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LATIN AMERICA
In brief
Latinamerica Press
7/20/2015
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Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Haití, Mexico.

On July 14th, Brazil`s Federal Police searched and raided 53 residences, businesses, and offices of many political leaders, as well as of seven federal senators, including former President Fernando Collor de Mello (1990-92), due to their presumed ties to the corruption scandal related to Petrobras. In March, the Supreme Court opened up an investigation for this case against 50 parliamentarians, including the President of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, and the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha.

The Ministry of National Defense of Chile confirmed on July 15 that the Air Force expelled a corporal who offered money in exchange of sexual favors while he was on a Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti. A preliminary report from the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, leaked to the press in June, revealed the existence of sexual abuses perpetrated by the peace forces in Haiti between 2008 and 2013. A third of these denounces are related to cases involving minors. According to the report, 231 Haitian women confirmed to have maintained sexual relations with “blue helmets” in exchange of money, clothing, computers and cellphones, among other items.

Between 1991 and 2014, about 86,000 hectares of land have been returned to 2,875 families displaced by the violence in Colombia, in compliance with the Law of Victims and Land Restitution, which benefits those individuals who had to abandon their households since 1991, according to information disclosed on July 15. With almost 6 million internally displaced people, Colombia is the second country in the world with the most number of displaced persons, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

On July 14, for the third time in one month, Guatemala`s Supreme Electoral Tribunal rejected the presidential candidature of Zuri Rios Sosa, daughter of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-83)  for the general elections that will take place on Sept. 6. The Constitution prohibits relatives until the fourth degree of consanguinity from warlords or those who have come into power by military coups or military attempts to aspire to govern the country.

Joaquín Guzmán Lorera, also known as “El Chapo”, one of the main drug traffickers in the world and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, escaped on July 11 from the maximum security prison of Altiplano I, 55 miles away from Mexico City, through a tunnel of almost a mile long. This is the second time that Guzmán escapes from prison. The first time occurred in 2001 after he being held in a prison in Jalisco for eight years, and was recaptured in February 2014. The government has offered a reward of up to US$ 3.9 million for his capture.


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