Friday, September 9, 2016
* Mexico: Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón will purportedly return to Mexico to shoot his first film there since “Y Tu Mamá También” in 2001.
* Brazil: Police in Brazil want to question International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach over a suspected plan to resell Rio Olympics tickets, which may explain why he opted to skip attending the Paralympics opening ceremonies held on Wednesday night.
* United States: Despite the sometimes-toxic rhetoric in the U.S. presidential race regarding immigration, a new study found that the Latino population growth has slowed due lower fertility rates and less migrants coming from Latin America.
* Uruguay: Uruguayan authorities are seeking another country, “especially in the Arab world”, to house ex-Guantanamo detainee Abu Wa'el Dhiab who is going through a hunger strike in order to be reunited with his family.
YouTube Source – Movieclips
Online Sources – ABC News, BBC News, NBC News, The A.V. Club
Thursday, September 8, 2016
* Ecuador: Oil drilling began yesterday in an area near the Yasuni National Park despite opposition from indigenous communities in the Amazon and environmentalists.
* Venezuela: In one of the latest struggles between the government and opposition politicians, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles claimed Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro “sent armed groups” to harass him at an airport.
* Brazil: Acting president Michel Temer was drowned out by a cacophony of jeering and whistling as the Rio Paralympics was inaugurated last night during an otherwise festive opening ceremony.
* Bolivia: LGBT activists in Bolivia celebrated the arrival of government-issued identification cards to transgender citizens based on a law approved last May.
YouTube Source – Ruptly TV
Online Sources – BBC News, UPI, Voice of America, ABC News
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
According to the official website for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, organizers assured that both competitions would allow for full accessibility.
“We are going to offer locations free of obstacles, plan transport for Rio 2016 clients inside the principles of universal design, incorporate accessibility criteria into accommodation plans, provide an accessible and inclusive workplace, use accessible communication tools, as well as making partners and employees aware of accessibility, encouraging the adoption of new behavior,” planners boasted. But as the Paralympics is opened tonight, those pledges detailed by event organizers have not been fully realized.
A recent investigation by Brazil’s O Globo noted that despite the influx of an estimated 4350 athletes and estimated quarter of a million tourists including 10% with special needs, problems plague Rio’s infrastructure, transport, and accessibility for the disabled. Despite more than seven years of planning prior to the Paralympics, obstacles continue to abound including the lack of wider sidewalks, ramps to cross the street and wheelchair accessible restrooms.
Tale the case of Claudecir Lopes, a 37-year-old who O Globo described as a “muscular” person using a wheelchair since he became paralyzed at the age of thirteen. He recently made his way through the railway station at Deodoro, one of the areas were several Olympic sports were held including equestrian and rugby sevens. Lopes made his way to the platform by ascending a ramp but noted that the entrance to the train was nearly one foot above the platform. No railway workers were present to answer hiss calls for assistance though he was eventually able to enter the train with the help of two passengers.
“I would have missed that train had it not been for the solidarity of the users,” Lopes explained. “I would like to move around without the help of anyone. This is not a matter of pride, but rather a matter of freedom,” he added.
* Chile: A Chilean Senate panel approved a controversial proposal to relax a total ban on abortion and allow it under certain cases including when the pregnancy is caused by rape.
* Brazil: Much like his predecessor, interim President Michel Temer faces his own corruption scandal that could taint his rule less than a week after taking office.
* Latin America: While World Cup 2018 qualifiers were held through the Americas, the bigger news may be that FIFA president Gianni Infantino would be open to a possible joint United States-Mexico bid for the 2026 version of the tournament.
* El Salvador: the Nicaraguan government conceded asylum to former Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes who is under investigation in his home country for purportedly not declaring $700,000 of his personal income.
YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour (The 2013 rape and impregnation of an eleven-year-old girl in Chile helped reopen the debate on abortion, which is illegal under all circumstances in that country.)
Online Sources – Deutsche Welle, Reuters, teleSUR English, Vanguard, The Latin Americanist
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
* Mexico: Several thousand people lined the streets outside of Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes yesterday to pay their last respects to famed singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel who died last week at the age of 66.
* Venezuela: Oilfield services company Schlumberger announced it would scale back operations in Venezuela including laying off workers and withdrawing from projects.
* Cuba: Dissidents believe the Cuban government has been censoring text messages by removing missives with phrases like “human rights” and the names of opposition activists.
* Colombia: Coca-Cola, Chiquita and Drummond are some of the major multinational firms that could face charges over financing Colombia’s former AUC paramilitary group.
YouTube Source – Associated Press
Online Sources – Reuters, Seeking Alpha, Endgadget, Colombia Reports
Monday, September 5, 2016
* Argentina: The indigenous Mapuche community in Argentina is campaigning against fracking at one of the world’s top shale gas producing sites that has caused environmental damage including groundwater pollution.
* South America: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was reportedly chased by demonstrators during a visit to Margarita Island, while tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of several major Brazilian cities yesterday.
* Ecuador: A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook the Ecuadoran capital city of Quito nearly five months after a stronger tremor killed at least 700 people and caused some $2 billion in damages.
* Puerto Rico: Now that Congress returned today from its summer recess, will federal legislators soon back a plan to combat the spread of the Zika virus in Puerto Rico?
YouTube Source – AJ+ (“From September 2014: “The Mapuche (people indigenous to Argentina's Patagonia region) have long fought for their land and rights. Now they're witnessing the side effects of fracking, and taking action to keep oil companies off the land.”)
Online Sources – UPI, Fox News Latino, BBC News, Reuters, teleSUR English