Latin Pulse Headlines - 02/19/16


Pope Francis Concludes Mexico Trip

Pope Francis concluded his trip across Mexico after a week of bold statements and a public scolding. His talks focused on rejecting temptation and the drug trade. He called on governments to be more accepting of refugees and migrants, and condemned church corruption.

The Pope held an open-air mass near the U.S. border in Juarez, where more than 200,000 people attended. The mass was televised to thousands more watching in the Sun Bowl across the border in El Paso, Texas.

With Latin America still on the mind on his flight back home, the Pope told reporters contraception should be used to prevent the spread of Zika virus. Although the Catholic church typically stands against any form of birth control, Francis said there is precedent for such exceptions. He said he clearly distinguishes between contraception and abortion, and there are no exceptions to allow abortion.

Obama to Visit Cuba

U.S. President Barack Obama announced he will visit Cuba next month. He will be the first U.S. president to visit the island in the past 88 years.
Obama said he wants to make the trip to explore business opportunities and improve relations between the two countries.

Despite Obama’s unsuccessful call to Congress to lift the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, the U.S. and Cuba recently assigned an agreement to allow direct flights between the two countries. These commercial flights could begin taking off as early as September of this year.

‘El Chapo’ Complains About Sleepless Nights

Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman complained this week about not getting enough sleep in prison. One of his attorneys said prison guards wake him up every two hours and move him from cell to cell multiple times per day. He claims Mexican authorities are trying to turn him into a zombie.

These are tactics authorities are implementing to keep the leader of the Sinaloa cartel from escaping maximum security prison for a third time. 

Guzman is awaiting extradition to the U.S., where he faces a variety of charges tied to running one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world. 

Top image: Aletela Image Department/Flickr/Creative Commons License

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