Narcotunnel in Mexico and 3 other Latin American news

A tunnel was found in the Rio Grande on the US-Mexico border as Hurricane Laura reached the US coast.

Narcotunnel in Matamoros and Huracán

These are the most relevant news of this week. / Photos: TW / GermanZepeda, Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Narcotúnel en México y otras 3 noticias latinoamericanas

Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura began to hit some Caribbean islands and near the Gulf of Mexico during the week, leaving four deaths registered so far. The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba were hit at the beginning of the week by the hurricane that later headed towards the United States, reaching the southeast coast on Thursday. Prior to the hurricane, the tropical storm had already left 13 dead on the islands, in addition to damage to infrastructure, fallen trees and flooding.

The start of the storms in the Caribbean came with force since May and Laura became one of the most intense that the region has witnessed in history. The hurricane, which had been classified as Category 4, hit Louisiana with less force and is now Category 1. However, some cities such as Louisiana and Texas are without power and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC)  maintains the state of alert, although it is no longer considered a hurricane but a tropical storm.

Chile Plebiscite

In the midst of the pandemic, Chile begins to prepare for a historic plebiscite. The vote will take place on October 25, after being postponed by the Coronavirus and Chileans will vote to eliminate or maintain their Political Constitution. The fact is historical because its current Constitution was born in times of the military dictatorship of Pinochet, which is why millions of Chileans seek to remake it.

The intention to change the Constitution has been going back a long time, but the demands of citizens have increased since October last year, when the country experienced a National strike and the largest demonstrations it has ever seen, even unleashing a wave of nonconformities throughout Latin America.

Also read: The Lava Jato case of corruption and other political news

This will be the most important plebiscite in the country since 1988, the year in which the end of the dictatorship was voted. In addition, this vote also comes at a historic moment in the world, since the Coronavirus will not let it transpire in a traditional way. The campaign will be carried out intensively but with little presence, without crowds and focused on media coverage. Due to the situation, the main focus for the parties whose campaign began will be to attract people to the polls, since many will be afraid to go out to vote due to the Coronavirus.

The extradition of the Colombian paramilitary

Salvatore Mancuso, former paramilitary chief of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, was serving an extradition sentence in the United States. Now, the possibility of being extradited to Italy has aroused the disagreement of Colombians, who request that Mancuso return to Colombia to answer for the crimes he committed. Italy is requesting Mancuso because there he also has debts with the justice, but in Colombia he is asked to answer for crimes related to massacres and drug trafficking.

However, the main reason why the former paramilitary chief is wanted in Colombia is because he could be key in clarifying the truth in facts related to the armed conflict in Colombia. It is considered that behind him there are key testimonies of the history of paramilitarism in the 2000s. Among some of his statements, he has revealed the presence of the "parapolitics", which refers to the links between politicians and paramilitaries to defeat the now defunct FARC guerrilla.

The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested that Mancuso return to Colombia and be deprived of his freedom to answer for the crimes in his country of origin . However, some opponents have criticized the government for not being diligent beforehand and requesting with greater force that Mancuso return to Colombia. For now, it is possible that in September it will be determined whether or not he will be deported to Italy.

The narco tunnel on the border

The United States Border Patrol discovered on August 24 a tunnel under the Rio Grande, one of the illegal passages from Mexico to the North American country. Other tunnels like this one have been discovered in recent years.

For months, both presidents had spoken of a cooperation for operations that sought to find the tunnels that illegally connected the two countries. This tunnel has one of its ends in Matamoros, a city in the state of Tamaulipas where the Gulf Cartel is present. As a result of the investigation, it is presumed that these routes were to traffic drugs, weapons and even people.

The tunnel was found on the US side in the city of Brownsville, Texas, and Mexican authorities were immediately alerted. Currently, it is guarded at both ends. As reported by the National Secretariat of Defense of Mexico (Sedena), the tunnel was not yet finished.

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