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Marcus M. Gilban RSS

is JTA's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro. A freelance journalist and columnist, he contributes to Brazilian Jewish newspapers, magazines and news portals.

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  • Venezuelan president meets Jewish leaders in bid to build cooperation

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela welcomed Jewish leaders from his country at the governmental palace to strengthen cooperation. Ties between the government and the South American nation’s Jewish community have faced roadblocks. “A good day of dialog for peace. Boosting the co-existence and the dialog of civilizations, of religions to…

  • Yiddish-Cuban opera to premiere in Havana

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A new opera based on an 86-year-old Yiddish poem about a Taino indigenous chief who resisted the Spanish invaders will have its premiere in Havana next month. “Hatuey: Memory of Fire” will open in the Cuban capital on March 3, The New York Times reported. Composed by Frank London of the…

  • 3 Israeli single dads unable to fly their Mexico-born babies home

    (JTA) — Three Israeli single fathers whose babies were born in Mexico to surrogate mothers cannot fly their children to the Jewish state because local authorities are refusing to issue birth certificates. The Mexican birth certificates are necessary for the children to be issued Israeli passports. The new fathers – Shaul Shiri, David Toledo and Hanoch…

  • Israel’s investment in Mexico hits all-time high at over $2 billion

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israel invested over $2 billion in Mexico in 2016, representing the “greatest dynamism” among all other countries in economic relationships with Mexico compared to 2015, reported the country’s El Economista newspaper. In a context of economic uncertainty in the United States, its neighbor and by far biggest investor, the Latin American nation…

  • Chilean official: ‘Israelite’ tourists cannot be barred, can be expelled from hostels

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A senior official of an entity tied to the Chilean government threatened Israeli tourists after a group was removed from a national park. National Forestry Corp. director Elizabeth Munoz criticized “Israelites” for “cultural bad behavior” after three Israeli tourists were expelled late last month from the Torres del Paine National…

  • US bars entrance to Venezuelan VP accused of anti-Semitism, Hezbollah ties

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Trump administration imposed sanctions against Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking. El Aissami, who has has been accused of anti-Semitism and ties to Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah, has been barred from entering the United States. The executive decree issued…

  • Israeli tourist in Peru needs life-saving blood donations

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — An international against-the-clock blood donation call boosted by social media is aimed at saving the life of an Israeli tourist hospitalized in Peru after contracting a serious blood-related illness. The family of 21-year-old Zohar Katz, from Kibbutz Yotvata in southern Israel, is reaching out to Israelis traveling in the area…

  • Israel bars entrance to Peru’s fugitive ex-president, whose wife holds Israeli citizenship

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israel says Peru’s fugitive former president, Alejandro Toledo, who is wanted on corruption charges, would not be allowed to enter the country. Toledo’s arrest was requested in Peru last week over allegations he took $20 million in bribes. He was said to have chosen to flee to the Jewish state because his wife,…

  • Report: Documents show Hezbollah targeted Israeli diplomats in Brazil in ’89

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – The terrorist group Hezbollah sent operatives to Brazil to commit attacks on diplomatic representatives of Israel, according to previously classified documents made public. Latin America’s largest nation was targeted by the Lebanese terrorist group at least twice, most recently in 1989, the Correio Braziliense newspaper reported Saturday. Hezbollah operatives planned to kidnap Israeli diplomats…

  • Jules Sauer, Brazilian ‘Gemstone Hunter,’ dies at 95

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Jules Sauer, a refugee from Nazi Europe who became one of the world’s leading gemstone and jewelry authorities, has died. Sauer, who was nicknamed “Gemstone Hunter” after discovering Brazil’s first emerald mine in 1963, died Wednesday in that country. He was 95. After finding the mine, German and English experts refused…