TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua shows the weapons authorities seized from 13 alleged narco-traffickers who were arrested by the Navy aboard a vessel in the Caribbean Sea last week. Naval officials also confiscated US$658,000 during the bust. (Honduran Ministry of Defense/AFP)
July 1 News Brief South America
BRASILIA, Brazil – Pressure on Sarney to resign Senate presidency: The Democrat Party’s (DEM) decision to withdraw support for the president of the Upper House of Congress, Senator and former President José Sarney, has increased pressure on him to resign his post. Sarney is one of the main allies of Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva’s administration and is accused of a number of irregularities. DEM, the main opposition force which supported Sarney, announced that it will not back the politician “until investigations in the Senate, the Attorney General’s Office and the Brazilian Audit Court are concluded”.
[EFE, ANSA, Folha de Sao Paulo]
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Mujica and Astori make up presidential ticket: Senators José Mujica and Danilo Astori are making progress on talks to form the presidential ticket for Uruguay’s ruling Broad Front (FA), in preparation for the October elections. The National Party (PN), the main opposition force, has already agreed on its pair of candidates with Luis Alberto Lacalle (former president, 1990-95) and Senator Jorge Larrañaga. The Colorado Party has a new leader in the form of former tourism secretary Pedro Bordaberry, who has yet to choose a running mate.
[AFP, EFE, Infobae.com]
LIMA, Peru – Canchis province farmers resume demonstrations: After a brief truce, hundreds of residents from the Canchis province in the southern department of Cusco resumed a strike and blockades for an unspecified period on June 30. They accused the government of delaying a solution to their complaints over the cancellation of a hydroelectric project. The Front for the Defense of the Interests of Canchis has not ruled out meeting with Prime Minister Yehude Simon to reach a solution, but this time in the province and not in Lima as proposed by the Peruvian government.
[EFE, La República]
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – President Lugo’s main ally leaves government coalition: After almost 11 months supporting President Fernando Lugo in power, the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), Paraguay’s second political force and the president’s main ally, has decided to withdraw from the government coalition. The 53 party leaders decided to distance themselves from the government “until clear mechanisms for coordination between parties are established, in accordance with electoral percentages obtained by each party in the April 2008 elections”.
[ABC Color, Última Hora, EFE]