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2009-08-10

Aug. 10 News Brief South America

Eduardo Herrera

CARACAS, Venezuela – Low-income housing project launched: The Venezuelan government has launched a new program to replace slums with decent quality homes which will be carried out with consultancy services from Brazil. The Barrio Nuevo program has begun in the west of Caracas with the demolition of 111 slums, home to more than 138 families, where new homes will be built in their place. The recipients are not allowed to use the newly constructed buildings for commercial ends. They are being delivered with no down payment, low interest rates and long repayment periods.

[EFE, El Universal]

QUITO, Ecuador – Soldiers arrested on border handed over to Ecuador: A group of 11 Ecuadorian soldiers who were arrested on Colombian soil on Aug. 8 in the Putumayo department near the border with Ecuador and Peru have been handed over to authorities in their country. Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce said that it consisted of an “administrative procedure involving hand-over and receipt.” The Colombian secretary of state declined to give details on the circumstances surrounding the arrest of one officer, one NCO and nine soldiers, but stated that the group was arrested 1,000 feet from the common border.

[EFE, El Tiempo, El Universo]

LIMA, Peru – Attack ruled out after general’s vehicle explodes: After initial assessments of the explosion of a vehicle belonging to controversial former commander-in-chief of the Peruvian Army Edwin Donayre, police have announced that it was the result of a mechanical failure and not an attack. “We were unable to find traces of any explosive material or a detonator,” stated Junín Police Chief General Alfredo Miranda. Donayre is a retired general seeking to launch his political career with the populist Peruvian Good Party. He suggested that the explosion was the result of an attack against him.

[Losandes.com, Radio Programas del Perú]

SANTIAGO, Chile – New attack, land occupations in south under investigation: Authorities in the southern region of La Araucanía are looking for those responsible for a new arson attack and attempting to resolve two land occupations in areas where the so-called “Mapuche conflict” is being waged. An uninhabited summer house was intentionally set on fire in the Lleu Lleu Lake area, 370 miles from Santiago. Sixty miles further south, members of a Mapuche community occupied two areas of land in the municipality of Cunco, one of which belongs to the Mininco forestry company.

[EFE, La Tercera]

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