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The Jamaica Bob Sled team is crowdfunding again – this time for a coach. (GoFundMe image)

Compiled By NAN Staff Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Jan. 18, 2017: Here are the stories making news across the Caribbean, Latin America and its US Diaspora for today, Jan. 18, 2017:


The Jamaican bobsled team is back to fundraising in the hopes of competing at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. The team needs to raise enough money for a full-time coach. A new GoFundMe campaign is on to raise some US$60,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, the online push had only garnered roughly $1,100. The 2018 Winter Olympics will mark the 30th anniversary, since the team’s Jamaican Bobsled team’s Calgary debut. “Please support our efforts to raise enough funds to hire a coach. A coach is there to guide you, challenge you and push you when you think you have nothing more to give. They believe in you, when you don’t believe in yourself,” the appeal states. You can help here.

US Immigration

In a Cabinet Exit Memo to President Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeb Johnson said fewer Mexicans and single adults are arriving illegally at the US border today. This puts into question claims by the new President elect that Mexicans are coming over the border in huge numbers. Johnson, in a detailed memo this month, said while illicit southern border crossings are a fraction of what they used to be, there has been a dramatic shift in the demographic of illegal migration to more women and children, primarily from Central America, fleeing poverty and violence. Johnson also noted that in Fiscal Year 2016, an increasing percentage deportees have been convicted of serious crimes – over 90 percent in 2016 compared to 51 percent in 2009.


A new report on lynching in Haiti claims that there has been 483 cases on lynching reported to law enforcement officials in the French-speaking Caribbean country during the period 2012-2015. The report prepared by the Human Rights Section of MINUSTAH / United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (HRS), presents and analyses the key elements relating to ‘popular justice’ in Haiti, also known as ‘vigilantism’ or ‘lynching.” Only one conviction has occurred.


Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says he is disappointed at reports that a Grenadian family visiting Barbados was manhandled and humiliated by Barbadian police. However, Mitchell said he will await the outcome of investigations on the matter before making an decisions. But he the told the Barbados Today online newspaper that the allegations were upsetting and could be a serious indictment on the Bajan police.


A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the case remains unsolved. Swaney’s family and friends have had a year of anguish because the 39-year-old was gone, but also because her murderer has not been caught. Belize police are in charge of the investigation, but there has been no apparent progress in the search for the killer.


A 57-year-old woman wanted in Canada in connection with one of the biggest seizures of animals on the Prairies is now living in Jamaica. April Irving, according to her father and animal rescuers in Jamaica told CBC News Irving is living on the Caribbean island. She has not shown up for court in Lethbridge, Alta., since the summer of 2016. She is wanted on charges of injuring or endangering animals, after more than 200 dogs were taken from her property in Milk River, Alta., two years ago.

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic-born Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez has again tragically lost a family member. His brother, Brandy Volquez, was stabbed to death in the Dominican Republic according to Quisqueyanos En Los Deportes. A suspect in the barbershop stabbing is in police custody, according to the report. Volquez’s  brother’s murder comes almost two years after his father passed away in 2015.


The Brazilian government has finally approved Israel’s pick for ambassador there – a year and a half later. Yossi Shelly has been confirmed for the position of Israeli ambassador to Brazil, after Brazil Brazil refused to approve Dani Dayan’s nomination to the position in 2015 due to his being a leader of the settlement movement.

Canada Diaspora

A Guyanese man who gained residency in Canada in 2009, lost it after immigration officials found that he was no longer eligible as he spent most of his time in Guyana and his appeal of that decision was subsequently thrown out.

Ramdeo Kumar had attempted to retain his resident status but by Justice Rose Andrachuk found in September last year that there was no evidence that supported him being given another chance when he has established businesses in Guyana and only visits his wife and two children from time to time. The judge suggested that he apply for a visitor’s visa or that his wife apply for him in the future.


A new study conducted for EL PAÍS of Spain in conjunction with the Institute for the Integration of Latin America (INTAL in Spanish), and the Caribbean of the Inter-American Development Bank (BID in Spanish) has revealed that Paraguay is the number one country that uses more social networks in Latin America than any other. Paraguay leads the list with 83%. Costa Rica ranked the second place with 78% of people in the country using social media, followed by Uruguay with 74%, and Mexico with 73%.

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