Rare leopard captured in northern Iraq
An endangered leopard captured in Iraq's mountainous north had its hind leg amputated following a trap-inflicted wound. The Persian leopard, taken in a day earlier in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region near the border with Turkey, had injured two people, said Colonel Jamal Saado, head of the environmental protection police in Dohuk province.news.yahoo.com
El Salvador frees three women convicted of abortions
President Nayib Bukele's government has freed three Salvadoran women who were sentenced to 30 years in prison under the nation's strict anti-abortion laws after suffering obstetric emergencies, according to abortion rights groups. Morena Herrera of the Citizen's Group for the Depenalization of Abortion said late Friday that the group was told one woman would be set free at presidential order, but when they went to the prison to greet her, three were released. The three are among at least 17 Salvadoran women activists consider unjustly convicted and imprisoned following obstetric emergencies and who have been at the center of a campaign against El Salvador's absolute law against abortions.news.yahoo.com
Colombia's forgotten Alcatraz: The island prison of Gorgona
Right up until 1984, the notorious former island prison of Gorgona off Colombia's Pacific coast was a tragic place where political prisoners and dangerous criminals were sent to serve out their sentences, sometimes until death. These days, only a few crumbling walls of the prison remain on an island that attracts a small amount of eco-tourism, mostly for scuba-diving or to explore its incredible biodiversity.news.yahoo.com
U.S. Treasury: El Salvador government negotiated with gangs
The government of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele secretly negotiated a truce with leaders of the country’s powerful street gangs, the U.S. Treasury announced Wednesday. The U.S government alleges Bukele's government bought the gangs' support with financial benefits and privileges for their imprisoned leaders including prostitutes and cell phones. Bukele vehemently denied the accusation when it was reported in August 2020 by the local news site El Faro.news.yahoo.com
Mexican journalists says El Salvador expelled him for work
A Mexican journalist who served as editor at a crusading Salvadoran website said Friday he was expelled from the Central American country as part of President Nayib Bukele’s “offensive” against the press. Daniel Lizárraga served as editor at the Salvadoran news site “El Faro,” which often exposed corruption or abuses. The administration of Bukele ordered him to leave the country earlier this week, claiming his work visa hadn’t been renewed because he could not prove he was a journalist.news.yahoo.com
Loved and decried, El Salvador's populist leader is defiant
In El Salvador, most are not bothered by President Nayib Bukele’s dictatorial maneuvers -- sending armed troops into congress to coerce a vote, or ousting independent judges from the country’s highest court, paving the way to control all branches of government.
Loved and decried, El Salvador's populist leader is defiant
In the narrow, gang-controlled alleys of the Las Palmas neighborhood, struggling Salvadorans are untroubled by actions of their president that so infuriate his critics. “No one can deny that he effectively has the support of the majority of the population and he is using that support and manipulating it to advance his agenda.”news.yahoo.com
Loved and decried, El Salvador's populist leader is defiant
In the narrow, gang-controlled alleys of the Las Palmas neighborhood, struggling Salvadorans are untroubled by actions of their president that so infuriate his critics. In this neighborhood they are grateful for the boxes of food staples they’ve received from Bukele’s government during the pandemic. For all the observers and critics who condemn a dangerous concentration of power by a charismatic leader who sports down-home blue jeans and leather jackets, Bukele enjoys an approval rating of more than 90% among people who saw three of four previous presidents jailed or exiled for corruption.news.yahoo.com
US publishes list of corrupt officials in Central America
The U.S. State Department has named more than 50 current and former officials, including former presidents and active lawmakers, suspected of corruption or undermining democracy in three Central American countries. Many of the cases were known in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but the inclusion of names on the U.S. list buoyed the hopes of anti-corruption crusaders. The list was provided to the U.S. Congress in compliance with the “U.S.-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act” pushed last year by U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel.news.yahoo.com
World Bank deals blow to El Salvador's bitcoin dream
The World Bank on Wednesday declined to assist El Salvador in implementing bitcoin as legal tender, citing the environmental impact of the power-intensive process of "mining" the currency. El Salvador wants to become the first country to formally adopt the cryptocurrency, using it as a parallel legal tender alongside the US dollar, and recently approached the World Bank for help in achieving this. A World Bank spokesman said: "We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including fonews.yahoo.com
At El Salvador's Bitcoin Beach, a glimpse of crypto economy
After El Salvador’s congress made the bitcoin legal tender this week, eyes turned to this rural fishing village on the Pacific coast. Known to surfers for its pounding waves, El Zonte has had the cryptocurrency in its economy for the past year. Bitcoin already was legal to use in El Salvador but its acceptance was voluntary, so the legislation passed late Tuesday now requires all businesses — except those without the technology — to accept payment in bitcoin.news.yahoo.com
El Salvador president wants Bitcoin as legal tender
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has announced in a recorded message played at a Bitcoin conference in Miami that next week he will send proposed legislation to the country’s congress that would make the cryptocurrency legal tender in the Central American nation.
El Salvador becomes the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
Nayib Bukele, El Salvador's president, delivers a speech to Congress at the Legislative Assembly building in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Photographer: Camilo Freedman/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMIAMI -- El Salvador announced legislation Saturday that will make it the world's first sovereign nation to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar. El Salvador is a largely cash economy, where roughly 70% of people do not have bank accounts or credit cards. Back said he plans to contribute technologies like Liquid and satellite infrastructure to make El Salvador a model for the world. "We're pleased to help El Salvador on its journey towards adoption of the Bitcoin Standard," he said.cnbc.com
El Salvador's façade of democracy crumbles as president purges his political opponents
Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele promised voters change. Instead, he seems to be reviving El Salvador's authoritarian past. Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesEl Salvador is in crisis after President Nayib Bukele on May 1 fired five Salvadoran supreme court justices and the attorney general. The court and attorney general’s office were among the only checks on presidential power remaining since Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas party won a supermajority in Congress in March 2021, withnews.yahoo.com
US urging Central America to tackle poverty, corruption
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to entice Central American nations to tackle the corruption and poverty that have helped drive a surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border and presented an early challenge for the Biden administration.
US steers El Salvador funding away from government
The United States Agency for International Development will redirect its funding from El Salvador's state institutions to its civil society groups as tensions rise between the two governments over the Central American country's removal of Supreme Court justices and the Attorney General. USAID Administrator Samantha Power said in a statement Friday that the agency has “deep concerns” about the shake-up in the justice system earlier this month and more generally about transparency and accountability. Funding will be redirected from the court and Attorney General's Office, the National Civilian Police and El Salvador's Institute for Access to Public Information and given instead to local civil society groups and human rights organizations “for promoting transparency, combating corruption and monitoring human rights.”news.yahoo.com
'We've tried democracy and it failed': Adoring El Salvadorians swoon over their millennial dictator
When El Salvador's millennial president ordered the armed forces to take control of Congress the world looked on in horror. Gun-toting soldiers intimidating MPs to approve a loan for new military hardware was widely interpreted as one of the darkest moments in El Salvador’s history since a bloody civil war ended in 1992. But a year later things have somehow taken a turn for the worse. Nayib Bukele, the leather jacket-wearing former advertising executive labelled the 'hipster Donald Trump', this month sacked Supreme court judges and the country’s attorney general, tearing up what little is left of the democracy he took charge of. International condemnation followed. Yet, inside the country of 6.5 million people, the popularity of Central America's newest 'dictator' can't stop growing. Polls suggest that despite a rapid dismantling of democratic institutions, Mr Bukele's approval rating has soared as high as 91 per cent. “Bukele is one of us. He’s a man of the people,” Omar Ticas, a 32-year-old telephone salesman told The Telegraph. “If what we had before him was democracy, well, democracy isn’t working for us. We need something harder.”news.yahoo.com
El Salvador donates vaccine to desperate Honduras towns
El Salvador's president sent 34,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to seven towns in Honduras on Thursday, responding to video pleas from their mayors posted to social media. The small-scale diplomacy by President Nayib Bukele raised eyebrows in El Salvador and Honduras, but most people agreed that ultimately it would benefit a population in desperate need of vaccine. El Salvador has been more successful than neighboring Honduras and Guatemala in obtaining vaccine, though all lag in vaccinating their people.news.yahoo.com
Unless he’s stopped, El Salvador’s young president will turn into an old-school dictator | Opinion
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has a 90 percent popularity rate in his country, perhaps the highest one in the region. But power has gone to his head, and his latest takeover of the Salvadoran justice system threatens to turn him into Latin America’s newest elected dictator.news.yahoo.com
Mexico: Woman who died in police custody also was abused
Young women place flowers on the perimeter wall of the Quintana Roo state offices sprayed with graffiti that reads in Spanish "Justice for Victoria," during a protest in Mexico City, Monday, March. The demonstrators were protesting the police killing in Tulum, Quintana Roo state, of Salvadoran national Victoria Esperanza Salazar when a female police officer knelt on her back to cuff her. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)MEXICO CITY – A Salvadoran woman who died in police custody over the weekend in a Caribbean beach resort had also suffered abuse by her companion, who has been arrested, Mexican authorities said Tuesday. Quintana Roo state Gov. Salazar's death increased tensions in Quintana Roo, where police used live ammunition to ward off a throng of about 100 demonstrators in Cancun in November.
Outrage grows over police custody death in Mexico
Young women place flowers on the perimeter wall of the Quintana Roo state offices sprayed with graffiti that reads in Spanish "Justice for Victoria," during a protest in Mexico City, Monday, March. “She was brutally murdered by Tulum police officers in Quintana Roo, Mexico,” the president wrote. In the southern Mexico city of Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, Salazar requested and received refugee status. AdProtest marches were scheduled for later Monday in Tulum, Mexico City and San Salvador. AdThe woman’s death seemed likely to ignite tensions in Quintana Roo, where police used live ammunition to ward off a throng of about 100 demonstrators in Cancun in November.
El Salvador president consolidates power amid fears of authoritarianism
A year ago, the president of El Salvador denounced the opposition-controlled congress as a collection of “criminals” and stormed into the legislative palace with heavily armed troops and police in riot gear. His hipster image, built on a penchant for sunglasses and leather jackets, and his agility on social media helped solidify his standing as a youthful reformer who could help El Salvador escape its past. “El Salvador has turned the page on the postwar era,” Bukele declared after being elected. AdvertisementBukele’s popularity in El Salvador is undisputed. Advertisement“The only constraints on Bukele’s power are besieged independent media and civil society groups in El Salvador, as well as a Biden administration that has already showed its concern about the country’s worrying authoritarian slide.”Times staff writer McDonnell reported from Mexico City and special correspondent Renderos from El Salvador.latimes.com
Salvadoran president appears to win control of congress
President Nayib Bukele holds his ballots as he prepares to vote in local and legislative elections, at a polling station in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. El Salvador went to the polls in legislative and mayoral elections that could break the congressional deadlock that has tied the hands of President Nayib Bukele. AdBukele has blamed congress for blocking his efforts in everything from controlling crime to managing the coronavirus pandemic. Two years ago, Bukele sent heavily armed soldiers to surround the congress building during a standoff over security funding, earning rebukes internationally. “The story is not unique to El Salvador — Democratic elections have yielded antidemocratic leaders and governments, of the right and the left elsewhere in Latin America.
President Nayib Bukele seeks control of Salvadoran congress, which could further erode democracy
AdvertisementTatiana Alemán said President Nayib Bukele’s interference in congress on Feb. 9, 2020, revived dark memories of El Salvador’s military dictatorship. According to one recent poll, 68.8% of respondents plan to support Bukele’s party in Sunday’s races. “I am very concerned about the conditions in El Salvador,” said U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), who closely monitors Central America. In 2020, according to government reports, there were 1,322 homicides in El Salvador, a drop of 45% from the previous year. Before they didn’t even get” out of their vehicles, said Christopher Díaz, a student at the University of El Salvador.latimes.com
El Salvador election could remake political landscape
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2021 file photo, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele speaks before the start of vaccination of medical staff with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Atlacatl Medical Unit of the Salvadoran Social Security Institute in San Salvador, El Salvador. That could change Sunday when Salvadorans go to the polls in local and legislative elections that observers and surveys suggest could remake the country’s political landscape. Anger with the parties that ruled El Salvador for nearly three decades swept Bukele into office in 2019, and frustration remains. “In El Salvador, there is selective justice, an unjust, circular, vicious system where only the wealthy are favored,” Pastor said. “The people have placed their hopes in President Bukele who has changed preconceptions and like it or not, has helped the people.”
The Latest: Hong Kong ease pandemic rules as cases decline
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, people wearing masks attend a vigil for Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)HONG KONG — Hong Kong is reducing social distancing rules following a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, including restarting indoor dining and reopening gyms. More than two-thirds of the new cases were in Seoul area, home to half of South Korea’s 51 million people. The company has contracted to provide 100 million doses — enough for 100 million Americans — by the end of June. “We just need the vaccine to arrive.”___ATLANTA — Snowy and icy weather across much of the nation has “significantly” delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to Georgia, state health officials said Wednesday.
Sources: Biden officials snub Salvadoran leader in DC trip
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2020 file photo, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, accompanied by members of the armed forces, speaks to supporters outside Congress in San Salvador, El Salvador. The Biden administration turned down a meeting request with El Salvador's president on an unannounced trip to Washington on the first week of Feb. 2021. But like other world leaders befriended by Trump, he faces an uphill climb pivoting to the Biden administration, which is seeking to undo those policies and has signaled its relationship with El Salvador is under review. Bukele insisted that the trip was private and that he didn't request any meeting with Biden officials. Legislation passed last year and supported by Democrats curbs U.S. foreign aid to El Salvador to fund the purchase of U.S. military equipment.
El Salvador kept paying DC lobbyist after claim he was fired
In this image take from UNTV video, Nayib Armando Bukele, President of El Salvador, speaks in a pre-recorded video message during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The tweet was widely shared in El Salvador. More recently, Stryk teamed up with another DC firm, Rational 360, which is run by veteran Democratic operatives including Joe Lockhart. El Salvador in October hired Rational 360 for $65,000 per month. Bukele’s government has also awarded a $780,000 contract to a newly formed U.S.-based entity called Invest El Salvador.
Rain-fueled landslide in El Salvador kills 9; 35 missing
Women take pictures of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
Rain-fueled landslide in El Salvador kills 9; 1 missing
Women take pictures of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)SAN SALVADOR – A landslide left nine people dead, seven injured and one missing after torrential rains in El Salvador, civil defense officials said Friday. Local resident Roxana Ruíz came to the search area looking for news of her cousin; she later learned her body had been found. “We believe that we can find people alive and we are not going to rest,” said Interior Minister Mario Durán.
The Latest: Mali notable in its absence from UN meeting
As late as last week, the United Nations still listed the deposed president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, as an upcoming speaker. But the final countries addressed the U.N. gathering on Tuesday afternoon with no word from Mali. Before this latest coup, extremists were moving south into more densely populated areas, adding to the frustrations that fed massive protests in the weeks ahead of the coup. He delivered a prerecorded address Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting of global leaders, being held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirati foreign minister also warned against what he said were “the expansionist ambitions of some countries in the region."
El Salvador's next US envoy met Trump at Miss Universe
SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador's next ambassador to Washington is someone President Donald Trump might remember from his days as a beauty pageant boss. While Bukele has endeared himself to Trump by backing his hardline immigration policies, he's faced criticism among human rights and pro-democracy activists for defying El Salvador's supreme court and congress. Bukele last year signed a bilateral agreement that would allow the U.S. to send asylum seekers from other countries to El Salvador. Mayorga was a top 10 finalist at the 1996 Miss Universe won by Alicia Machado, a former Miss Venezuela who campaigned against Trump in the 2016 campaign. Machado accused Trump of labeling her with a sexist nickname — “Miss Piggy” — that caused her shame and humiliation after she was crowned Miss Universe.
Push within El Salvador to advance priest massacre case
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2008 file photo, people hold banners depicting six Jesuit priests massacred in 1989, during a memorial to mark the 19th anniversary of their death, in San Salvador. For years, attempts within El Salvador to investigate and prosecute the masterminds of the massacre during that countrys civil war have been delayed and deflected by legal maneuvers. (Edgar Romero/AP Photo File)
Push within El Salvador to advance priest massacre case
For years, attempts within El Salvador to investigate and prosecute the masterminds of the massacre during that countrys civil war have been delayed and deflected by legal maneuvers. (Edgar Romero/AP Photo File)SAN SALVADOR – For years, attempts within El Salvador to investigate and prosecute the masterminds of a massacre of six Jesuit priests during that country’s civil war have been delayed and deflected by legal maneuvers. But the officers appealed and the case made it to the Supreme Court last year where it sits today. Two officers served short sentences in El Salvador, but were released in 1993 during the amnesty. Baulenas said authorities in El Salvador continue to resist efforts to determine who was involved in planning the murders.
El Salvador prosecutors search prisons in pact investigation
Imprisoned gang members, wearing protective face masks, look out from behind bars during a media tour of the prison in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. President Nayib Bukele denied a report Friday that his government has been negotiating with one of the countrys most powerful gangs to lower the murder rate and win their support in mid-term elections in exchange for prison privileges. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
El Salvador prosecutors search prisons in pact investigation
Imprisoned gang members, wearing protective face masks, look out from behind bars during a media tour of the prison in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)SAN SALVADOR Prosecutors in El Salvador said Monday they have searched two prisons to investigate whether the administration of President Nayib Bukele had negotiated with one of the countrys most powerful gangs to lower the murder rate and win their support in mid-term elections in exchange for prison privileges. The prosecutors' office said agents searched two prisons where gang members are held to look for documents or other evidence of the allegations. Multiple former officials from previous administrations are currently being prosecuted for allegedly participating in a similar deal with the gangs. During his first year in office, he earned recognition as El Salvadors notoriously high murder rate began to fall.
El Salvador political stalemate a drag on pandemic response
SAN SALVADOR For months, the strictest measures confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America seemed to keep infections in check in El Salvador, but a gradual reopening combined with a political stalemate has seen infections increase nearly fourfold. Both have an eye on legislative elections scheduled for early next year and appear unwilling to cede any advantage. Its a reversal in a country that early in the pandemic seemed to have the situation under control. But the legislative body has declined to do so, and lawmakers have been locked in a monthslong standoff with Bukele. "If El Salvador collapses, we all go down and were already sinking.
El Salvador loosens tightest pandemic restrictions in region
Mechanics return to work three-months after a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus in Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)SAN SALVADOR After nearly three months of mandatory stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19 in El Salvador, the most locked down country in Latin America slowly began opening Tuesday. That meant that 28-year-old auto mechanic Antonio Perdomo could go back to work on the outskirts of the capital. President Nayib Bukele finally relented after repeated decisions by the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court found his mandatory quarantine orders unconstitutional. El Salvadors reopening will be gradually extending into August.
Tropical storm kills 17 in El Salvador and Guatemala
Vehicles stand damaged by the Acelhuate River after a flash flood at a neighborhood in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, May 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)SAN SALVADOR Rains from Tropical Storm Amanda left at least 17 dead and seven missing while causing extensive damage across El Salvador and Guatemala that pushed thousands of people into shelters amid the coronavirus pandemic. EL Salvador Interior Minister Mario Durn said Monday some 7,000 people were scattered across 154 shelters. Amanda pounded El Salvador with rain for days before moving ashore as a tropical storm on Sunday and pushing across Guatemala. Mexico issued a tropical storm warning from Campeche west to the port of Veracruz, expecting the depression to become a tropical storm Monday night or Tuesday.
Is El Salvadors millennial president a reformer or an autocrat?
President Nayib Bukele during his intervention in the legislature in San Salvador. El Salvador has turned the page on the postwar era, he declared after his election victory. El Salvador is a country where democracy has cost blood.But appeals invoking the war may resonate less and less here. El Salvador has one of the worlds highest homicide rates. I can sell my stuff without problems.Staff writer McDonnell reported from Mexico City and special correspondent Renderos from San Salvador.latimes.com