BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Sixty-four percent of Colombians believe the government’s peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia must end with a resolution to the country’s longest-running conflict, according to a Gallup poll released in May that surveyed 8.7 million people. Above, Colombians participated in a march for peace on April 9. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP)
Sept. 2 News Brief South America
BRASILIA, Brazil – Brazil plans to build nuclear submarine: President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva and his government were given the go-ahead by the Brazilian senate's Economic Affairs Commission to request a US$6 billion loan from French banks to construct the country's first nuclear-powered submarine. Brazil's weapon contracts with France have risen by 175 percent over the last five years. This figure could increase if a Brazilian Air Force tender for 36 fighter planes is awarded to French aerospace group Dassault.
SANTIAGO, Chile – Former dictatorship agents still hold army jobs: In response to criticism from human rights groups, President Michelle Bachelet's government admitted that 13 former secret police from Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990) were still on the army's payroll. Mireya García, spokeswoman for the Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, declared that she was not surprised at the protection the army offered to human rights abusers. The controversial news was first published by pro-government daily, La Nación.
[EFE, La Nación]
LIMA, Peru – Foreign Minister visits South Korea: Peru's foreign minister, José García Belaúnde, described his three-day trip to South Korea as successful and confirmed that both governments were keen to strengthen bilateral ties. I found the climate very positive, both at official levels and among investors who showed great interest in Peru, said García Belaúnde. Peru's President Alan García is planning to visit South Korea in November to coincide with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore.
[El Comercio, DPA]
BOGOTA, Colombia – “No more Chávez” organizers expects to draw huge crowds: The Colombian organizers of a worldwide “No more Chávez” protest promoted through the social web networks Facebook and Twitter for Sept. 4, announced that they expect to surpass the high turnout of the One million voices against FARC demonstration, which mobilized over a million people in 2008. The march against Chávez is backed by groups in Colombia, Venezuela, Israel, Canada, Peru, Spain, France and Saudi Arabia. According to one of the organizers, Juan David Lacouture, huge numbers have signed up.
[EFE, El Tiempo]