Briefly: Americas

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The Defense Department said in a news release that armed men holed up in a building in the city of Valle Hermoso opened fire on the troops Saturday.

The army patrol later seized the building, finding 11 dead gunmen and 73 rifles inside. Two suspects were arrested.

The army said the wounded soldier was taken to a hospital for treatment, but it did not specify his condition.

The Gulf and Zetas drug cartels operate in the area.

CUBA

Cuban, U.S. scientists open cooperation meeting

HAVANA — Scientists from Cuba and the United States on Monday began a five-day meeting aimed at exploring opportunities for cooperation in a range of research fields, including biological and environmental sciences, and science policy, Cuban officials said.

The forum, organized by the Academy of Sciences of Cuba and the American Association for the Advancement of Science is being attended by about 40 directors of research centers and researchers from the two countries, the ACC said in statement, according to the official Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.

The U.S. and Cuba have not had diplomatic relations since the White House broke off links in 1961, and a strict embargo has strangled ties and trade between them.

BRAZIL

U.N. envoy for women to visit Brazil this week

BRASILIA — The executive director of U.N. Women, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, will pay a two-day visit to Brazil this week for talks with President Dilma Rousseff, the Foreign Ministry said.

Mrs. Bachelet is due to arrive in the country Wednesday and confer with Mrs. Rousseff on Thursday about Brazil’s gender-equality policy and the role of women in U.N. peacekeeping operations and in the armed forces, a ministry statement said.

The former Chilean president also is to speak at a national conference on policies toward women and to meet with ministers, lawmakers and representatives of civil society.

In Rio de Janeiro, Mrs. Bachelet - the first executive director of the U.N. agency on women, created last year - will visit the Brazilian Peacekeeping Operations Joint Center and meet with Defense Minister Celso Amorim for talks on the theme “Women, Peace and Security.”

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