South America

Violence breaks out in Bolivia over vote count

by Tupad POINTU LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Violence broke out in several Bolivian cities Monday after the main opposition candidate rejected presidential election results that seemed set to give victory to long-time incumbent Evo Morales, as international monitors voiced “deep concern.” Rival supporters clashed in the capital La Paz, while in the southern city of Sucre an angry mob set a local electoral authority’s headquarters on fire, TV images showed. Carlos Mesa, who came […]

Chile orders new curfew as violent protests rage

by Barnaby CHESTERMAN SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Chile ordered an overnight curfew for the third day in a row as violent protests and looting that left 11 people dead over the weekend raged on into the working week. Army general Javier Iturriaga announced the curfew would last from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am as protests originally against a hike in metro fares turned into anger at President Sebastian Pinera and the military. Iturriaga insisted the […]

World’s loudest bird sings heart out in pursuit of love

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — In the mountainous northern Amazon, a tiny white-plumed suitor turns to face his would-be paramour and belts out a deafening, klaxon-like call, reaching decibel levels equal to a pile driver. Meet the white bellbird, which has just beaten out its rainforest neighbor, the screaming piha, for the title of the world’s loudest bird. Biologist Jeff Podos at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mario Cohn-Haft of Brazil’s […]

Five die in fire at clothing factory looted in Chile unrest: firefighters

SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Five people died Sunday after a garment factory was set ablaze by looters in the suburbs of Santiago, firefighters said, bringing the death toll in a wave of unrest to seven. “Unfortunately, five bodies have been found inside the factory” in Renca, Santiago Fire Brigade Commander Diego Velasquez told local media. Two people died when looters torched a supermarket in Santiago in the early hours of Saturday. © Agence France-Presse

Chile president declares state of emergency after violent protests

  by Paulina ABRAMOVICH Agence France Presse SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Chile’s president declared a state of emergency in Santiago Friday night and gave the military responsibility for security after a day of violent protests over an increase in the price of metro tickets. Throughout Friday, protestors clashed with riot police in several parts of the capital and the subway system was shut after attacks on stations in some of the worst violence the city […]

Three gunmen killed in Brazil airport raid, kidnapping: police

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Heavily armed gunmen raided an airport in Brazil on Thursday, officials said, stealing money from an armored truck before fleeing and taking a mother and baby hostage. Three attackers were killed during the hourslong drama that started at 10 am (1300 GMT) at the Viracopos airport cargo terminal, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Sao Paulo, a spokeswoman for the military police told AFP. Two of the criminals were killed […]

Ecuador counts cost of deadly protests after deal

by Santiago PIEDRA SILVA QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Ecuador began counting the cost Monday of 12 days of indigenous fury against fuel hikes that left seven protesters dead and severely dented President Lenin Moreno’s austerity program. Moreno and indigenous leaders reached an agreement Sunday after the president pledged to withdraw subsidy cuts, known as Decree 883, that had more than doubled fuel prices. The cuts were part of an austerity package to obtain a $4.2 […]

Six dead as roof collapses on Peru costume party

  LIMA, Peru (AFP) — At least six people died and 40 were injured after a hailstorm caused a roof to collapse on a costume party in central Peru, authorities said. Around 1,000 people were in the building at the time of the accident on Sunday, according to local media. Some are still trapped in the rubble and five of the injured are in a serious condition, police said. The incident occurred during a local […]

Ecuador protest talks set for Sunday as capital locks down

by Katell ABIVEN / Hector Velasco QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — A first meeting between Ecuador’s president and indigenous leaders will take place on Sunday, the United Nations said, after Lenin Moreno ordered a curfew and military control in the capital to try to quell deadly, anti-austerity protests. The rolling demonstrations have left six people dead and nearly 2,100 wounded or detained, according to authorities, with protesters on Saturday targeting a television station and a newspaper […]

Priest shortage in Amazon eroding Catholic influence, warns bishops in Brazil and Peru

  by Allison Jackson, with Valeria Pacheco in Puerto Maldonado, Peru Agence France Presse ITAITUBA, Brazil (AFP) — A shortage of Catholic priests in the Amazon is eroding the church’s influence in the remote region, bishops in Brazil and Peru warn, ahead of a Vatican synod dedicated to the rainforest. Wilmar Santin, one of scores of Brazilian bishops set to attend the October 6-27 gathering, says the church is ceding ground to more nimble Evangelical […]

At least 17 killed as bus plunges off cliff in Peru

LIMA, Peru (AFP) — At least 17 people were killed and some 30 injured when a passenger bus plunged off a cliff on Tuesday in the mountainous Cusco region of Peru, local police said. Police are trying to determine why the bus driver sent the vehicle off the road and into a 100-meter deep ravine. The accident took place around dawn Tuesday as the bus, with 48 passengers, was heading from the Amazon rainforest city […]

Peru in crisis as president dissolves Congress

by Francisco JARA LIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra consolidated power Tuesday in a tense stand-off with the opposition over corruption, confirming the backing of the armed forces, police and the international community after dissolving Congress. Opposition lawmakers accused Vizcarra of mounting a “coup d’etat,” voting to suspend him temporarily from the presidency and appointing Vice President Mercedes Araoz as leader in what appeared to be a token gesture of defiance. Thousands of […]