Around Latin America

May 4, 2012

-Lloyd Brevett, the bassist for foundational Jamaican band The Skatalites, has passed away at the age of 80.

-Rio de Janeiro has joined São Paulo in combating visual pollution by tearing down billboards and banners that pepper buildings throughout the city. I previously discussed the benefits of this type of urban beautification project here.

-Eduardo Ayala has a guest post up at Americas Quarterly that makes “A Case for Gay Rights in Chile,” something that the Daniel Zamudio case has recently brought to the forefront.

-Nélida Gómez de Navajas, one of the founders of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), a group that joined the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo to protest the kidnapping, torture, and “disappearances” of their relatives, recently passed away.  Gómez de Navajas formed the group when she learned her daughter, Cristina, whom the regime had kidnapped and “disappeared,” was pregnant at the time of her abduction, and eyewitnesses said Cristina did give birth. The fate of the baby has yet to be discovered.

-A new report cites “neglect” as a major cause in the death of 361 prisoners who died in a Honduran prison fire that killed 361 prisoners, many of them not even convicted of or charged with crimes, back in February.

-Jamaican Courts recently rejected police officers’ attempts to challenge the powers of an independent commission designed to investigate crime or corruption within the police forces. The court’s ruling means the commission can compel officers and others to participate in investigations into probes of police abuse.

-Ecuador is set to pay Brazilian oil company Petrobras $217 million dollars in compensation for ending its contract with the company in 2010.

-In a rare bit of good environmental news, the critically-endangered “chicken frog” is surviving after being introduced to the island of Montserrat.

-Venezuela has announced its belief that it should to withdraw from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), with one Venezuelan official claiming the IACHR is biased against Venezuela, and the US has responded by describing the decision as “regrettable.”

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