South America

Gunmen kill head of Ecuador prison where deadly riots broke out

by Santiago PIEDRA SILVA Agence France-Presse QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — The warden of an Ecuadoran prison where deadly riots broke out two weeks ago was killed by gunmen on Thursday, the federal prisons agency announced. Retired police colonel Santiago Loza took up his post as head of Quito’s Pichincha 1 prison on November 9. But just over a week later, on November 18, riots broke out after gang leaders were transferred to another facility, with […]

Peru slaughters more than 37,000 poultry after bird flu outbreak

LIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peruvian authorities have culled at least 37,000 birds on a chicken farm due to bird flu, officials said Thursday. After previously affecting wildlife in several areas nationwide, this outbreak took place at a farm in Huacho, north of Lima, the national agricultural health agency SENASA said Thursday. “They have all been slaughtered; this infectious focus has already ended on a small farm in Huacho (north of Lima), with a population of […]

Venezuela’s Maduro calls for ‘complete lifting’ of oil sanctions

CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday said the easing of an oil embargo on his country by the United States was not enough, and called for the total lifting of sanctions. The United States over the weekend granted energy giant Chevron a license to resume some oil operations in Venezuela — a step in the “right direction,” Maduro told a press conference. But the move was “not enough for what Venezuela demands, […]

Argentina records first mpox death

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) – Argentina registered its first death from mpox, the disease formerly known as monkeypox, when a patient died in a hospital in the capital Buenos Aires, the health ministry said. The fatality was a 44-year-old man who was diagnosed with untreated HIV-AIDS and suffered septic shock, which caused his death, the health ministry said Monday. The patient had been hospitalized since mid-September in intensive care with respiratory assistance and his death was […]

Colombia sending troops to southern border to fight drug gangs

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AFP) — Colombia is to deploy 400 soldiers to fight drug traffickers operating across its rural southern borders, after a recent spike in killings and internal displacement, the South American country’s government said Monday. There will be six sectors along Colombia’s borders with Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, “with 400 soldiers and officers who will be on the front line of operations… to block the drug trafficking corridors,” Interior Minister Alfonso Prada told reporters […]

Eight killed in Colombia plane crash

BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) – A small plane carrying eight people crashed into a residential area of Colombia’s second-largest city Medellin on Monday, killing all on board, airport authorities said. The aircraft took off from the Olaya Herrera airport in the morning and reported an engine failure before crashing into a house, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air. The airport’s Twitter account reported that the eight people in the plane — six passengers and […]

Rainforest giants Brazil, Indonesia, DR Congo sign deforestation pact

  Nusa Dua, Indonesia | AFP | The world’s biggest rainforest nations Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday formally launched a climate partnership to work together on conservation. All three nations have vast tropical rainforests threatened by logging and agriculture. “Representatives from Indonesia, Brazil and DRC… announced a tropical forest cooperation and climate action in the Egyptian COP27 (climate summit) side event on November 7, and agreed to sign a Joint Statement […]

Brazil’s Lula headed to UN climate talks with vow to save Amazon

by Louis GENOT Agence France-Presse RIO DE JANEIRO Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AFP) — Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected this week at the UN climate summit in Egypt to pledge to reverse the environmental policies of his right-wing predecessor and protect the Amazon rainforest. Lula’s trip Monday to the COP27 talks in Sharm el-Sheikh will be his first international visit since beating Brazil’s far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the October 30 […]

‘Nicaragua will end up alone’ as migrants flee

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AFP) — Jose Galeano is on the verge of embarking on the most important and frightening journey of his life. He took out a loan secured against his house and paid people smugglers to help him begin an odyssey he hopes will end in the United States. Having worked as a farmhand, a gardener, and a laborer, this 35-year-old former veterinary medicine graduate is joining the thousands of Nicaraguans fleeing the second poorest […]

Five dead in Venezuelan military plane crash: ministry

Caracas, Venezuela | AFP | Five members of the Venezuelan military died Sunday when their plane crashed during a training mission, authorities in the South American country said. The C-208B aircraft “fell to the ground” 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the Jose Antonio Paez air base, in Venezuela’s southern Amazonas state, Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino Lopez said in a statement. “So far, four lifeless bodies have been rescued and the search continues for the […]

Ecuador declares emergency after 5 police gunned down

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Five police officers were killed, several more wounded and prison guards taken hostage Tuesday in the latest wave of attacks in a deadly gang war consuming Ecuador, authorities said. President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of exception and nightly curfew in two coastal provinces, Guayas and Esmeraldas. The move allows the government to limit freedom of assembly and movement. Officials said organized crime groups launched nine attacks with explosives and firearms […]

Lula win offers hope for climate change fight: Spain

  Madrid, Spain | AFP | Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday hailed Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s victory in Brazil’s presidential election, urging the two nations to work together to fight climate change. “Congratulations Lula on your victory… Let’s work together for social justice, equality and against climate change,” Sanchez tweeted. “Your success will be the success of the Brazilian people.” Ahead of the vote, in which former leftist leader Lula defeated Jair Bolsonaro, […]