LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Brazil government cracks down on illegal miners
Stella told reporters the Vatican had raised the topic of a potential amnesty for prisoners on multiple occasions. Stella's comments come as Cuba faces sharp criticism from rights groups, the United States and the European Union following the imprisonment of hundreds of protesters after the July 11, 2021, riots, the largest since former Cuban leader Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.
The latest in Latin American politics today: Brazilian agencies raid illegal miners on Yanomami land, blockades installed
BOA VISTA, Brazil - Brazil's environmental and indigenous agencies launched an enforcement operation in the Amazon rainforest to expel thousands of illegal gold miners blamed for causing a humanitarian crisis among the Yanomami people, officials said. Armed agents of the government's environmental protection agency Ibama have arrested and removed dozens of miners in Brazil's largest indigenous reservation on the northern border with Venezuela.
More than 20,000 miners have invaded the reservation, bringing disease, sexual abuse and armed violence that has terrified the Yanomamis, estimated to be about 28,000 in number, and led to severe malnutrition and deaths. Vatican envoy says prisoner amnesty in Cuba 'on table'
HAVANA - Papal envoy and cardinal Benjamin Stella said in Havana a potential amnesty for prisoners jailed in Cuba following anti-government protests in July 2021 was "on the table" but that the response did not depend on the Roman Catholic Church. Stella told reporters the Vatican had raised the topic of a potential amnesty for prisoners on multiple occasions.
Stella's comments come as Cuba faces sharp criticism from rights groups, the United States and the European Union following the imprisonment of hundreds of protesters after the July 11, 2021, riots, the largest since former Cuban leader Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution. The Vatican played a key role in brokering a historic resumption of ties between Cuba and the United States in 2016 under then-U.S. President Barack Obama.
France minister visits Brazil's Lula amid push for better ties post-Bolsonaro BRASILIA - France's foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a visit resetting relations following a feud between the two countries' presidents in 2019.
It was the first French ministerial visit to Brazil since 2019 when Lula's far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, angered by President Emmanuel Macron's criticism of his handling of forest fires in the Amazon, mocked the French leader's wife on Facebook. U.S. imposes sanctions on MS-13 gang members in Nicaragua, Honduras
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two members of the international criminal gang MS-13, accusing them of involvement in drug trafficking and murder in Central America and the United States. The sanctions against the two individuals - an MS-13 leader in Honduras and an associate with the gang in Nicaragua - are part of a broader U.S. government effort to disrupt the group's activities and financing, the department said in a statement.
The leader in Honduras, Archaga Caria, has distributed cocaine from that country to the United States, and has ordered the murders of rival gang members, the department said. (Compiled by Steven Grattan and Brendan O'Boyle; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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