Thursday, November 14, 2013

Saving an Endangered Species in Nicaragua; Peru Disbands Human Rights Subcommittee; Mexico Strengthens Ties with Cuba, Venezuela

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for November 13-15

President Enrique Peña Nieto Grants Pardon to Teacher Wrongly Accused of Killing Seven Police Officers in 2000
In the first test of a new law that expands the power of Mexico’s chief executive to grant pardons, President Enrique Peña Nieto ordered the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a teacher accused of participating in the murder of seven police officers in El Bosque, Chiapas state, in 2000. Patishtán—a member of the Tzotzil community—claims he was wrongly accused of a crime that he did not commit. The teacher was charged with the murders based on testimony from a single witness, the son of El Bosque’s mayor, even though many other eyewitness accounts placed Patishtán far away from the scene.  -Carlos Navarro  Read More

Costa Rica’s Election Campaign Gets Off to Rocky Start
Costa Rica’s election campaign, officially launched early last month, got off to a rocky start, with two presidential candidates resigning--one permanently, the other returning--and a congressional hopeful about to be kicked off of his party’s list. With 13 candidates nominated for this Central American nation’s top job and 27 political parties vying for the 57 seats up for grabs in the unicameral Asamblea Legislativa (AL), the election process is marked by what is seen as the definitive end of Costa Rica’s historic bipartisanship--a process started two elections ago when numerous parties entered the legislature.  -George Rodríguez   Read More

High Court Ruling, Secret Document Discovery Overshadow Argentina's Midterm Elections Results
Argentina’s governing coalition lost ground and yet held on to its congressional majority in midterm elections held Oct. 27. The governing coalition--just as it did four years ago, in the 2009 midterms--lost the country’s five largest districts, areas that together represent nearly 63% of the electorate. Within days of the vote, Argentina’s political scene was shaken by a pair of noteworthy incidents that quickly turned the public’s attention away from the election results: The Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) ruled that a controversial media law,is constitutional and thus immediately applicable. Less than a week later, Defense Minister Agustín Rossi publicly announced the discovery of a complete and perfectly preserved archive of secret documents produced over the course of Argentina’s final civil-military government (1976-1983).  -Andrés Gaudín  Read More 

A Race To Save Nicaragua’s Largest Land Mammal
Born and raised outside Managua in Nicaragua’s Zoológico Nacional, Maya and Carburito will soon be traveling east--aboard a military helicopter--to the Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur (RAAS)--where they will swap their familiar chain-linked enclosure for the leafy wilds of the Wawashang forest. Two-year-old Baird’s tapirs, the youngsters are unwitting protagonists in a public-private initiative to save the trunk-nosed herbivores from extinction. Using GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, researchers involved in the Proyecto Tapir Nicaragua will keep close tabs on the pioneering pair as they try to settle into their new environment. There is no guarantee the introduction will work. -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar    Read More

Human Rights Subcommittee Disbanded in Peru After Fujimorista Appointed to Head Group
The controversial appointment of fujimorista deputy Martha Chávez --who vowed to investigate alleged irregularities in Peru’s truth and reconciliation commission--as head of a congressional human rights subcommittee was ratified Nov. 11, days after it appeared that a previous vote in her favor had been overturned. But the subcommittee was later disbanded in what was considered a victory for human rights. Chávez was a party leader under Fujimori, who was condemned in 2009 to 25 years of prison for crimes against humanity. - Elsa Chanduví Jaña    Read More

President Enrique Peña Nieto Moves to Strengthen Relations with Cuba, Venezuela
President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has taken steps to repair relations with Cuba and Venezuela, which deteriorated during the administration of ex-President Vicente Fox (SourceMex, Nov. 16, 2005) and were uneven at best during the government of former President Felipe Calderón . In early November, the Peña Nieto government reached a series of cooperation agreements with Cuba, including an accord to pardon about US$487 million of Cuba’s debt to Mexico. The administration also announced plans to begin trade talks with Venezuela in 2014. However, some complications developed in the effort to restore trade and diplomatic relations with Venezuela following reports that the Venezuelan military shot down a private Mexican plane flying over its airspace.    -Carlos Navarro    Read More

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