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)
Sept. 30 News Brief South America
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Restrictions on electricity sales to Venezuela and Ecuador: Colombia's Mines and Energy Ministry has announced that the country will make cutbacks on electricity exports to Venezuela and Ecuador as a result of natural gas shortages in some parts of the country. Minister Hernán Martínez stated, “We are going to restrict energy exports,” explaining that the measure will be introduced gradually beginning Oct. 1. Colombia exports approximately 340 megawatts to Ecuador and a further 120 megawatts to Venezuela, but is unable to cover its daily consumption of 800 million cubic feet of gas.
[El Nacional, EFE]
CARACAS, Venezuela – Students continue demonstration at OAS: Approximately 60 students from a number of universities in the capital have decided to continue a hunger strike in front of the Venezuelan headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), despite the fact that one of their fellow students, Julio Rivas, was released. Rivas had been imprisoned for taking part in a public demonstration on charges of disturbing the peace. The protestors announced that the demonstration would continue until others, who were imprisoned for taking part in previous demonstrations, are released and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) visits Venezuela.
[Reuters, El Universal]
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Former police officer arrested over disappearance of French citizen: Former Argentinian police officer Juan Coronel was arrested after criminal proceedings implicated him in the disappearance of French-Argentinian model Marie Anne Erize. Erize was kidnapped in October 1976, during the last dictatorship to govern Argentina (1976–1983); Coronel was arrested while on the run in the province of Córdoba. The model, of French parentage, was 24 years old and carrying out social work activities for a parish church when she was kidnapped.
[Télam, EFE, Crítica de la Argentina]
SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile confirms military exercise to Peru’s discontent: The Chilean government has refused to cancel the Salitre 2009 military exercise set to take place in the country’s northern desert, but invited Peru to observe in an attempt to clear any misconceptions over operations carried out during the maneuvers. Chilean Defense Minister Francisco Vidal stated that the joint activities involving the Argentinian, Brazilian, United States and French air forces will take place “in Chilean airspace and territory.” The Peruvian government has criticized the maneuvers because they are based on the hypothetical scenario of Chile being invaded from the north.
[La República, La Nación, DPA]
LIMA, Perú – Earthquake strikes southwestern Peru, near Bolivia: An earthquake of 5.9 magnitude on the Richter Scale struck southwestern Peru on Sept. 30. The quake was 100 miles from the Bolivian capital of La Paz and some 155.5 miles deep. Initial reports said there were no signs of damages or casualties, and witnesses in the area reported they did not feel it. The tremor did not shake the Peruvian capital of Lima nor the Bolivian capital of La Paz.