Thursday, October 20, 2005

Venezuela, Paraguay, and Haiti the most corrupt in Latin America

Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index Tuesday, ranking Venezuela, Paraguay, and Haiti numbers 130, 144, and 150 respectively, out of 159 countries. (MercoPress)

Quiroga inches ahead of Morales in Bolivian polls

Former President Jorge Quiroga has edged his way to the top of opinion polls for Bolivia's upcoming presidential elections. Quiroga holds 29.2% of the likely vote, ahead of Evo Morales' 28.3%, within the 2% margin of error. (Angus Reid)

Pinochet may be prosecuted for tax fraud

Former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet has been stripped of his immunity from prosecution once again, this time to face charges of tax fraud. (Fairfax Digital)

Ibero-American Summit condemns blockade of Cuba

The Ibero-American Summit in Spain ended with a vote by its members to condemn the US economic embargo of Cuba. The US downplayed the significance of the declaration, saying that such condemnations, especially by European states, were ritual. (Miami Herald)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oil prices rise due to worry over storm

-Submitted by Erwin Cifuentes. Nervousness over the impact of Tropical Storm Wilma caused the price of crude oil to go up by over a dollar yesterday. (Taipei Times)

All but two states accept UN convention to protect diversity

-Submitted by Erwin Cifuentes. Brazil sent its cultural minister to vote in favor of a UN convention on protecting linguistic diversity and minority cultures from globalization. (International Herald Tribune)

Castaneda given green light to run for president

-Submitted by Erwin Cifuentes. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that the Mexican government cannot bar Jorge Castaneda from running for president of Mexico. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Pinochet immunity taken away

-Submitted by Erwin Cifuentes. The Chilean Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that would remove the immunity held by former dictator Augusto Pinochet. (BBC)

Flores leading in Peru's presidential contest

Polls indicate that Lourdes Flores is the leader in Peru's upcoming presidential elections, and likely to receive 27% of the vote. She is followed by former Presidents Alan Garcia and Valentin Paniagua, with 17% and 15% of the likely vote, respectively. (Bloomberg)

Russia to send Brazil's first astronaut into space

Russia's Federal Space Agency has agreed to host Lt Col Marcus Pontes of Brazil in their launch to the International Space Station in March 2006. (

Religion a factor in 2006 Mexico elections

Mexico's Catholic Church has become more involved in politics, preparing for the 2006 elections by encouraging voters to make abortion, the debate on euthanasia, and crime and job creation priorities. (Reuters)

Uribe may yet be barred from re-election

Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe is awaiting a ruling by a Colombian court this week on whether a law may be passed that allows re-election of the president. However, he will have to wait for the passage of a proposed Election Guarantees Law in May that will finally determine his eligibility. (Reuters)