–Brazilian Labor Minister Carlos Lupi has resigned amid allegations of corruption. Lupi’s departure is the sixth from the Rousseff cabinet this year (out of 32 positions), and the fifth due to allegations of corruption. I’ll have much more on this in a separate post later this week, but the resignations are not really hurting Rousseff’s reputation (she was named the Woman of the Year in Brazil this week), in part because she’s seen as not tolerating the corruption that previous presidents from both the left and right let slide.
-Spain has asked the U.S. and El Salvador to extradite fifteen Salvadoran military officials for their roles in the murder of six Jesuit priests in 1989. This story comes on top of this weekend’s news that Chile seeks the extradition of an ex-U.S. officer for his role in the murder and disappearance of American victims of the 1973 military coup that installed Augusto Pinochet.
-Peru has declared a state of emergency in the face of protests over a multi-billion dollar gold mining project in the northern highlands of Peru.
-Disabled Bolivians recently marched to protest discrimination towards the disabled community in their home country.
-Uruguayan vice president Danilo Astori’s took Argentina to task for what the vice president views as protectionism and proclaimed that Mercosur “is currently going through an extraordinarily difficult time.” This isn’t the first time the two countries have sniped at each other over economic and environmental issues; in recent years, the two countries were at loggerheads over two pulp mills on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay-Argentina border, a dispute that only ended last year.
-A new report suggests that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached its lowest levels this year, dropping to “only” 2,410 square miles of deforestation. While a reduction is good, it does not mean Brazil deforestation is no longer an issue, and Brazil’s Amazonian basin continues to face very real environmental threats.
-The Chilean Communist Party has requested the exhumation of Pablo Neruda’s remains to investigate allegations he was poisoned. Neruda died only 12 days after the September 11 coup in 1973. (H/t to Lillie.)
-An evangelical leader in Brazil has become the new face of reactionary social attitudes in Brazil, speaking out against gay rights, women’s rights, and even those who advocate the decriminalization of marijuana.
-Dominican human rights activist Sonia Pierre has died at the age of 48. Pierre fought against discrimination towards Haitian descendants in the Dominican Republic. Pierre died of a heart attack, a condition at least one of her colleagues says was only made worse by threats against Pierre’s life.