South America

Brazil’s Lula ties the knot months before presidential election

  SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the front-runner in Brazil’s October presidential elections, took a break from campaigning Wednesday to marry his fiancee and fellow Workers’ Party member, sociologist Rosangela da Silva. The former president posted a photo on Instagram Wednesday night in which he appears to be saying his vows to Da Silva while placing a wedding ring on her finger. Lula, 76, and Da Silva, 55, tied the […]

Chile defense minister’s home robbed, presidential car stolen

  SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — The home of Chilean Defense Minister Maya Fernandez was robbed by attackers who beat her son and threatened her husband, authorities said Saturday. Fernandez, a granddaughter of former Socialist leader Salvador Allende, was not at home at the time of the attack late Friday in Santiago’s Nunoa neighborhood. A bodyguard in President Gabriel Boric’s security team was also shot in the arm by attackers who stole a presidential vehicle, as […]

Lima jolted by a 5.5-magnitude quake

A 5.5-magnitude earthquake shook Lima and a large surrounding area Thursday, alarming many locals but with no immediate reports of damage or injury, the National Seismological Center reported. The tremor was recorded at 4:55 p.m. local time (2155 GMT), with an epicenter 30 kilometers west of Chilca, a coastal town south of Lima, and 49 kilometers deep, the Center reported. “5.5 magnitude earthquake occurred 30 km W of Chilca, [province of] Canete. [In] Lima it […]

Ecuador prison riot leaves 43 dead, 108 on the run

  SANTO DOMINGO DE LOS COLORADOS, Ecuador (AFP) — At least 43 inmates died on Monday in Ecuador’s latest grisly prison riot, the public prosecutor said, as another 100 prisoners managed to escape. Authorities said a fight broke out between the rival Los Lobos and R7 gangs inside the Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo de los Colorados, in the center of Ecuador some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Quito. “For now there are 43 inmates […]

Three shot in Chile May Day clashes

  SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Three people were wounded by gunfire and two arrested in clashes at May Day demonstrations in Chile, police said. The shooting occurred during a Sunday march called by a union in the capital Santiago as some protesters erected barricades and entered commercial premises, clashing with merchants. “There were clashes between street vendors who unfortunately used firearms and injured three people, two of them women and a third man was also […]

Billionaire Luiza Trajano, the businesswoman shaking up Brazil

by Luján Scarpinelli © Agence France-Presse SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Brazilian businesswoman Luiza Trajano has made it onto a lot of lists: TIME’s most influential people, Forbes’ billionaires, the biggest fortunes in Brazil… But although she has been touted as a potential contender in Brazil’s presidential elections this year, there is one list she says she is determined to stay off: the ballot. With the country deeply polarized ahead of October’s polls, “I want […]

Bodyguards a status symbol amid Venezuela’s crime and poverty

  by Javier Tovar © Agence France-Presse CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — In a rich neighborhood east of Caracas, a bodyguard flashes his rifle as a private armored car with dark tinted windows speeds away under his intimidating watch. In Venezuela, one of the most violent countries in the world, having an armed escort has long been a shield against kidnapping, and worse. Today, it is increasingly also a display of status. In the well-to-do neighborhoods […]

Haulage strike paralyzes Argentina’s farming exports

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — A four-day-old strike by Argentine grain transporters, demanding higher freight rates in the face of rising diesel prices due to war in Ukraine, has paralyzed farming exports, industry sources said Thursday. Thousands of trucks that haul grain and its derivatives have parked along the side of the road in the South American country, which is the world’s largest exporter of soybean flour and oil, and one of the main suppliers […]

Bolsonaro vetoes Covid aid for Brazil culture sector

BRASÍLIA, Brazil | AFP Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have provided aid funds to artists and cultural programs hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, triggering an outcry from opposition lawmakers, who vowed to override him. Named for a widely beloved comedian and actor who died of Covid-19 last year, the Paulo Gustavo Bill aimed to provide 3.86 billion reais ($820 million) in federal funds to local and state governments to […]

Peruvian President Castillo avoids impeachment in Congress vote

by Carlos MANDUJANO / Luis Jaime CISNEROS LIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peru’s President Pedro Castillo avoided impeachment by an opposition-dominated Congress on Monday, bringing to a close the second bid to unseat him since he rose to power eight months ago. Following a parliamentary debate that lasted more than eight hours, 55 legislators voted in favor of Castillo’s impeachment, 54 voted against, and 19 abstained. Eighty-seven votes would have been required to impeach the leftist […]

Bolsonaro ousts Petrobras president after fuel increases: official

BRASILIA, Brazil (AFP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro decided on Monday to change the president of state-owned Petrobras, Joaquim Silva e Luna, amid strong pressure due to recurrent increases in fuel prices. The information, leaked by the Brazilian press, was confirmed in the evening by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which proposed economist Adriano Pires, a specialist in the oil and gas field, as the candidate to replace him. The appointment must be approved […]

At least six children killed in Colombia school bus accident

BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) – Six children died and over a dozen were injured on Tuesday after their school bus rolled down a cliff in northeastern Colombia, a regional official said. “Unfortunately I have to confirm (the) school bus accident on the Laguna de Ortices-San Andres road, where 6 minors died and there are more than 15 injured,” tweeted Mauricio Aguilar, governor of the mountainous Santander department, where the tragedy occurred. The students had left a […]