Friday, May 8, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 8, 2015

* Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff claimed that Brazil is “tirelessly seeking a solution to (Venezuela's) political crisis”, while the Brazilian Senate approved a resolution condemning the “arbitrary detention” of Venezuelan opposition activists.

* Argentina: The government rejected reports claiming that Belgian officials seized two Argentine embassy bank accounts at the behest of hedge fund creditor.

* U.S.: A new study on the health of Latinos in the U.S. concluded that the “Hispanic paradox” exists though results vary by subgroup.

* Mexico: Police rescued 103 migrants from Central America, Sri Lanka and India held hostage in Mexico by a human smuggling gang.

YouTube Source – Venevision (Mitzy de Ledezma, the wife of imprisoned Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma, met with former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on May 5th).

Online Sources – Fox News Latino, Reuters, Buenos Aires Herald, Fusion, UPI

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 7, 2015

* Cuba: U.S. firms are reportedly “uninterested” in drilling for oil off the Cuban coast despite the push to improve diplomatic and economic ties between both countries.

* Colombia: A new study found that Colombia accounts for a whopping 85% of the population of displaced individuals in the Americas.

* Panama: Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela accused his predecessor, Ricardo Martinelli, of having lost $100 million in government funds due to corruption.

* Peru: Peru will join eleven other countries including Chile, Japan and the U.S. in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade alliance.

YouTube Source – NewsyBusiness (Video uploaded in December 2014).

Online Sources – Reuters, teleSUR English, Zee News, Peru this Week

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Colombia to Investigate U.S. Military Sex Abuse Allegations

The Colombian government pledged on Tuesday to thoroughly investigate allegations into fifty-four suspected cases of child sex abuse by U.S. military personnel and defense contractors.

“We request through diplomatic channels and bilateral cooperation that U.S. authorities report on the progress of their investigation,” according to a statement from Jorge Armando Otalora of the Ombudsman’s office.  Otalora condemned the rumors that sex acts with minors was videotaped and distributed as pornography.

“Since child pornography is a transnational crime, there exists mechanisms to guarantee justice and prevent impunity regardless of the diplomat immunity of the accused,” emphasized Otalora.

While Otalora called on the prosecution of those behind the suspected abuse, the head of Colombia’s child welfare agency, Cristina Plazas, urged potential victims to come forward.

Furthermore, Plazas also suggested the establishment of special commissions in the Cundinamarca and Tolima provinces where the supposed abuse took place in order to “actively seek girls and teens that were victims of abuse at the hands of soldiers.”

A truth commission seeking details on the decades-long armed conflict in Colombia authorized the “Historic Commission of Conflict and its Victims” study. The section by Renan Vega, a history professor of the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Bogotá, describes the fifty-four cases of alleged abuse committed between 2003 and 2007 in a small part of the 809-page study.

“There is abundant evidence of sexual violence and total impunity, thanks to bilateral agreements and diplomatic immunity of U.S. officials…(It is) part of sexist and discriminatory behavior known as ‘sexual imperialism’ similar to what happens in other places where U.S. military forces are stationed,” wrote Vega.

Spokespeople for the U.S. military and defense contractors claimed that there is insufficient evidence to prove Vega’s claims, while an investigation by the Fusion television network concluded that his allegations were “unsubstantiated.” Yet evidence appears to exist of the 2007 case of a 12-year-old girl purportedly raped by a U.S. sergeant and defense contractor:

Daily Headlines: May 6, 2015

* Peru: At least two protesters opposed to the $1.4 billion Tia Maria copper project in the Arequipa region of Peru have been killed over the past two weeks.

* Cuba: The Treasury Department approved ferry service between Florida and Cuba for the first time in over fifty years, while JetBlue announced plans to begin a weekly New York-Havana route this July.

* Colombia: A new White House report found that the amount of Colombian land used for coca cultivation increased by 39% between 2013 and 2014.

* Mexico: About $5.7 billion in remittances were sent from Mexicans living abroad back to their home in the first three months this year, which represents the most transferred since 2008.

YouTube Source – CCTV Americas Now (Video published in December 2013).

Online Sources – Reuters, Sun Sentinel, TIME, Voice of America, Fox News Latino

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 5, 2015

* South America: Chilean representatives requested the International Court of Justice to dismiss landlocked Bolivia’s long-standing claims of access to the Pacific Ocean.

* Mexico: The U.S. and Canadian embassies in Mexico issued travel warnings for tourists visiting a Jalisco state that has been the setting for a recent uptick in violent drug-related crime.

* Cuba: Alan Gross, the former contractor who spent over three years in a Cuban jail, will lobby for a new political action committee seeking stronger ties between the U.S. and the Caribbean nation.

* Brazil: Brazil will likely fall into a deeper recession and also raise interest rates according to financial analysts reporting to the Central Bank.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – Bloomberg, CBC News, MercoPress, Voice of America

Monday, May 4, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 4, 2015

* Cuba: The “Buena Vista Social Club”, the critically acclaimed 1999 Oscar-nominated documentary on Cuban music, will have a sequel that has reportedly gone into production.

* South America: The Colombian Supreme Court requested an investigation of ex-president Alvaro Uribe over his suspected role in the wiretapping of political opponents, while Brazilian prosecutors opened a preliminary corruption probe against former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

* Puerto Rico: Using medical marijuana in Puerto Rico is now legal following a “surprise” executive order signed by Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla yesterday.

* U.S.: Native Americans have protested in California are upset at Pope Francis for his push to canonize Junipero Serra, an 18th-century friar accused of “brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity.”

YouTube Source – MOVIECLIPS

Online Sources – Variety, Financial Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Fox News Latino