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Archive for Uruguay

Newsline: Ex-Peru president ensnared in bribe scandal leaves embassy refuge

Alan Garcia, a former president of Peru embroiled in a corruption scandal, left the embassy of Uruguay in Lima on Monday after his request for political asylum was rejected, officials said. “To put it simply, we have not granted the request for asylum,” Uruguay’s President Tabare Vazquez told a press conference in Montevideo. Vazquez said his government took the decision after reviewing Garcia’s request and documentation submitted by the Peruvian government. Peru’s Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio told the RPP radio station in Lima that he had been informed by the Uruguayan ambassador that Garcia had left the embassy. The 69-year-old Garcia took refuge in the Uruguayan embassy on November 17 after a Peruvian court investigating bribes allegedly paid by Brazilian contractor Odebrecht barred the former president from leaving the country. Garcia, a social democrat who served two separate terms as president, maintained he was the target of political persecution, a charge denied by Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra.


Newsline: Peru ex-President Garcia seeks asylum in Uruguayan embassy

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia entered the Uruguayan embassy and applied for asylum, hours after being banned from leaving the country while under investigation for corruption, the Peruvian foreign ministry said. Garcia entered the embassy and home of the Uruguayan ambassador in a residential Lima neighborhood on Saturday night and requested asylum, according to a statement from the foreign ministry. Garcia “has requested asylum from that country, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum of 1954, of which Peru and Uruguay are parties,” the foreign ministry said, adding the request “should be evaluated by the government of Uruguay.” Officials at the Uruguayan embassy did not immediately respond to request for comment. Garcia’s asylum request came hours after a judge ruled on Saturday to prohibit the ex-president from leaving the country for 18 months while under investigation for bribes allegedly received during the construction of an electric train in Lima by Brazilian company Odebrecht. Garcia, who mostly resides in Spain, arrived in Lima on Thursday to testify in the case before a prosecutor, who postponed the hearing and requested the former president be barred from leaving. Garcia held Peru’s presidency twice, from 1985-1990 and again from 2006-2011. It is the second time that Garcia, 69, has sought asylum in a South American country while facing corruption charges. In 1992, Garcia applied for asylum in the Colombian embassy in Lima, while he was being investigated for corruption and illicit enrichment during his first term as president.


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: Uruguay’s top diplomat slams US request to expel Russian diplomats as improper

Washington’s request that other countries also expel Russian diplomats is improper, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said. “I did not take this request well, I said it was improper and it should not have been made,” the top diplomat said as cited by the El Pais newspaper. “Uruguay is an independent country and determines its relations with the world itself,” Nin Novoa added. In late March, US President Donald Trump called on leaders of other countries to join Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats.


Newsline: Uruguay’s Inmate Tapped Into U.S. Ambassador’s Phone

Uruguayan inmate tapped into the United States ambassador’s cellphone and tried to commit fraud, the authorities said. Officials said the inmate got Ambassador Julissa Reynoso’s voicemail password. “He got access to some messages left by some of my friends. And he was able to — I don’t know how — send certain messages from prison to some of my contacts,” Ms. Reynoso told Uruguay’s Canal 10 TV. FM Gente radio in Maldonado first reported the tapping, saying the police discovered it while investigating the inmate for other fraud.


Newsline: Venezuelan Specialists Deactivate Bomb at Uruguayan Embassy in Caracas

The Uruguayan government announced the deactivation of an explosive device planted in its embassy building in Venezuela, and said that the case, which came eight days before the Venezuelan elections, is under investigation by the authorities. The bomb was discovered in the garden of the building housing the Uruguayan Embassy, the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry said in a communique. The device, “which did not explode, was removed by Venezuelan police,” who proceeded to disarm it and who are currently “investigating the case,” he said. “There was no personal or material damage” at the Uruguayan diplomatic mission, he said. The Uruguayan Embassy in Caracas “sent a note” to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry about what happened and “remains in contact with the corresponding authorities,” the communique said.


Newsline: Latin American states recall ambassadors from Paraguay

Paraguay faced increasing regional isolation on Monday after several of its neighbors said over the weekend they were pulling their ambassadors out of the country in the wake of the president’s impeachment, the CNN reports. Chile and Venezuela recalled their ambassadors Sunday, hours after Brazil and Uruguay — two of Paraguay’s most important neighbors — did the same. Argentina recalled its ambassador on Saturday. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also said his country is halting all shipments to Paraguay. The moves follow the lightning-quick removal from office of the president, Fernando Lugo, on Friday. The impeachment procedures appear to have been carried out in accordance with the Paraguayan constitution, but some Latin American presidents called it a coup d’etat and refused to recognize the new president, Federico Franco


Newsline: US diplomat accuses Uruguay major of assault

An Uruguayan official says a U.S. embassy official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has accused an Uruguayan army major stationed in the country with assault. The South American country has sent more than a thousand troops to Congo as part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission. Uruguayan Col. Mario Stevenazzi says the United Nations and the Uruguayan government are investigating the alleged assault, which he says doesn’t appear to be sexual in nature. Stevenazzi didn’t identify either the Uruguayan army major or the female U.S. embassy official involved in the alleged assault, which occurred at least two weeks ago. Uruguayan soldiers serving in another U.N. force in Haiti are also being investigated for an alleged assault involving a young Haitian man.


Newsline: Uruguay condemns Iranian diplomat’s Holocaust denial

Uruguay has condemned statements denying the Holocaust made byIran’s ambassador to the country. The country’s Foreign Ministry called in an official from the Iranian Embassy to condemn the statements. The ministry also released a statement calling the Holocaust an “undeniable historic event.” Irani Ambassador Hojatollah Soltani had said during a public meeting that “World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945. It is said that during that war the Nazis killed 2 million, 4 million, 6 million … there are different figures on the Jews’ news. This was named a ‘Holocaust,’ and Israel is using this issue to present itself to the world as a victim, and asking for economic and political support from some countries in Europe.” During the question-and-answer portion of the program, Soltani said that “Maybe some people died, some were murdered, I don’t know, maybe thousands of Jews. But that figure of 2 million, 4 million, 6 million, that is a lie according to some European historians who have submitted documents.” Soltani also called Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians the current Holocaust. Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro told the Irani embassy official that Jewish Holocaust survivors still live in Uruguay. He also said that diplomatic and trade relations with Iran would not change over the incident, according to the WJC.