Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Latinamerica Press
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Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia

On Nov. 5, in Argentina, Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo announced the recovery of grandchild No. 118. Estela de Carlotto, the organization’s president, announced in a press conference that is a 38-year-old male identified as Martín, son of Estela Maris Montesano and Jorge Oscar Ogando, both detained and disappeared in 1976, during the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-81), and grandson of Delia Giovanolla, one of the 12 founders of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. In March, Martín submitted voluntarily to DNA testing which confirmed their relationship. Previously on Aug. 31, 2015, the identity of grandchild No. 117 had been revealed. She was identified as Claudia, the daughter of detained-disappeared Walter Hernán Domínguez and Gladys Cristina Castro, born in prison in March 1978.

For the third consecutive time, the United Democratic Party (UDP), led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will govern Belize after winning the elections on Nov. 4. Barrow, who was sworn in before the National Assembly on Nov. 12 came to power for the first time in 2008, and was reelected in 2012. This past September, Barrow requested the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, to dissolve the National Assembly and convoke elections to allow a third term for his party and continue with his development plans including projects such as construction of a large port, a new international airport and a program to finance small business and farmers.

The spill of 62 million cubic tons of mining waste into the Doce River in southeastern Brazil, is considered to be the worst environmental disaster in the history of the country. On Nov. 5, two reservoirs of toxic waste from the Samarco iron mine — owned by the Brazilian company Vale, and the Australian company BHP Billiton —, located in the state of Minas Gerais, ruptured. At least 17 people were killed and the town of Bento Rodrigues was destroyed.  The spillage flowed 650 kilometers, devastating the flora and fauna in its path, and eventually flowed into the ocean.  President Dilma Rousseff announced that Samarco should pay a fine equivalent to US$66 million, as well as compensation to the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, the municipalities affected and flood victims.

On Nov. 3, a court of appeals in Chile sentenced 64 former members of the military to between four and 13 years in prison. They were responsible for the 1974 disappearance of Washington Cid Urrutia, a militant with the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR).The judge, Hernán Crisosto, sentenced four retired generals, César Manríquez, Pedro Espinoza, Miguel Krassnoff and Raúl Iturriaga, to 13 years in prison as co-authors of the crime of kidnapping. All of them are currently serving sentences of more than 200 years for violations of human rights. Also, 36 former agents from the Chilean dictatorship intelligence agency (DINA) received sentences of ten years in prison, and the remaining military will serve sentences of four years.

Homosexual couples may adopt children in Colombia after a Nov. 4 decision of the Constitutional Court ruling in favor of a law suit presented by the Magistrate Jorge Iván Palacio, allowing adoption by homosexual couples, stating that what should be priority is the right of the child to have a family. The Constitutional Court clarified that couples of the same sex that want to adopt should comply with the same requirements established by law as heterosexual couples. According to Palacio, “adoption of children by persons of diverse sexual orientations, in general, and by couples of the same sex, in particular, does not affect, in itself, the interest of the child, neither affect in a negative way the child’s physical and mental health or its integral development.”

Latinamerica Press / Noticias Aliadas
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