Archive for South America
The governments of Peru and Colombia have formally agreed to share embassy offices in Vietnam and Ghana, as part of ongoing efforts to promote integration in the Pacific Alliance bloc, which also includes Chile and Mexico. The agreement was signed by Peruvian Foreign Minister Eda Rivas and her Colombian counterpart Maria Angela Holguin, on the sidelines of a Pacific Alliance meeting in Mexico City. The accord paves the way for Peruvian embassy representation at the Colombian embassy in Ghana, while Colombia will be allowed to use Peru’s embassy in Vietnam.
Foreign Minister János Martonyi paid an official visit to Chile between January 5 and 7 and reopened the Hungarian embassy in Santiago de Chile. Martonyi also held talks with Chilean counterpart Alfredo Moreno Charme and expressed thanks for keeping the Chilean embassy in Budapest open despite the closing of the Hungarian one in Chile in 2009, a statement by the ministry said. Martonyi told Moreno that Hungary was paying increased attention to the Latin American region as part of its global opening and plans to strengthen cooperation with countries of the region in the areas of the economy, science and education.
Arson destroyed the Venezuelan Embassy and damaged offices used by the Organization of American States in St. Kitts and Nevis in what the prime minister of the small Caribbean nation said Monday was a politically motivated attack. The fires at the buildings in Bassettere, on the island of St. Kitts, burned in pre-dawn darkness of Sunday. Authorities responded to the fire at the OAS offices around midnight, and were called out to the nearby embassy several hours later. The Venezuelan Embassy was reduced to charred rubble while the OAS office sustained only minor damage. No one was injured in either fire. Police Inspector Lyndon David said two men, whose names were not released, were in custody but had not been charged. He said there was no evidence to suggest a motive. But Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said the fires occurred after a political demonstration by allies of the opposition Unity Party and he blamed them for what he called “extreme political tactics” aimed at destabilizing the government. St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of Petrocaribe, the agreement that allows developing nations to buy Venezuelan oil under preferential terms, but relations with the South American country are not a major point of contention in local politics.
An Israeli official denied accusations that Israel killed most of the perpetrators responsible for the terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires 20 years ago, Israel Radio reported on Friday. He said that ex-Israeli envoy to Argentina Itzhak Aviran was “completely disconnected from the reality in Israel.” He added that “there is no truth in the accusation and no need to give it any importance.” Aviran alleged on Thursday that Israel was responsible for killing terrorists who carried out the deadly attacks on the Israeli embassy and on the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires. “The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” Aviran told the Buenos Aires-based AJN Jewish news agency, according to AFP.
Israel has killed most of the perpetrators responsible for the deadly attacks on its embassy and on the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, former Israeli ambassador to Argentina Itzhak Aviran said. “The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” Aviran told the Buenos Aires-based AJN Jewish news agency, according to AFP. In March 1992, a car bombing in front of the Israeli embassy in the Argentine capital killed 29 people and wounded 200 others. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for this attack. Two years later, in July 1994, a bombing at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and injured 300. Argentina suspects Iran is behind both bombings. Aviran, who was Israel’s ambassador to the country from 1993-2000, accused the Argentinian government of not doing enough “to get to the bottom of this tragedy.” Eight Iranians, including former defense minister Ahmad Vahidi and ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were charged in an Argentina court over the AMIA bombings and authorities have issued Interpol warrants demanding the extradition of five Iranians and a Lebanese. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also been linked to the AMIA bombing. He was reportedly on the special Iranian government committee led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that plotted the attack, according to an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case. Iran, who repeatedly denied connection to the attack, offered to set up a “truth committee” with Argentina to investigate the AMIA bombing.
Panama has recalled its ambassador to Ecuador Noriel Acosta over that country’s delay in releasing the Panamanian vessel Doria, which was detained in the South American country in October. Panama complained about the delay in the return of the vessel, which was seized in international waters. The Panama’s officials stated that Ecuador had pledged to release of the ship, but it has not yet been done. The boat was intercepted in international waters on October 13 by the Ecuador navy, which found 799 kilos of drugs on board. It arrested the five crew members on board as well.
A maid sacked by the Peruvian embassy in Canberra is facing possible deportation amid claims she was mistreated by her employer. The woman will be in breach of her visa conditions from Sunday. Maria Nelida Paz Mori has complained to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but the embassy has described as baseless the allegations she has made. Ms Paz Mori, speaking through an interpreter, said she had been denied food, medical aid and had never been paid her superannuation contributions, which she said totalled tens of thousands of dollars. Ms Paz Mori, 65, who had worked at the embassy since 2007 and has poor literacy skills, said, when she complained, staff tried to get her to sign documents without reading them, then fired her without notice and threatened her with deportation. ”They said they cared for me and they didn’t want that [deportation] to happen so they tried to give me a cheque for almost $2500 and a plane ticket and $50 cash for the taxi,” she said. She said she had been unfairly accused of stealing from the embassy and had her integrity attacked. Peruvian embassy charge d’affaires Franklin Rojas rejected the allegations and stood by the accusation that Ms Mori had stolen from the embassy. Mr Rojas said no money was outstanding and her claim for more than $90,000 appeared to be wrongly based on Australian pay conditions and a promotion that was never granted. DFAT said it was aware of the situation but it would be inappropriate for the Australian government to comment.
Brazilian mom says she and her daughter want to leave Norway because child welfare authorities allege the 3-year-old girl is not being fed in a “normal” way. Vitoria Alves Jesumary and her daughter Sofia sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Oslo last week and say they won’t leave until Norway guarantees they can return to Brazil unhindered. Child welfare officials became involved with the family during Jesumary’s divorce proceeding from her husband, a Norwegian of Chilean descent. The father says he also wants his ex-wife and daughter to be able to leave Norway. Francisco Chagas Catunda Resende, a spokesman for the embassy, said embassy staff believed it was in “the best interests of the child” that she and her mother be allowed to go back to Brazil.
Venezuela’s embassy in Kenya used diplomatic bags to smuggle drugs, a witness in a trial over the murder of the mission’s ambassador told a Nairobi court. “I am aware that the embassy was used to traffic drugs using the diplomatic bag,” former embassy driver Kevin Lameck told the court in the Kenyan capital. Venezuelqn acting ambassador Olga Fonseca Gimenez, 57, was found strangled in her upmarket Nairobi home in July 2012. Dwight Sagaray, who was serving as first secretary at the embassy, is one of five people who appeared in court charged with Fonseca’s murder. Sagaray, understood to have been in charge of the embassy in the weeks before the murder, has been released on bail on condition he remains in Kenya. All the accused have denied the charges. The trial continues on April 2, 2014.
Colombia has recalled its ambassador to Nicaragua for consultations over an ongoing territorial dispute that a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in favor of the Central American country has failed to resolve, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said Wednesday. “We have decided to call our ambassador, Luz Stella Jara, who should be arriving tomorrow, so she can report on why it is impossible to have a dialogue with Nicaragua,” Holguin told a press conference. The ICJ affirmed last year that a series of islands strategic for fishing, the San Andres archipelago, belong to Colombia, but at the same time extended Nicaragua’s jurisdiction in the Caribbean waters, angering the South American country. Colombia has refused to abide by the decision, saying its borders must be set by treaties and not by court verdicts, leading Nicaragua to present a new lawsuit at the ICJ Tuesday. Nicaragua’s most recent suit demands Colombia respect the initial ICJ ruling, which gives it rights over 75,000 square kilometers of formerly Colombian waters. On Nov. 27, 2012, Colombia withdrew from the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Pact of Bogota), under which it recognized the jurisdiction of the international court. However, its withdrawal didn’t go into effect until Wednesday.