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El Salvador: Woman faces retrial in stillbirth case

A woman in El Salvador has pleaded not guilty at her retrial to charges of aggravated homicide after she gave birth to a stillborn baby in a toilet.

Evelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz, 21, had served nearly three years of a 30-year sentence when she was released in February.

Following an appeal, a court ordered she be retried, but granted she could live at home during the process.

She has maintained that she did not know she was pregnant and is innocent.

However, prosecutors claim she is guilty because she did not seek maternity care.

"What Evelyn is living is the nightmare of many women in El Salvador," her lawyer Elizabeth Deras told the Associated Press.

"Thank God I'm fine, I'm innocent… I trust God and my lawyers a lot," Ms Hernández told the Efe news agency outside court.

Dozens of supporters held a protest outside the court near the capital, San Salvador, calling for a change in the legislation.

This is the first retrial of an abortion case in El Salvador.

The mothers being criminalised in El Salvador
Three women jailed for abortion freed

The country outlaws abortion in all circumstances, and dozens of women have been imprisoned for the deaths of their foetuses in cases where they said they had suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.

There are hopes among human rights groups that the new government of President Nayib Bukele, who took office in June, could usher in a more lenient stance on the issue.

The case so far
In April 2016, Ms Hernández gave birth at home in a rural area of the Central American country. She lost consciousness after losing large amounts of blood.

Her mother told the BBC that police arrived at a hospital while her daughter was receiving treatment.

Although she was in the third trimester, Ms Hernández insisted she would have sought medical treatment had she known she was pregnant.

In her first trial, she told the court she had been repeatedly raped. Her lawyers said she was too frightened to report the rapes, and some reports said the man who raped her was a gang member.

Read More – Source


Panregional Marketing Hubs: Miami and Mexico City, Territories With Top Influence Over Panregional Marketing Decisions

Panregional Marketing Hubs: Miami and Mexico City, Territories With Top Influence Over Panregional Marketing Decisions

What: Portada's 2019-2020 Panregional Marketing and Media Report explores the influence of certain territories over panregional marketing. These panregional marketing hubs influence the purchase of marketing services ranging from production, PR and creative to paid media.
Why it matters: Influence over Panregional Marketing Decision Making in Latin America exceeds US $2 billion. For information on all the issues regarding Panregional Marketing, refer to the complete report by Portada.

According to Portada's 2019-2020 Panregional Marketing and Media Report, influence over the purchase of panregional marketing services is a wide concept that covers the area of influence marketers have over purchasing decisions “in-country”. The panregional marketer can influence (e.g. veto) in-country marketing services purchases. However, she may not be able to buy those services from her location. Therefore, while the decision making is regional, the buying is local. The volume of influenced purchases will always be larger than the one of the actual purchases because the former includes the latter.

We believe that Miami and Mexico City have a larger degree of influence than the other locations. This is because both cities have a substantial amount of media agencies who buy panregionally, as well as a larger amount of panregional marketing headquarters on the brand marketer side.

Influence over Panregional Marketing Decision Making in Latin America exceeds US $ 2 billion.

“Influence” on Purchases by Different Panregional Marketing Hubs
To obtain the estimate of overall US $2,100 million of “influence” over decision-making related to panregional marketing purchases in 2016, Portada takes an overall market value for Marketing Services in Latin America of US $40 billion. (For more detailed methodology and assumptions, please buy the report). The below chart shows the dollar volume of marketing services purchases from top panregional marketing hubs, including Miami, Mexico City, New York and others.

This is one of the insights of the just-published 2019-2020 Panregional Marketing and Media Report, which provides Latin American Panregional Marketing Expenditures forecasts for the 2019-2024 period.

Portada's 2019-2020 Panregional Marketing and Media Media Report provides data, intelligence, insights, and forecasts about the Latin American Panregional Marketing Services sector from 2019 to 2024. A major tool for corporate expansion into Latin America and sales-planning/intelligence for marketing vendors offering services to major brands targeting the Latin American consumer. The 75-page report, which includes a market volume and growth forecast model based on a survey of more than 100 brand and media agency executives conducted by Portada, answers a myriad of questions including the 7 below:

1. What is the size of the panregional marketing sector?
The overall actual Latin American Panregional Marketing Services Sector, understood as decisions taken out of several marketing hubs (*see question 2) including Miami, Mexico City, New York, London and others, has a volume of approximately U.S $ 740 million a year (2019), according to the report. Measured in influence, although not necessarily in direct purchasing power, the brand and media agency executives located at those centers influence approximately US $2.26 billion a year (see chart below.)

Actual and "Influence" on Panregional Marketing Expenditures

2. How is panregional marketing defined? (*)
Panregional marketing is understood as marketing services purchases for two or more Latin American countries by clients (brands) or media agencies located outside of those countries.

3.Which city is currently the largest hub for panregional marketing?
Miami/South Florida is the largest hub followed by Mexico City, New York, London and Sao Paulo. The report provides overall market volumes for marketing decisions taken out of the above hubs from 2016 to 2024.

4.What media category is increasing its share of panregional media buys?
The structure of the panregional media buy out of Miami has changed substantially over the last decade with Pay TV- ten years ago the clear leader – only capturing 20% of the share in 2019 and digital media increasing its share to 60%. The 2019-2020 Panregional Market and Media Report includes expenditures and market share forecasts (2016 to 2024) for the below market services types (both overall as well as for Miami/South Florida):
Outsourced Content Marketing Services
Outsourced Social Media Related Services
Public Relations Services
Media Planning and Buying Services
Paid Media (Overall)
-Pay-TV (Cable and Satellite)
-Out of Home
–Read More – Source



Wimbledon 2019: Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah win men’s doubles

Wimbledon 2019: Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah win men’s doubles

Colombia's Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah beat French pair Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a five-set thriller to win the Wimbledon men's doubles final on Centre Court.

Second seeds Cabal, 33, and Farah, 32, won 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 in four hours 56 minutes.

In winning their first Grand Slam title, they became the first Colombians to triumph at Wimbledon.

The final of the women's doubles was postponed until Sunday.

Czech Barbora Strycova, a singles semi-finalist, and Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh will face Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and China's Yifan Xu.

They will play on Centre Court after the men's singles final between world number one Novak Djokovic and eight-time champion Roger Federer which starts at 14:00 BST.

Halep beats Williams to win first Wimbledon title
The best match of my life – Halep

In a high-quality match, Cabal and Farah clawed back the second set with four successive points to win the tie-break from 5-3 down and level the match.

They missed a break and set-point opportunity at 6-5 in the third set before securing the tie-break and a 2-1 lead.

The first break of serve took three hours 34 minutes to arrive – but a breakthrough by the French 11th seeds at 2-1 in the fourth was cancelled out by Cabal and Farah in the very next game.

In a fourth successiveRead More – Source



Obituary: Andrew Graham-Yooll, the man who dared to report on Argentina’s missing

Obituary: Andrew Graham-Yooll, the man who dared to report on Argentina’s missing

When plainclothes policemen came to the Buenos Aires Herald's office brandishing machine guns, the newspaper's staff knew they were coming.

It was 22 October 1975 and the police were looking for the small Argentine newspaper's news editor, Andrew Graham-Yooll.

A visit from armed police would normally have meant certain death, but the office had been tipped off in advance, and someone had already been able to get word out to a lawyer and to overseas news agencies, meaning the raid was on the record.

The staff kept calm and let the men in leather jackets storm around the office, waving their weapons around and making a show of destroying Graham-Yooll's files from 10 years in the job. He was in their sights because he had attended press conferences for a guerrilla group. This made him a terrorist suspect, they said.

At the time, the military was tightening its grip on the country and was months away from claiming power in a coup. Anyone considered remotely subversive was being "disappeared" – kidnapped and then jailed or murdered.

Graham-Yooll was briefly whisked away in an unmarked car with his editor, Robert Cox, who had insisted on accompanying him. The pair later recalled how they were taken to a police department and held in a cell, where music from a full-volume radio could not block out the sounds of people screaming as they were tortured in the basement.

Eventually, they were both allowed to leave.

That same week, the Buenos Aires Herald's small team did what it always did during that period. It refused to be intimidated into silence and told its readers what had happened, with a satirical column entitled "Wot, no tanks?"

Cox and Graham-Yooll went back to their desks. They had an enormous job to do. People were disappearing across the country and their newspaper was the only outlet in the country consistently reporting on it.

When Andrew Graham-Yooll died suddenly in London on 6 July, aged 75, Argentina mourned.

"It is not often when a journalist dies here that their death is on the front page across all major news sites," says James Grainger, editor of the BA Times, a new publication where Graham-Yooll had recently been a columnist. "He was a titan."

Years earlier, an Argentine news magazine had chosen him as its cover star, dubbing him "one of the bravest journalists of the 1970s". The photograph shows him stroking his white beard and pointing an accusatory finger at the camera. In reality, he was far less intimidating, with a husky laugh and a humble view of his legacy.

A prolific reporter, historian and poet, he went on to write numerous books, including A State of Fear (1985), which is considered one of the most valuable accounts of the dictatorship.

Yet Andrew was best known for his time at the Buenos Aires Herald, which as a small-circulation newspaper published in English in a Spanish-speaking country, became an unlikely major player in Argentine history.

Six months after that office raid, a military coup led to a systematic reign of terror, which lasted until the end of 1983. An estimated 30,000 people died, as the authorities moved from targeting left-wing guerrillas, students and trade unionists, to psychologists, artists and journalists, and their friends and families.

Four weeks after the coup, the Buenos Aires Herald received a phone call. The voice at the other end said all media was henceforth banned from reporting on any deaths or disappearances, unless they had been confirmed by authorities.

The newspaper, once again, tackled the issue head-on and published a story about the warning. Soon it gained a reputation. People started turning up at its office, having been turned away by other outlets, asking for help finding missing loved ones.

One of Graham-Yooll's biggest assets was his local contacts book. Born in Buenos Aires, to an English mother and Scottish father, he was also perfectly bilingual. When he spoke Spanish, he had his hometown's distinctive Italian-influenced Porteño accent; when he spoke English, there was a slight and very gentle Scots lilt.

He was also very sociable and loved a drink. In later years, he admitted to friends that he often put work first and neglected his family.

Listen: The Buenos Aires Herald's legacy

"You couldn't tell Andrew what to do," says Cox, his former boss and longtime friend. "Sometimes I didn't know what he was up to and that was probably for the best. He would go off, like in a spy movie, with a newspaper under his arm [as a signal], going from cafe to cafe to meet people."

Cox had also regularly tried to persuade him not to go a weekly lunch with certain Argentine journalists, as the industry had been infiltrated by members of the military. "It was horrible thing, full of old monsters and likely to put him in even more danger, but he would go and get roaring drunk," recalls Cox.

And he would often come back with stories. On one occasion, in May 1976, he found out that the home of renowned playwright and novelist Haroldo Conti had been raided and he had disappeared.

Graham-Yooll later said: "I had friends of Conti telling me I had to publish and there was a naval officer there too, who said 'Don't you dare, you know what will happen to you'."

Though he did not comment either way at the time, he wrote the story as soon as he was back at his desk, having been encouraged and backed by Cox. Graham-Yooll said he was terrified while sending that edition to press. In the years afterwards, he always resisted being cast as the fearless hero.

Later in 1976, Graham-Yooll was forced into exile. A contact had told him he was about to be targeted again, and this time they would not let him go. It was said that his wife was also on the hit list – simply because she had gone to university with Che Guevara's sister. Cox was also later forced into exile, after death threats were sent to his son.

Graham-Yooll used his dual nationality to move his family to the UK, where he found work at the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, before moving to another small operation, the free-speech organisation Index on Censorship.

Read about other notable lives
For years, while still living in Argentina, he had been secretly feeding information to Index on Censorship, as well as Amnesty International. He knew that letters addressed to human rights groups would be intercepted, so he covered his tracks by sending the information to them via a friend at the Daily Telegraph in London. Cox says he did not know this at the time. "If anyone found out, that was a certain death sentence."

In London, Graham-Yooll became Index on Censorship magazine's editor. I worked for the same magazine years later, and it was while tracing its history that I got to know Graham-Yooll.

The publication had been founded in 1972, with an eye mostly on Eastern Europe. His successor, Judith Vidal-Hall, says: "Andrew was absolutely instrumental in broadening the understanding of censorship as going far beyond the idea of it being led by wicked Communists. Read More – Source



Brazil’s President Bolsonaro offers US ambassador job to son

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro offers US ambassador job to son

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right president of Brazil, has invited his son to become ambassador to the US.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, 35, who is currently serving as a congressman and advises his father on foreign affairs, told reporters he would accept the post if it were offered.

The position of ambassador has been vacant since April.

Mr Bolsonaro was elected last year after a successful campaign he said had been inspired by Donald Trump.

Eduardo would have to resign as a congressman if he did take up the position of ambassador.

The appointment hinges on his son accepting the position, the president said

"I don't want to decide his future for him if the legislation says he has to renounce his position," Mr Bolsonaro was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Eduardo Bolsonaro has been dubbed Brazil's "shadow foreign minister" at the Brazilian foreign ministry because of the strong influence he has on his father's foreign policy ideas, BBC Americas editor Candace Piette reports.

Both the president and his son have a pro-US stance, breaking with Brazil's traditionally more cautious position, and Eduardo is openly pro-Israeli, whereas in the past Brazil has been careful not to offend Arab nations.

Mr Bolsonaro uses several of his family members as official advisers. His eldest son, Flavio, is a senator, while Carlos Bolsonaro is a Rio de Janeiro city cRead More – Source




‘Tortured’ Venezuela captain buried without wife’s consent

The body of a Venezuelan navy captain who died in custody on 27 June has been buried by government officials without his family's consent, his wife says.

Members of the Venezuelan security forces interred Capt Rafael Acosta's body in a Caracas cemetery.

Capt Acosta's lawyer said he died as a result of torture, and a leaked post-mortem report suggested he had been beaten and electrocuted.

He was being held over an alleged plot to kill President Nicolás Maduro.

What did Capt Acosta's wife say?
In a video message published on Twitter, Ms Pérez denounced "the illegal process" by which the morgue in the capital, Caracas, had handed over her husband's body to the security forces for burial without her permission.

Ms Pérez, who has left Venezuela, said she had not given either the morgue or any funeral parlour instructions to bury her husband's body.

Spanish daily ABC reported that Capt Acosta's sister was asked to identify his body and that it was then taken under police escort to a cemetery in the east of Caracas.

There, he was buried in a plot assigned by government officials with a plain headstone which was also provided by officials.

Only close family members were present at the burial, which was watched over by members of the security forces.

Ms Pérez had been asking for her husband's body to be handed over to the family so that an independent forensic expert could carry out a post-mortem examination.

That request was never granted. The family also said that they had wanted to bury Capt Acosta in his hometown of Maracay, 130km (81 miles) west of where his body lies now.

What did the post-mortem reveal?
While the family was not allowed to take Capt Acosta's body away for examination, a post-mortem examination was carried out by officials.

Extracts of the forensic report were leaked to the press. They suggest the navy captain died of severe swelling of the brain caused by acute lack of oxygen.

The leaked report also suggested that Capt Acosta's body showed signs of having been subjected to extreme force and had suffered severe beatings and electrocution.

The full report has not been released.

What was he suspected of?
Capt Acosta had been accused of committing "grave acts of terrorism, treason and attempted assassination of the president".

Communications Minister JorRead More – Source




Brazil pension reform passes first hurdle in Congress

Brazil's lower house of Congress has voted by a large majority to overhaul the country's generous pension system.

The vote, with 379 in favour and 131 against, is seen as an important victory for President Jair Bolsonaro.

His government says the reforms are critical to boosting the growth of South America's biggest economy.

But the controversial bill requires a second vote in the lower house before moving to the Senate where it faces weeks – or months – of more debate.

The next vote is due to take place before Congress breaks for recess next week.

Proposed reforms include raising the retirement age and increasing workers' contributions. Trade unions and opposition politicians argue that such moves would penalise the poorest, forcing them to work longer.

As lawmakers voted, demonstrations led by trade unions took place across Brazil. In Sao Paulo protesters closed down one of the city's main avenues.

President Bolsonaro took to Twitter after the vote, congratulating lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia.

"Brazil is ever closer to getting on the path to jobs and prosperity," he said.

What would change?
The government's plan includes raising the minimum retirement age to 65 for men and 62 for women.

Many Brazilians currently retire in their mid-50s on their full final salary.

They are currently required to have contributed to the pension system for 35 years (men) or 30 years (women).

The new proposal would delay a full payout of pensions until 40 years of contributions had been paid in, but partial pensions could be accessed after 15 to 20 years.

The government estimates the plan would result in savings of $237bn (£188bn) over the next decade, and would be phased in over 12 to 14 years.

Wednesday's vote approved only the basic text of the bill. The lower house is due to begin voting on any amendments on Thursday and the bill must then clear a second vote to reach the Senate.

Why is the government pushing this?
Many previous governments in Brazil have tried but failed to reform the country's pensions.

The current system is proving extremely costly, as people are living longer.

Brazil's federal government spends 45% of its budget on pensions, and only 2.8% to build and maintain public schools and hospitals, roads, police, sanitation and other infrastructure, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing the economy ministry.

The country is still struggling to recover from the 2015-2016 recession, which was the worst in more than a century.

If the bill passes, it is expected to have a positive effect on investors' perceptions.

Why is it controversial?
Generous pensions have been enshrined in Brazil constitution since 1988, when a social safety net was developed after decades of military rule.

Opponents say the poor would be the most affected by the proposed changes, as they are more likely to startRead More – Source



Brazil’s Vale ordered to pay compensation for dam disaster

Brazil’s Vale ordered to pay compensation for dam disaster

A judge in Brazil has ordered mining giant Vale to pay compensation for all damages caused by the collapse of the Brumadinho dam in January.

The collapse was Brazil's worst industrial accident.

The judge did not set a figure for the compensation but said that the company was responsible for fixing all the damages including the economic effects.

At least 248 people were killed as a sea of mud engulfed a staff canteen, offices and nearby farms.

Twenty-two people are still missing following the collapse of the Feijão dam on 25 January.

Read more on the dam collapse:
Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira also said that $2.9bn (£2.3bn) of Vale's assets frozen by courts should remain blocked. He said the funds should be used to make compensation payments to affected families and businesses.

Explaining why he had not specify an amount for Vale to pay out, he argued that technical and scientific criteria were not enough to quantify the effects of the collapse.

"The value [of the compensation] is not limited to the deaths resulting from the event, it also affects the environment on a local and regional level as well as the economic activity in the affected region."

Media playback is unsupported on your device

The judge said Vale had so far co-operated with the justice system and taken all the actions required from it following conciliation hearings.

He also pointed out that Vale's defence team had not denied responsibility for the damage caused by the collapse of the dam.

Mounting pressure
In a statement, Vale said it had a "total commitment to fair and quick reparations for the damages caused to families, community infrastructure and the environment".

While Judge Nogueira's ruling on Tuesday is the first conviction for Vale over dam collapse, it is unlikely to be the end of its legal troubles.

Last week, the Brazilian Senate urged prosecutors to bring charges ranging from enviRead More – Source



Mexican finance minister quits with critical letter

Mexican finance minister quits with critical letter

Mexico's finance minister has quit over differences with the country's left-wing president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In a letter, made public on his Twitter account, Finance Secretary Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías said there were many economic "discrepancies".

He also said in the letter that economic policy had to be based on evidence and be free of "extremism".

The currency and stock markets fell after the news of his resignation.

Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez has taken over as finance secretary of Latin America's second-largest economy.

"There were many discrepancies in economic matters," Mr Urzúa wrote in the letter addressed to the country's president dated 9 July.

"I am convinced that all economic policy should be carried out based on evidence, taking care of the different effects it can have and free from all extremism, be it from the right or left."

He also found "the imposition of officials without knowledge of public finances" to be "unacceptable" .

'Uncertainty to persist'
Mr Herrera told his first news conference since being named finance minister that he did not see an impending recession, according to Reuters.

Mexico's economy shrank 0.2% in the first quarter of 2019 from the previous quarter.

Mr López Obrador came into power on a promise to carry out "radical transformation" of his country and to deliver economic Read More – Source



Arrest warrant issued for Farc ex-rebel Jesús Santrich

Arrest warrant issued for Farc ex-rebel Jesús Santrich

An arrest warrant has been issued for Colombian former rebel turned lawmaker Jesús Santrich after he failed to show up to court in relation to drug smuggling charges.

Colombia's supreme court has ordered Santrich's capture after he disappeared on Sunday.

He is alleged to have helped smuggle a large quantity of cocaine into the US, to where he faces possible extradition.

Santrich, 52, denies the charges and says they are part of a conspiracy.

The court case on Tuesday was to help decide whether Santrich should be detained while his US extradition is under review.

Only Santrich's lawyer turned up and said he did not know the whereabouts of his client, who is accused of smuggling 10 tonnes of cocaine into the US in 2017.

Santrich's son said he feared his father may have been kidnapped or killed but Colombian President Iván Duque said Santrich was trying to elude justice.

Who is Jesús Santrich?
In 2016, Colombia agreed a peace deal to end 50 years of conflict. As part of the agreement, 10 former rebel commanders became lawmakers, including Santrich, otherwise known as Seuxis Paucias Hernandez.

For 30 years he was a commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), a Marxist rebel group that engaged in a five-decade-long armed struggle against government forces and right-wing paramilitaries.

Santrich is partially blind, having gradually lost his sight due to a genetic condition.

How did he disappear?
Santrich had been staying in a reintegration zone in Cesar province, about 30km (20 miles) from the Venezuelan border.

Like other high-profile former rebels and public figures in Colombia, Santrich had bodyguards assigned to him by the national protection unit.

Members of the unit reported on Sunday that Santrich was not in the house where he had been staying. In his room, they found a note saying he would stay with one of his younger sons in the city of Valledupar. He added that he did not "want a crowd" at his son's house and left instructions to be picked up and a contact name.

Colombia's protection unit said it was trying to verify the authenticity of the note.

Where could he be?
There has bRead More – Source