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The charges in the George Floyd case and other news

These are some of the most important news from the region and the world during this week

George Floyd, meteorological image of the storm Cristóbal and group of soldiers.

We tell you the most relevant news of this week. / Photos: Facebook / George Floyd, twitter.com/InfoMeteoro, Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Los cargos en el caso George Floyd y otras noticias

1. The George Floyd Police Officers

After ten days of George Floyd's death, hundreds of people continue to take to the streets to demand justice, the same has been replicated on social networks and in other parts of the world. While President Donald Trump's position has been one of rejection of protesters, militarizing the streets and promoting curfews, the four police officers responsible for Floyd's death begin to see the consequences.

After the event on May 25, the Minneapolis Police Department fired the four officers who were in one way or another responsible for Floyd's death. Given the slow response of justice to the case, thousands of people mobilized to demand that those responsible face consequences before the law. Days later, the Minnesota Attorney's Office filed charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who put his knee on Floyd's neck and killed him.

Chauvin, who had previously faced charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, is now facing charges of second-degree murder. The other three officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were formally charged with complicity and instigation.

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Although all four are currently in custody, the Minnesota prosecutor has warned that there is great difficulty in achieving a conviction against the officers. Many of the officers formally charged in the US with crimes against African Americans are subsequently acquitted. According to Jonathan Blanks, a criminal justice expert and researcher at The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) to BBC Mundo, "perhaps the main reason is that the Supreme Court has interpreted our Constitution in a way that allows officers to use a certain amount of force in the course of their work ”.

2. Tropical storm 'Cristóbal'

The hurricane season in the Atlantic began with the tropical storm Cristóbal, which hit the Gulf of México at the end of May. So far it has reached the coastal cities in the south of the country and the most affected states are Campeche and Tabasco, where it has caused heavy rains, floods, and river overflows. In addition to these states, the authorities have alerted Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán.

For the next few days, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) estimates that the storm will continue from south to north through the Gulf until it reaches the United States and there it will impact from Texas to Florida. With course, speed and magnitude still uncertain, NHC has recommended being alert to official warnings and having a hurricane plan in place.

3. US troops in Colombia

The arrival of US troops on Colombian soil without prior explanation has left doubts and disagreements in some sectors of the country. 48 US soldiers are part of the SFAB - Assistance Brigade Security Force mission and came to advise the Military Forces on issues of drug trafficking. The United States embassy issued a statement saying that "SFAB's mission in Colombia is an opportunity to show our mutual commitment against drug trafficking and support for regional peace, respect for sovereignty and the lasting promise to defend shared ideals and values ”.

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Before this arrival, the Congress of the Republic expressed its disagreement because the presence of this military personnel required authorization granted by the legislative branch. Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo told congressmen that the mission will not participate in field operations and that "its presence is part of the cooperation agreements signed decades ago , " according to El Tiempo. Due to the actions to be taken by the SFAB mission and existing agreements, such legislative authorization was not required, Holmes said.

Despite Holmes's explanation, the Council of State requested an "official report" from Iván Duque for said deployment. According to the letter issued, that court "has among its functions to review the passage of foreign troops in Colombia." However, the Government did not consult them.

4. Protests in Hong Kong

Since May 11, protests in Hong Kong that took to the streets for weeks in 2019 have been reactivated. This year, protesters began to pour into the streets since two new laws related to the sovereignty of China were approved in May, so the protesters again demanded their freedom and autonomy.

On June 4, it was one more year since the Tiananmen massacre, and since 1990, hundreds of people have gathered to hold a vigil to commemorate the date when the Chinese government sent tanks to disperse a mostly student demonstration and where there were abuses, arrests, and censorship. However, this year, for the first time, Hong Kong officials banned people from gathering, arguing the need for protection from the coronavirus. Hundreds of people have already been detained in the protests and since the 2019 protests, at least 9,000 people have been detained and brought to trial.

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