• Argentina moves to local trustee for bonds

    Updated: 41 min ago

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina deposited a $161 million bond interest payment with a newly appointed local trustee on Tuesday in defiance of a U.S. judge who held it in contempt a day earlier for attempting illegal moves to service its debt. The Economy Ministry said the coupon payment on its foreign law Par bonds was deposited into two accounts of the state-run Nacion Fideicomisos S.A. The new trustee replaces The Bank of New York Mellon, which was removed by the government. The move aims to prove that Argentina can meet its debt locally and sidestep a U.S. court ruling that recently pushed it into its second default in 13 years.

  • Panama inaugurates Frank Gehry-designed museum

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PANAMA CITY (AP) — After years of delays, Panama has inaugurated a museum designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that officials hope will become a cultural landmark and symbolize the country's recent economic ascent. The Biomuseo at the Pacific Ocean gateway to the Panama Canal celebrates the isthmus' history not as a crossroads of trade but as one of the world's most-diverse ecosystems, with more bird, mammal and reptile species than the United States and Canada combined. The museum's eight galleries trace Panama's natural history dating back to its geological formation 3 million years ago. The Los Angeles-based architect is married to a Panamanian and chose his wife's homeland for his first design in Latin Amer

  • Imprisoned Dutch killer Van der Sloot now a father

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LIMA, Peru (AP) — Imprisoned Dutch killer Joran van der Sloot is now a father. Van der Sloot attorney Maximo Altez says the girl was born Sunday in Lima, Peru — far from the remote prison where van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for killing a Peruvian business student in 2010. He also remains the chief suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba Altez says the child is named Dushy after van der Sloot's grandmother. Van der Sloot married 24-year-old Leidy Figueroa in July. A month later, authorities sent him to a prison high in the Andes, saying he had threatened to kill the warden of the lockup near Lima.

  • Mexico says 14 of 57 missing students found

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A government official in southern Mexico says 14 of the 57 students reported missing after weekend shootings have been located. The head of the governmental human rights commission in Guerrero state said Tuesday some of the students had fled the shooting, and some said they had been detained by police and released. Commissioner Ramon Navarrete said there were high hopes of finding the remaining students from a public teachers' college. Police opened fire on buses that had been hijacked by the students over the weekend, killing six and wounding 25. Twenty-two police officers from the city of Iguala were detained for the shootings. Three of the dead were students.

  • Mexican's 'Harry Potter' hoard is world's biggest

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexico City man is in Hogwarts heaven after his collection of "Harry Potter" memorabilia was named the world's largest. Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has spent nearly 15 years hoarding all things related to British author J.K. Rowling's young-adult wizard-fantasy series, which spawned eight blockbuster films. His collection fills two rooms and counts everything from magic wands and toy figurines to Gryffindor scarves and replica Quidditch brooms. Guinness World Records officially recognized it Monday as the world No. 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807. Silva Vargas said he began with no intent to amass a huge collection. But soon it was like being under a spell.

  • Convicted priest says El Salvador backed gang work

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — Those who love Antonio Rodriguez know him affectionately as "Father Tony," the Roman Catholic priest who spent 15 years working in El Salvador's roughest neighborhoods to get vulnerable young men out of a gang lifestyle that often ends in death. Others say he got too close to the gangs that plague the Central American nation, helping hardened inmates get special treatment and potentially enabling their prison extortion rackets. The detractors use a different nickname: The "gangster priest." Salvadoran authorities convicted Rodriguez of criminal association and other charges this month before immediately freeing him under a plea deal. The priest says he acted with the government's blessing, and was made a scape

  • Mexico detains 5 in suspected oil theft ring

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico says it has nabbed five suspected members of a ring believed to have stolen over 1 million gallons (4 million liters) of oil per month in a northeastern state. The Attorney General's office says the suspects include the head of a company that since 2011 has had a $370,000-a-month transportation concession with state oil firm Pemex. The company was identified Monday as Petro Bajio. It allegedly paid criminals in Tamaulipas state to steal crude from at least two pipelines. The oil was allegedly then resold to paper companies, metal foundries and tequila producers. Authorities seized several tanker trucks.

  • Anti-gay remarks at debate spark anger in Brazil

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    SAO PAULO (AP) — A minor character in Brazil's election race faced a firestorm of criticism on Monday after saying during a presidential debate that the country needs to stand up against gay people who should receive psychological help far away from the general population. The comments by presidential candidate Levy Fidelix, who has the support of less than 1 percent of potential voters, drew no reaction from the leading candidates during the nationally televised debate late Sunday. But online and on social media tens of thousands of people denounced Fidelix as homophobic and hateful. "It was so absurd and so grotesque.

  • Mexico official suspended after Hurricane Odile

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican official in Baja California Sur has been suspended amid reports linking him to possible looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Odile. A statement from the government of Los Cabos says the civil protection coordinator for Cabo San Lucas has been removed pending the outcome of his "legal situation" before prosecutors. It said Monday that the move does not prejudge his guilt or innocence. Many stores in Los Cabos had their shelves emptied in the days after the hurricane hit earlier this month, as power, water and telephone service remained out. Mexican media reported that a number of possibly ill-gotten items were found at the official's home, including a motorcycle, six tires, two sandw

  • Mexico seeks 57 missing after weekend violence

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities are searching for 57 students reported missing in a southern state after weekend violence that resulted in at least six deaths and 25 wounded. Guerrero state prosecutor Inaky Blanco says military and state authorities are looking for the students from the Ayotzinapa Superior normal school. Blanco said Monday that 22 police from the city of Iguala have been detained in connection with the incidents. The violence on Friday night and Saturday began when police clashed with students who had seized three buses. Gunmen later fired shots on a highway, striking at least two taxis and a bus carrying a local soccer team.

  • Costa Rica nabs 1,600 pounds of cocaine in 2 busts

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Rican authorities say they have seized about 1,600 pounds (724 kilograms) of cocaine in two recent busts. The Public Security Ministry said Monday that the first bust yielded 690 pounds (313 kilograms). It was detected Saturday with the help of a sniffer dog inside a tractor-trailer loaded with beans that was preparing to cross the northern border into Nicaragua. The truck had Nicaraguan plates. Authorities detained the driver, who was identified as a Nicaraguan citizen. The second seizure of some 910 pounds (411 kilograms) hidden in coolers on a fishing boat came off Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast. Authorities credited the bust to a joint patrolling agreement between Costa Rica

  • Man frees hostage held for hours at Brazil hotel

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian hotel was evacuated in the capital of Brasilia on Monday after a man took hostage an employee who was held for hours before he was safely released to police. Firefighters and police cordoned off the area and about 300 guests and other employees left the hotel — some reportedly told to leave by the man who took the employee hostage. Live television images on Monday showed the man with what appeared to be a gun, parading the hostage out onto the balcony of a room on the 13th floor of the Saint Peter Hotel. The hostage was handcuffed for hours and wearing what appeared to be an explosive vest.

  • Mexico manhunt after politician slain in Acapulco

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Mexican investigators are looking for at least three suspects in the weekend killing of a regional political leader at a historic Acapulco hotel. Braulio Zaragoza Maganda was the National Action Party's secretary general in Guerrero state. Prosecutors' official Candido Joel Zamudio says several men entered a restaurant in the Mirador hotel Sunday. At least one of them shot Zaragoza Maganda three times as he was eating with family. The Mirador is famous for its views of daredevil cliff-diving displays put on for tourists.

  • UN calls for probe in Mexico army slaying of 22

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A U.N. special rapporteur for human rights called Monday for the Mexican government to conduct a thorough probe of an army killing of 22 suspected gang members as a possible case of "summary executions." Christof Heyns, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, applauded the detention of seven soldiers and an officer last week in the June 30 incident in San Pedro Limon in southern rural Mexico. The army initially reported that the 22 died in a fierce shootout with soldiers. But The Associated Press reported no evidence of a shootout at the scene, and bullet holes and blood stains indicated some were shot against a wall a close range. A witness later told the AP that 21 were ki

  • 11 killed in cartel clash in Mexican border state

    Updated: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua say 11 people died in a confrontation between rival cartels fighting for control of turf in the Tarahumara mountain range. The state's Attorney General's Office said Sunday in a statement that the fighting took place on Friday in the municipality of Guachochi. At the scene, officials found more than 1,000 bullet casings and four burned SUVs. The statement said no Mexican security forces took part in the fighting. The isolated mountain region, which is home to the Tarahumara indigenous group, has been affected in recent years by drug violence, as the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels fight for control of the northern area.

  • 22 police held following southern Mexico violence

    Updated: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Authorities said Sunday that 22 local police have been arrested following the deaths of six people in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Unidentified gunman and numerous officers were involved in several violent incidents that killed six people late Friday and early Saturday in Iguala, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Mexico City. State Attorney General Inaki Blanco Cabrera said that three students were killed in two separate incidents. Another three people died in an attack on a bus — a minor who belonged to a soccer team, a woman and the bus driver. The violence began when police clashed with students from a teachers college who had seized three buses.

  • Authorities say 8 killed in Peru quake

    Updated: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    LIMA, Peru (AP) — A shallow, 4.9-magnitude earthquake killed at least eight people whose crudely constructed homes collapsed in a remote Andean village near Cuzco, a Peruvian civil defense official said Sunday. The moderate quake struck Saturday night at a depth of just 5 miles (8 kilometers) and affected the village of Misca, as well as the nearby communities of Cusibamba Bajo, Cajay, Canopato, Mollejcato, Muyoc and Toray in the province of Paruro in Cuzco region. Peruvian Civil Defense released a statement saying that 45 adobe-and-stone houses collapsed and 70 more homes were cracked and left uninhabitable by the earthquake. Peru's government declared a 90-day state of emergency in the area.

  • Night of violence in Mexico town leaves 6 dead

    Updated: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Mexican officials say six people were killed in a series of violent incidents in a town in Guerrero, a southwestern state known for social unrest and drug violence. State Attorney General Inaki Blanco Cabrera says the violence happened late Friday and early Saturday in Iguala, which is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Mexico City. He says the first incident involved a clash between police and radical students from a teachers college who had seized buses for a protest. He says police gunfire killed two protesters. Blanco Cabrera says unidentified armed men later shot at vehicles on the main highway and killed two adults and a minor on a bus. The sixth victim was found Saturday mor

  • Venezuelans gather signatures against Maduro

    Updated: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Hard-line opponents of President Nicolas Maduro began collecting signatures Saturday seeking to force a constitutional assembly and remove the socialist leader before presidential elections in 2019. Analysts consider the petition campaign launched in Caracas by the Popular Will party led by jailed activist Leopoldo Lopez to be a long shot. Gathering and verifying signatures from 15 percent of registered voters, or nearly 3 million people, would be a logistical nightmare in any country. But in deeply polarized Venezuela, where loyalists dominate government institutions and the courts, opponents of Maduro fear the National Electoral Council would find a way to invalidate signatures and expose them to

  • Leader of Mexico's 1968 student protests dies

    Updated: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Raul Alvarez Garin, a leader in the 1968 student uprising that culminated in the massacre of protesters in Mexico City, has died at age 73. Alvarez Garin died Friday in the capital after a yearlong battle with cancer, according to a Facebook statement posted by the Committee of the '68 Pro Democratic Liberties. He founded the group to demand punishment for those responsible for the massacre. Alvarez Garin, a university professor, was one of the most recognized leaders of Mexico's leftist student movement that was deflated when soldiers opened fire on protesters at Tlatelolco Plaza on Oct. 2, 1968. An unknown number of people were killed.