Friday, January 22, 2016
* Latin America: A World Bank study warned that the number of youth in Latin America who are not in school or employed (“ninis”) has grown since 1992.
* Haiti: President Michel Martelly confirmed that the controversial runoff election for his successor will take place this Sunday and ruled out opposition calls to back a transitional government.
Update (January 23rd, 12:20 AM): Haitian electoral officials postponed the January 24th runoff due to "a deteriorating security environment and threats to the electoral process." The election has thus been delayed for a third time after originally being scheduled for December 27, 2015.
* Mexico: The Mexican government reported that homicides increased in 2015 for the first time in four years though other serious crimes like kidnapping and extortion decreased.
* South America: Bolivia and Ecuador are among the eight countries added to a Centers for Disease Control travel advisory warning due to the spreading Zika virus.
YouTube Source – CCTV America
Online Sources – The Guardian, Mashable, France 24, The Latin Americanist, Reuters
Thursday, January 21, 2016
* Venezuela: The OPEC oil cartel will likely rebuff Venezuela’s latest appeal for an emergency meeting even though the economy of the Latin American state has been battered by the plummeting price of crude.
* Puerto Rico: “Now is the time to act,” declared U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as he urged Congress to take steps and help pass a deal to restructure Puerto Rico’s multibillion dollar public debt.
* Mexico: The U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for visitors going to Mexico though the advisory appears to be unrelated to the recent arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
* Brazil: A diplomatic tiff has developed between Brazil and Israel over the naming of an ex-West Bank settler leader to serve as ambassador to the South American country.
YouTube Source – euronews business
Online Sources – Reuters, Washington Post, ABC News, Forbes
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
* Honduras: The Honduran government and the Organization of American States agreed to create an international body aimed at combating political and judicial corruption.
* Latin America: The International Monetary Fund believes that the economy of the Latin America and Caribbean region will contract for the second straight year and shrink by 0.3% in 2016.
* U.S.: A new Pew Research Center study found that the Latino electorate has grown mainly thanks to more millennials and naturalized citizens.
* Colombia: Colombian officials and the FARC rebels requested U.N. monitoring of their bilateral ceasefire roughly two months prior to a self-imposed deadline to reach a final peace deal.
YouTube Source – AJ+ (Video uploaded on July 2015).
Online Sources – The Guardian, Financial Times, Pew Hispanic Center, BBC News
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Opposition candidate Jude Célestin assailed Haiti’s oft-delayed presidential election scheduled for this Sunday and threatened with officially withdrawing.
“I refuse to participate in this masquerade that has only one goal, swallow snakes to the entire Haitian population, stop taking us for idiots,” declared the candidate of the Alternative League for Haitian Progress and Empowerment (LAPEH).
Without mentioning him by name, Célestin claimed that ruling party pick Jovenel Moise would be a “traitor” if he were to participate in the January 24th runoff. He also warned voters they would be committing a “serious mistake” if they head to the polls, and blamed current President Michel Martelly for interfering in the electoral process.
Célestin and Moise emerged from a first round in October packed with fifty-four candidates but the LAPEH alliance and some runners-up accused Martelly forces of widespread electoral fraud. An independent panel on January 3rd noted “irregularities” by poll workers including problems at a majority of polling stations. Nevertheless, they concluded that the runoff could go ahead for later in the month.
Update (January 20, Noon): Violent protests continued for a second straight day in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday with some opposition demonstrators chanting "The revolution has started, get your gun ready."
President Martelly said that the runoff will take place on Sunday though legislators are debating postponing the vote yet again and establishing a "verification commission."
Update (January 20, 9:30 PM): Haiti's Senate passed a resolution calling for the runoff to be suspended and rescheduled. The declaration is non-binding, however, and the election will surely be held as planned for this Sunday.
* Latin America: Colombia enacted a law imposing harsher punishments against those convicted of attacking women with acid, while the Dominican opposition accused the government of doing little to combat femicides.
* U.S.: The Supreme Court accepted listening to arguments later this year over the legality of the DACA and DAPA immigration relief programs.
* Chile: Chilean prosecutors will reportedly reopen an investigation into the origins of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet's multimillion dollar fortune.
* Brazil: Another negative sign for Brazil’s economy as economists believe that inflation will rise by 7% this year.
YouTube Source – Thomson Reuters Foundation (Video uploaded on April 2015).
Online Sources – BBC News, Dominican Today, Fox News Latino, Bloomberg, NBC News
Monday, January 18, 2016
* Guatemala: Political newcomer turned president Jimmy Morales repeated his campaign pledge to combat Guatemala’s deeply-rooted corruption during his inauguration address last Thursday.
* Latin America: Brazilian scientists will receive public funds to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus though one researcher claimed that it could take from three to five years.
* Bolivia: Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada of Bolivia, currently living in the U.S. on asylum, could become the next former Latin American president to go on trial.
* Mexico: “Emerging markets need to be ready for a potentially severe shock,” warned Mexican central bank Agustín Carstens amid investor worry over the weakening Chinese economy.
YouTube Source – efeinternational
Online Sources – Bloomberg, CNBC, Christian Science Monitor, teleSUR English