Friday, November 14, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 14, 2014

* Latin America: A new Pew Research Center report found that most Latin Americans identify themselves as Catholic though their proportion has dropped by 25% since 1970.

* Venezuela: A Venezuelan judge refused to free opposition figure Leopoldo López who has been in jail and awaiting trial since giving himself in to authorities last February.

* Brazil: The real fell to weakest level since April 2005 reportedly due to investor worry over who will be appointed as Brazil’s next Finance Minister.

* Mexico: The Supreme Court ruled that three people convicted over the 1997 Acteal massacre should be immediately released due to violations of their rights to due process.

Video Source – Pew Research Center via YouTube

Online Sources – ABC News; The Guardian; Latin American Herald Tribune; Bloomberg

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 13, 2014

* Brazil: A new report from the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety accused the police of killing on average about six people each day over the past five years.

* U.S.: Family members of some of the 265 victims of the Flight 587 crash commemorated yesterday the thirteenth anniversary of the accident that occurred as the plane was en route to the Dominican Republic.

* Panama: Researchers believe that more than two million migrating raptors including hawks, eagles and falcons flew above Panama City this past Sunday.

* Venezuela: The start of the trial against Maria Lourdes Afiuni, a Venezuelan judge seen by the opposition as “among the country's highest-profile political prisoners,” continues to be delayed.

Video Source – InSight Crime via YouTube

Online Sources – UPI; NY1; BBC News; ABC News

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 12, 2014

* Colombia: According to a new poll two in every three Colombians back the peace process between the government and the FARC despite the uproar over a deadly rebel attack on an indigenous community last week.

* Peru: The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the recent murder of a Peruvian journalist reportedly investigating on violence caused by local gangs.

* Venezuela: A music lecturer at a British university accused Venezuela’s famed El Sistema youth music program of being “a cult, a mafia and a corporation.”

* Argentina: More than seventy banks, currency exchange locales and other financial institutions were raided as part of a tax fraud investigation.

Video Source – CCTV America via YouTube

Online Sources – teleSUR English; Al Jazeera English; BBC News; The Guardian; The Committee to Protect Journalists

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mexico: Social Media Outrage Over Offensive Missing Student Tweets

Social media has been beneficial for businesses looking to promote their brand, increase sales and gain an advantage above their competitors.  But it can also be a double-edged sword for companies that either inadvertently or purposefully post controversial messages in the aftermath of tragedies. This is a lesson that at least two Mexican companies faced after publishing a tweet alluding to the possible massacre forty-three students.

As seen above, the original message posted Sunday just after midnight on the twitter account for Mexico’s Nestlé Crunch roughly translates to “We Crunched the ones from Ayotzinapa.” The offending tweet was removed approximately two-and-a-half hours later and Nestlé apologized in four subsequent tweets.

“We regret for the recently published content and offer our deepest apologies. We are united with the families (of the disappeared)…and extend our apology to all of the brands affected by this bad joke,” read some of the content tweeted by Nestlé. Yet another message alleged that the Twitter account was hacked and that Nestlé was going to take all measures to prevent future infiltration.  This excuse did not sit well with some netizens who voiced their anger at the candy company.

“Hahahaha ‘we were hacked’ hahaha,” “You finally got what you wanted … to make some noise” and “I will never again buy your product…and I hope you fire the idiot (behind the tweet)” were just some of the messages left behind by indignant social media users to the Mexican Nestlé Crunch twitter account.

Mario Vera, vice president for communications of Nestlé in Mexico, later told the press that the company would investigate if the “offensive message” came from someone within Nestlé or via a hacker.

Meanwhile, a Mexico City pizzeria belonging to the 50 friends chain of eateries also came under fire following an insulting tweet regarding the missing and reportedly murdered students.

Daily Headlines: November 11, 2014

* U.S.: Cuban-born slugger José Abreu was unanimously selected as the American League Rookie of the Year following a stellar season where he batted .317 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI.

* Peru: Production in Peru’s vital copper industry has been affected by an indefinite strike that started yesterday at the country’s Antamina mine.

* Colombia: An ex-drug smuggling pilot testified in court that former capo Pablo Escobar allegedly framed a British businessman imprisoned since 1986 on murder charges.

* Brazil: FIFA will create a $100 million development fund for Brazil months after the soccer’s global governing body earned more than $4 billion in sales from the World Cup.

Video Source – MLB via YouTube

Online Sources – USA TODAY; Reuters; The Guardian; Bloomberg

Monday, November 10, 2014

Daily Headlines: November 10, 2014

* Guatemala: President Otto Perez formally apologized to thirty-three indigenous communities whose residents were forcefully displaced and killed in the construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam.

* Brazil: The Brazilian army will start today a drill in the Amazon rainforest reportedly in order to train against any foreign military threat.

* Chile: Inflation in Chile skyrocketed by 1.0% percent from September to October and caused the annual inflation rate to hit its highest point in nearly six years.

* Uruguay: A new study found that Uruguay is Latin America’s most prosperous country and placed ahead of Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Video Source – YouTube user rightsaction

Online Sources – U-T San Diego; The New York Times; Reuters; MercoPress