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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.

Latest

  • Brazilian rabbi apologizes for publicly supporting ex-president jailed for corruption

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Brazilian rabbi who supported an iconic ex-president convicted of corruption has apologized after being slammed for acting as if he represented the Jewish community. Rabbi Alexandre Leone has been under fire since the release of videos and photos of him protesting on a sound truck in favor of Luis…

  • Latin America’s biggest airline to kick off direct flights to Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Latin America’s largest airline will begin direct flights between Brazil and Israel by the end of the year, it announced. Latam, the merger between Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM completed in 2012, will fly from Sao Paulo to Tel Aviv in 11 hours. Since El Al terminated the only direct flight…

  • Peru’s president, son of Jewish refugee who fled Nazis, resigns over vote-buying scandal

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Peru’s president, whose father was a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis, offered his resignation a day after the release of videos that showed key allies trying to buy the support of opposition lawmakers. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 79, spent months fighting off attempts to oust him and had vowed not…

  • Colombian Jewish TV news anchor asked to resign after refusing to cross herself on air

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Colombian Jewish journalist was ordered to resign from her anchor post on a daily TV newscast after she refused to cross herself while she was on the air. Channel 1’s Cathy Bekerman was asked to resign after refusing the order by Yamid Amat, newscast director of the CM& broadcast…

  • Jewish woman’s same-sex wedding takes the spotlight in Brazil

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Jewish woman’s same-sex wedding ceremony held in an iconic Brazilian hotel frequented by kings and queens has made headlines in Latin America’s largest nation. Some 200 guests attended the lavish nuptials held Saturday at the luxurious Copacabana Palace Hotel, where pharmacist Roberta Gradel and economist Priscila Raab were married under a…

  • Honduras and Paraguay ‘ready in principle’ to move embassies to Jerusalem

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Honduras and Paraguay reportedly may join Guatemala in relocating their embassies soon to Jerusalem. The two Latin American nations said they are both ready “in principle” to proceed with the move on the condition that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes an official visit to each of their countries, Israel’s…

  • Israeli backpackers volunteer in Rio’s slums in memory of Brazilian youth killed in Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A group of Israeli backpackers volunteered in Rio’s poverty-stricken favelas to honor the memory of a Brazilian youth killed in Israel. The 25 Israeli youths, volunteering during their traditional post-army travels, served as emissaries of the non-profit association Heroes for Life. For a two-week period ending Friday, they renovated elementary…

  • Guatemala court denies attempt to nix Israel embassy move

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Guatemala’s highest court for civil law rejected an attempt to call off moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The Constitutional Court of Guatemala’s five magistrates turned down a request from local attorney Marco Vinicio Mejia, who argued in a petition filed in January that the embassy move was…

  • Brazil’s Jewish history celebrated at Rio Carnival

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The saga of the European Jewish refugees who established the first synagogue in the New World and eventually also North America’s first congregation was celebrated in Rio’s Carnival parade. A group of 80 Jewish community members joined more than 3,000 Portela samba school performers on Monday night as they paraded…

  • Colombia extradites Israeli for drug and human trafficking

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — An Israeli citizen accused of belonging to an international crime organization was captured and extradited from Colombia. Binyamin Cohen, 35, was extradited on Sunday and will face trial in Israel on drug trafficking charges. He had been arrested in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, on crimes including arms trafficking, car robbery, home…