting. On June 4, at a tribute to the leftist leader and congressional deputy Javier Diez Canseco on the one-month anniversary of his death, leftist organizations promised to make the legislator's challenge to them--a united left--a reality. On June 26, six leftist organizations announced the formation of the FAI. The coalition held its first action against the administration of President Ollanta Humala; it was the only political group that participated in a massive mobilization rejecting measures supported by the central government. -Elsa Chanduví Jaña  Read More

Belize's Supreme Court Finds Offshore Oil Contracts Null and Void
Six oil-prospecting companies suffered a major setback when Belize's Supreme Court ruled on April 16 that all offshore oil contracts issued by the Belizean government in 2004 and 2007 and extended in 2009 are null and void. The decision, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall, was highly critical of the government’s actions, saying that "allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment is not only irresponsible but reckless, especially in a situation where Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill." -Louisa Reynolds  Read More

Uruguay's Right Fails to Overturn Law Decriminalizing Abortion
Uruguay's most conservative sectors and the Catholic Church tried to abolish a law that decriminalized abortion under certain conditions, but society rebuffed the efforts. The law's opponents resorted to a provision of the referendum statutes, but found extremely low support. For the law to be put to a plebiscite in October 2013, supporters had to collect 252,000 signatures, 25% of the electorate. When they failed to gather the required number of signatures, they resorted to a second constitutional provision, known as a prior consultation. If 25% of the electorate agreed, then a formal plebiscite would be held. The result--only 8.8% support in the June 23 consultation--left opponents far from their dream of abolishing the law. -Andrés Gaudín  Read More -

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