by the El Reportero news services
HONDURAS - President Manuel Zelaya ordered television and radio stations to broadcast two hours of government propaganda each day from 28 May in order to “counteract the misinformation” that he claims the media presents about his administration.
Zelaya’s move will make his already poor relations with the Honduran media even worse, and suggests that the government is starting to lose control in a country which has traditionally been one of the most stable (and pro-U.S.) in Central America.
The main problem is violent crime. In 2006 there were 3,118 homicides, placing Honduras third in the Central American crime league.
The president has taken to blaming the media for exacerbating Honduras’s security problems by writing sensational reports about violent crime. He failed to get a bill through congress to ban sensationalist reporting.
Peru returns to coca conformity to keep U.S. on side
President Alan García accepted the resignation of his maverick agriculture minister, Juan José Salazar, on 20 May after he made another headline-grabbing concession to coca growers which García dismissed as “mad and stupid”. Salazar signed an agreement with coca growers from the province of La Convención, in Cusco, committing the government to evaluate its stance regarding the 1961 Vienna Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Fearful of jeopardizing US congressional support for an FTA with Peru at a crucial time.
Toll of drug war rises in Mexico
MEXICO CITY — An anti-narcotics official is gunned down, two journalists are abducted and an army captain ends up slain.
The newly appointed head of a drug intelligence unit in the attorney general’s office was shot and killed Monday in a street ambush here that dealt a new blow to President Felipe Calderon’s campaign against this nation’s drug traffi ckers.
Officials said several assailants waited for José Nemesio Lugo Felix, director of the attorney general’s “Information Against Delinquency” unit, trapping his SUV on a narrow street.
Such assassinations have become common in many border and port cities of Mexico but are rare in the nation’s capital.
LocalLinks Lugo Felix had been appointed in April to head the unit specializing in the analysis of data about the activities of Mexico’s drug cartels, officials said. He was shot as he drove his vehicle during rush hour just outside an offi ce of the attorney general in the southern Coyoacan district, a center of the city’s.
Banco del Sur gets go ahead from Mercosur
Although Brazil and Uruguay will not be full members, the Banco del Sur will be launched at the next Mercosur summit in Caracas at the end of June.
The Banco del Sur (BdS) is the clearest sign of who is with, and who is agnostic, about President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela’s approach to international fi nance. Chávez wants the BdS to replace the IMF, World Bank and IDB in providing funds for economic development and emergency fi nancial stabilization.
Colombia may release jailed rebels
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombia will unilaterally release dozens of jailed rebels who agree to demobilize and work for peace, President Álvaro Uribe said Saturday, laying out conditions of a daring proposal to pressure the guerrillas into freeing hostages.
Rebels who agree to the deal must also promise not to return to the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, and to accept the supervision of either the Catholic Church or a foreign government, Uribe said. (Wires and McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this report.)