News from Latin America

Paraguay 5-10-2022 mafia prosecutor is gunned down on the beach

Mario Pecci prosecuted mafia classes of cases in Paraguay. He handled several high-profile cases, including drug cartel prosecutions. While vacationing with his wife on a Colombian island, he was assassinated. The two were sunbathing on a private beach at a resort. Upon hearing of the shooting Paraguayan President Mario Benitez said that the assassination was cowardly murder. The victim’s wife, a well-known reporter, was unharmed. She could not provide clear details as to what had transpired. She believes that the assailants arrived by jet ski and fled using them. It is not clear what level of security the Decameron Hotel was offering its guests. Colombian, Paraguayan, and U.S. will join forces to ascertain exactly what happened.  A colleague of Pecci in the Prosecutor’s office said he believed that the hit was the work of a drug cartel.

Ecuador 5-9-2022 another prison riot claims more than 40 victims

The public prosecutor announced that more than 40 inmates lost their lives in a riot. The prison in Santo Domingo was the scene of fighting between rival gangs. Most observers with knowledge of the situation within the prison believe that the Los Lobos and R7 gangs fought over control of criminal activity within the prison. Parts of the country are in lockdown due to the high levels of violence. During the riot, prisoners escape, though it is difficult to understand how. More ant 108 of them remain on the run. An estimated one hundred inmates have been recaptured. According to the National Police Commander Fauto Salinas the riot began when officials tried to reintroduce a prisoner back into the facility. The Commander added that this inmate was responsible for causing a previous riot.

Brazil 5-9-2022 Lula officially launches his presidential campaign.

It is difficult to understand the nuances of Brazilian politics. When you think a candidate is down and out, he seems to arise out of the ashes. Former President Lula was the country’s most popular leader. It is said that during his term in office more than thirty million people rose out of poverty. He left-leaning economics policies were very popular. However, he left office under a cloud of corruption. He was formally charged with official wrongdoing, but the case did not materialize into any significant. Also, the Petrobras scandal festered during his presidency. The 76-year-old former President officially launched in the presidential campaign in Sao Paulo. He said that he would restore the country to its populist roots. He harshly criticized current President Bolsonaro. He characterized him as a believer in totalitarianism.  Since regaining the status of frontrunner, Lula has made a series of recent gaffes, alienating voters from several key groups with remarks on abortion, the police, and the middle class.

Cuba 5-7-2022 five-star hotel is destroyed

An explosion destroyed the Saratoga Hotel. The landmark structure is located in Old Havana. Officials believe that a fuel truck parked in front of the building exploded. There has not been any official word as to what might have caused the tanker to explode. Twenty-two people lost their lives in the blast. Investigators do not believe the terrorism was behind the explosion. The front of the hotel was completely blown away. The high-class hotel was set to reopen from the pandemic in four days. Search and rescue operations are currently underway to locate any people trapped under the debris. The Cuban presidency said the dead included a pregnant woman and a child. Witnesses to the explosion said that they thought an earthquake had occurred. President Diaz-Canel visited the site of the destruction. The hotel sits across the street from the old congressional building. The Saratoga is a landmark hotel, which has often been used by US dignitaries and celebrities.