Friday, September 27, 2013

Ecuador to Drill for Oil in Formerly Protected Area; Suspect in El Salvador Jesuit Massacre Jailed in U.S.; Twin Storms Batter Mexico

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for September 25-27

Did the World Fail Ecuador?
The Ecuadoran government has decided to allow oil drilling in Yasuní, a national park in the country’s Amazonian region. The decision follows six years of frustrated efforts to secure financial contributions from the international community in exchange for leaving the oil in the ground The government blames the plan’s failure on a lack of international cooperation. Some social sectors, however, say the government itself is responsible. They plan to defend the intangible area by organizing a popular referendum and by taking legal actions that could force the government to halt oil operations. -Luis Ángel Saavedra   Read More

Rio Protests Disappearance of Poor Favela Resident
The disappearance of Amarildo de Souza, a 43-year-old construction worker, two months ago exemplifies the ongoing political repression Brazilians face daily. Authorities claimed they released De Souza immediately after police mistakenly picked him up as a suspected drug dealer. De Souza, however, never reached work or returned home. After a Unidade de Policia Pacificadora (UPP) patrol detained him as he left his home in the Rio de Janeiro favela of Rocinha on July 14, he has not been heard from or seen again.In the last seven years--between January 2007 and May 2013--34,681 people have disappeared in Rio de Janeiro, according to the Movimento Rio de Paz, a humanitarian organization that cited official statistics from the Instituto de Segurança Pública (ISP). The organization says that 80% of the "disappeared" are from the favelas. -Andrés Gaudín Read More

Salvadoran 'Jesuit-Massacre' Suspect Jailed in U.S. For Immigration Violations
A Salvadoran man implicated in one of his country’s highest-profile human rights atrocities is headed to jail--albeit not in El Salvador, and not, technically speaking, because of numerous extrajudicial killings allegedly committed under his command. In late August, a federal judge in the US state of Massachusetts ordered Inocente Orlando Montano, 71, to spend 21 months in prison for immigration violations. Montano, an Army colonel and later vice minister of public security during El Salvador’s dozen-year civil war (1980-1992), is expected to begin his sentence on Oct. 11. -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar  Read More

Severe Storms Hit Mexico From Both Coasts, Causing Severe Damage in Much of the Country
The effect of climate change and decades of corruption--poor urban planning, shoddy home construction, and a lack of zoning regulations--combined to create a recipe for misery in Mexico in mid-September. Two tropical systems—the remnants of Hurricane Ingrid along the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Manuel on the West Coast--converged in Mexico during the weekend of Sept. 14-15, causing significant property and agricultural damage and forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Dozens of people were reported dead or missing, and some entire communities were buried by mudslides. This was the first time in 50 years that major storms hit the Gulf of Mexico and the country’s Pacific coast simultaneously. -Carlos Navarro  Read More

Dominican Republic Hit by Corruption Scandals
On July 30, Dominicans took to the streets bearing placards to protest against corrupt actions purportedly committed by members of the administration of President Danilo Medina, some of whom also served under the administration of his predecessor ex-President Leonel Fernández (1996-2000, 2004-2012). This has not been the only public demonstration against corruption. In August, Dominicans again took part in a series of anti-corruption activities. The Paren Eso (Stop That) campaign was launched by the Red Nacional de Acción Juvenil (RNAJ) and has been backed by the following organizations: Justicia Fiscal, Participación Ciudanana, Juventud Caribe, Articulación Nacional Campesina, Ciudad Alternativa, La Multitud, Alianza Dominicana contra la Corrupción, Foro por la Transparencia y el Desarrollo de San Cristóbal, and Juventud Alianza País. -Crosby Girón   Read More

Dragon Mart Project Back on Track After State Supreme Court Orders Local Authorities to Grant Construction Permit
The huge megaproject sponsored by the Chinese government in Quintana Roo state is back on track after receiving a favorable court ruling that overrode strong opposition from the municipal government of Benito Juárez, which includes the resort of Cancún. The Dragon Mart project has been proposed for a 120,000-square meter site in the community of Puerto Morelos, just outside Cancún and within the borders of Benito Juárez. The project received a setback in April of this year, when authorities in Benito Juárez denied a building permit for the project because of environmental concerns about the high-density project In late August, the Quintana Roo Supreme Court (Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado de Quintana Roo) said the municipality’s decision violated the state’s constitution and ordered Benito Juárez officials to award the construction permit. -Carlos Navarro Read More

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