Brazil legalized same-sex civil partnerships this week, police smashed an international drugs ring, and a breakthrough in the Flight 447 investigation.
The Supreme Court voted unanimously on Thursday in favour of a motion to recognize same-sex unions, making Brazil the largest country yet to legalize civil partnerships for homosexuals.
The decision will allow these couples to enjoy all the same benefits as heterosexual married couples, including access to inheritances, pensions and health insurance.
Brazil joins a group of just 25 nations to recognize same-sex partnerships, and becomes just the sixth country in the region to do so. However, the decision stopped short of recognising gay marriage, which within Latin America is only legal in Argentina and Mexico City.
Also on Thursday, authorities announced that a Serbian-led drug-smuggling cartel operating out of several Brazilian ports had been destroyed following a series of raids that saw 47 individuals arrested and some 620 kilos of cocaine seized.
The organization, which saw drugs imported from Bolivia and smuggled on to Europe, is thought to have been led by Serbian national Goran Nesic, who is wanted in his home country after fleeing from an 8-year sentence for drug smuggling. Justice minister Snezana Malovic said that Serbia will seek the extradition of Nesic and his compatriot Dejan Stojanovic, who was also arrested.
Several members of the gang were caught in possession of large quantities of cocaine hidden inside cereal boxes.
Finally, there was further progress in the ongoing investigation in the crash of Air France Flight 447 on Friday as a second body was recovered from the wreck of the plane, which crashed in 2009 after taking off from Rio de Janeiro. A first body had been found on Thursday, both still strapped into their airline seats.
The second body was recovered from a depth of 3,900 meters, according to an announcement from the French Interior Ministry, which is spearheading the investigation. French forensics experts at the scene are working to determine whether it will be possible to identify the bodies using DNA tests.
The discovery of these two bodies follows last week’s initial breakthrough, as the plane’s two ‘black box’ flight recorders were recovered by unmanned submarine vehicles.