South America

Dozens of families found homeless after forest fire in Chilean port

VALPARAISO, Chile (AFP) — Dozens of families found themselves homeless on December 25 after a forest fire in the Chilean tourist port city of Valparaiso burned through two hillside neighborhoods. The blaze broke out Tuesday on Rocuant and San Roque hills and continued to burn on Wednesday, though with less intensity. About 200 homes were “affected” by the fire in a matter of hours. There were no deaths from the fire that had burned 150 […]

Morales claims US orchestrated ‘coup’ to tap Bolivia’s lithium

  by Liliana Samuel  BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — Former Bolivia president Evo Morales told AFP on Tuesday that he was forced from office by a United States-backed coup d’etat aimed at gaining access to the South American country’s vast lithium resources. Demand for lithium is expected to grow globally as it is one of the key components in batteries used in high-tech equipment such as laptops and electric cars. Morales resigned as president on […]

Pentagon suspends training of Saudis for security review

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The Pentagon announced Tuesday it was temporarily suspending operational training for Saudi military students in the United States following a shooting rampage last week by a Saudi air force officer. Saudi Arabian military students in the United States will continue classroom instruction but operational training is halted pending a security review, senior Defense Department officials said. Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, opened fire in […]

Chile military plane disappears with 38 aboard: Air Force

  SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — A Chilean military plane with 38 people aboard has gone missing after taking off from the country’s south for a base in Antarctica and is presumed to have crashed, authorities have said. Seventeen of those on board the C-130 aircraft were crew and the others were passengers, Chile’s Air Force said Monday. The plane is considered to have crashed and “all national and international air and maritime means available in […]

Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori leaves prison in Peru

  LIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peru opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was released from prison Friday after spending 13 months in pre-trial detention in a corruption case linked to Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Her release comes days after the country’s Constitutional Court ordered her freed in a ruling related only to her detention and which otherwise has no bearing on the corruption case against her. “For me, it was the most painful event of my life,” […]

Ex-Morales’ officials take refuge in Mexico embassy in Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Some 20 former members of Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales’ government has holed up in Mexico’s embassy in La Paz, Bolivia’s foreign minister said Tuesday, including five wanted for arrest. Among them is Morales’ former top minister Juan Ramon Quintana, who the caretaker government has accused of sedition and terrorism. Morales, who fled to Mexico after being granted political asylum following his November 10 resignation, has been accused of the same […]

23 dead as violent unrest in Chile enters fifth week

by Paulina ABRAMOVICH Agence France Presse SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — The death toll from violent unrest in Chile rose to 23 on Friday as the country entered its fifth week of social unrest. Looting and demonstrations took place in cities across the South American nation, and an agreement on a political roadmap that will see Chile draft a new constitution has halted neither the anger, nor the bloodshed. Furious Chileans have since October 18 been […]

Bolivia leader: Elections will be called soon

by Raúl BURGOA LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Bolivia’s interim president said Sunday she will call new elections soon, as the country struggles with violent unrest a week after the resignation of Evo Morales. “Very soon we will announce news regarding our main mandate: calling transparent elections,” Jeanine Anez said in a speech at the presidential palace. She did not give details, saying only that the announcement will seek the “recovery of our country’s democratic […]

Bolsonaro: China part of Brazil’s future

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China is increasingly part of Brazil’s future, President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday, signaling a more pragmatic approach to the Latin American country’s biggest trade partner. Standing alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, Bolsonaro said he hoped the two countries could not only increase but also “diversify our trade relations.” “China is becoming more and more part of Brazil’s future,” Bolsonaro said after the two men signed […]

Bolivia: Death toll up to seven in post-election unrest

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Seven people died in Bolivia in violence that broke out after Evo Morales was declared the winner of a recent presidential election, the attorney general said Tuesday. Four of those fatalities were from gunfire, Juan Lanchipa said. Until now, the toll was three dead. Morales resigned Sunday and went into exile in Mexico on Tuesday. “All of these cases will be investigated until we establish the truth and find out […]

Morales leaves for Mexico as Bolivia military pledges to tackle violence

by Francisco JARA LA PAZ, Bolivia (AFP) — Evo Morales left Bolivia Monday for Mexico, which has granted him political asylum, as the armed forces agreed to help police curb violence that has erupted after the president’s stunning resignation left a power vacuum. The senator set to succeed Morales as interim president, Jeanine Anez, pledged to call fresh elections to end the political crisis. The United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) earlier […]

‘I’m back’: Brazil’s Lula fills leftist leadership void

by Louis Genot, with Jordi Miro in Brasilia RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Out of jail and full of rage, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has put his far-right nemesis President Jair Bolsonaro in the cross-hairs, as he takes up the mantle of leading the left. Declaring “I’m back” in a fiery speech to hundreds of supporters near Sao Paulo on Saturday, Lula, 74, appeared energized by his year-and-a-half-long incarceration for corruption as […]