BUENAVISTA TOMATLÁN, Mexico – The Mexican Army patrolled the streets of the western state of Michoacán on May 22 to improve security in a region tormented by violent drug cartels. About 4,000 army soldiers and marines and 1,000 Federal Police Officers have been deployed to the state, but they’ll leave once security has improved and the state government can hold its own. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP)
BRASILIA, Brazil – Air force to decide on jet fighter purchase: The Brazilian Air Force will issue recommendations to the government on the model of jet fighters required to renew the country's airborne combat fleet at the end of the month. The deadline for presenting bids to provide 36 aircraft and supply a technology transfer to Brazil expired on Oct. 2. The competitors are France's Rafale fighter from the Dassault group, the Gripen NG made by Saab of Sweden, and U.S. aerospace giant Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet.
CARACAS, Venezuela – Students demand visit by Human Rights Commission: A mass demonstration by opposition student groups on Oct. 3 called for the Venezuelan government to permit the visit of a delegation from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) to report on the situation of political leaders held in jail. The crowd chanted, "OAS, come and see," and student representatives delivered their manifesto to the Foreign Ministry. The march also featured opposition parties, civil rights groups and relatives of the politicians held captive.
[DPA, El Universal]
QUITO, Ecuador – Remittances rebound in second quarter: According to data from the Ecuadorian Central Bank, remittances sent home by immigrants amounted to US$609.6 million in the second quarter of 2009. This was an improvement on the figure registered in the first quarter, US$544.5 million. Remittances and oil revenue continue to support Ecuador's economy, which has employed the United States dollar since 2000 when local currency, the sucre, was replaced.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Son of FARC chief dies in air raid: One of the ten FARC guerrillas killed in an air raid on their camp in southern Colombia was identified by the Colombian military as "Sebastián," the son of Arquímedes Muñoz Villamil, alias "Jerónimo," and one of the group's top commanders. The raid was a joint operation by the Colombian Air Force (FAC) and Army, and was based on intelligence gathered by the police. The deputy commander of FARC's Front 66, known as "Omar," survived the attack but was captured by authorities.
[El Tiempo, EFE]