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Colombia legalizes medically-assisted suicide – Latin America News Dispatch

This Week in Latin America

May 16, 2022


COLOMBIA: Colombia’s constitutional courtroom legalized medically-assisted suicide in a ruling Wednesday, making it the primary nation in Latin America to take action. 

Along with euthanasia, legalized in Colombia in 1997, the mechanism will increase entry to a dignified loss of life for people affected by a terminal illness, critical harm, or excessive bodily or psychological ache. Euthanasia includes medical employees, whereas medically-assisted suicide is carried out by the affected person and accompanied by a medical skilled.

Previously in Colombia, medically-assisted suicide may end in a 32 to a 108-month prison sentence for people who induced or aided the affected person. The resolution got here after a right-to-die group, DescLAB, filed a lawsuit earlier than the courtroom. Colombia joins Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, Spain, Germany, and a few states within the United States in allowing the mechanism. 


CHILE: Reporter Francisca Sandoval died on Thursday from a gunshot wound she sustained whereas masking International Workers’ Day demonstrations in Santiago on May 1. Sandoval is the first journalist to be killed while on duty in Chile because the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

The main suspect is a street vendor who fired into a crowd of protestors, a few of whom have been concerned in acts of looting and violence, in keeping with native media reviews. The vendor has been charged with homicide and carrying an unlawful firearm.

Photographs exhibiting road distributors concerned in taking pictures at demonstrators talking with cops have provoked accusations of complicity by the Carabineros, Chile’s army police. On May 2, the federal government introduced an internal investigation into the accusations.

PARAGUAY: A Paraguayan prosecutor recognized for high-profile investigations into organized crime and drug trafficking was shot lifeless on Tuesday whereas on his honeymoon in Colombia. Two males arrived on jet skis at a seashore on an island south of Cartagena to hold out the suspected hit on prosecutor Marcelo Pecci. Neither Pecci’s spouse nor bodyguard was injured within the assault.

A Paraguayan police official acknowledged that it took less than 15 minutes for the assailants to hire the jet skis, perform the assault, and return the autos earlier than escaping. Given the character of Pecci’s investigations, authorities consider {that a} transnational crime group was behind Pecci’s homicide.

Paraguayan investigators are aiding Colombian authorities within the investigations, as are U.S. drug and federal agents.


VENEZUELA: The Venezuelan authorities on Wednesday introduced plans to sell 5% to 10% stakes in a number of state-run companies to be able to promote non-public funding. The shares are supposed to go on sale on Monday, though the federal government has not offered data on costs or the place the shares shall be listed.

President Nicolás Maduro made the announcement at a televised event, saying capital was wanted for know-how and new markets. 

Under former President Hugo Chavéz, the Venezuelan authorities nationalized some 1,200 firms throughout a variety of sectors, together with oil and pure gasoline, telecommunications, and electrical energy. 

Economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and different nations have exacerbated an financial disaster triggered by a drop in world oil costs in 2014.


HAITI/PUERTO RICO: Eleven Haitian ladies drowned this week after a ship carrying migrants capsized close to an island off the western coast of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 38 migrants – 36 Haitians and two residents of the Dominican Republic. One of these rescued was arrested on prices of human smuggling.  Dozens extra are believed lacking.

Rescue efforts began on Thursday when a U.S. border patrol helicopter noticed migrants clinging to a ship on the open seas. Survivors have been taken to Puerto Rico; no less than eight required consideration in local hospitals.

There has been a surge of Haitian emigration in latest months, as increasing gang violence and kidnappings, notably within the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, have triggered many to flee.

PUERTO RICO: Gov. Pedro Pierluisi on Thursday rejected a finances proposed by the U.S.-appointed monetary management board for the island. In a recorded address, Pierluisi acknowledged that he would submit his personal proposal on Friday for the Legislature’s consideration. 

The Financial Oversight and Management Board (known as “la Junta” in Puerto Rico) has twice rejected budgets submitted by the governor for the upcoming monetary yr. The Board’s proposal reduced government spending by $100 million in comparison with Pierluisi’s second proposal. The governor argued that the Board’s finances underestimated the territory’s projected revenue.

According to the controversial Obama-era PROMESA Law, which established the auditing physique in 2016 to supervise the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt, the Board has final approval over the territory’s budgets.


COSTA RICA: One month after a number of ransomware assaults focused public establishments, Costa Rica on Wednesday declared a state of emergency.  President Rodrigo Chaves has not determined who will lead the National Emergency Commission however mentioned they’d reply instantly to the disaster. 

Last week, the United States provided as much as $10 million for information on the leaders of the hacker group.  The Russian-speaking hacker group, Conti, claimed accountability for the assault. The U.S. State Department mentioned in a press release that the Conti hacker group was accountable for a whole lot of cyberattacks prior to now two years. 

GUATEMALA: Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, who final week dominated that 9 police and army officers will stand trial for alleged crimes throughout the nation’s civil battle, mentioned Wednesday that death threats against him increased since he introduced his resolution. The males on trial have been high-ranking officers arrested final yr for alleged crimes starting from forced disappearances, torture, and killings that occurred between 1983 and 1986. 

The choose suspected that the chief of the far-right Foundation Against Terrorism, Ricardo Rafael Méndez Ruíz, made among the threats.  The U.S. and European governments have famous that Guatemala’s justice system has been deteriorating. 

Several Guatemalan officers who labored on corruption circumstances have fled into exile. 


MEXICO: A union arrived at an settlement with a General Motors meeting plant in northern Mexico to establish an increase in salary and benefits for staff. The Independent Union of Auto Industry Workers mentioned in a press release that the brand new contract improves all labor circumstances and that the union may have a greater illustration for staff. 

The union received a vote in February to take away the old-guard, pro-company Confederation of Mexican Workers, which lengthy dominated over the plant. The U.S. filed a criticism final yr underneath the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free commerce pact after the old-guard interfered with votes

The new contract met targets positioned by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free commerce pact.

MEXICO/US: To problem the Biden administration, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned Tuesday that he would not attend subsequent month’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles except all Latin American nations acquired invites. 

The President had lately introduced that he would attend the summit, however as a result of the U.S. didn’t prolong invites to Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard will represent Mexico at the summit

Obrador joins Bolivian president, Luis Arce, and several other Caribbean nations that additionally expressed the identical sentiments towards the U.S. in the event that they resolve to exclude among the nations. 

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