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Accused Haitian drug-trafficker, Guy Philippe and his his wife, Natalie Philippe, l., in an undated photo. (GoFundMe image)

Compiled By NAN Staff Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 10, 2017: Here are the stories making news across the Caribbean, Latin America and its US Diaspora for today, Jan. 10, 2017:


While accused drug-trafficker, Guy Philippe, sits in a US jail, his wife, Natalie Philippe, has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to assist in funding her husband’s legal defense. The fundraising campaign, according to the Haitian Sentinel, was launched late Sunday, January 8, 2017 and has raised US $40 of the requested US $40,000. Philippe was arrested by the Haitian National Police’s Brigade Against the Trafficking of Narcotics (BLTS) on Thursday, January 5, 2017 and was extradited within hours into the custody of the United State Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Following an initial hearing on Friday, January 6, the indictment against Philippe was unsealed and arraignment would take place on January 13, 2017. Philippe had been on the FBI-Miami’s most wanted list since 2005 on drug-trafficking and money laundering charges. In Haiti, he was facing similar charges including summons to be questioned on a June 2016 attack on a police barracks that left an officer dead, several injured and a cache of arms and munitions looted.

May God Bless You and Bless Haiti

Caribbean-born US Civil rights leader, Roy Innis, is dead. The USVI-born Innis, who once knocked Al Sharpton out of a chair and onto the floor during a TV debate and clobbered a white supremacist who called him an Uncle Tom on a Geraldo Rivera TV show, died Sunday morning in New York City after a long illness, according to Wayne LaPierre, a longtime Innis friend and CEO of the National Rifle Association. He was 82. Innis had headed the Congress of Racial Equality since being elected its national chairman in 1968. He initially supported black separatism but then changed to libertarian conservatism.

A Jamaican national pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to bilking an elderly couple out of their savings. Ricardo F. Smith, 39, who has lived in Cedar Rapids since coming to the United States in 2015, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in U.S. District Court. Smith admitted to participating in a scheme with two others to defraud a couple in Bushnell, Ill. Smith said his girlfriend, Tea Ware, 36, told the 74-year-old wife of the couple that she won a lottery or sweepstakes and was going to receive large sums of money, but could only collect her winnings if she first mailed Ware the taxes or fees for payment. Smith faces up to 20 years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines and deportation after serving prison time.


A new report released by Spain’s defence ministry claim that some Latin American and Caribbean countries and islands are hotbeds of Islamic terrorism, where groups like ISIS and Hezbollah operate freely and raise large sums of money to finance terrorist activities in other countries, mainly the United States.

The report was released this month by the division of Spain’s defence agency known as Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos (IEEE), Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies. The document, authored by a counterterrorism expert, is titled “El radicalismo islámico en América Latina. De Hezbolá al Daesh (Estado Islámico),” Islamic Radicalism in Latin America, from Hezbollah to ISIS. It identifies Trinidad and Tobago as “especially worrisome” because local authorities reported that 70 of their citizens traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. Additionally, nine of the islands’ citizens were detained in Turkey attempting to cross the border into Syria. The report cites a 2012 article in a military publication from Trinidad that compares the growth of radical Islam in the country to a group of violent Muslims that tried to overthrow the government in 1990.


The West Indies Cricket Board has named an Englishman as its chief executive officer. Johnny Grave will replace Jamaican Michael Muirhead in the post next month. “I am genuinely excited by the opportunity of improving cricket at all levels within the region and am looking forward to working with the many stakeholders who are committed to the long-term development of West Indies cricket,” Grave said in a statement. He is currently employed with the Professional Cricketers’ Association in the United Kingdom, where he spent the last nine years as commercial director, and has also held several senior leadership roles at English county side, Surrey. The WICB said the top priorities for the new CEO would be the management and oversight of its US $40 million budget, the creation of new commercial opportunities, helping to drive revenue into the whole game, along with an increased focus on player relations, and improved performances on and off the field.



Residents of Guyana who rely on the Internet to handle online banking and online payment processing with a number of U.S. banks and payment gateways may soon be unable to do so after several U.S.-based payment processors have decided to blacklist a number of Internet protocol (IP) ranges that are being used by Guyanese to handle online transactions and general Internet usage.

Guyana Guardian reports indicate that the IP blocking is occurring because several of the IP addresses that are owned by local telecommunications company GTT were discovered to be involved, possibly inadvertently, in large-scale spamming and other Internet security incidents that can compromise the security of a company’s online systems.


Twenty people are killed after an overloaded bus carrying passengers and merchandise collided with a truck in the country’s remote northwest. The National Ambulance Center of Haiti said11 people died at the scene of Sunday’s accident outside of the northwestern town of Port-de-Paix and another nine were pronounced dead after being transported to hospitals in Gros Morne and Gonaives.


Jamaica has identified two imported cases of malaria. The first case is a Jamaican National who was living in Ghana and returned to Jamaica in November 2016. The second case is a male, Indian National who arrived in Jamaica in March 2016. On January 5, there was one confirmed case reported by the National Public Health Laboratory, according to the Jamaica Information Service while on January 6, 2017, there was another reported case by a private laboratory.

St. Lucia

At least six people were killed in various incidents in St Lucia over the weekend less than four days after Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said he was convinced that criminals were people “who are destroying our livelihoods,” CMC news reports. Among the victims was a man believed to be in his early 30’s who was stabbed several times allegedly by his girlfriend at Grande Rivere, Corinth, a community four miles north east of the capital.

St. Maarten

Businessman Francesco Corallo, 56, will wait for the extradition process to be completed by the Italian authorities behind bars at the St. Maarten Police Station.A request for Corallo’s release, filed by his attorneys Eldon Sulvaran and Sjamira Roseburg, was turned down, whereas a decision on Corallo’s possible transfer from St. Maarten to Curaçao will be made at a later date. Corallo was arrested on December 13, 2016, by the Anti-corruption Taskforce TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team RST, at the request of Italian authorities via a so-called “Red Notice” by Interpol.

Turks & Caicos

Dwayne S. Taylor has been officially elected as the Speaker of the House of Assembly in the Turks & Caicos and declared that the election presented an opportunity (for all) to join and work together for the betterment of the Islands. Political newcomer, Karen Malcolm, was elected at the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.


Six months after it launched scheduled flights between Suriname and Guyana and Guyana and Barbados, the Surinamese registered air carrier, Fly Allways, announced a suspension of its services and a return to chartered flights. The airline said the move, which goes into effect on January 15, is part of an effort to reorganize its operations and destinations base.


The Wyndham Hotel Group has announced a planned US$160 million project in Nevis. The beachfront Wyndham Grand Nevis will be situated within Northern Pointe Resort, a new 30-acre luxury real estate development being built along Long Haul Bay in St. James’ Parish. Phase One of the project and construction is expected to begin by mid-2017 and when completed in 2019, the resort will feature 170 suites, condominiums and villas ranging from 900 to 5,100 square feet; a private beach club; five dining areas; infinity pools; more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a spa among other amenities.


Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will open a second property in the Caribbean with the new Kimpton Kawana Bay Grenada Resort, slated to open in early 2019. A hillside retreat tucked away between tropical rainforest cliffs and the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach, the international luxury resort will offer picturesque views and instant access to the southeastern Caribbean Sea and surrounding mountains.


Six Guatemalan climbers have died while hiking up the Acatenango volcano during a cold snap, and two others are injured, authorities said. The head of Guatemala’s national disaster committee, Sergio Cabanas, said Sunday that a 23-year-old man and two women aged 19 and 21 suffered hypothermia. The disaster committee said Monday that three other bodies had been found. The climbers were apparently members of two separate groups.


Taiwan’s president is in Nicaragua to attend the inauguration of President Daniel Ortega. It is the second stop on President Tsai Ing-wen’s tour of Central America.  Ortega was re-elected to his third term as Nicaragua’s president and is to be sworn in today, Tuesday, Jan. 10th. His wife, Rosario Murillo, was elected vice president.


French President Francois Hollande will visit Colombia between January 22 and 24 but the visit has drawn criticism from those opposed to the peace deal with FARC since Hollande is planning to visit a FARC demobilization center. Colombia’s government confirmed over the weekend that Hollande would visit one of 26 areas where Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerillas are currently gathering to demobilize over a period of six months. The UN is monitoring the demobilization of some 5,700 FARC fighters as part of a peace deal to end a nearly 50-year conflict that has claimed more than 260,000 lives and displace several million civilians.


Four people died near the Lequecahue Aerodrome near Chile’s town of Tirúa in the Bío Bío region after a single-propeller Cessna 172 Skyhawk II plane crashed, local officials said. The plane was traveling inland from Chile’s offshore Mocha Island to Tirúa, which is a 25-minute flight. La Nación identified the victims, who were residents of the island, as pilot Boris Schultz Faundez, and his friends Franklin Mota, Leticia Guzmán Pincheira and Gilberto Varela Guzmán.


China and Uruguay pledged on Monday to boost economic and political cooperation via parliamentary exchanges. The pledge came as top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang held talks with Gerardo Amarilla, president of Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay’s National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.


Voters in Ecuador will head to the polls on Feb. 19, 2017 to elect five regional parliamentarians, 137 federal lawmakers, the vice president, and the president. The Feb. 19 vote will determine whether President Rafael Correa’s progressive policies and so-called “Citizen’s Revolution” will continue in the South American country for another four years.


The government of Brazil has been ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to pay $5m (£4.1m) to 128 former farm workers who were enslaved on a Brazilian farm between 1988-2000. Brazil is the first country to be fined for failing to prevent slavery within its borders by the court, the legal arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), a political and juridical forum comprising all 35 independent states of the Americas.


Paraguay football hero Roberto Cabanas has died after suffering a heart attack on Monday aged 55, his brother said. The striker was a hero of top Argentina league side Boca Juniors and played alongside Brazilian legend Pele for the New York Cosmos in the 1980s.

Trinidad & Tobago

Darren Bravo, the mainstay of West Indies’ batting line-up, has been omitted from the Trinidad & Tobago squad for the upcoming Nagico Super50 tournament, commencing on Tuesday, January 24th. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had issued a notice to Bravo and asked him to meet the board after the left-hander was sent home from the Zimbabwe tour last year for his ‘inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.’ Trinidad and Tobago’s board stated that they will take a decision on Bravo based on the pending outcome of the meeting between the WICB and the 27-year-old middle-order batsman.

And globe-trotting 29-year-old Trinidadian national, adventure seeker Aryan Sinanan has made it to Base Camp, Mt Everest, in Nepal, according to the Trinidad Express. For Sinanan, it was a lifelong dream that became a reality. He set out on his adventure on December 25 and arrived at base camp on January 2. The camp is 5,380 metres high, higher than most mountains. Mt Everest is 8,848 metres high.

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