Friday, November 6, 2015
* Brazil: At least one person is dead and fifteen others are missing after a dam holding mine waste burst in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.
Update (October 8): Minas Gerais Gov. Fernando Pimentel claimed that the 28 people missing after the dam burst are unlikely to be found alive.
* Central America: A program introduced last December to curtail the influx of unaccompanied Central American children in 2014 has yet to accept a single minor according to a report originally published in The New York Times.
* Puerto Rico: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of San Juan to demonstrate against U.S. government cuts to federal health programs.
* Chile: The Chilean government called that it was “possible and highly probable” that acclaimed poet Pablo Neruda was killed days after a 1973 military coup.
YouTube Source – ODN
Online Sources including Update – Business Insider, ABC News, Latin American Herald Tribune, Flavorwire
Thursday, November 5, 2015
* Colombia: The Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling on marijuana wasn’t the only key judicial decision made in Latin America yesterday as Colombian magistrates legalized adoptions by same-sex couples.
* U.S.: President Barack Obama will reportedly unveil as soon as this week a new plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and transfer inmates to mainland maximum security facilities.
* Latin America: Panamanian authorities claimed to have found a drug trafficking connection between Colombia’s FARC rebels and fugitive Mexican drug capo Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
* Puerto Rico: Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla introduced a plan to restructure the $8 billion debt held by Puerto Rico’s main electricity company.
YouTube Source – teleSUR English
Online Sources – NBC News, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, UPI, The Latin Americanist
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Mexico’s Supreme Court by a 4-1 margin ruled in a case on Wednesday that could open the door to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
A majority of magistrates of the high court’s criminal chamber declared unconstitutional portions of the national health law that have allowed he government to prohibit personal use of marijuana. The decision thus allows for the “ludic” use, growth and consuming of marijuana exclusively for personal usage.
“The Supreme Court calls on all institutions related to public policy on drugs to revise the current prohibitionist model,” said judge José Ramón Cossío. Doing so would help refocus the problems with drugs as a public health issue, he added.
“The absolute prohibition (of marijuana) is excessive and does not protect the right to health,” noted justice Olga Sánchez Cordero. “Recreational use of marijuana should be authorized in order to respect personal liberties,” she also mentioned.
The decision only applies to the four individual plaintiffs belonging to a cannabis club and who brought up the lawsuit, and the ruling does not have the power to overturn laws currently on the books regarding drugs.
Prior to the ruling, Mexican national security chief Manuel Mondragón expressed his rejection against any proposal to legalize marijuana. “I don’t want to live in a society addicted to marijuana,” said Mondragón, who also claimed that over half of consumers in Mexico are minors.
Despite Mondragón’s criticism, the high court’s ruling could be an antecedent to Congressional action towards decriminalizing marijuana usage. Legislative leaders representing the ruling PRI, conservative PAN and leftist PRD said they would be willing to debate the marijuana issue though refrained from providing any strong opinions. President Enrique Peña Nieto, meanwhile, called on federal health officials to publicly explain the impact of the high court verdict.
* Mexico: According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, about 150 journalists were murdered in Latin America since 2010 while roughly one in three cases occurring in Mexico.
* Brazil: Brent crude futures jumped by 3.6% to $50.70 on Tuesday partly due to worries over decreased oil production from Brazilian state-run film Petrobras.
* Argentina: Credit agency Moody’s improved Argentina’s credit rating in an apparent sign that the national economy will improve regardless of who wins the presidential runoff later this month.
* Ecuador: Ecuador’s government received another legal victory over the oil industry after arbitrators reduced from $1.77 billion to $1 billion a compensation owed to Occidental Petroleum.
YouTube Source – AJ+ (“Mexican photojournalist Rubén Espinosa was found dead in his Mexico City apartment (last July), along with 4 women”).
Online Sources – Benzinga, Reuters, teleSUR English, NBC News
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
* Dominican Republic: The Dominican government seemingly overreacted by stripping acclaimed author Junot Diaz of national honors over his criticism of the mistreatment of Haitian migrants.
* Venezuela: Venezuela will provide additional crude to nations of the Petrocaribe oil alliance according to remarks by President Nicolás Maduro.
* Latin America: The Day of the Dead may be closely associated with Mexico but nationals residing in Peru and Honduras also observed commemorations.
* Chile: Nine of the thirty-three Chilean miners trapped underground for sixty-nine days in 2010 have sued their lawyers over allegations of fraud.
YouTube Source – Big Think
Online Sources – The Guardian, Yahoo News, The Globe and Mail, teleSUR English
Monday, November 2, 2015
* Brazil: According to Brazilian daily O Estado de Sao Paulo, Volkswagen is negotiating settling a lawsuit claiming that the automaker turned a blind eye to the detention and torture of factory workers during the military dictatorship from the 1960s to 1980s.
* U.S.: Salvador Perez became the second Venezuelan to win the World Series Most Valuable Player award after the Kansas City Royals clinched the crown in five games.
* Argentina: U.S. federal judge Thomas Griesa ordered the Argentine government to pay an additional $6.1 billion to credit holders before paying off holdouts owed for the country’s historic 2001 debt default.
* Mexico: The Mexican Navy on Sunday rescued four fishermen who went missing after leaving the Ecuadoran port of Esmeraldas on September 24th and drifted 1200 miles away.
YouTube Source – NewsBeat Social (“A lawsuit filed September 22nd accuses German Automaker Volkswagen of condoning the torture of employees by the then-military government of Brazil in 1972.”)
Online Sources – Deutsche Welle, ESPN, Latin American Herald Tribune, GlobalPost