South America

Venezuela military group arrested after call to disavow Maduro

by Maria Isabel SANCHEZ Agence France Presse CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — A group of 27 soldiers rose up against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro at a command post in Caracas on Monday, but were quickly arrested after posting an appeal for public support in a video, the government said. “We are the professional troop of the National Guard against the regime, which we completely repudiate. I need your help, take to the streets,” a man who […]

21 dead in car bomb attack on Colombian police academy

by Hector Velasco Agence France Presse BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — Colombia’ s government declared three days of mourning Thursday after at least 21 people died in a car bomb at a Bogota police cadet training academy, and 68 were wounded — the worst such incident in the city in 16 years. The defense ministry said the “terrorist act” was carried out using a vehicle packed with 80 kilograms (around 175 pounds) of explosives. “Unfortunately, the […]

Ten killed in car bomb attack on Colombian police academy

by Hector Velasco Agence France Presse BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — A car bomb attack on a police cadet training academy killed 10 people and wounded 65 on Thursday in Bogota, making it the worst such incident in the Colombian capital in 16 years. The defense ministry said the “terrorist act” was carried out using a vehicle packed with 80 kilograms (around 175 pounds) of explosives. “All Colombians reject terrorism and we’re united in fighting it,” […]

Brazilians divided over loosening of gun laws

by Paula RAMON Agence France Presse SAN PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Silvana Tavares, a long-time sports shooter who is a vendor in a firearms store in Sao Paulo, says she has never brandished a weapon at anyone, and she does not want to kill anyone. But she is determined to keep a gun at home. “Nobody goes into a gun shop thinking they’re going to kill,” said Tavares, who is a supporter of President Jair […]

Extreme poverty rises again in Latin America

SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Extreme poverty in Latin America hit its highest level for nine years in 2017, according to a report by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published on Tuesday. Poverty remained stable at 30.2 percent of the population — 184 million people — but extreme poverty increased from 9.9 percent in 2016 to 10.2 percent, or 62 million people, it said. “The proportion of people living in […]

Maduro dismisses legitimacy questions as second term looms

by Maria Isabel SANCHEZ / Alexander MARTINEZ Agence France Presse CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will begin his second mandate on Thursday plagued by accusations of illegitimacy and increasing international isolation in a country crippled by an economic crisis. The 56-year-old leader will be sworn in by the Supreme Court rather than the sidelined — and opposition controlled — parliament having been reelected in May in a poll boycotted by the majority […]

New Brazil leader Bolsonaro targets crime, leftwing ‘ideology’

by Louis GENOT, with Marc BURLEIGH in Rio de Janeiro Agence France Presse BRASILIA, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro declared a crusade against crime, corruption and leftwing ideology as he took office Tuesday for a four-year term at the helm of Latin America’s biggest nation. In his first public speech wearing the presidential sash, Boslonaro said Brazil will “start to free itself of socialism” and “political correctness,” breaking with policies brought […]

Second Guatemalan migrant child dies in US custody

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — An eight-year-old migrant from Guatemala died in government custody on Tuesday, US Customs and Border Protection said, the second child fatality in US detention this month. The boy, who was with his apprehended father, had been transferred to a New Mexico medical center showing signs of sickness on Monday, the agency said. Staff diagnosed him with a cold but later discovered a fever. He was released midday, given prescriptions for […]

Facebook defends data sharing after new report on partner deals

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Facebook defended its data sharing practices Wednesday after a report revealing that certain partners of the social network had access to a range of personal information about users and their friends. The New York Times late Tuesday reported that some 150 companies — including powerful partners like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify — could access detailed information about Facebook users, including data about their friends. The report marked yet another […]

Brazil high court suspends order that could free Lula

BRASILIA, Brazil (AFP) — The chief judge of Brazil’s supreme court suspended Wednesday an order by another justice on the tribunal that could have freed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison, where he is serving time for graft. Chief Justice Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli said he had approved an objection by public prosecutors against the provisional order issued just hours earlier by the top court’s Justice Marco Aurelio Mello. Mello had ruled […]

Road accident deaths swell to 1.35 million each year: WHO

by Nina LARSON Agence France-Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Road accidents kill someone every 24 seconds, with a total of 1.35 million traffic deaths around the world each year, the World Health Organization said Friday, demanding global action. The number of fatalities annually has swelled by around 100,000 in just three years, with road accidents now the leading killer of children and young people between the ages of five and 29, the UN health agency […]