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Colombia launches 'elite force' to hunt rebels, drug gangs

Apo - Colombia on Friday launched a 7,000-strong elite force to fight rebels financed by drug trafficking and other illegal activities, and which allegedly operate across borders.

Venezuela's Maduro vows tough response to Colombian commando unit

Apo - Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro vowed Wednesday to "respond forcefully" to neighbor Colombia's creation of a commando unit to fight rebels and drug traffickers Bogota claims are seeking refuge in his country.

Colombia to launch commando unit tackling Venezuela-based rebels

Apo - Colombia President Ivan Duque announced on Monday the creation of a new elite commando unit to fight Marxist rebels and drug-traffickers that seek refuge in neighboring Venezuela.

Venezuela's new taxi drivers: moonlighting soldiers

San Crist - In crisis-hit Venezuela, even soldiers are struggling to make ends meet on meager salaries rendered practically worthless by the highest inflation in the world and have taken to moonlighting -- as taxi drivers.

Ex-defense chief's arrest hits US-Mexican ties

Mexico - The United States's shock arrest earlier this month of a former Mexican defense minister on drug trafficking charges has triggered a diplomatic row that experts say could jeopardize the countries' cooperation in fighting powerful cartels.

Bolivia's Morales calls for calm after protesters demand junta

La Paz - Exiled former Bolivian president Evo Morales called for calm on Tuesday after several hundred right-wing protesters demanded that a "military junta" replace socialist president-elect Luis Arce.

Maduro shuffles military high command

Caracas - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has shuffled his military high command but Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, a general, kept his post.

Venezuela calls US warship presence 'a provocation'

Caracas - Venezuela accused the United States on Wednesday of "an act of provocation" after a US warship steamed close to the South American country's territorial waters the day before.

How will US bounty affect Maduro's hold on Venezuelan power?

Caracas - The United States ramped up the pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this week by accusing him of "narco-terrorism" and offering a $15 million bounty for information leading to his capture.

Bolsonaro pardons Brazil security forces convicted of unintentional crimes

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil's far right President Jair Bolsonaro has used his first Christmas pardon to excuse members of the police and military convicted of unintentional crimes during lethal operations.

Crashed Chile plane had emergency in 2016: Air Force

Punta Arenas - The Chilean Hercules C-130 plane that crashed on its way to Antarctica, killing all 38 people on board, suffered an emergency three years ago on the same route, the Air Force said Saturday.

Protesters seize state-run media in Bolivia as tensions soar

La Paz - Opposition demonstrators in Bolivia overran two state-run media outlets and forced them off the air Saturday and some police stopped guarding the square where President Evo Morales' palace is located, as tensions remained high after a disputed election...

Student killed as pressure mounts in Bolivia protests

La Paz - A student was killed in Bolivian protests Wednesday amid increasing pressure on President Evo Morales to resign over opposition claims that he rigged his recent re-election.

Bolivia leader warns of bloodshed as opponents vow to oust him

La Paz - Bolivia's government accused its rivals Sunday of plotting deadly violence against it after an opposition figure vowed to oust leftist President Evo Morales and called for the military's support.

Bolivia opposition figure calls on military in election crisis

La Paz - Tension rose in Bolivia's election crisis on Sunday after an opposition figure called on the military to take "the side of the people" and vowed to oust leftist President Evo Morales.

Venezuela hits out at US 'spy plane' incursion

Caracas - Venezuela claimed on Monday that a US "spy plane" had entered its airspace, just days after Washington accused a Venezuelan fighter jet of "aggressively" shadowing an American intelligence plane over the Caribbean Sea.

Mexican police protest president's National Guard plan

Mexico - Hundreds of federal police blocked roads and protested in Mexico City Wednesday against President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's plan to merge them into his new National Guard.

Mexico inaugurates its new National Guard force

Mexico - President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday formally inaugurated the National Guard, a militarized police force aimed at cracking down on the country's growing crime rate and securing its borders.

Guaido says no new talks planned on Venezuela crisis

Caracas - Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido said Friday that Norway's effort to mediate in the standoff with the government of President Nicolas Maduro had stalled and no new talks were planned.

Colombian army to reword controversial policy on kill orders

Apo - Colombia's army announced it would modify instructions given to troops following an article in the New York Times that claimed a new policy could result in a greater number of civilians being killed in the battle against criminals and militants.

Guaido blasts Venezuela regime after security forces block congress

Caracas - Juan Guaido accused the Venezuelan government of trying to "gag" congress after security forces prevented opposition lawmakers from entering the National Assembly on Tuesday, two weeks after the opposition leader's failed uprising against President Nic...

Venezuelan lawmakers accuse security services of 'intimidation'

Caracas - Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela on Tuesday accused the government of trying to intimidate them by keeping them out of the legislature building before a planned session on the prosecution of legislators that backed a failed uprising against President ...

Brazil president says Venezuela´s Guaido has not been defeated

Bras - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido was not defeated in his attempt to overthrow the leftist regime of Nicolas Maduro, saying a "crack" has been opened that could bring down the government.

Rage, hope as Venezuelan soldiers join anti-Maduro protests

Caracas - Smoke and tear gas filled the air outside the military base in Caracas, where crowds chanting "Free Venezuela" flocked to embrace the band of soldiers who joined Juan Guaido's bid to oust President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday.

Peruvian ex-soldiers accused of 'systematic' rape

- A Peruvian judge said Wednesday that soldiers had committed crimes against humanity by "systematically" raping nine female farmers between 1984 and 1995 during the conflict with the Shining Path guerrillas.

Military desertion of Maduro slow but hopes high

Caracas - The more than 300 soldiers to have deserted Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro since Saturday may be only a drop in the ocean but little by little the foundations of the socialist regime are coming apart, analysts say.

Chaos turns to uncertainty at Venezuela border

Ure - Bloody violence may have subsided for now at Venezuela's blockaded border, but for local people, terror has turned to anxiety about how they will reach the schools and shops they depend on.

'They shot at us,' say injured Venezuela protesters

Ure - Edinson Cisneros gasped and wheezed as he tried to talk -- he was one of the protesters struck by rubber buckshot fired by Venezuelan security forces breaking up border demos demanding the entry of emergency aid from Colombia.

Venezuela govt announces concert to counter Branson's charity one

Caracas - Venezuela's government said Monday it will stage a concert on the Colombian border the same day Richard Branson has said he will hold one just over the frontier to push for aid to be allowed in.

Trump tells Venezuela military to back Guaido or 'lose everything'

Miami - US President Donald Trump on Monday urged Venezuela's military to accept opposition leader Juan Guaido's amnesty offer, or stand to "lose everything," as a crisis deepened over President Nicolas Maduro's refusal to let in desperately needed humanitaria...
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