Compiled By NAN Staff Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 6, 2017: Here are the stories making news across the Caribbean, Latin America and its US Diaspora for today, Jan. 6, 2017:
Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe, who has been wanted for more than a decade on drug charges in the United States, was arrested Thursday in Haiti and being brought to Miami by federal agents. Philippe, 48, was arrested after he left a Haitian radio station, local media reported. Police fired several shots during the 10 minutes it took to take him into custody outside Scoop FM in Petionville. Late Thursday, he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
Citing the ‘desecration’ of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) by the current government, the leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J. Pierre, has accused the administration of attempting to turn the measure into a ‘cash cow.’ Addressing a news conference Thursday morning, Pierre stated that the announcement that the United Workers Party (UWP) Administration has changed the regulations effective January 1st, 2017, has effectively damaged the reputation and image of the CIP.
Brazilian prosecutors on Thursday demanded a multi-million dollar private prison contract in Amazonas state be axed due to signs of corruption as the government blamed mismanagement for the country’s bloodiest prison massacre in decades. Amazonas’ accounting court prosecutor, Carlos Almeida, said he found signs of payment irregularities in a contract the state signed with the Pamas consortium to manage all its prisons, including the Anisio Jobim penitentiary where 56 inmates died in an uprising this week. The killings have raised questions about whether private companies should be running prisons in Brazil, especially in Amazonas where the inmate population has more than doubled since 2010.
Police in Jamaica say that one of the men charged with killing two American missionaries has escaped custody. Dwight Henry is accused of murdering Randy Hentzel and Harold Nichols during a robbery in St. Mary’s Parish Jamaica. The two American missionaries were found dead on April 30, 2016. They had lived in the parish for years. Andre Thomas is also charged with the crime. Jamaica Constabulary Force Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay said that Henry apparently became ill Wednesday afternoon and was transported to the hospital, where he was able to escape his police guard. A search is on for him island-wide.
The Argentine government has been criticized for taking two weeks to inspect and combat wildfires and floods in the country. Severe weather conditions continue to affect Argentina, as some provinces are battling to put out wildfires and others struggle with floods. Nationals are urging President Mauricio Macri to take more efficient action to contain the disasters. More than 1 million hectares have been consumed by strong fires in the country’s most populated province of Buenos Aires, the central province of Pampa and the southern province of Rio Negro in the past two weeks.
Brazil’s Odebrecht SA has agreed to pay Peru an initial 30 million soles ($8.9 million) in cash as it prepares to disclose details on bribes it gave local officials over a period spanning three presidencies, the attorney general’s office said Thursday. The money, to be deposited in the coming days, is just part of what the family-owned engineering conglomerate will pay Peru in a broader settlement with prosecutors as they seek to uncover the people and companies involved in the kickback schemes.
Mexicans angry over a double-digit hike in gasoline prices looted stores and blockaded roads on Wednesday, prompting over 250 arrests amid escalating unrest over the rising cost of living in Latin America’s second biggest economy. Twenty-three stores were sacked and 27 blockades put up in Mexico City, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said, days after the government raised gasoline costs by 14 to 20 percent, outraging Mexicans already battling rising inflation and a weak currency.
Venezuela’s National Assembly elected Thursday right-wing leader of the MUD opposition coalition and president of the Justice First party, Julio Borges, as the new president of the Parliament for the 2017 session which also kicked off Thursday. His swearing in came a day after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said hat while Borges has said he will support the dialogue process with the socialist government, it remains to be seen whether or not the long-time opposition leader will follow through on his word.
Colombian authorities have initiated deportation proceedings against a U.S. woman who has been stranded in Bogota’s international airport since October, sleeping in the departure lounge and surviving on handouts from fellow tourists. The woman, identified by Colombian reporters as 46-year-old Tanya Lewis of Louisiana, was removed from the airport in handcuffs by immigration authorities Wednesday and escorted to the U.S. Embassy in preparation for her deportation. Embassy staff members said they could not comment on the case or on Lewis’s current whereabouts, citing privacy statutes.
Curacao’s Parliament once again has 21 members. Seven new members of parliament were finally sworn in by the governor of Curacao, Lucille George-Wout on Wednesday. After a tumultuous start of the day, Parliament finally approved the credentials of the seven new MPs.
Turks & Caicos
The Turks & Caicos Ministry Of Health has reported that eight new cases of the zika virus have been reported in the Islands. This includes seven on the island of Grand Turk and brings the total number of cases of zika reported in the TCI to 24 –19 males and 5 females.
Southwest Airlines has announced daily, year round, Fort Lauderdale to Belize flights starting on June 4, 2017. These flights will connect in Fort Lauderdale to and from cities in the eastern half of the United States such as Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa and Washington DC. The flights are now bookable at southwest.com with fares as low as $79 each way.
Britain is going to spend almost £5 million for superfast broadband to Montserrat. The Department for International Development has earmarked £4.94 million for the project, which will equip every property on Montserrat with superfast internet by 2018.
Manny Pacquiao, considered one of the greatest boxers of all times, will be in the Cayman Islands this weekend according to Cayman News Service. He will be attending two events on Grand Cayman Saturday and then flying to Cayman Brac on Sunday, CNS reported. According to CNS citing an official sources, Pacquiao was invited by Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden to attend the opening of the Bodden Town Boxing Gym and is expected to take an active part in the ceremony, which will be open to the public at the Haig Bodden Playing Field from 10am on Saturday.
Seattle Sounders defender Joevin Jones has responded to comments by Trinidad & Tobago manager Tom Saintfiet claiming that he “has no interest to help his country to qualify” for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Writing in a letter to Wired868.com on Wednesday, Jones stated: “I always want to play for my country.” Jones was excused from the Soca Warriors’ friendlies against Nicaragua on Dec. 27 and 30 due to his extended season with the MLS Cup-winning Sounders. But the T&T manager was upset that the 25-year-old played in a friendly with his former club W Connection against Haiti on Friday but didn’t report to national team camp.