Friday, September 23, 2005

Protests against FTA in Colombia

Thousands have shown up in Bogota to protest a planned free-trade agreement with the United States. The peaceful demonstration is an effort to prevent the agreement that many Colombians fear will increase unemployment. (CNN)

Venezuela reports lower unemployment rate

Venezuela's state news agency announced Wednesday that the country's unemployment rate is 12.1%, down from 14.2% the same month a year earlier. (Reuters)

Bolivia declares state of emergency amid raging fires

Raging forest fires in the provinces of Beni and Pando have prompted the Bolivian government to declare a state of emergency. The fires have already destroyed an estimated 470,000 hectares of land and continue to burn out of control. (CNews)

Helicopter crash kills Mexican Cabinet minister

Mexico's Public Safety Secretary Ramon Martin Huerta died Thursday in a helicopter crash just outside Mexico City. The incident, attributed to foggy weather, also killed 5 other passengers and 2 crew members. (CNN)

Brazil seeks retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports

Brazil announced Thursday that it would be appealing to the World Trade Organization to apply punitive tariffs on U.S. imports, in retaliation for the U.S. failure to comply with a WTO ruling that required it to curb government subsidies for cotton producers. (BusinessWeek)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Uribe requests renewal of Plan Colombia

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is lobbying the U.S. Congress to renew Plan Colombia, the $3 billion aid package earmarked for development and drug eradication begun under the Clinton administration. Uribe sat down with correspondents from BusinessWeek to discuss the economy, the drug trade, and relations with neighboring Venezuela. (BusinessWeek)

VOA: Mixed results from Chavez's anti-poverty campaign

Voice of America's Michael Bowman says the results from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's anti-poverty campaign have been mixed, with some statistics showing that poverty has actually increased under his rule. (VOA)

IMF: Inflation concerns in Latin America

Despite a positive forecast of 4.1% GDP growth for the region, the IMF said Wednesday that the possibility of inflation in Latin America should be taken into consideration, given recent commodity price swings. (Reuters)

Cavalcanti resigns

Ending speculation about his future, Brazil's President of the Lower House of Congress, Severino Cavalcanti, has resigned. Following accusations that he accepted bribes from a restaurant owner, he has vacated both the Presidency of the House and his Congressional seat. (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Former CR President Arias likely to be re-elected

Former Costa Rican President and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias Sanchez is likely to be re-elected in the country's presidential elections next year, carrying 41% of the probable vote, according to Borge y Asociados. (Angus Reid)

Chile: FTA with China may be signed by November

Chilean President Ricardo Lagos told Reuters on Tuesday that a free trade agreement with China may be signed as early as November, bringing together the world's largest producer and consumer of copper. (Reuters)

Peru to forge ahead with US FTA agreement

Peru's Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Monday that his country is ready to negotiate a free trade agreement with the United States whether or not Ecuador will be willing to participate. The agreement, encompassing Peru, Colombia, and the US, is set to replace the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act between the US and Andean countries, which expires in 2006. (Dow Jones NewsWire)

Nicaragua VP to resign

Nicaragua's Vice-president Jose Rizo Castellon told Voice of America TV that he plans to make an official announcement of his resignation this week, in order to campaign in the presidential elections set for November 2006. Nicaragua's constitution requires that those competing in general elections be absent from public office one year prior to the vote. (VOA News)

Intel to invest in Argentina

According to The Inquirer, Intel is scheduled to make an announcement that a software development center will be built in Cordoba, details forthcoming. (The Inquirer)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Severino Cavalcanti signals resignation

Brazilian Speaker of the House Severino Cavalcanti sent mixed messages regarding his possible resignation, though an asociate of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Lula's meeting with Cavalcanti carried an air of finality. (Prensa Latina). Leia o artigo original do Jornal Brasileiro aqui.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Morales moves ahead in Bolivian opinion polls

Bolivian Presidential candidate Evo Morales has moved to the top of nation-wide opinion polls, carrying 28% of the possible vote. (ISN) Former Foreign Minister Juan Ignacio Siles said, "If it is not Evo Morales, an indiginous will rule Bolivia sooner or later and it will be for the good of all." (Prensa Latina)

New constitution for Chile

Chilean President Ricardo Lagos signed the country's new Constitution Saturday, officially putting to an end the strictures on democracy leftover from the Pinochet era. (The Santiago Times)

Argentina's First Lady set to become Buenos Aires Senator

Argentina's First Lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is leading opinion polls in the race for Buenos Aires Senator, carrying 38% of the likely vote, as opposed to her nearest competitor Hilda Gonzalez de Duhalde, with 14%. (Angus Reid)

US retirees flocking to Panama

Low cost of living, generous retiree discounts, and low crime rates have induced many US retirees to settle down in Panama. (MSN)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bush, Chavez continue war of words

Adding to the unsteady relationship between U.S. President George Bush and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, the U.S. decertified Venezuela as a country that had 'failed demonstrably' to curb drug exports, while Chavez said the same day that he had 'considerable evidence' that the U.S. is planning to invade his country. (ABC News, The News Tribune)

Mexican Consul General: Border militias not helpful

Mexican Consul General in San Jose Bruno Figueroa tells the Mercury News that border issues should be handled by the U.S. and Mexican governments, not civilians and self-styled militias or "Minute Men". (Mercury News)

BBC: Development vs the environment in Honduras

James Menendez of the BBC takes a look at prawn farming in Honduras and the choices that must be made concerning profit and the environment. (BBC)

Uribe's Capitol Hill visit sparks debate amongst legislators

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's visit to the U.S. Congress Friday revived a debate amongst U.S. legislators as to how the $4 billion given to Colombia's government under Plan Colombia has been used. (VOA News)

30 candidates for President of Haiti

A total of 30 candidates have now registered to run for President in Haiti's election November 2oth, including former leader Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier (pictured). (BBC)

Environmentalist Arreaga released from prison

Mexican environmentalist Felipe Arreaga was released from prison Thursday and cleared of all charges that he murdered the son of a prominent landowner in Zihuatanejo. (Reuters)

Mining companies seek to curb negative PR in Peru

Amid protests against the effects that the mining industry has had on Peruvian communities, many international mining companies are seeking ways to be viewed more favorably by locals. (Yahoo Finance)