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Latinamerica Press
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Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela.

The delegates of Latin America and the Caribbean to the VI Conference of the States Parties to the Mechanism for Monitoring the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women, which took place in Lima, Peru on Oct. 15 and 16, agreed to focus attention on sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy, as well as violence and political harassment against women, and on strengthening public policies to offer comprehensive care to girls and adolescents who are victims of sexual violence. The Minister of Women of Peru, Marcela Huaita, pointed out that “on average, in the region 36% of women have declared themselves to be victims of domestic violence.”

In Chile the first weddings of homosexual couples were celebrated after the new Agreement on Civil Unions legalizing the union of couples without regard to sex went into effect on Oct. 22. The Law of Civil Union promulgated on Apr. 13 creates the civil state of legal cohabitation and establishes a new inheritance regimen for couples. It makes possible that one of the members of a couple can be dependent on the other for health coverage, it grants them the priority status in the care of children in the case of death of a partner, and protects the right to inheritance, although it doesn’t include the right to adoption.

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, proposed a truce to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) starting on Jan. 1, 2016. In message on Oct. 28, the President proposed that FARC make the effort to complete Point 5, pertaining to ending the conflict before Dec. 31 and “thus be able to decree a bilateral and internationally verifiable cease fire as of Jan. 1, 2016.” However, FARC responded in a statement released on Oct. 31 that the death of four guerrilla members in recent military operations “threatened to make the unilateral cease fire unsustainable,” which was decreed by the FARC in July 20.

During the past year, Mexico deported 107,814 Central American immigrants, of which 752 were children and adolescents travelling alone, according to a September report of the US non-governmental organization, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). The detentions increased 25 percent since the government initiated the Southern Border Plan in August 2014 designed to deny migrants headed to the United States entry into Mexican territory, state MPI. Between October 2014 and April 2015, US Customs and Border Patrol, detained 70,448 “other than Mexican” citizens at its border. In the same period, Mexican authorities detained 92,889 Central Americans in Mexico, noted the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) in a report released in June.

 In mid-October, the public prosecutor, Franklin Nieves, fled Venezuela, denouncing government pressures against him. Nieves was one of two lawyers that prosecuted the opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was condemned to prison this past September for 13 years and nine months. According to Nieves, López is innocent of the charges for which he was condemned and the order to prosecute him came from President Nicolás Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly. Cabello labelled Nieves as a “thug” and said that he was offered US$850,000 to not prosecute López for the death of 43 people during anti-government protests in February 2014, and limit the charges to lesser offenses against the opposition leader.

Latinamerica Press / Noticias Aliadas
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