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Special court concludes more than 6,400 civilians were extrajudicially killed by the Colombian army
Special court concludes more than 6,400 civilians were extrajudicially killed by the Colombian army
Credit: Spc. Steven Young / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Colombian military officers executed and falsely represented young civilian men as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) combatants.

The found figures exceeded the number previously reported by the government by almost threefold.

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Argentina health minister forced fo resigned amid Covid-19 vaccine scandal
Gines Gonzalez Garcia
Gines Gonzalez Garcia Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Gines Gonzalez Garcia, Argentina's health minister, resigned on Friday following reports that people had been able to use connections to access Covid-19 vaccines to which they were not entitled.

Garcia said in a letter posted on Twitter that individuals were able to sidestep proper procedure for vaccinations due to "unintended confusion" in his office while he was away.

Earlier this month, Peru's health and foreign ministers quit and its former president was placed under criminal investigation after reports of hundreds of Peruvian officials and others receiving vaccine doses outside of clinical trials and before the national immunization program began.

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Haitian migrants, authorities clash on Peru-Brazil border
Migrants clash with Police at the Peru-Brazil border
Migrants clash with Police at the Peru-Brazil border Credit: Alexandre Noronha/Amazônia Real

Forbidden to cross the border that separates the Brazilian city of Assis Brasil from Iñapari, Peru due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of Haitian migrants on February 16th, headed to the neighbouring country where the group was suppressed by riot police as soon as they entered Peru.

"Affected by the Brazilian economic crisis, they are seeking to return to their country or go to another country in the region," said journalist Nacho Lemus. He explained that migrants from the Caribbean country warned that there is no chance of survival in Brazilian asylums during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the mayor's office of Assis told reporters that the governor of Acre, Gladson Cameli, contacted the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to "manage a humanitarian nature request through diplomatic channels" that authorizes the entry of the migrants into Peruvian territory.

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Peru: former president and leaders were vaccinated against the coronavirus before the national campaign began
ex-president Martín Vizcarra
ex-president Martín Vizcarra Credit: Presidencia Peru

After finish negotiating the purchase of 38 million doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, the Peruvian ex-president Martín Vizcarra and authorities were vaccinated. Pilar Mazzetti, head of the Health Minister, and Foreign Minister Elizabeth Astete left their offices.

On Twitter Astete announced her resignation on Twitter and admitted that it was a "serious mistake". They claim they were part of the clinical trial, but they are not registered as volunteers.

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Former Argentine President Carlos Menem died on Sunday
Carlos Saúl Menem
Carlos Saúl Menem Credit: Argentine Senate (Public Domain)

Carlos Menem, 90 years old, has died after battling long-term health problems.

Menem took office in July 1989 and promoted laws to reform the government and the economy after his predecessor, Raúl Alfonsín, resigned in the middle of a deep financial crisis caused by hyperinflation. Menem privatized some companies that had been under state authority until that point and was able to get inflation under control.

Menem left office in 1999 after unsuccessfully trying to modify the constitution to run for a third term. He ran again for the presidency in 2003, obtaining the highest percentage of votes during the first round of elections, but ultimately decided against advancing to the second round.

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Mass panic at illegal party in Bolivia causes injuries

An illegal party with over a hundred people in the Bolivian city of Quillacollo left dozens of people injured. After the police arrived, the organizers closed and locked the doors, causing a mass panic. According to the mayor, people poured out of the doors like an avalanche.

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Biden will continue Trump's Recognition of Guaidó Coup Regime and Deadly Sanctions in Venezuela, top diplomat says
Juan Guaido
Juan Guaido Credit: Alexcocopro (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In perpetuation of Trump administration policy and nearly two centuries of U.S. imperialism in Latin America, Antony Blinken, President Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of state, told senators Tuesday that the United States will continue to recognize the coup leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

Reuters reports Blinken told senators during his confirmation hearing that Venezuela needs "an effective policy that can restore... democracy" to the nation of 28 million people.

Although Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has alienated allies and adversaries alike with his government's numerous and serious human rights violations, he was democratically elected in 2013 and reelected in 2018.

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Argentinean President Alberto Fernández received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
Alberto Fernández receiving the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Credit: Esteban Collazo/Casa Rosada

The Argentinean President Alberto Fernández received Thursday the first dose of the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

After a controversy over whether studies would come from Moscow to support the use of the vaccine in people over 60, the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (Anmat) on Wednesday authorised its use in the age group most at risk from the coronavirus.

On Monday, the government released an official timetable promising that another 4.7 million Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses will arrive in the country before the end of the month. The schedule for the delivery of the vaccine announced by the government began in December with the arrival of 300,000 doses and continues in January with 5,000,000 more (300,000 were delivered on the last Saturday), while another 14,700,000 are expected in February.

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Legal abortion is approved in Argentina
Legal abortion is approved in Argentina
Credit: unsplash.com / daniel james

The higher chamber of Argentinean congress approved overnight the bill that introduces legal abortion before the 14th week of pregnancy, or in case of mother's health risk, or if the pregnancy is caused by rape. The final score of the senators' votes was 39 supporters against 29.

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Vaccination starts in Argentina, with 300.000 units of Sputnik V vaccines
Vaccination starts in Argentina, with 300.000 units of Sputnik V vaccines
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The national immunization plan against coronavirus was launched today throughout Argentina, after an operation to distribute 300,000 doses of the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine.

"It is a day of great joy, we must not lose hope because the vaccines will continue to arrive," said Health Minister Ginés Gonzáles García from the Posadas Hospital a few minutes before 9 AM, the hour in which the operation of vaccination against coronavirus throughout the country. In that health centre, 5 members of the Health team were vaccinated.

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Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica begin Covid-19 mass vaccination
Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica begin Covid-19 mass vaccination
Credit: Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect

Mexico became the first country in Latin America to start vaccinating for Covid-19. The first person to receive one of the initial shipment of 3000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was intensive-care nurse María Irene Ramirez.

Shortly after Mexico started vaccinating, Chile and Costa Rico followed suit.

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Bolivia recognizes the first same-sex union
Bolivia recognizes the first same-sex union
Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

Bolivia's Civic Registration Service (Sereci) has for the first time recognised the "free union" between two people of the same sex in the country, following a long legal battle between the couple, according to a resolution made public on Friday.

Sereci decided to "arrange for the registration of the free union between David Víctor Aruquipa Pérez and Guido Alvaro Montaño Durán", according to this document which cancels another resolution adopted by the same institution in 2018. The deputy of the right-wing party Creemos Samantha Nogales also said that this is an issue that will be evaluated, but that "it is fundamental to understand that human rights move forward and not backward and that in this case, we can show that Bolivians are all equal before the law."

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Bill for legal abortion advance to Senate voting stage in Argentina

After 20 hours of debate in the lower chamber of Argentinean congress, the bill to legalize abortion under certain conditions got enough votes (131 vs. 117) to continue to the next stage in the upper chamber. The bill was introduced by president Alberto Fernandez and accepted a few changes lately, both were apparently the main factors to have different results compared with the 2018 discussion.

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Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro won total control of legislature after Sunday's election
Nicolas Maduro
Nicolas Maduro Credit: PR via Fotos Públicas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won total control over the country's legislature, the National Assembly (AN) after his party claimed almost 68% of the vote, in an election that was mostly boycotted by the opposition and had only over 31% turnout. The National Assembly was the last institution in the country not yet headed by Maduro.

The opposition, parts of which participated in the election despite the opposition's call for a boycott, received 18% of the vote.

The EU and the Organization of American States (OAS) refused to send observers to Sunday's election and said the conditions for a democratic process in Venezuela do not currently exist.

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Tabaré Vázquez former first left wing president of Uruguay, passed away
Tabaré Vázquez
Tabaré Vázquez Credit: MIEM Uruguay (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

His family informed that last night the former president died after struggling with pulmonary cancer. Also informed that for coronavirus reasons will no be placed any public large ceremony and ask to the population to follow the ceremony by the media staying at home, in order to avoid crowds.

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Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Argentinean congress discusses new tax regulation for the richest people in order to sanitize the economy and overcome Covid-19
Credit: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 AR)

Argentinean president Alberto Fernandez proposed a new set of regulations to tax the richest people in the country (above 2,35 M dollars).

Now the congress discusses the proposal that would create a one-time tax, starting with 3.5% up to 5.25%. The extraordinary fee is estimated to affect between 9.000 and 12.000 richest Argentineans, then 20% of the money collected will be used to fight the Covid-19 crises, and the rest will be used to reduce the economic crisis that holds the country in recession since 2018, having 40,9% of the total population of 44 million Argentineans under the poverty line.

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Breaking the overall record of cases, Uruguay exceeded 100 daily cases of coronavirus and 792 sick people.
Breaking the overall record of cases, Uruguay exceeded 100 daily cases of coronavirus and 792 sick people.
Credit: Adam Nieścioruk

Without a strict lockdown or any enforced measure, the Uruguayan government relies on citizens' common sense and suggests keeping social distances, reduce meetings as much as possible, permanent use of masks, and so on. Although, there are 792 currently infected cases and 12 ICU patients.

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Peru's Congress appoints Francisco Sagasti as the next president
Francisco Sagasti
Francisco Sagasti Credit: Feria del Libro Ricardo Palma (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Peruvian lawmaker Francisco Sagasti is set to become the country's next interim president. The 76-year-old engineer, academic and former World Bank official is expected to be Peru's fourth president in less than five years -- and the second one in less than a week.

Activists, opposition parties and civil society groups who saw former President Martin Vizcarra's ouster as a legislative coup refused to recognize the new leader.

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After nearly 40 years Falkland Islands celebrate being landmine free
After nearly 40 years Falkland Islands celebrate being landmine free
Credit: Petebutt / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The population of the Falkland Islands has been celebrating the removal of an estimated 13,000 mines that were planted by Argentine forces in the 1982 military conflict.

Barry Elsby, a member of the island's legislative assembly, has stated that "This will be another good bit of closure for people who were here when the invasion happened and lived through the horrors of that time" and added that "All the mine signposts were a constant reminder of what happened but now they are all away, it's another return to normality".

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Peru's interim President Manuel Merino resigns
President Manuel Merino
President Manuel Merino Credit: Congresso Peru

After thousands of protestors demanded his removal, Peru's interim President Manuel Merino resigned Sunday.

Protests began peacefully but grew more intense during the later hours of the day. Protestors and police have clashed, and according to witness, reports shots were fired by police.

Merino assumed the presidency on Tuesday after the opposition-dominated Congress voted to remove his predecessor Martin Vizcarra, over bribery allegations, which he denies.

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Peruvian Congress removes President Martín Vizcarra for allegedly receiving bribes
Peruvian Congress removes President Martín Vizcarra for allegedly receiving bribes
Credit: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Peruvian parliament has removed President Martín Vizcarra from office. He is accused of having accepted bribes during his time as governor.

The Peruvian parliament has removed President Martín Vizcarra from office. In Monday's vote, 105 members of Congress voted to remove the head of state, 19 were against and four parliamentarians abstained. To remove Vizcarra, 87 votes were necessary. Vizcarra declared that he was leaving the government palace without agreeing with the decision of the parliament.

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Survey: Mexican police is the second least trusted in Latin America
Survey: Mexican police is the second least trusted in Latin America
Credit: Thayne Tuason / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The results of the Gallup survey show that Mexican security forces continue to be immersed in an image crisis due to corruption and violence.

Of all Latin American countries only in Venezuela the population feels less safe and distrusts the police more. Arturo Alvarado Mendoza, author and doctor of sociology at the Colegio de México, says that the current police force is at the service of the government and that it must "begin to attend to citizens' problems and improve its relationship with the population" in order to change its perception.

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Drafting of new constitution approved by a large majority of Chileans
Drafting of new constitution approved by a large majority of Chileans
Credit: Courtesy of BTS Chile / Twitter

With massive participation in the plebiscite, citizens turned to the polls. There are celebrations in the Plaza Italia in downtown Santiago, and in various parts of the country. On the body that must write the new text, the option of the constitutional convention, jointly and integrated only by citizens elected for that purpose, is imposed with 78.8%

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Referendum in Chile starts to determine the possible change of constitution
Referendum in Chile starts to determine the possible change of constitution
Credit: unsplash.com / Loïc Mermilliod

The polls opened in Chile this Sunday for a historic referendum on whether the country's constitution, which comes from the era of dictator Augusto Pinochet, will be discarded and replaced by a new charter to be formulated, one of the main demands of the protests that took over the country last year.

More than 14.8 million people can vote in 2,715 locations across the country, although those suffering from Covid-19 have been warned to stay away under threat of arrest.

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A pilot for two Colombian presidents trafficked with Sinaloa cartel
Samuel David Niño(Right) with the Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez
Samuel David Niño(Right) with the Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez Credit: La Nueva Prensa (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Samuel David Niño Cataño died on the Guatemala-Mexico border when the plane he piloted crashed. The plane was loaded with cocaine and had taken off Puerto Carreño, Vichada, Colombia.

La Nueva Prensa has released 49 pictures and research showing Cataño was a pilot for Alvaro Uribe in his senate campaign and in the presidential campaign of Ivan Duque. The pilot was also a contributor to the Uribe campaign and had two unjustified contracts with the aviation administration signed during Duque presidency.

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Puebla Group demands the resignation of Luis Almagro from the OAS
Puebla Group demands the resignation of Luis Almagro from the OAS
Credit: Sodacan / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The group of progressive leaders explained that the difference of more than 20 points in this last elections show there was no fraud in the 2019 elections.

The Organization of American States, and the General Secretary Luis Almagro, were one of the main objectors to the past election results which ended in violence and a coup.

The OAS claims were rejected by several studies recently and the disputed electoral centers were the MAS got more than 90% of the votes in the 2019 election got even higher percentages in the re-run.

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Global Covid-19 case measurement system removed Argentina from their registry due to lack of quality in the testing data
Global Covid-19 case measurement system removed Argentina from their registry due to lack of quality in the testing data
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The "Our World in Data" tracker decided to drop Argentina from their tracker for possible bias in the "positivity rate".

Edouard Mathieu, from Our World in Data, posted on Twitter: "To ensure the quality and reliability of @OurWorldinData's COVID-19 testing data, we've decided to remove 🇦🇷 Argentina from our dataset for the time being. The official figures aggregated by the government are not of sufficient quality to correctly reflect the extent of testing."

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Argentina surpasses one million Covid-19 cases
Buenos Aires during the Covid-19 lockdown
Buenos Aires during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Rodrigo Paredes (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Argentina's Health Ministry announced Monday that the country surpassed the barrier of one million infections of Covid-19. The South American country has been in lockdown for the past 7 months.

The Government reported that in the last day, 12,982 people tested positive, and the total number of infected reached 1,002,662. Also, 451 deaths were entered into the National Health Surveillance System (SNVS) and the total number of deaths recorded nationwide reached 26,716.

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Bolivia elections: Exit polls give victory to socialist candidate Luis Arce
Jeanine Añez announces the victory of Luis Arce
Jeanine Añez announces the victory of Luis Arce Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Exit polls show Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) candidate Luis Arce got around 50%, against 30% of the ex-president Luis Mesa. This advantage would give the socialist candidate the victory without the need of a second round. The definitive count is expected on Wednesday.

Interim president Jeanine Añez, who took office after last year's coup, recognized the victory. Luis Arce was the economy minister during the 12 years of Evo Morales presidencies.

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José "Pepe" Mujica confirms he will shortly be leaving his senatorial seat both because of his age and health concerns
José "Pepe" Mujica confirms he will shortly be leaving his senatorial seat both because of his age and health concerns
Credit: Agência Brasil Fotografias / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Former Uruguayan President José "Pepe" Mujica confirmed this Sunday, before casting his vote in the departmental and municipal elections that took place in that country, that he will shortly leave his seat as senator both due to his age and health-related issues.

Mujica had already hinted on another occasion that he would leave the Senate in October, but this Sunday he announced that if he can, he will "leave it earlier." "I am about to leave because of my age, because I have a chronic immunological disease and it is logical that politics obliges social relations. If I have to take care of myself, I cannot speak, I cannot go to one side, I cannot go to the other, I am a bad senator ", argued the former president, 85 years old.