The week at a glance...Americas


Acapulco, Mexico

Cabbies slain: Attacks on taxis left nine drivers and three passengers dead in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco last weekend, right before the Mexican Open tennis tournament began there. Most of the drivers were shot in their vehicles when not carrying fares; one was beheaded. Police said drug gangs sometimes use taxi drivers as couriers or lookouts. The drug-related violence is scaring tourists away from the resort. Two cruise lines have canceled stops in Acapulco’s port in the past month, and the city is no longer among the top 100 destinations for Americans. “I was walking down the beach this morning and every hotel here is empty on the beach side,” American tourist Garth Mark told CBS News. “There was no one.”

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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No smoking at home: Hondurans can now be fined for smoking in their own homes. Under a law that went into effect this week, smoking is banned in most closed public and private spaces, and smokers in open spaces must stand at least 6 feet away from nonsmokers. While the law doesn’t entirely ban smoking at home, it allows family members or visitors to complain to police if someone subjects them to secondhand smoke in a private home. On the second offense, the smoker will have to pay a fine of $311, the monthly minimum salary. Most Hondurans doubt the law will be enforced, given the country’s chronic shortage of police.

Brasília, Brazil

Slapstick lawmaking: The professional clown Tiririca, who was elected to parliament last October with more votes than any other candidate, flubbed his first vote this week by pressing the wrong button and accidentally voting against a government austerity plan he supports. The government bill passed by a large margin anyway. Tiririca (whose real name is Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva) campaigned on a platform of willful ignorance under the campaign slogan, “It can’t get any worse.” His candidacy was almost revoked when he was alleged to be illiterate.

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