April 24th, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Guatemalan court begins to untangle genocide trial standstill

A week ago, the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt appeared headed to a historic conclusion. Today, it is at a standstill, the result of procedural missteps that have cast uncertainty over the process.

The country's Constitutional Court on Tuesday began to answer some of the legal questions that are holding up the trial. But the biggest one - whether the trial proceedings will be annulled - remains to be clarified.

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McAfee taken to hospital after lawyer reports convulsions
December 6th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

McAfee taken to hospital after lawyer reports convulsions

[Updated at 3:11  p.m. ET] Software pioneer John McAfee was being transported to a Guatemala City hospital in an ambulance Thursday after his attorney reported he had convulsions.

[Posted at 1:38 p.m. ET] Guatemala has rejected American software mogul John McAfee's bid for asylum, presidential spokesman Francisco Cuevas said Thursday.

McAfee, wanted for questioning in neighboring Belize in connection with the death of his neighbor there, was on the run for weeks and was detained in Guatemala on Wednesday on suspicion of entering the country illegally, officials said.

His lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, filed a formal request for asylum with Guatemalan officials Wednesday.

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Filed under: Belize • Guatemala
December 4th, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Internet pioneer John McAfee moves to Guatemala, hires attorney

John McAfee, the Internet security pioneer wanted for questioning in the killing of a neighbor in Belize, is now in Guatemala City, said Telesforo Guerra, the former attorney general of Guatemala.

McAfee has hired Guerra as his attorney, Guerra told CNN en Espanol on Tuesday.

Belize authorities want to talk to McAfee about the November 11 shooting death of American businessman Gregory Faull, 52, who was found dead in his home near San Pedro, on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

On his website, McAfee commented about his relocation: "I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days. It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries.

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November 11th, 2012
06:52 PM ET

6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes off Guatemala's western coast

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck this afternoon in the Pacific off the western coast of Guatemala, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Striking about 17 miles (27 kilometers) below sea level, the tremor was centered about 19 miles west-southwest of Champerico, Guatemala, and 115 miles from the capital, Guatemala City. The quake was not far from southern Mexico, with the USGS reporting it was 27 miles south-southeast of the border community of Suchiate, Mexico.

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At least 48 dead after 7.4-magnitude quake off Mexico-Guatemala border
November 7th, 2012
09:28 PM ET

At least 48 dead after 7.4-magnitude quake off Mexico-Guatemala border

Editor's note: A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Wednesday off the coast of Guatemala, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Guatemalan officials say at least 48 people died and about 125,000 people were without power. The quake, centered about 15 miles from the coastal city of Champerico at a depth of 26 miles, was felt throughout Central America and as far north as Mexico City. Below are updates:

[Updated at 9:27 p.m. ET] At least 48 people were killed as a result of the earthquake, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said.

[Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET] The death toll in the Guatemalan quake has risen to at least 29, said David de Leon, a spokesman for the country's disaster relief agency.

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January 16th, 2012
11:50 AM ET

Guatemala's president calls on troops to 'neutralize' organized crime

Guatemala's new president has called on the military to help "neutralize" organized crime in the Central American nation.

A day after he took office, President Otto Perez Molina appeared to be making good on his campaign promises to fight rising crime and violence with an "iron fist."

"Today, publicly, I want to lay out for the army an important goal of collaborating, coordinating and cooperating with other security institutions, and that is to put an end to the external threats and contribute to neutralizing illegal armed groups by means of military power," he said Sunday.

Speaking to troops, Perez Molina said he would provide increased resources to the military. He said he had discussed the new strategy with his defense and interior ministers.

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January 14th, 2012
08:54 PM ET

Former general sworn in as Guatemala's president

Retired army Gen. Otto Perez Molina was sworn in as Guatemala's president Saturday, pledging to take a tough stand on crime amid growing insecurity in the Central American nation.

"We have a country in crisis ... a nation very close to an economic and moral breakdown," he said. "Today, there is an air of hope."

Concerns about violence in Guatemala, which has worsened as Mexican drug cartels have stepped up operations in parts of the country, dominated last year's vote.

In a Vox Latina national survey in July, more than two-thirds of Guatemalans said violence was what concerned them most, far outpacing the combined totals for the economy, unemployment, poverty and lack of education.

The 61-year-old retired general pledged to bring a "mano dura" - firm hand - to Guatemala's highest office.

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October 19th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Central American rains a reminder of Mitch

The death toll from recent rain and flooding in Central America rose to at least 91 Wednesday as the deluge rivaled what the region witnessed during the deadly Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

The deadliness of the current disaster is much smaller than Mitch - which killed some 11,000 people - but the large amounts of rain are causing similar damage: washed out bridges, landslides, flooding and river overflows.

"We think of hurricanes as the thing that causes the most damage, but you can have rains that are just as damaging without the hurricane," Herman Rosa Chavez, El Salvador's minister of the environment and natural resources, told CNN.

Already, the rain in El Salvador has tripled the average rainfall for the month of October.

Gauges in the country were registering recent rainfall as high as 55 inches. In comparison, Hurricane Mitch dumped between 50 and 70 inches of rain in the Central American region.

"This phenomenon is of great magnitude," Rosa Chavez said.

A vital difference between the death toll now and in 1998 is that during Mitch, the rainfall came in a matter of a few days. This time, the precipitation has come over a period of more than a week.

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Filed under: Costa Rica • El Salvador • Flooding • Guatemala • Honduras • Nicaragua • Weather
September 19th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

5.8-magnitude earthquake hits Guatemala; 3 reported dead

[Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET] Three people have been killed following a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Guatemala on Monday, according to local firefighters.

Ana Staackman, who lives in Guatemala City, Guatemala, said she felt a strong shaking in her office building during the quake.

Staackman said she is used to the earthquakes since they happen every other week but this one lasted longer and felt stronger than usual.

[Posted at 3:02 p.m. ET] A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck Guatemala on Monday, about 53 kilometers (32 miles) southeast of Guatemala City, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"We felt some strong termors. We heard that the first tremor registered about 4.8 and the second, 5.8," Evelyn Ruano, a spokeswoman with the President's office, told CNN. "There are people buried in rubble. Firefighters are on the scene in the department of Santa Rosa. We have one confirmed dead."

The earthquake, which the USGS reported to be some 25 miles deep, was felt in the capital.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Guatemala
August 20th, 2011
03:42 PM ET

Tropical Storm Harvey lashes Central America

Tropical Storm Harvey has made landfall over Belize and is expected to move into northern Guatemala on Saturday afternoon or night.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, with higher gusts, and is heading west at 13 mph, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

Harvey made landfall on the coast of Belize, near the town of Dangriga. It is expected to weaken now that it is moving inland.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the the coasts of Guatemala and Belize and for the coast of Honduras from Punta Sal westward. A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

As of 2 p.m. ET, Harvey was located about 35 miles south of Belize City.

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Deep sinkhole opens under woman's bed
The sinkhole under a Guatemalan woman's bed is about 40 feet deep.
July 20th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

Deep sinkhole opens under woman's bed

The first step out of bed could have been a big one.

A woman in Guatemala City reports that a sinkhole, 40 feet deep and almost 3 feet across, opened under her bed Monday.

"When we heard the loud boom we thought a gas canister from a neighboring home had exploded, or there had been a crash on the street," Inocenta Hernandez, 65, said in an Agence France-Presse report.

"We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house, and we searched until we found it under my bed," AFP quotes Hernandez as saying.

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July 10th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Slain Argentine singer likely not target, official says

Gunmen who shot dead one of Latin America's best-known folk singers Saturday likely did not have Facundo Cabral as their intended target, said Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Menocal.

In the car with Cabral was a Nicaraguan businessman, Henry Farina, who was driving, Menocal said .

"Everything points to that the attack was directed at him (Farina), and not the artist," he said. Still, a motive for the shooting remained unclear.

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On the Radar: Libya, politics, Syria, Japan, Wal-Mart, immigration
A Libyan rebel holds the Kingdom of Libya flag and smiles near a burning government tank Saturday in Ajdabiya, Libya.
March 29th, 2011
08:13 AM ET

On the Radar: Libya, politics, Syria, Japan, Wal-Mart, immigration

Libya – Forces loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi blocked the westward advance of rebels, who have been aided by air power provided by the U.S., NATO and their allies. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet in London today with other world leaders to try to strengthen the coalition's efforts.

Meanwhile in Washington, politicians and pundits are parsing President Obama's speech Monday night, in which he explained the reasoning behind and scope of U.S. involvement in the Libyan conflict.

Syria – Thousands of demonstrators marched in Amman in support of President Bashar al-Assad, who has been the target of protests. Confrontations between anti-government protesters and police have been bloody at times; at least 37 people have been killed since last week, according to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Security forces flooded the restive cities of Daraa and Latakia on Monday, patrolling the streets, protecting government buildings and in at least one case clashing with protesters, according to witnesses..

Japan – Engineers and workers are carrying out a dangerous balancing act as they try to cool the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor with water, but not so much water that it spills over, presenting an additional hazard. Radioactive isotopes from the damaged reactor are being detected in more places in the United States, though the Environmental Protection Agency says they pose no threat to human health. A Senate committee will hold a hearing today to gather information on the accident in Japan.

Wal-Mart – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a huge sex-discrimination lawsuit brought by female workers against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer. The arguments will not be on the merits of the case, but on whether to allow as many as 1.6 million potential plaintiffs to join a single lawsuit. Billions of dollars and many thousands of career paths are at stake.

Immigration – Emily Ruiz, a 4-year-old U.S. citizen, was denied entry to the United States on March 11 when she returned with her grandfather to Dulles International Airport near Washington after an extended stay in Guatemala. The girl's parents are undocumented workers in New York; her grandfather had an old immigration violation, which prompted border agents to send him and the girl back to Guatemala. Emily will try to enter through New York today, a lawyer for the family says.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Guatemala • Hillary Clinton • Immigration • Japan • Libya • Military • NATO • Politics • Protest • Supreme Court • Syria
October 2nd, 2010
09:59 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Sanchez out after controversial comments: CNN anchor Rick Sanchez abruptly left the network Friday afternoon, just one day after making controversial comments on a satellite radio program.

J.K. Rowling hints about more Harry Potter: Fans, rejoice - J.K. Rowling offered a bit of hope on Friday that, perhaps, the final Harry Potter story has yet to be told.

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Filed under: Elections • Guatemala • Harry Potter • Health • History • Most Popular • Politics • Showbiz
October 1st, 2010
11:08 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

U.S. apologizes for infecting Guatemalans: The United States apologized Friday for a 1946-1948 research study in which people in Guatemala were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

Dad shoots 3 sons, killing 2, police say: A New Jersey father fatally shot his two teenage sons, critically wounded one more and set his home ablaze before police killed him, authorities said Friday.

East Coast to see more torrential rain: A large storm system flooding portions of New York, Pennsylvania and New England on Friday afternoon has claimed at least eight lives.

Purported bin Laden message focuses on relief, development: A message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is urging Muslims to tackle famine, flood relief, the effects of climate change and clean water - stark problems plaguing parts of the Islamic world.

Rutgers suicide incident raises legal issues: Amid intense public attention, Tyler Clementi's family remained quiet Friday, except to say that their personal tragedy has raised a host of legal issues for the country.

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October 1st, 2010
10:34 AM ET

U.S. apologizes for infecting Guatemalans with STDs in 1940s

The United States apologized Friday for a 1946-1948 research study that purposely infected people in Guatemala with sexually transmitted diseases.

A statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the action "reprehensible."

"We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices," the joint statement said. "The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala."

Guatemalan officials are aware of the report but will not comment on it until later Friday, presidential spokesman Ronaldo Robles told CNN.

CNN's Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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June 1st, 2010
03:22 PM ET

Web Pulse: A sinkhole, the Gores split and flotilla fallout

A sinkhole in Guatemala City.

A big, scary hole - A frightening image appeared on the photo sharing site Flickr.com of a sinkhole in Guatemala City that several on Twitter are calling the sinkhole to "hell." Tropical Storm Agatha drenched the region, resulting in the deaths of nearly 150 people in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In Guatemala alone, 90 people are missing, officials said. The country is suffering even more because the Pacaya volcano, which erupted Thursday night, has continued to spew ash. Three people were killed when they were crushed by rocks strewn by the volcano.

Splitsville for the Gores - A representative for Tipper and Al Gore confirmed that the couple sent an e-mail announcing they were separating. They have been married for 40 years. It seems the public began trying to search online for the e-mail, or at least parts of it, by taking chunks of it that have been reported and running the lines through Google. The passage that has been reported: "This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together, following a process of long and careful consideration."

Flotilla fallout - The world is trying to keep up with the fast-moving story about the Israeli raid on an aid flotilla into Gaza that resulted in at least nine deaths. Protests were staged around the globe, from New York to Turkey, against Israel's actions, and the United Nations condemned the raid. Diplomatic sources told CNN that of the 600 who are being held by Israel, citizens of Arab countries, except Egypt, were being prepared for release early Tuesday afternoon. Egyptians will be moved to the Jordanian border for deportation, an Arab and an Israeli source said. Meanwhile, more witness accounts have surfaced.


Filed under: Gaza • Guatemala • Israel • Web Pulse • World
May 28th, 2010
09:19 AM ET

At least three killed after volcano erupts in Guatemala

The death toll from the eruption of a volcano in Guatemala has risen to at least three people, an official said Friday.

Two villagers from El Bejucal and a reporter from CNN affiliate Noti 7 were killed as a result of Thursday's eruption of the Pacaya volcano, said David de Leon, a spokesman for the national disaster commission.

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