South America

In Caracas, water an obsession after days of blackout

by Margioni BERMÚDEZ CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Plastic bottles and containers at the ready, Keisy Perez ignores the stench from the brown river as it slips slowly through the grimy San Agustin district of Venezuela’s capital. The quest for drinkable water has rapidly become an obsession for millions like her in Caracas days after a crippling power blackout stalled the city’s pumps. In this part of Caracas, the Guaire river is effectively an open sewer. […]

Venezuela’s pro-regime ‘colectivos’ vow to back Maduro whatever it costs

by Nina NEGRON / Margioni BERMÚDEZ CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) –Jorge Parrado collects water for his Caracas district. But he is also ready to fight completely in support of President Nicolas Maduro as a member of a “colectivo,” cells that uphold and enforce the regime’s socialist ideals. He had arrived at a park in the west of the capital aboard a water tanker to fill it from wells. The precious water was to be taken to […]

Eight killed in Brazil school shooting, two suspects dead

by Nelson ALMEIDA SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Two former pupils shot dead eight people, most of them students and staff, at a high school near Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday before turning their weapons on themselves, authorities said. The two assailants burst into the school grounds in the early morning, armed with a .38 caliber revolver and a “medieval weapon that looked like a bow and arrows,” military police Colonel Marcelo Sales said. After […]

Venezuela’s US invasion: the dollar takes hold

by Esteban ROJAS CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro may be fiercely opposed to the “imperialist” United States. But in one regard, a US invasion is already happening: the dollarization of his South American country. Dollar bills are mixed in with wads of the near-worthless bolivar in markets. Long lines form for an opportunity to buy dollars. Shops offering scant and desperately sought basic items are increasingly demanding dollars as payment. The adoption […]

Venezuela calls public sector back to work as blackout recedes

by Maria Isabel SANCHEZ and Marc BURLEIGH CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela’s public employees were called to return to work Thursday after the government ended a nearly week-long hiatus caused by an unprecedented nationwide blackout that deepened widespread anger against President Nicolas Maduro. Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in an address on state television Wednesday that Maduro decided the public sector would resume work on Thursday, although state schools would remain closed for an extra […]

Gobierno de Maduro: Servicio eléctrico reestablecido en casi toda Venezuela

Nadine Dueñas Eagle News Service URUGUAY, SUDAMÉRICA–El gobierno de Presidente Nicolás Maduro aseguró que el servicio eléctrico ha sido reestablecido en la mayoría de los estados de Venezuela. En una rueda de prensa esta semana, Jorge Rodríguez, vicepresidente sectorial de Comunicación, Cultura y Turismo, dijo que el Presidente estaba “al frente” del ” trabajo de recuperación,” y ha “ordenado del despliegue de todos los ministerios para la distribución de alimentos, de cisternas con agua, de la […]

Thousands of Venezuelans protest against Maduro amid blackout

by Maria Isabel SANCHEZ CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Thousands of Venezuelans marched in fresh protests Tuesday called by opposition leader Juan Guaido on the fifth day of a crippling power blackout as the government of President Nicolas Maduro prepared to charge him with “sabotage.” Demonstrators banged pots and sounded car horns as the protest got underway in a square in the east of the capital. Many waved large banners calling on Maduro to go. “The […]

Twelve dead in Brazil floods

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Floods caused by torrential rain in and around Brazil’s financial hub Sao Paulo killed 12 people and hurt six others overnight, firefighters said Monday. In the town of Riberao Pires on the periphery of the country’s most populated city, four members of one family died and another two were injured when a house collapsed around midnight. Another landslide killed one person in Embu das Artes, while three neighbors drowned in […]

Venezuela’s Maduro extends business, schools closure for 24 hours over blackout

CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro extended the closure of shools and businesses for another 24 hours on Monday due to the ongoing electricity blackout, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said. It’s the second time Maduro has prolonged the closure, which was first announced after the massive power cut hit late on Thursday afternoon. © Agence France-Presse

Twelve dead in Colombia plane crash

BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — A plane crash in Colombia killed 12 people on Saturday, including a mayor and her family, aviation and emergency services said. The Douglas DC-3 aircraft, an American-made twin-engine propeller plane that was first produced in the 1930s, crashed in the center-east of the country on a flight between the towns of San Jose del Guaviare and Villavicencio. A fire department official told AFP it then caught fire. “Unfortunately… there were no […]

Guaido says will ask Venezuela legislature to respond to blackout

by Maria Isabel SANCHEZ CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Opposition leader Juan Guaido said Sunday he will ask Venezuela’s legislature to declare a “state of alarm,” authorizing the delivery of international aid in response to a catastrophic power outage that has paralyzed the country. At least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease were reported to have died since the blackout began on Thursday, as hospitals struggled to provide emergency services and the threat of spoiling food […]

US indicts Venezuela ex-vice president Tareck El Aissami

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The United States indicted Venezuelan industry minister and former vice president Tareck El Aissami on sanctions violations Friday, two years after naming him a narcotics “kingpin” for allegedly giving cover to drug traffickers. Aissami, a close ally of President Nicolas Maduro, and businessman Samark Lopez Bello were indicted together in New York and charged with violating US sanctions by using private jets to fly to meetings around the […]