BRAZIL: Federal police have filed new corruption charges against President Michel Temer for allegedly accepting illegal payments to steer concessions toward business and personal associates in the contract of a port in São Paulo state. Among the 10 other individuals charged in the investigation are Temer’s daughter Maristela and two close aides.
Prosecutors still have two weeks to decide whether to bring a formal case against the president, at which point the charges will be put to a two-thirds vote in the lower house of Congress. In two similar votes last year, legislators protected Temer. Lawyers for President Michel Temer asked the Supreme Federal Court yesterday to immediately annul the charges.
HEADLINES FROM THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
UNITED STATES: According to unpublished statistics from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by the Washington Post, the number of migrant families crossing the border reached record levels in the three months since the Trump administration ended family separations at the border. Last month there was an 80 percent increase in the number of families arrested compared to July. Amidst this, the Trump administration has considered a new iteration of a family-separation policy.
MEXICO: Scientists spotted several endangered vaquita porpoises in an excursion on the Gulf of California. Vaquitas have been decimated by illegal fishing and the last count of vaquitas, from November 2016, estimated that 30 remain in the Gulf of California. Scientists hope the incoming administration will take serious efforts in protecting the fragile population of these unique porpoises.
HAITI: Three people were injured during a shooting at a public event led by President Jovenel Moïse. The attack happened as tens of thousands of Haitians gathered to protest the alleged government misuse of funds from oil assistance program Petrocaribe in partnership with Venezuela. The demonstration turned violent as protesters also burnt car tires, created barricades on the streets and tried to enter the President’s house. It has been reported that Moïse wasn’t injured.
EL SALVADOR: Former President Mauricio Funes bribed former General Attorney Luis Martínez during three years to prevent any investigation about corruption during his administration, according to new information provided by the General Attorney’s Office. Funes allegedly paid Martínez $10,000 to $20,000 a month, gifted him three luxurious vehicles and was provided with 92 flights in private airplanes.
COSTA RICA: Forcibly displaced Nicaraguans seeking refuge in Costa Rica are starving and sleeping on the streets, in spite of the government’s effort to offer humanitarian aid, according to Luis Vargas, commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Vargas obtained testimonies from 237 Nicaraguans that went into hiding in the neighboring country due to President Daniel Ortega’s repression.
PERU: An appeals court freed Keiko Fujimori from custody late last night, two days before a 10-day preventative detention was set to expire. Fujimori, a legislator, presumed presidential candidate, and daughter to former dictator Alberto Fujimori, was arrested on corruption and money laundering charges and held as a flight risk. Earlier yesterday night, it was reported that César Hinostroza, a former supreme court judge also being tried for money laundering, had fled to Spain.
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