The latest in Latin American politics today: Colombia’s Petro swaps out top cop in surprise decision
BOGOTA – Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro has removed general Henry Armando Sanabria as head of the country’s national police, he said in a message via Twitter. Petro thanked Sanabria for his service but the decision follows criticism leveled at the former top cop for making his conservative religious views public, as well as for comments in a recent interview where he suggested high incidents of HIV in Colombia’s police were linked to its large LGBTIQ community.
Sanabria will be replaced by William Salamanca, a retired general who will rejoin the force. Iran oil minister visits Venezuela in relations boost
CARACAS – Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji arrived in Venezuela on a visit meant to “strengthen energy relations,” the South American country’s foreign ministry said. The trip will include visits to the facilities of state oil company PDVSA, as well as meetings with Venezuelan authorities, the foreign ministry added in a statement.
Owji has already met with his Venezuelan counterpart Pedro Tellechea, who also heads PDVSA, a source at the firm told Reuters. He also plans to visit the El Palito refinery on Venezuela’s north-central coast, the source added. Tehran has strengthened ties with Caracas in recent years, providing crude and raw materials for Venezuela’s aging refining network, as well as overseeing a project to modernize the largest refining complex in the country.
Japan’s foreign minister to visit Latam, Caribbean countries ahead of G7 summit TOKYO – Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is planning to visit Paraguay, Peru, Chile and Barbados in the build-up to May’s Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, Kyodo news agency reported.
The planned visits come at a time when China is strengthening its influence in South America through investment and other means, Kyodo said. Mexico launches anti-trafficking commission ahead of meeting with US, Canadian officials
MEXICO CITY – Mexico created a presidential commission to fight the trafficking of synthetic drugs, firearms and ammunition, a move that comes as officials travel to Washington to meet with their U.S. and Canadian counterparts to tackle the issue. The commission, headed largely by members of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s cabinet, is meant to battle trafficking in compliance with international agreements, according to a decree published in the federal gazette.
Prosecutors probe Mexico immigration chief over migrant deaths, president says MEXICO CITY – The head of Mexico’s immigration agency, Francisco Garduno, is under investigation over a deadly fire last month at a migrant detention center in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.
The Mexican attorney general’s office previously said it had launched a probe against the heads of the immigration authority, without giving their full names. (Compiled by Steven Grattan and Kylie Madry; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Diane Craft)
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