The week at a glance...Americas
Kingston, OntarioEntire family convicted: In the culmination of an “honor killing” trial that has riveted Canadians for weeks, three Afghan-Canadians were found guilty this week of murdering four female members of their polygamous family. Mohammad Shafia, 58; his second wife, Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son, Hamed, 21, killed Mohammad’s childless first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad, 50, and Tooba Yahya’s three daughters, Zainab, 19; Sahar, 17; and Geeti, 13, because the four refused to wear headscarves and acted too Western. The women were drowned, and their bodies were placed in the family car in a canal to make the drowning look accidental. The prosecution played wiretaps of Shafia cursing his dead daughters, calling them whores who had dishonored him and saying he didn’t care if he went to the gallows. All three defendants were given life sentences; Hamed has filed an appeal.
Cancún, MexicoDaughter exposes sex ring: An Argentine woman has accused her father, a former Argentine spy, of running a sex-trafficking ring in Cancún. Authorities long suspected but never proved that Raúl Martins, an intelligence agent under Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1980s, has been trafficking Argentine women and girls into prostitution in Mexico. According to Argentine newspaper Página/12, after Martins left his wife, in 2010, his daughter Lorena decided to retaliate by infiltrating his business. She befriended one of his lawyers and gained access to emails and financial documents that allegedly incriminate not only Martins but also current members of the Argentine police.
Port-au-Prince, HaitiBaby Doc avoids charges: A Haitian court ruled this week that former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier can be tried for corruption and embezzlement, but not for widespread human-rights abuses committed under his 15-year regime. The court gave no legal justification for the ruling. “It’s a political decision dressed as a legal decision, which ultimately reflects the unwillingness of the government to prosecute Jean-Claude Duvalier,” Robert Fatton, an expert on Haiti at the University of Virginia, told The Wall Street Journal. Duvalier has family ties to Haitian President Michel Martelly, who has frequently been seen visiting the luxurious villa where Duvalier is under house arrest. Tens of thousands of people were tortured and murdered under Duvalier’s rule, which ended in 1986, and that of his father, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier.
Caracas, VenezuelaDiplomat kidnapped: In the latest example of the high-profile kidnappings plaguing Venezuela, the Mexican ambassador and his wife were snatched from their car this week while leaving a party. The two were released just four hours later, after reportedly paying the kidnappers “a large sum.” Carlos Pujalte was the seventh diplomat to be abducted in the past year. In the worst such case, the Chilean consul, Juan Carlos Fernández, was beaten and shot before being released.