Obama sits at front of bus
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday sat on the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat nearly 60 years ago in a landmark episode of the civil rights movement. The country’s first black president stopped to see the bus during a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday, where it is on display and where Obama, seeking a second term in November elections, held a fundraiser. Parks, an African American woman, became a hero of the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, triggering a wave of protests against racial segregation.
Jobs lost after scandal
The US Secret Service says three employees are out of the agency in the aftermath of a prostitution scandal in Colombia. Of the three workers forced out in the scandal, one is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another is a supervisor who has been designated for removal for cause, which requires that the employee be given 30 days’ notice and a chance to respond with the help of a lawyer; and a third employee, not a supervisor, has quit. The agency says its investigation into allegations of misconduct by 11 agents is in its early stages and is continuing.
Gunmen slay two
Authorities in western Mexico say two men wielding automatic rifles opened fire on a group of men from a town that last year defied illegal loggers and drug traffickers, killing eight. Michoacan State prosecutors’ spokesman Jonathan Arredondo says another four men were wounded in the Wednesday attack in the town of Cheran. The indigenous Purepecha people of Cheran last year took security into their own hands after two residents were killed by loggers, who they say are backed by La Familia drug cartel.
Mass grave holds 99 victims
Forensic experts say they have unearthed the remains of 99 civil war victims from clandestine graves inside a military base and are searching for more bodies. Forensic team member Edgar Telon del Cid says they found 15 pits inside a military post in the city of Coban. He says they are looking for the remains of between 200 and 300 people who disappeared in the area during the country’s 36-year civil war. Telon said on Wednesday that the exhumation is the first of seven that have been requested by prosecutors and relatives of the missing.
Farmworkers seize land
Several thousand farmworkers occupied 12,000 hectares of land across the country as part of a dispute with large landowners and the government, activists and officials said on Wednesday. Police and soldiers read an eviction notice later in the day and about 1,500 farmworkers peacefully left a large sugar plantation near San Pedro Sula. However, at least 10 other farms were still occupied on Wednesday night, said Mabel Marquez, spokeswoman for activist group Via Campesina. “We expected the eviction from the San Manuel plantation because of the magnitude of the action and we are analyzing what will come next, but we still have at least 10 occupations that remain,” Marquez said. She said that the largest land occupation was at the 2,500 hectare San Manuel plantation on the Caribbean coast.