Friday, April 8, 2016
* Guatemala: Five men were convicted and received prison sentences of up to fifty years for the 2011 homicide of Argentine singer Facundo Cabral and the attempted murder of his manager who they were trying to kill.
* Argentina: Federal prosecutor Federico Delgado has called for an investigation into President Mauricio Macri prior involvement with several offshore firms that was revealed by the recent “Panama Papers” leak.
* U.S.: A new poll of Latino registered voters found a virtual split in support for Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as well as an 83% unfavorability rating for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
* Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro issued a decree that would allow public workers to take a three-day weekend in order to save energy in the oil-rich country.
YouTube Source – euronews (Video uploaded in 2011).
Online Sources – Billboard, The Latin Americanist, Vice News, NBC News, CBC
Thursday, April 7, 2016
* Haiti: Political obstacles continue to plague Haiti’s presidential election, which has been postponed multiple times since last December.
* Brazil: The wheels continue turning in the impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff though her potential successor, Michel Temer, might also face impeachment.
* Guatemala: Fourteen suspects were arrested and accused of forcing farmers at gunpoint to sell their land at undervalued rates.
* Venezuela: The head of Spain’s emerging Podemos political party rejected allegations that the group received millions of dollars from the Venezuelan government.
YouTube Source – AFP (Video uploaded on January 23, 2016).
Online Sources – ABC News, Fox News Latino, Reuters, BBC News, The Guardian
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
What do a Nobel laureate, “La Reina del Sur” and the president of a South American country all have in common? These and a few thousand other Latin Americans were named in the “Panama Papers” leak of eleven million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca purportedly assisting in tax evasion, circumventing sanctions, and money laundering. In light of the damaging allegations, the government of the isthmus had gone on a diplomatic offensive.
Deputy Minister Luis Miguel Hincapié on Tuesday blasted Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) chief Angel Gurria for suggesting that Panama failed “to meet the international tax transparency standards are now out there in full public view.” he claimed Gurria made “allegations and insinuations whose falsity is easily demonstrated.” Hincapié further accused Gurria of discriminating against Panama by not pointing the finger at other jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands where half of firms mentioned in the “Panama Papers” are registered in.
The official earlier today also implied that the OECD has coerced Panama as part of its campaign to place international standards on tax transparency.
“(Panama) for a long time has suffered pressure from the OECD so that the country can sign a multilateral treaty to exchange fiscal information,” Hincapié mentioned at a press conference.
“We only agreed in the interchange of information on a bilateral basis and in specific cases,” he said.
The OECD hasn’t been the only foreign body receiving criticism from the Panamanian government. Minister of the Presidency Alvaro Aleman threatened with “retaliation measures” against France if the European country goes through with placing the isthmus on its blacklist of tax havens.
Economics Minister Dulcido De La Guardia rejected claims that Panama is a “fiscal oasis” and claimed “three-quarters of income received by the government comes from taxes paid by nationals and foreigners residing in the country.” (Though this does raise the question of where does the other 25% come from).
* Ecuador: Ecuador’s state-owned Petroamazonas signed $1 billion in deals with Chinese firms amid controversy over the beginning of oil drilling near the Yasuni national park.
* Central America: According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, gang violence is to blame for the exodus of tens of thousands of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to other Central America states and the U.S.
* Peru: An estimated 30,000 people marched in Lima to protest against presidential frontrunner Keiko Fujimori on the 23rd anniversary of the infamous “self-coup” by her father, then-leader Alberto Fujimori.
* Mexico: Some 40% of cars in Mexico City were left off the road while the public transit system was oversaturated after the first “Hoy No Circula” vehicle restriction day on Wednesday.
YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour (Video uploaded in August 2013).
Online Sources – Xinhua, The Guardian, euronews, ABC News, CBC
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
* Brazil: Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff declared that none of her cabinet would be reshuffled prior to an upcoming impeachment vote that she has referred to as a “coup.”
* U.S.: Care to guess which U.S. presidential hopeful proposed preventing all remittances to Mexico in exchange for paying for the boondoggle that is a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border?
* Cuba: According to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, 1416 arbitrary arrests took place last month in Cuba with roughly one-third of them occurring during U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic trip to the island.
* Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rican Senate approved a “sweeping” moratorium that would allow the government to prevent making payments on the island’s massive debt until January 2017.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – Reuters, Fox News Latino, BBC News, Bloomberg
Monday, April 4, 2016
* Peru: Poll frontrunner Keiko Fujimori flip-flopped and pledged to not pardon her father, imprisoned former Peruvian leader Alberto Fujimori, if she wins the presidency in elections scheduled for next week.
* Venezuela: A Human Rights Watch report assailed Venezuelan law enforcement for extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members as part of a crackdown against crime.
* Haiti: Several hundred protesters including disabled rights activists and human rights advocates marched in Port-au-Prince last Friday to condemn the murders of three deaf Haitian women.
* U.S.: The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the current “one person, one vote” rule to decide voting districts in a decision that prevented shifting “political power away from fast-growing communities of immigrants”.
YouTube Source – NTDTV (Ex-president Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison in 2009 for human rights abuses during his decade as Peru’s president).
Online Sources – Reuters, InSight Crime, CBS News, The Los Angeles Times