Central America 28/02/11
Ortega expresses support for Gaddafi, Cost Rica anticipates Free Trade Agreement with China, and four flour thieves are lynched in Guatemala.
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has blasted her Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega for expressing solidarity with Libyan tyrant Colonel Gaddafi. Ortega offered his support for Gaddafi over the phone last Monday, during what he described as ‘tense moments in the Arab nation’.
Amidst the Libyan government’s violent repression of the widespread protests, Ortega declared that Libya is in a ‘terrible situation, where all types of conspiracies exist’ and commended Gaddafi for fighting a ‘great battle’ in defending his country’s unity.
Ortega was a recipient of the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights in 2009.
‘This gesture by the president of Nicaragua in some way reflects the values with which decisions are being made in Nicaragua,’ responded Chinchilla on Radio Monumental.
Chinchilla, meanwhile, is hoping that Congress will ratify a Free Trade Agreement with China this week. Signed in Peking in February 2010, the agreement is a major priority of Costa Rica’s executive branch.
Four suspected thieves have been lynched in a suburb of Guatemala City. After allegedly stealing a truck full of flour, the men were seized by a group of local residents. They were then beaten, dragged to a football field, and set on fire.
According to non-governmental organisation Mutual Support, 39 people died in lynchings in Guatemala last year, with many more left severely beaten and injured.
Police have used tear gas to disperse crowds protesting a reform in mining laws in Panama. The indigenous demonstrations, which were reported last week in Pulsamérica, have continued in the west of the country, with several protestors arrested or injured after the latest confrontations with the police.
Nicaraguan bean producers have lost all business with the United States, due to measures restricting the exportation of beans adopted by the Nicaraguan government. This is grave news for the industry, as the US was the principal market for their produce, especially red beans.