viernes, 6 de julio de 2012

Peru detains rebels with child hostages

Peruvian police released on 6 July 10 or 11 children held and being trained in a camp run by the communist Shining Path, in the department of Junín in central Peru, also arresting 11 suspected guerrillas, El Comercio and media reported. Anti-terrorism police raided the camp in the locality of Sanal in San Martín de Pangoa. Most of the children were six years old or less, Reuters reported on 7 July. The detained included "Comrade Jorge," a deputy to a local Shining Path commander dubbed "José." The Shining Path, formed in the 1960s and a notoriously violent force in the 1980s, went into decline following the 1992 arrest of its historic leader Abimael Guzmán. The group was apparently continuing as in past years to kidnap the children of poor families for training and indoctrination as future soldiers.

Peru opens Saudi embassy

Peru has opened an embassy in Saudi Arabia, with a view to boosting political and economic ties with the oil-producing kingdom; the mission's first official act was to receive on 3 July the visiting deputy-foreign minister of Peru José Beraún Araníbar. Eduardo Martinetti was to be Peru's first ambassador. Beraún was in the kingdom to extend an invitation for the third heads-of-state Summit of South American-Arab Countries, scheduled for 1-2 Octobre 2012, the foreign ministry stated.

Venezuela, Paraguay withdraw diplomats

Diplomatic relations between Paraguay and socialist Venezuela were in free-fall following the impeachment on 22 June of Paraguay's leftist president Fernando Lugo, with Paraguay accusing a Venezuelan minister of inciting its generals into sedition in June. Paraguay withdrew its ambassador Augusto Ocampo Caballer from Caracas on 3 July, while President Hugo Chávez ordered Venezuela's military attachés to leave Asunción on 4 July, alleging they had received death threats. On 3 July Paraguay's Defence Minister María Liz García de Arnold showed video pictures of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro meeting with Paraguayan generals on 22 June, and claimed he had "harangued" them to intervene and prevent Lugo's impeachment. Chávez defended Maduro in Caracas on 5 July and said other foreign ministers had attended the meeting in the context of regional efforts to prevent the impeachment. On 4 July Paraguay declared Maduro and Venezuela's ambassador José Javier Arrúe de Pablo personae non gratae; Venezuela had already recalled Arrúe on 24 June.

PRI retains lead in Mexico's contested vote

Mexico's authorities confirmed on 5 July that Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the presidential elections of 1 July, even as the second candidate, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, threatened to challenge the entire election process, Reuters reported on 6 July. With 99.53 per cent of the votes counted on 5 July, Peña Nieto had won 38.21 per cent of the votes and López Obrador 31.57 per cent, Reuters reported. The Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) reportedly completed by the afternoon of 5 July recounting more than half the votes as promised earlier. But López Obrador's Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) challenged the election on 6 July and a party spokesman said the PRD would formally ask the country's supreme electoral arbiter TEPJF (Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación) on 12 July to cancel it. The party would present evidence of violations, which it claims have nullified the polls' validity. The student movement Yo Soy 132 separately stated on 5 July that it had some 1,100 complaints about the electoral process compiled in 70 pages and 45 videos, and would present them to the IFE and the court dealing with electoral violations, EFE reported. The conservative candidate who came third with over 25 per cent of votes, Josefina Vázquez Mota, accepted the results on 5 July but said unfair conditions had influenced the outcome, EFE and Infolatam reported. She said in Mexico City that opinion polls before the elections that gave Peña Nieto a decisive lead had amounted to "propaganda" and conditions of "inequity" before and during campaigning shaped the results.