As questions and conspiracy theories continue to surround the death of the Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died under suspicious circumstances while working on the unsolved case of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community building in Buenos Aires. On his blog, Mike LaSusa has followed the case closely and has provided an update on Nisman.
Protests in Brazil have been ongoing since a January 3 increase in bus fares in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. This week, a Tuesday march, said to have drawn some 4,000 people, ended in chaos. Military Police fired tear gas into a crowded São Paulo metro station, causing protestors and commuters to frantically push through the station for an escape.
Earlier this month, on January 9, another peaceful São Paulo protest turned ugly when a small group defaced a storefront and Military Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. At least 51 protestors were detained by the Military Police.
The use of tear gas has been banned in warfare by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, but remains in use worldwide for domestic riot control, including in the United States in such instances as the Ferguson protests late last year.
At a a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLAC) on Tuesday, Raúl Castro demanded the United States return the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, lift the decades-long trade embargo and compensate Cuba for damages before normalized relations could be restored between the countries.
For more on the U.S.-Cuba warming of relations, read this post from earlier in the month.
The Honduran Public Ministry reports a 10 percent increase in reports of sexual harassment between 2013 and 2014, increasing from 72 to 88 documented cases. All of these reported cases involved males sexually harassing women, primarily in workplace or school environments in which the man was in a position of greater power. Deputy Prosecutor, Loany Alvarado, notes increased number of complaints may reflect that victims are breaking their silence and exposing their sexual aggressors. Alvardo urges women to not to fear denouncing their harassers because the Special Prosecutor for Women has a research unit for these crimes, and she says it is well-supported by the Technical Criminal Investigation Agency (ATIC).
However, impunity for violence against women is high in Honduras. In October 2014, Honduran women’s rights organizations denounced the fact that 95 percent of the over 900 cases of femicide (recorded from 2013 through October 2014) have not been investigated or brought before a court.
For the first time in ten years, there was a 2.6 point reduction in the number of recorded femicides in Honduras in 2014, according to the Observatory of Violence at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). However, between 2005 and 2013, 3,487 femicides were recorded in Honduras (531 of these violent female deaths took place in 2014), indicating a 263 percent increase in female deaths during this period.