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)
CARTAGENA, Colombia – Five coca eradicators wounded by FARC mines: Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (CCCM) Coordinator Álvaro Jiménez has reported that five illegal coca leaf crop eradicators were wounded after entering a FARC guerrilla minefield in the municipality of La Montañita (Caquetá, south). Another two were injured in the crossfire that ensued after the explosion. The country with the greatest number of victims from the explosion of antipersonnel mines in 2008 was Afghanistan with 992 cases, followed by Colombia (777) and Burma (721).
[El Tiempo, EFE]
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Argentina denies agreement over Botnia: Argentinian ambassador to Uruguay Hernán Patiño has denied press reports that Uruguayan president-elect José Mujica and Argentinian President Cristina Fernández have reached an agreement to provide a solution to the conflict over the pulp mill owned by Finnish firm Botnia. Fernández and Mujica will meet next week in Montevideo during the Mercosur summit, but without prior agreements, said the diplomat, in reference to the dispute whereby Argentina accuses the pulp mill of polluting waters shared by the two countries.
[El País, EFE]
LA PAZ, Bolivia – Over 400,000 unconfirmed voters will be allowed to vote: Bolivia’s National Electoral Court (CNE) has stated that the 400,671 citizens, whose identities have not been confirmed on the electoral roll of 5.9 million people, will be allowed to vote. Permission for these voters to take part in the general elections on Dec. 6 was dependent of the presentation of birth certificates to confirm their identities. CNE President Antonio Costas announced the news after meeting with authorities from the country’s departmental courts in Santa Cruz (east). The opposition believed that the unconfirmed citizens should not be allowed to vote in order to avoid fraud.
[El Deber, EFE]
SANTIAGO, Chile – State Bank performs successful bond issue: With a view to financing increased loans and commercial growth of the body, the State Bank of Chile has completed a bond issue worth US$212 million, which was considered “successful.” The bonds correspond to the J1 Series and were issued with a 3.4 percent interest rate. The bonds have maturity of 3.4 years, an AAA risk rating, six-monthly interest payments and capital amortization on the final installment.
[El Mercurio, EFE]