Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South America

Newsline: Body found in Trinidad and Tobago may be El Salvador embassy worker’s

The body of a man was found in bushes on Warren Road, Cunupia in a Toyota Fortuner SUV. While police have not confirmed an identity as yet, they believe the dead man could be Jose Tito Rivas, an El Salvador Embassy driver. Cunupia police got a report yesterday, at around 9 am, about a car found on the road near some bushes. When they checked, they found the body wrapped in a sheet in the car. The car, which had the registration number PCM 321, is said to be registered to the El Salvador Embassy, where Rivas worked. Rivas was also reported missing, and was last seen in St James according to police. Calls to the embassy went to voice mail.



Newsline: Turkey to Open Embassy in Paraguay Amid Crisis With Israel

Turkey will open an embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay, the South American country said, a day after President Mario Abdo reversed the previous administration’s decision to move its diplomatic mission in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Turkey’s ambassador to Paraguay has been operating out of Buenos Aires. Turkey has a consulate in Asuncion and another in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. By opening the embassy, Turkey is expressing support for Paraguay’s stance on Israel, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni told reporters. Paraguay and Guatemala relocated their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as the country’s capital in December. Hours after Paraguay’s new government announced on Wednesday it would move its embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, Israel responded by ordering the closure of its embassy in Paraguay. Most countries do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem, arguing that peace talks should determine the city’s final status. Paraguay cited this as one reason to move its embassy back to Tel Aviv.


Newsline: Paraguay backtracks months after moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem

Four months after moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Paraguay announced on Wednesday that it would reverse its decision and move its diplomatic mission back to Tel Aviv. The move comes weeks after Mario Abdo assumed office as the new president of Paraguay, replacing Horacio Cartes who had attended the inauguration ceremony for the Jerusalem embassy in May. Although Abdo and Cartes both belong to the ruling Colorado party, the conservative political movement is deeply divided. The Israeli government promptly responded by recalling its ambassador to Paraguay and shutting down its embassy in the South American country. “Israel views with great severity the exceptional decision of Paraguay that will cloud relations between the two countries,” a statement by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs read. Paraguay had been the third country after the United States and Guatemala to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a controversial move seen by critics as recognition of the holy city as the exclusive capital of Israel.


Newsline: Former Uruguay diplomat admitted stabbing neighbour

A former Uruguay diplomat has admitted stabbing an LGBT rights campaigner to death following a “long-standing” dispute between the two neighbours. Enrique Facelli, 49, attacked Julian Aubrey at his flat in West Kensington, west London, in October last year. Facelli was due to go on trial but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at a hearing at the Old Bailey. Judge Anthony Leonard QC handed him a hospital order without limit of time. Mr Aubrey, 55, was formerly co-chairman of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea LGBT liaison group and had been recognised by the Princess Royal for his work counselling victims of sexual abuse. Tradesmen discovered him lying in the hallway of his flat with 22 stab wounds, the court heard. He was pronounced dead at the scene in Shaftesbury Place, on Warwick Road, on 30 October 2017. Prosecutor Tom Little QC said the killing followed “many years of allegations and counter-allegations between the neighbours”. He said these had escalated to a point where Facelli showed “extreme signs of paranoia” and had claimed his victim had “studied the dark arts” and was a devil worshipper. In mitigation, Patrick Gibbs QC said Facelli had been an intelligent individual who spent 18 years working as the cultural attaché for the embassy of Uruguay in London.


Newsline: Brazil presidential front-runner vows to close Palestine’s embassy

Brazil’s front-running presidential candidate has announced he will close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia in addition to moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Jair Bolsonaro, a lawmaker from the Social Liberal Party, declared on Tuesday when the National Congress reopened after a three-week recess. “You do not negotiate with terrorists,” he added. He particularly slammed the fact that Palestinian Authority diplomatic representation is located less than two miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Planalto Palace, Brazil’s government headquarters.


Newsline: Ecuador President Says Assange Must Eventually Leave London Embassy

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Friday that Julian Assange should eventually leave the country’s embassy in London where he has been living since 2012. “It is even a violation of human rights for a person to remain too long in isolation,” Moreno said at a briefing in Madrid. At the same time, Theresa May’s office said later that the discussion of the Assange case still continued as the issue hadn’t been raised during Moreno’s visit to the UK. Media have been speculating for months now that Ecuador was preparing to withdraw asylum for the world’s most wanted whistleblower after then-Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated that her government and the UK had “the intention and the interest that this be solved.”


Newsline: Brazil recalls ambassador in Nicaragua after death of Brazilian

Brazil condemned the violence against anti-government protesters in Nicaragua and recalled its ambassador in Managua after the death of a Brazilian student. Raynéia Gabrielle Lima, a medical student at the American University in Managua, was killed by gunshots in unclear circumstances on Monday, a Brazilian foreign ministry statement said. “The Nicaraguan ambassador was called in to give an explanation and our ambassador has been recalled from Managua,” a ministry spokesperson said.