Mayan urn returned to Mexico by Albion College

A Mayan urn, made between 900 and 1600 AD, is returning to Mexico after spending more than 50 years at a college in the United States. The urn, considered to be of high historical value, has been housed at Albion College, Michigan, since 1969. The Mexican foreign ministry said the urn would now be taken to the Museo de los Altos in Chiapas. The artefact will be displayed alongside a twin urn that is on show at the museum. “The recovery of this Mayan urn and reunification with its twin artefact represent an act of great importance for Mexico and … Continue reading Mayan urn returned to Mexico by Albion College

Conservative ex-banker elected Ecuador president

A conservative former banker, Guillermo Lasso, has won Ecuador’s presidential election following a run-off vote. His opponent, the left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, conceded defeat hours after polls closed on Sunday. With almost all the ballots counted, Mr Lasso had won 52.5% of the vote compared to Mr Arauz’s 47.5%. Mr Lasso, a 65-year-old three-time presidential candidate, told supporters he accepted the “challenge of changing our country’s destiny”. “It’s a day in which all Ecuadoreans have decided their future,” he said. “They have used their vote to express the need for change and the desire for better days.” Mr Arauz, meanwhile, … Continue reading Conservative ex-banker elected Ecuador president

Update: Brazil names new armed forces commanders amid political tensions

Brazil has named new commanders of its armed forces, a day after President Jair Bolsonaro’s government said it would replace the heads of the army, navy and air force in a shake-up that raised concerns about the far-right leader meddling with the military. In a news conference on Wednesday, Defence Minister Walter Braga Netto announced that Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira would take over the army, Almir Garnier the navy and Carlos Almeida Baptista Junior the air force. It was Braga Netto’s first news conference since he was appointed to the post on Monday in a sweeping cabinet reshuffle. As he announced … Continue reading Update: Brazil names new armed forces commanders amid political tensions

Brazil military chiefs resign in new crisis for Bolsonaro

The heads of Brazil’s army, navy and air force have all resigned as President Jair Bolsonaro struggles to contain a crisis over his leadership. The defence chiefs are reported to have stepped down in protest at what they see as an attempt by Mr Bolsonaro to exert undue control over the military. On Monday, the president was forced to reshuffle his cabinet after his foreign and defence ministers both quit. Mr Bolsonaro’s popularity has plummeted over his response to Covid-19. Brazil’s far-right president, who came to power two years ago, has consistently opposed quarantine measures, arguing that the damage to … Continue reading Brazil military chiefs resign in new crisis for Bolsonaro

Environmental activist Carlos Cerros killed in Honduras

An Indigenous environmental activist has been killed in Honduras in the latest of many attacks on environmentalists. Carlos Cerros, a representative of the Indigenous Lenca people, was shot dead in the street near the city of San Antonio in the northwest of the country, the daily La Prensa reported. The 41-year-old was reportedly gunned down on Monday night in front of his children. A suspect has been arrested, the National Police said in a tweet. The motive behind the killing remains unclear. Cerros was president of a local advocacy group, United Communities, and had campaigned against a hydroelectric power station … Continue reading Environmental activist Carlos Cerros killed in Honduras

Gunmen kill 13 in ambush on police convoy

At least 13 people have been killed in an ambush on a police convoy by a suspected criminal gang in central Mexico. The victims were all police officers and agents from the district attorney’s office, officials said. The ambush happened at Coatepec Harinas, a municipality in the State of Mexico. Images posted on social media showed bullet-riddled police vehicles and bodies lying by the side of the road. No group has so far said it carried out the attack. The State of Mexico, which borders the capital Mexico City, is home to various criminal gangs and one of the most … Continue reading Gunmen kill 13 in ambush on police convoy

About Time: Brazil to name famous Maracana stadium after Pele

Brazil’s Maracana stadium will be named after the country’s football legend Pele, as the Rio de Janeiro state legislature voted on Tuesday to change its official title to the Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Rei Pele Stadium. Rei means king in Portuguese. The 80-year-old Pele, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, played at the stadium many times for Brazil and scored his 1,000th goal there in 1969 for Santos against local club Vasco da Gama. “It is a worthy homage to a man who is recognised the world over for his legacy in Brazilian football and for the … Continue reading About Time: Brazil to name famous Maracana stadium after Pele

Gender Violence: Brutal murders in rural Venezuela highlight violence against women

Denis Reanez was looking through her daughter’s things when she found a handwritten song she had been penning on a sheet slipped inside her bible. Denis Reanez’s daughter Eliannys Martinez was just 17 when she was murdered (Yuri Cortez) But Eliannys Martinez would never sing it. She was murdered on February 21 in La Mision in Venezuela’s western Portuguesa state, aged just 17 when she became one of the two victims of a sexual predator who sowed terror in the village of 5,000. Murders of women have surged in Venezuela in the past year, and the killings in La Mision have embodied … Continue reading Gender Violence: Brutal murders in rural Venezuela highlight violence against women

Tragic: Seven university students fall to death in Bolivia

At least seven students have died and five seriously injured when they fell from the fourth floor of a university building in Bolivia after a metal railing gave way on Tuesday, the government said. Footage of the incident shows students crammed into a narrow passageway trying to enter an assembly hall. A metal railing can be seen giving way under the weight of the pushing and shoving students, with several plummeting to the concrete floor below at the El Alto university near La Paz, others clutched on to fellow students to stop their fall. “From this accident, seven have died … Continue reading Tragic: Seven university students fall to death in Bolivia

Developing Story: Multiple deaths in Haiti prison break, including jail director

Multiple people were killed Thursday in Haiti, including the director of a prison in the suburbs of capital Port-au-Prince, after several inmates escaped, police said. View of the facade of the Croix-des-Bouquets prison from where many prisoners escaped and where several people were killed, in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti “Division inspector Paul Hector Joseph, who is in charge of the civil prison of Croix des Bouquets, was killed in the prison,” Gary Desrosiers, the spokesperson for the Haitian national police, told AFP. Edler Guillaume, government commissioner of Croix-des-Bouquets. “Multiple prisoners have escaped,” he added, without specifying the number. At least six people were shot … Continue reading Developing Story: Multiple deaths in Haiti prison break, including jail director

62 dead in Ecuador prison riots, dozens injured

At least 62 people have been killed and dozens more injured in three separate prison riots in Ecuador, authorities said on Tuesday. Officials blamed the riots at detention facilities in the cities of Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga on disputes between rival gangs. Local media reported prisoners were killed in gun and knife attacks. “These were two groups vying for criminal leadership within the detention centres,” said Edmundo Moncayo, the director of Ecuador’s prison agency. Moncayo said at least 62 deaths had been reported so far. Authorities have been able “to control and restore order within the detention centres” with the … Continue reading 62 dead in Ecuador prison riots, dozens injured

Conundrum over what to do with growing population of Pablo Escobar’s hippos

Hippos float in the lake at Hacienda Napoles Park, once the private estate of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar  Pablo Escobar, the drug kingpin who reigned over the cocaine trade in Colombia in the 1980s, has left authorities in the country with a conundrum long after his death: what to do with the rapidly expanding hippopotamus population left over from his private zoo. His sprawling palace in between mountain ranges hosted kangaroos, giraffes, elephants and other exotic animals, but long after the fall of the Medellin Cartel, it is the drug lord’s famous hippos that have persisted in the tropical countryside. … Continue reading Conundrum over what to do with growing population of Pablo Escobar’s hippos