South America

US unrest: Family hopes for justice as policeman charged in black woman’s 2019 death

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The family of a black woman shot dead 16 months ago by a Texas police officer said justice was closer Thursday after the officer was charged in her death.

Officer Juan Delacruz of Baytown, a Houston suburb, was indicted earlier this week by a grand jury for felony aggravated assault in the death of 44- year-old Pamela Turner.

Peru president faces impeachment vote amid pandemic turmoil

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra’s job is on the line Friday as opposition lawmakers push through an impeachment hearing criticized as a hasty and poorly timed ouster attempt in one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers appeared to be far short of the two-thirds majority vote required to remove Vizcarra from office, but even if he dodged the impeachment attempt analysts warned that he would not escape the ordeal entirely unscathed.

Bolivia’s interim gov’t declares national emergency over forest fires

LA PAZ, Sept 17 (NNN-Xinhua) — Bolivia’s Interim President Jeanine Anez declared a national emergency after more than half a million hectares of forest have been burnt in Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia.

Meanwhile, a decree permitting controlled burning for agricultural and livestock activities was annulled.

Venezuela: captured US spy charged in alleged terrorist plot

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s chief prosecutor on Monday said a U.S. citizen recently arrested in the country as a suspected spy has been charged in an alleged terrorist plot to sabotage oil refineries and electrical service in order to stir unrest.

The man, alleged to have CIA ties, had help from three Venezuelan conspirators, who were arrested with him last week near a pair of oil refineries on the country’s north Caribbean coast, Venezuela’s Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on state television.

Battle on to save Brazil's tropical wetlands from flames

Brasilia (Brazil), Sep 14 (AP/PTI) A vast swath of a vital wetlands is burning in Brazil, sweeping across several national parks and obscuring the sun behind dense smoke.

Preliminary figures from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, based on satellite images, indicate that nearly 5,800 square miles (1.5 million hectares) have burned in the Pantanal region since the start of August an expanse comparable to the area consumed by the historic blazes now afflicting California. It's also well beyond the previous fire season record from 2005.

Peru president's allies fight impeachment, accuse opponent of seeking military support

LIMA (Reuters) - Allies of Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra pledged on Saturday to fight an attempt by Congress to impeach him and accused a congressional official of trying to involve the military in the effort as political tensions spiked in the Andean nation.

Congress voted on Friday to pursue impeachment proceedings against Vizcarra, plunging the Andean country into political crisis even as the major copper producer battles an economic slump and coronavirus outbreak with one of the highest mortality rates in the world.

Brazilian gov't establishes working group to coordinate COVID-19 vaccine procurement, distribution

BRASILIA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government has created an inter-ministerial working group to coordinate the procurement and distribution of vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to an announcement published in the government's Official Gazette on Thursday.

Under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, the group will collaborate in the planning of a national strategy for voluntary immunization against the novel coronavirus.

Peru’s Indigenous turn to ancestral remedies to fight virus

PUCALLPA, Peru (AP) — As COVID-19 spread quickly through Peru’s Amazon, the Indigenous Shipibo community decided to turn to the wisdom of their ancestors.

Hospitals were far away, short on doctors and running out of beds. Even if they could get in, many of the ill were too fearful to go, convinced that stepping foot in a hospital would only lead to death.

So Mery Fasabi gathered herbs, steeped them in boiling water and instructed her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also made syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

Covid-19: Argentina preparing to restart domestic and international flights in October

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 8 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — Argentina could resume international commercial flights in October, the transport ministry said, following the approval of the new passenger and airport protocols for international travel by the ministry of health, the requirement government stated previously for lifting a strict travel ban

The start of flights next month, both domestic and international would give companies the 30 days they need to prepare for the restart of their operations.

However “the president has the final decision,” Transport Minister Mario Meoni cautioned.

Ecuadorean court upholds sentence against ex president Correa and bans him from 2021 election

QUITO, Sept 8 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — An Ecuadorian court upheld an eight-year prison sentence against former President Rafael Correa for breaking campaign finance laws, blocking him from participating as a vice-presidential candidate in the 2021 election.

Correa, who was in power for a decade until 2017 and currently lives in Belgium, announced last month his candidacy for the vice presidency as part of a coalition to challenge President Lenin Moreno – a Correa protégé who later fell out with him.

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