The week at a glance...Americas
Free art museum: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, unveiled a major new art museum in Mexico City this week. The Soumaya Museum opens later this month in an aluminum-plated, $34 million building designed by Slim’s son-in-law, architect Fernando Romero. Free to the public, it will showcase art from Slim’s 66,000-piece collection, which includes works by masters such as Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Auguste Rodin. “This museum is for the Mexicans who cannot travel outside Mexico,” Slim said, “so that they have a place to see this art in their country.”
La Paz, Bolivia
Drug officials arrested: The former head of Bolivia’s counternarcotics police and three other officials were arrested last week on charges of running a cocaine-trafficking ring. René Sanabria, who led the drug unit in 2007 and 2008 and is now head of intelligence for the Interior Ministry, was arrested in Panama and sent to the U.S. to face charges; the others were arrested in Bolivia. The accusations against the officials are a huge embarrassment for President Evo Morales, who has defied the U.S. by promoting traditional uses of coca leaf and allowing coca farming; he insists that he does not tolerate cocaine trafficking. Bolivia is the world’s third-largest cocaine producer, after Colombia and Peru.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Baby theft: Two former Argentine dictators went on trial this week on charges that they masterminded the kidnapping of hundreds of babies when the military ruled the country in the 1970s and ’80s. Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone are accused of ordering that babies born to “the disappeared”—political dissidents held in secret facilities—be taken from their mothers and given to families of regime supporters. In some cases, female political prisoners were kept alive during their pregnancies only to be killed after giving birth. About 500 children are thought to have been stolen, according to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group that has tracked down 102 of them. Videla, 83, was already sentenced to life in prison in December for ordering the torture and murder of 31 political prisoners.