Evo Morales Says the OAS Is Biased Against Latin America’s Left

The president of Bolivia suggestedthat the Washington-based OAS is pursuing a right-wing agenda in the Americas.

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Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, OAS, is biased and doesn’t defend leftist governments in the region that are under attack.

Morales said OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro supports only right-wing governments while attacking left-of-center leaders like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Last week, Morales criticized Almagro for releasing a letter of support addressed to a head of the Venezuelan opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, a promoter of a recall referendum against Maduro. Lopez led violent protests in 2014 in Venezuela, known as guarimbas, that left 43 people dead and over 800 wounded.

Maduro has repeatedly denounced foreign interference in Venezuela that, according to him, is orchestrated by the United States government, the secretary-general of the OAS and the opposition in Venezuela’s National Assembly, among others.

“Brother Almagro, don’t be a spokesman for the North American empire. To ask for international intervention is a colonial and undemocratic attitude,” Morales said on Aug. 23.

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Oil Spill Spreads to Costa Rica, Threatening Biodiversity

The environmental disaster is now an international one almost a week after a fire started in a biodiversity-rich mangrove off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.

Multinational oil company Puma Energy may be responsible of a major oil spill over the weekend in the tourist destination Puerto Sandino, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, contaminating nearly a mile of mangroves and now the coasts of Honduras and Costa Rica.

Costa Rica University oceanographer Omar Lizano reported Monday that the oil had reached the Gulf of Fonseca, shared by the three Central American countries, and was now affecting the beaches and mangroves’ exceptional biodiversity.

The spill followed an explosion involving two of the company’s four tanks that stored oil-derived products, the local environment group Humboldt Center said at a press conference over the weekend. The center demanded immediate measures to least slow down what it described as ongoing environmental damages.

“There is an important oil spill, whose precise volume remains unknown, but one kilometer square of mangrove water is filled with oil, the fauna has been affected,” said Humboldt Center’ director Victor Campos.

Beside the mangroves, the oil was also swept into the ocean while the tide rose. Corpses of fish, turtles and crabs started accumulating everywhere, reported La Prensa.

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Mexican Police Accused of Executing 22, Then Covering It Up

The murders from last year again illustrate how pervasive police corruption is in Mexico.

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Mexico’s human rights body said on Thursday that the country’s police force carried out 22 extrajudicial executions on a ranch in Tanhuato in the western state of Michoacan in May 2015.

The Mexican Government’s National Human Rights Commission, CNDH, said that the 22 executions took place during a raid on the ranch by federal police who ambushed and killed 42 suspected members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, JNG.

“The investigation confirmed facts that show grave human rights violations attributable to public servants of the federal police,” commission President Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez said.

The human rights body says that the police moved seven dead bodies, planted guns and lied about their actions in the raid. Police are also alleged to have burned two bodies and tortured two people once they were arrested. One policeman was killed in the battle.

The raid was backed by a Black Hawk helicopter which reportedly shot around 4,000 rounds that reportedly killed five people. The deaths of 15 other victims was unable to be established, said CNDH President Raul Gonzalez.

The CNDH has called the raid one of the country’s worst cases of violence by security forces in a long and violent drug war.

Human rights advocates have constantly called on authorities to uphold higher standards amidst the drug war’s ongoing violence. In a press conference, Mexico’s National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said that he did not accept that police carried out the alleged executions, but rather “acted in legitimate defense” against “imminent and unlawful aggression.”

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