SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile “respects” US-Colombia defense pact: After hosting a visit from Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet declared she would “respect” Colombia’s decision to allow the U.S. access to seven military bases. Chile's Foreign Minister Mariano Fernández said that “Chile respects the sovereignty, national interests and political decision of each country on this continent.” During Uribe's visit, which was part of a regional tour to explain the deal, he and Bachelet had “a wide-ranging exchange of opinions.”
[La Tercera, EFE]
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Lebanese drug suspect extradited: Lebanese citizen Alí Mohamad Abdul Rahim was extradited to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. He was arrested along with 21 other people by the Colombian intelligence service during Operation Titan. The narcotics ring ran an international trafficking network on behalf of Colombian cartels based in the Cauca Valley and Antioquia provinces.
[El Tiempo, EFE]
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Government seeks to boost car exports to Venezuela: Argentina will ask Venezuela to establish higher import quotas for Argentinian-built cars to improve sales in that country. In 2008 Venezuela imported motor vehicles for a value of US$6 billion and in early 2009 an import quota for 10,000 vehicles was granted to Ecuador. A similar deal with Colombia has been jeopardized by the diplomatic tensions between Caracas and Bogotá.
[La Nación, El Universal]
LIMA, Peru – Shining Path still considered national menace: According to Peru's Interior Minister Octavio Salazar, splinter groups from the Shining Path terrorist movement operating in the country's valleys and rainforest regions will continue to represent a “threat” to the nation “until they vanish.” The statement came after an attack on Aug. 2 which killed three officers and two civilians at police outposts in the Apurímac and Ene River valleys (VRAE), where the rebels have carried out similar operations in 2009.
[Radio Programas del Perú, El Comercio]