Category Archives: Latin America

Colombia faces hard task to reinsert rebels if peace struck

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A former rebel who now owns a clothing factory oversees a worker in his workshop in Bogota

By Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta MEDELLIN, Colombia (Reuters) – Jessica Quintero awakes drenched in sweat and instinctively grabs for her AK-47 assault rifle. “The bombs still scare me, I don’t sleep,” says Quintero, 18, recounting a regular night-time ordeal after fighting for three years with Latin America’s oldest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Scared of the persistent air strikes on her camp deep in Colombia’s jungle, the former child soldier fled and surrendered in 2013, one of thousands who abandoned the FARC in the last decade as its ranks were cut in half …read more

Pope calls for ‘action now’ to save planet, stem warming, help poor

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Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis demanded swift action on Thursday to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging world leaders to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”, plunging the Catholic Church into political controversy over climate change. In the first papal document dedicated to the environment, he calls for “decisive action, here and now,” to stop environmental degradation and global warming, squarely backing scientists who say it is mostly man-made. In the encyclical “Laudato Si (Praise Be), On the Care of Our Common Home”, Francis calls for a change of …read more

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America

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In this Saturday, June 13, 2015 photo, contestants joke as they wait to walk on the catwalk during an Afro hair contest in Havana. In a two-hour competition 70 women competed in three hair categories, natural, braided and dreadlocked. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

Thousands of people began preparing for possible deportation from the Dominican Republic last week after failing to obtain legal residency as part of a government crackdown on migrants, most of them from neighboring Haiti or of Haitian descent. An estimated 460,000 Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

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Pope draft encyclical calls for swift action on climate change

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Pope Francis delivers a speech during an audience for the participants of the Convention of the Diocese of Rome at the Vatican

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The world could see the destruction of entire ecosystems this century without urgent action on climate change, Pope Francis says in a draft of his keenly awaited encyclical on the environment. In the Italian version of the 192-page document, posted on Monday by the weekly magazine l’Espresso, the pope again backs scientists who say global warming is mostly man-made and that developed countries have a particular responsibility to stem a trend that will hurt the poor the most. A spokesman said it was not the final version, which would remain under embargo until …read more

Center-right Argentine candidate names loyalist as running mate

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Michetti of the PRO party speaks after acknowledging her loss in the primary elections for Buenos Aires' Mayor next to Lombardi, vice-mayor candidate candidate, in Buenos Aires

By Hugh Bronstein BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine Senator Gabriela Michetti will be the running mate of presidential candidate Mauricio Macri, he said on Friday, defining the battle lines ahead of an October election that will pit the business-friendly duo against the current ruling party. Macri, mayor of Buenos Aires, is second in the polls against front-runner Daniel Scioli, the provincial governor who this week picked a member of the inner circle of outgoing President Cristina Fernandez as his vice presidential candidate. “My running mate will be Gabriela Michetti,” Macri said on Facebook.

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Italian magazine leaks draft of pope’s environment encyclical

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Pope Francis delivers a speech during an audience for the participants of the Convention of the Diocese of Rome at the Vatican

An Italian magazine on Monday put a leaked draft of Pope Francis’ encyclical on its website but the Vatican said it was not the final version and asked journalists to wait until the official version is released. “An Italian text of a draft of the pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si’” has been published. Please note that it is not the final text …” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement to reporters after the magazine L’Espresso put the 200-page draft on its website.

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AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America

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In this Thursday, June 11, 2015 photo, an acrobat performs during the opening ceremony of the Copa America tournament at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

While the international soccer governing body FIFA is embroiled in a corruption scandal, Latin American stars Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, Arturo Vidal, Neymar and others began playing in Chile last week at the world’s oldest soccer tournament, the Copa America. The president of the South American soccer federation, Angel Napout, did not show his face at the opening game, but the scandal has not tarnished the region’s premier tournament.

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