Friday, March 7, 2008

Today’s videos: Eugenia Leon and Eva Ayllon

This week’s videos (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) looked at guerillas and paramilitaries in Latin America. Quite honestly, I’m in the mood to end this week in an upbeat mood so we’re going to showcase some great music.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area this weekend and want to listen to a pair of phenomenal songstresses then you’re in luck. If you can please check them out; you won’t be sorry.

  • Eva Ayllon will be perfuming at the Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight. She is one of the best-known Afro-Peruvian singers and a wonderful representative of the musica criolla genre.

(Video link):

  • As Vivirlatino pointed out, Mexican singer Eugenia Leon will be on stage at the Getty Center tonight and Saturday. Leon is a legend whose voice is incomparable and a delight to hear.

(Video link):

Sources- Vivirlatino,,, The Latin Americanist, YouTube, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Ingrid Betancourt to be freed today?

Update: Ecuador's president denied that Betancourt or any other hostage would be released on Friday. "It looks like it won't be possible," said Rafael Correa during the Rio group summit.

Ecuadorian security minister Gustavo Larrea claimed that Ingrid Betancourt will be freed from her guerilla captors sometime today. Larrea said yesterday that the ex-presidential candidate will be liberated along with “three U.S. citizens, four policemen, three Colombian troops, and an Ecuadorian”. Moreover, Larrea mentioned that there had been negotiations to free Betancourt on March 14th before the death of senior FARC member Raul Reyes.

Yesterday French president Nicolas Sarkozy admitted in an interview with Colombian radio that the FARC should “continue the strategy of humanitarian freedom” so that Betancourt can be freed. Recently freed hostages claimed that Betancourt has been in terrible health after being held captive for over six years.

Sources (English) –The Latin Americanist, Xinhua

Sources (Spanish) – El Tiempo, Clarin, La Tercera


Summit focuses on diplomatic crisis

Update: The summit ended with the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua shaking hands after being encouraged by Dominican president Leonel Fernandez. They agreed to peacefully resolve their differences including Colombian president Alvaro Uribe promising to drop its threat of taking Hugo Chavez to the International Court of Justice. Also, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega vowed to resume diplomatic relations with Colombia.

Afterwards, the Rio group passed a declaration reflecting today's summit. The declaration mentions that no state has the right to engage in the domestic affairs of another state and also recognizes that no state can invade another.

The diplomatic crisis in South America over the Colombian army’s incursion into Ecuador was front and center during the summit of the Rio group. Tensions were high throughout today's session as the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua launched accusations against each other over last week’s military operation which ended in the death of sixteen FARC troops including commander Raul Reyes. Some of the charges included:

The leaders of other nations emphasized the need for a peaceful solution to the crisis; Mexican president Felipe Calderon called for “dialogue and understanding” throughout the region while Salvadoran President Tony Saca said that Colombia has “legitimate right to go after terrorists”.

The sole light-hearted occasion during the morning portion of the summit was when Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner joked that “women are sometimes accused of being hysterical. Here we are better behaved.”

Sources (English) – Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Latin Americanist, AFP, BBC News, Wikipedia

Sources (Spanish) – Milenio, Clarin

Image- Al Jazeera (“The summit in the Dominican Republic ended with Uribe, left, shaking hands with Chavez, right”)

Was Bordertown Booted to DVD in U.S. Because of Anti-Immigrant Feelings......

....or just because it sucks?

This is the German trailer for the film, which ended up going straight to DVD here in the U.S.
At the premiere of the film at the Berlin Film Festival last year, a presumably international audience, the film about the killing of women in Ciudad Juarez, was booed.
Writer Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez feels that the film is a victim of anti-Latino sentiment based in large part in anti-immigrant sentiment.

I haven't seen the film, so I can't comment on if this is another J-Lo bomb or if something deeper is going on.

Sources : The Latin Americanist, Brave New Films

Listening to Barney the Dinosaur is Torture in Guantanamo

As a parent, I have successfully avoided torturing myself with Barney, but those detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, weren't so lucky. According to a Mother Jones report Barney, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, 2Pac, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica and that Meow Mix commercial jingle, were blasted on boom boxes to torture inmates. The music was played on levels just high enough to not burst eardrums and were played on repeat mode.

You really have to hear the original Mother Jones report because it is an audio report, complete with all the music played. There's even a playlist of torture songs and a great analysis on why songs were chosen.

Some of the musicians featured on the torture playlist expressed their disgust with their music being used. Others, like Metallica, felt happy to be part of the war against terror.
Sources : Mun2 and Mother Jones
Image Source : PBS Kids

Daily Headlines: March 7, 2008

* Convicted Mexican drug kingpin Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was freed and returned to his homeland after being released on parole.

* A poll released this week showed that about six out of every ten people in the U.S. want to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

* Brazil's Supreme Court delayed a decision on whether or not embryonic stem cell research can be legally done there.

* OPEC representatives unanimously backed Venezuela in its dispute with ExxonMobil.

Sources- Associated Press, Angus Reid Consultants, Xinhua, Reuters, The Latin Americanist

Image- CBS News (“Mexican drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, in DEA custody, is shown arriving in San Diego, in this August 16, 2006 file photo.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today’s video: United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia

The recent focus on Colombia has centered on the diplomatic hullabaloo resulting from the death of FARC guerilla commander Raul Reyes. Today, however, thousands of protestors marched in Colombia and around the world in solidarity with victims of Colombia’s civil conflict. Much like protests on February 4th, today’s marches were to repudiate violence and to promote peace. Yet while last month’s event placed a special emphasis on opposing the FARC, today’s actions paid special notice to those murdered and “disappeared” by paramilitary forces.

One of Colombia’s main paramilitary armies was the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC, in Spanish). The AUC served as an umbrella for other paramilitary groups and its military modus operandi was intimidation and massacres. Despite the group’s demobilization between 2005 and 2006, the AUC has been connected to Colombia’s “para-politics” scandal. Moreover, former AUC members have been key in the formation of new paramilitary factions such as the Black Eagles.

The video below shows testimony of a peasant woman in southern Colombia whose life was turned upside down by paramilitary and guerilla violence.

(Video link):

Sources (English) –Reuters AlertNet, The Latin Americanist,,, Wikipedia, YouTube

Sources (Spanish) – RCN, El Tiempo

Peru massacre survivors to get $37 million

A U.S. federal judge awarded $37 million to some of the survivors of a 1985 massacre in Peru. Former Peruvian Major Telmo Ricardo Hurtado Hurtado was held accountable for his role in the Accomarca massacre where over 60 villagers were murdered during a military operation seeking Shining Path guerillas.

Hurtado has been under U.S. custody since April 2007 for violating immigration laws and shortly thereafter was sentenced to six months in jail. The lawsuit against him was brought by two survivors of the massacre who were twelve at the time and who hope the case serves as a message against impunity:

Although collecting any of the money is unlikely, the civil case has drawn new attention to Hurtado's role in the massacre and could help Peruvian authorities convict him of crimes he was charged with there in 2005, said Moira Feeney, spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Center for Justice & Accountability, which represented the two women.

"Our clients want to see him returned to Peru and prosecuted criminally," Feeney said. "If he does have assets or he does get a job, we have a judgment. We will be his creditors for the rest of his life."

Image- BBC News

Sources- Associated Press, JURIST, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Reuters, IOL, The Latin Americanist

Nicaragua cuts ties with Colombia

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega just announced that the country will break ties to show "solidarity with the Ecuadorean people."

The move comes after Venezuela and Ecuador also broke ties with Colombia following a Colombian raid on rebels in Ecuadorean territory.

This also follows a resolution by the Organization of American States saying Colombia violated Ecuador's sovereignty and the United States' support for Colombia.

Read CNN's story here.

Photo: CNN, OAS meeting

EU, Latin Americans vow to curb emissions

At a climate change conference in Brussels, European Union and Latin American officials say they want to work together to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth in 2020 and encouraged Latin America to also curb the loss of species and their habitats.

Brazil defended the importance of its sugarcane industry to the nation, and Ernesto Bernales Alvarado, head of the Latin American and Caribbean delegation and president of Peru's national environmental council, said Latin America would step up to the challenge but cautioned it would depend on the different countries' education levels and frameworks.

Officials will next meet in May in Lima.

Source: AP

Photo: NYT

OAS sends commission to crisis

The Organization of American States dispatched a commission to Ecuador to investigate what happened on the border. OAS also says Colombia violated the sovereignty of Ecuador, the Washington Post reported.

Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Isabel Salvador, said she is satisfied with the resolution because it includes everything her country requested.

Venezuela continues to send troops to the border. The country's state television said 85 percent of a planned force of 10,000 was in place.

Source: Washington Post

Photo: Guardian

Daily Headlines: March 6, 2007

* A community divided and questions about immigration policy have resulted from a major raid by federal agents one year ago today in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

* The New York Times highlights Cuba’sarmy of information specialists” and their desire to freely access technology.

* Peru and Bolivia refuted a U.N. drugs report that criticized the traditional use of coca leaves.

* According to the Colombian press the FARC guerillas released four tourists who were kidnapped in January.

Sources- The Latin Americanist,, Guardian UK, BBC News, Bloomberg, New York Times

Image- CBS News

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Today’s Video: the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front

We continue this week’s video theme of Latin American guerilla and paramilitary groups with a look at Chile’s Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (Spanish initials FPMR). The group formed in 1983 with the aim of attacking the government led by one of the most divisive leaders in Latin American history- Augusto Pinochet. The FPMR nearly succeeded in snuffing out Pinochet in an assassination attempt in 1986 which killed five of his bodyguards.

The following video shows part of a 2001 Chilean TV report on that event including interviews with former FPMR members.

(Video link):

The FPMR split in the post-Pinochet transition to democracy with one faction participating in politics and another continuing armed struggle. According to Wikipedia, the FPMR ended the “armed struggle in December 1997.”

Previous videos this week focused on the Shining Path and the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (a.k.a. Triple A).

Sources-, Wikipedia, BBC News,,, The Latin Americanist

OAS resolution could end diplomatic stalemate

The Organization of American States agreed to a resolution today that could lead to the end of a diplomatic crisis in South America. The compromise absolves Colombia from violating international law in its attack last Saturday in Ecuadorian territory which killed a senior FARC guerilla commander. However, the agreement did criticize Colombia for crossing into Ecuador and established a framework for an investigation into the incident.

One of the keys to Colombia’s argument at the OAS was by using U.N. Resolution 1337 to justify Saturday’s operation. explains how it could apply:

With the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban, however, the "effective control" principle was tossed out the window. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, passed shortly after 9/11, required that states "deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts." That is, state sovereignty confers rights but also responsibilities to control one's territory…

The trouble is that states tend to overreach. Both Turkey and Israel caught guff for using disproportionate force during their respective cross-border operations against the PKK and Hezbollah. Yet the doctrine of proportionality remains subjective…That is, Colombia cannot respond to FARC guerrilla activity by carpet-bombing Quito. A targeted airstrike against a terrorist safe house near the border, on the other hand, is more open to debate.

In the meantime:

  • Venezuelan troops continue to be deployed along the border with Colombia though defense minister Gustavo Rangel said that the Venezuelan government has not shutdown border traffic.
  • Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is currently in Brazil as part of a diplomatic tour seeking support from the region’s leaders.
  • The three remaining U.S. presidential hopefuls each backed Colombia’s actions and condemned Venezuela’s intervention.

Sources (English) –, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Latin Americanist,,, Reuters India, Voice of America, Plan Colombia and Beyond

Sources (Spanish) – El Tiempo

Image- CNN (“Venezuelan National Guard members guard a post near Venezuela's border with Colombia”)

There is a Latino Running for Office : Ralph Nader's Running Mate Matt Gonzalez

While Ralph Nader's run for President this election isn't as problematic as it has been in elections past, alot of the focus is on his running mate, Matt Gonzalez, and yes as his name betrays, he is Latino.

Matthew Edward Gonzalez was born in McAllen, Texas to a Mexican mother, Oralia, and Mexican-American father, Mateo. Gonzalez spent his first four years in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Gonzalez said about his childhood in South Texas: "The Mexican-American–Latino–Chicano culture in California is different than my experience in Texas. I grew up in a town that is majority Mexican and Mexican-American. In McAllen, we didn't refer to ourselves as Latinos or Chicanos. We referred to ourselves as Mexican. There's a different feel in that border area.
He has a history as an activist lawyer and ran (and lost) for San Francisco Mayor.

Source : Wikipedia

Clinton Wants Obama in Her Camp

After winning the primaries in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island, Hillary Clinton hinted that the presidential race could be headed towards a Clinton/Obama ticket.
Asked on CBS's "The Early Show" whether she and Obama should be on the same ticket, Clinton said:
"That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket. I think the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me."
Barack Obama, who won Vermont last night, is saying not so fast, reminding people that he still holds the lead in number of delegates.

Source : Yahoo!

Daily Headlines: March 5, 2008

* Less than a week after the U.S. State Department released a report on counternarcotics efforts worldwide, the U.N. issued their own study warning against the “rampant flow” of drugs.

* What is the rhetoric of the U.S. presidential candidates on Latin America? The Council on Hemispheric Affairs tries to explain.

(We’ll discuss Tuesday’s primary election results later today).

* Chile’s government wants to drastically cut taxes as part of an economic stimulus plan.

* Officials from the European Union and Latin America met yesterday to discuss how they can meet the challenges caused by global warming/climate change.

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Guardian UK, Reuters, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Houston Chronicle, Reuters

Image- TIME (Mexican police seized 26 tons of cocaine in a drug bust last year)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Today’s Video: Triple A

This week’s video theme of Latin American guerilla and paramilitary groups continues with a look at the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance, a.k.a. the Triple A.

The right-wing paramilitary organization lasted a few years especially during the rule of Isabel Peron. However, one report blamed the Triple A for killing 1,122 people and the group would eventually fold into the ruling Argentine military junta during the “Dirty War”.

Below is a subtitled portion of a 1979 Argentine film on the Triple A entitled Las AAA son las tres armas (“The Armed Forces are the AAA”). The film’s writer was killed after joining the Montoneros while the director would end up as one of the thousands of “disappeared.”

(Video link):

Sources-, BBC News, Wikipedia,,

News briefs – the Caribbean

* Haitian President René Préval wants temporary protection status to be granted to Haitians living in the U.S.

* The Cuban government presented a new plan designed to stimulate the island’s economy.

* Puerto Rico’s teachers strike will enter its second week with seemingly no end in sight.

* Roughly 900 gallons of crude oil spilled off the Dominican coast and could endanger wildlife.

* Trade ministers from the Caricom bloc are meeting in order to address mounting food prices.

Sources- Riptide 2.0, Daily Times, Houston Chronicle, International Herald Tribune,

Image- BBC News

“Maletagate” suspect pleads guilty; debate over Colombian free trade

The main focus of news in Latin America over the past few days has been on Raul Reyes’ death by Colombian forces and the subsequent diplomatic row involving countries like Venezuela. However, a pair of other stories has emerged from Colombia and Venezuela that have caught out attention.

One of the defendants in the “Maletagate” case pled guilty in a U.S. federal court. In his guilty plea, Carlos Kauffmann said that he and four others tried to coerce Guido Antonini Wilson [image] into staying quiet. (Wilson has been accused of smuggling $800,000 in cash from Venezuela to fund the campaign of current Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

As part of the agreement, Kauffmann’s possible jail time may be significantly reduced and he may not be deported to his native Venezuela.

Meanwhile, a U.S. legislator wants to investigate into the removal of a Colombian judge from "a special tribunal” looking into the deaths of labor leaders. With Congress debating the approval of a free trade pact with Colombia, Rep. George Miller believes that the Uribe administration needs to ensure the safety of trade unionists:

"As the U.S. Congress debates the proposed trade agreement with Colombia, it is essential that we consider whether Colombia is doing everything it can to protect the safety of workers who want to exercise their basic workplace rights without worrying about becoming a victim of violence," Miller said in a statement.

Sources- Reuters, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg, The Latin Americanist

Image- El Pais

Focus shifts to Hispanic vote

All eyes are on the Hispanic vote today, as Latinos are 25 percent of the electorate in Texas, a hefty percentage that could determine a tight race between Democratic candidates New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Hispanics vote will undoubtedly be key to today's election, CNN reports, whether they maintain their loyalty to Clinton or not.

Newsday reports that Hispanic support for Clinton seems to be wavering.

The San Francisco Chronicle dissects each campaign's revised strategy to attract Hispanic voters.

Clinton, in particular, has made a heavy appeal to Hispanic voters, who she and her husband have sporadically courted for years. This includes gearing Spanish-language ads to "Latino time," or suggesting voters show up 15 minutes earlier.

And finally, an article about specifically Hispanic women's voting preferences.

Sources: CNN, Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Women's eNews

Photo: WFAA

Countries rally to prevent potential crisis

After the White House said the dispute in South America should be resolved by the countries involved, Bush has announced support for Alvaro Uribe, president of Colombia.

International leaders are jumping in to offer opinions and find a diplomatic resolution for the situation in South America, where Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa sent troops to the border of Colombia and expelled the country's ambassadors after Colombian militants killed FARC rebels across Ecuador's border. Uribe later produced documents he says link Chavez to the FARC rebels.

Anyway, here's a wrap up of the countries' reactions:

The Organization of the American States will meet in Washinton today to find a peaceful end to the dispute.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega called Uribe a threat to Latin America.

Brazil demanded an apology from Uribe.

France called for a diplomatic resolution.

Uribe threatened to denounce Chavez in an international court, accused the FARC of plotting a dirty bomb and said Colombia would bring genocide charges against Chavez.

Fidel Castro took advantage of the growing tension to denounce imperialism.

Time magazine explains why Chavez is just rattling a saber.

Sources: Reuters, Time, AP

Photo: Voices of America, Ecuador President Rafael Correa

Daily Headlines: March 4, 2008

* Talk about reinforcing stereotypes: Jamaica’s government is considering the legalization of marijuana.

* Is Bolivia turning into a “fractured country” a la the former Yugoslavia?

* Spain will extradite a key Argentine Dirty War suspect so that he may stand trial.

* Controversy has hit Panama over whether or not to observe the 1989 U.S. invasion of that country as a “day of mourning.”

Sources- Associated Press, Mercopress, International Herald Tribune, The Latin Americanist


Monday, March 3, 2008

Today’s Video: The Shining Path

The death of senior FARC official Raul Reyes and the subsequent diplomatic spat has served to show that some guerilla and paramilitary movements have made their mark on Latin American history. This week’s video theme will look at some of these groups and their respective historical impacts. They have often resorted to bloodthirsty levels of violence by killing thousands of innocent people in order to advance their warped ideologies.

Today’s video is a Spanish-language documentary which examines Peru’s Shining Path (“Sendero Luminoso”) based on the findings of that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The documentary includes the Shining Path’s history as well as massacres committed in Peruvian villages.

(Video link):

Sources- Wikipedia, The Latin Americanist

Study: L. American anti-drug efforts insufficient

The U.S. State Department’s 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) was issued last week and for the most part it was not good news for Latin America. Of the twenty countries listed as “having 'failed demonstrably’ to live up to their obligations under anti-drug agreements” fourteen were from Latin America. According to Reuters, the report notes that numerous problems persist in the Americas:
Venezuela, whose President Hugo Chavez is a strident foe of Washington who stopped helping U.S. counternarcotics work in 2005, is "a major drug-transit country with rampant high level corruption and a weak judicial system," the report said...

Colombian cocaine moving through Venezuela continue to be mostly destined for the U.S. market, but the amount directed to Europe through small, poor countries in western Africa was rapidly growing, the report said...

The report identified Mexico as "a major source of heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana" and the transit country for 90 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States. Mexico suffered some 2,600 drug-related killings in 2007, it said.

This year’s INCSR appears to differ little from last year’s version which blasted Bolivia and Venezuela while also criticizing Mexico and Colombia.

All 600+ pages of the INSCR can be accessed here. (Warning: it’s a PDF document).

Image- New York Times (“A Bolivian soldier searched for drugs inside a bus that was passing through the Yungas region, where three-quarters of Bolivia's coca is grown.”)

Sources- The Swamp, CNN, Reuters, U.S. Department of State

Possible immigration snafu over disabled man

U.S. and Mexican immigration officials might have some explaining to do after an elderly disabled man was returned to Mexico without notifying Mexican officials to receive him.

According to a report from, 77-year-old Miguel Cervantes Gallegos was reported lost for 11 days last month and was apparently repatriated to Mexico after trying to enter the U.S. illegally through a checkpoint. A set of guidelines between both countries lists the steps to be taken for people with disabilities yet immigration authorities didn’t have exact records on Gallegos:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed that they detained a man in his 70s [on February 10th] and returned him to Mexico about 5:30 p.m. The man gave officers a different name, agency spokesman Vince Bond said, but it was noted that he had “leg problems.”

If that man was Cervantes, his family is wondering why there was no attention given to his condition as he was being returned...

No one had any record of Cervantes, not even Mexican immigration officials. According to the National Immigration Institute, an officer is stationed at the San Ysidro turnstile 24 hours a day.

Last year, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen spent nearly three months missing after was accidently deported to Mexico. As we mentioned a few days ago, attorneys for the man filed a lawsuit against several parties including the Department of Homeland Security.

Sources-, The Latin Americanist, Associated Press

Image- USA TODAY (San Ysidro border crossing)

Accusations launched over FARC commander’s death

Tensions have grown in several south American states over this Saturday’s death of a senior Colombian guerilla. Raul Reyes- a FARC commander and point person for hostage negotiations- was killed during a military operation near the Colombia-Ecuador border. Since then, a diplomatic row has developed between Colombia and Ecuador along with the involvement of Venezuela:

Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez warned of “the beginning of a war” as he ordered the pull out of that country’s ambassador in Bogota as well as a military buildup along the border with Colombia. Chavez also railed against the U.S. and called his Colombian counterpart a "paramilitary leading a terrorist state.”

Ecuador – Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa made orders similar to those done by Chavez and added that Colombia broke international law by illegally entering Ecuadorian territory during the bombings that killed Reyes.

Colombia - The director of Colombia's national police alleged that information taken from Reyes’ laptops indicate links between the FARC and Ecuador's government. One of the documents claimed that Reyes had “direct contact” with Security Minister Gustavo Larrea.

Spokesman for other governments in the Americas have shown their concern over the anxious situation between Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Even Fidel Castro has publicized his views over the fray by blaming “the Yankee empire” for its role in the affair.

Update #1: According to Mexico's El Universal, Ecuador's Defense Minister claimed that a "21-year-old Mexican woman" was one of the guerillas injured during the attack that killed Reyes.

Update #2: Colombia's police director dropped a bombshell this afternoon by claiming that the Venezuelan government sent over $300 million in funds to the FARC. (Link via Monsters & Critics).

Sources (English) - International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg, AFP, CNN, IOL

Sources (Spanish) – RCN, El Tiempo

Image - BBC News (“Venezuela ordered the deployment of 10 battalions")

Daily Headlines: March 3, 2008

* The European Union has eased a good part of a ban placed last month on Brazilian beef.

* Food aid distributed by USAID to countries worldwide including Latin America will be “significantly scaled back” according to the Washington Post.

* Is Cuba’s signing of two international human rights treaties previously rejected by Fidel Castro a sign of change on the island?

* Bolivia’s government has designated May 4th as the date for a constitutional referendum.

Sources- Voice of America, Belfast Telegraph, The Latin Americanist, Reuters UK, Washington Post

Image- BBC News