Friday, March 20, 2015

Daily Headlines: March 20, 2015

* Colombia: “Look at the irony of life, all my life I spent in the military fighting terrorism…and now in a place totally remote from Colombia it takes my wife and son,” said a retired Colombian army general whose relatives were killed in a museum attack in Tunisia.

* South America: At least ten people were killed in a plane crash in Uruguay while Argentine officials earlier this week identified the remains of a deadly helicopter collision on March 9th.

* Dominican Republic: A Catholic priest identified only as Wojciech G. offered to serve seven years in prison over charges of sexually abusing minors in Poland and the Dominican Republic.

* Ecuador: Thousands of Ecuadorans took to the streets on Thursday in order to march in opposition to a plan that would end term limits for the presidency including current leader Rafael Correa.

Video Source – YouTube via Zip News

Online Sources – ABC Online; Deutsche Welle; ABC News; SBS; NBC News

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brazilian President Faces Abysmal Approval Amid Growing Discontent

According to a new poll a miniscule 13% of Brazilians approval the work of President Dilma Rousseff as she tries to weather a maelstrom of problems facing her administration.

The Datafolha survey showed that 62% of the 2842 respondents disapproved of Rousseff while nearly one in four considered it as regular. As a result, her approval rating dropped ten points compared to February while her levels of disapproval leaped from 44% last month to 62%.

Interviewees also gave the second-term leader an average grade of 3.7 out of 10, which represents her worst grade since the early months of her presidency in 2011.

Her minuscule approval rating is the lowest a Brazilian president has seen since the brief rule of Fernando Collor de Mello in 1992. Coincidentally, both leaders faced near single digit approval ratings under an increased popular clamor for impeachment amid political corruption and economic turmoil. The conservative Collor de Mello resigned prior to his impeachment trial it seems highly unlikely that the ex-Chief of Staff under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will do the same. That didn’t stop over one million people from taking the streets across Brazil on March 15th in anti-government rallies.

Rousseff has gone into damage control in the days since the protests; first, she promised on Monday to engage in dialogue with her critics and soon presenting a “wide-ranging political reform.” The latter occurred on Wednesday evening when she announced a series of measures that she deemed as “a decisive step to expand the government's capacity and power to prevent and combat corruption and impunity.”

Daily Headlines: March 19, 2015

* Argentina: On the two month anniversary of the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez called the late prosecutor a “scoundrel” and accused him of embezzling funds.

* Uruguay: Former Uruguayan foreign minister Luis Almagro was elected as the next chief of the Organization of American States.

* Latin America: PetroCaribe members Haiti and Nicaragua would be the most hurt if the Venezuelan-led oil initiative were to fail according to the International Monetary Fund.

* Mexico: The producer of the next movie in the James Bond spy film series denied receiving $20 million from Mexican officials in exchange for modifying the script.

Video Source – YouTube user BBC News (“Hundreds of thousands of people in Argentina marched (last month) through Buenos Aires to demand answers over the death of a state prosecutor.”)

Online Sources – The Hollywood Reporter; Deutsche Welle; The Latin Americanist; Fox News Latino; ABC News

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Daily Headlines: March 18, 2015

* Peru: Protesters and police clashed this week during demonstrations in southern Peru against a sharp hike in local electricity fees.

* U.S.: News magazine The Economist has come under fire for using “chili peppers to depict the stripes in the American flag” in its cover image highlighting an article on the Latino community.

* Dominican Republic: At least twenty minors were among the twenty-nine women rescued in a sex trafficking sting in the Dominican town of Sosua.

* Venezuela: The Venezuelan government in an open letter published in The New York Times denied that the country is a national security threat to the U.S.

Video Source – YouTube via EFE

Online Sources – Latin American Herald Tribune; Fusion; Fox News Latino; The Guardian

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Daily Headlines: March 17, 2015

* Colombia: A new U.N. report named the “bandas criminales” groups of demobilized right-wing paramilitary members and criminal gangs as the primary security threat in Colombia.  

* Argentina: Citigroup will pull out of the custodial business in Argentina after a U.S. judge opted not to remove an injunction that prevented the bank from processing $2.3 billion in Argentine bond payments.

* Mexico: Was the recent firing of acclaimed investigative journalist Carmen Aristegui from Mexico’s MVS radio network justifiable or censorship?   

* Brazil: A new femicide law was enacted last week in Brazil that includes increased prison time for those convicted of the gender-based killing of women.

Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English

Online Sources –Reuters; euronews; CNN; Voice of America

Monday, March 16, 2015

Daily Headlines: March 16, 2015

* Cuba: U.S. and Cuban diplomats will meet today in the latest round of discussions to normalize bilateral relations and amid disagreement over relations with Venezuela.

* Venezuela: The federal legislature granted decree powers to President Nicolás Maduro that he requested in light of a diplomatic rift with the U.S. and a growing domestic economic crisis.

* Bolivia: Bolivia's government expressed its support to developing a nuclear power program aimed at diversifying energy sources, increasing farm output and helping cancer researchers.

* Chile: A state of emergency was declared near the Pacific ports of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar due to the threat of a major fire.

Video Source – YouTube via euronews

Online Sources – The Huffington Post; Reuters; The Latin Americanist; GlobalPost; Yahoo! News