BRASÍLIA, Brazil – Brazilian Army soldiers recently participated in a training exercise in which terrorists unleashed a chemical weapons attack during the Confederations Cup. The drill was part of security preparations leading to soccer tournament, which will be held from June 15-30. (Evaristo Sa/AFP)
Sept. 7 News Brief South America
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – FARC urban coordinator captured: Colombian authorities announced the arrest in Bogotá of one the FARC's urban coordinators in charge of infiltrating state bodies. The woman, known only as La Reina (the Queen), joined the FARC in 1995 and faces charges related to her role as a coordinator of the group's seventh front. She took part in several local government committees and workshops to gather information about potentially profitable targets for FARC extortionists.
[El País, EFE]
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – Two Red Commando members extradited to Brazil: Two alleged members of the Brazilian criminal gang Comando Vermelho (Red Commando) were arrested in Ciudad del Este. Paraguayan anti-narcotics authorities revealed that both suspects had been handed over to Brazil on charges of drug and arms trafficking. Ricardo Dos Santos Silva and Anderson Bonfin de Alencar, who were wanted since 2005, lived in an exclusive residential neighborhood close to the Triple Border and drove luxury SUVs.
[ABC Color, EFE]
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Unmanned aerial vehicles to combat farm tax evasion: Argentina's inland revenue service plans to acquire unmanned aircraft to detect farming businesses failing to pay their taxes. The Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP) revealed that inspections could begin in 2010 with aerial photographs and videos. The announcement comes in the midst of a bitter conflict between the government and farmers dating from March 2008. The latest rural strike protesting against export taxes concluded on Sept. 4.
[La Voz del Interior, EFE]
BRASILIA, Brazil – Funes urges Latin America's left to work towards integration: Before meeting Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes told Veja magazine that Latin America's leftist governments must open up their borders and stimulate mutual integration, including that with the United States. Funes believes that not only must we create popular and democratic governments focused on redistributing wealth, but we must also adopt models which encourage growth and macroeconomic stability.