Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 15, 2015

* Argentina: On a dark day for Argentine soccer yesterday the Copa Libertaodres match between River Plate and Boca Juniors was suspended after players were attacked with pepper spray, while league play this weekend was postponed over the tragic death of Emanuel Ortega.

* Brazil: A new report blamed a “slow justice system and flawed police investigations as well as the widespread availability of firearms” for a record 42,000 people killed by gun violence in Brazil in 2012.

* Chile: Valentina Maureira, the 14-year-old Chilean girl who earlier this year requested for euthanize, died on Thursday from complications related to cystic fibrosis.

* Colombia: A Colombian counternarcotics panel confirmed the ban on using the possible carcinogenic glyphosate in the aerial spraying against drug crops.

YouTube Source – FootballManiaChannel

Online Sources – Bloomberg, The Guardian, BBC News, TIME,

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 14, 2015

* Latin America: A new report from the Inter-American Development Bank and International Monetary Fund, a record $65 billion in remittances were sent to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014.

* Paraguay: Several hundred Paraguayans marched to call attention to the plight of child sex abuse victims amidst a debate over whether or not a raped 10-year-old girl should be allowed to undergo an abortion.

* Cuba: U.S. presidential hopeful Marco Rubio assailed Pope Francis for his stance on Cuba and said that the Argentine-born pontiff is “not a political figure.”

* Chile: Researchers believe that climate change is to blame for the degradation of the world’s oldest mummies that were found in Chile and date as far back as 7000 BC.

YouTube Source – CCTV Americas (Video uploaded in January 2014).

Online Sources – MercoPress, TIME, PRI, The Latin Americanist, CBS News

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 13, 2015

* Brazil: Most of the stadiums either refurbished or constructed with $3 billion in public funds for last year’s World Cup are reportedly generating very little revenue and are falling into disrepair.

* Caribbean: Authorities in the Dominican Republic warned that the country is facing its worst drought in the last twenty yeas, while several Puerto Rican cities including the capital San Juan will start water rationing.

* U.S.: A new Pew Research Center study found that the both the percentage of Latinos speaking proficient English and the number of those speaking Spanish at home has grown since 2000.

* Mexico: Mexican public health officials suspended infant vaccinations following the deaths of at least two babies administered routine vaccinations in Chiapas.

YouTube Source – Football

Online Sources – Vox, Dominican Today, UPI, Fox News Latino, International Business Times

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Daily Headlines: May 12, 2015

* Colombia: U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker said that his country will respect the South American’s state decision to suspend the use of possible carcinogenic glyphosate in the aerial spraying of coca.

* Argentina: The Argentine government filed a lawsuit against Citibank regarding the legal tug-of-war over repaying billions of dollars in defaulted debt.

* Brazil: The Brazilian economy is expected to shrink at a greater-than-estimated 1.2% according to the country’s Central Bank.

* Venezuela: Apparently in response to pressure from Brazil, Venezuelan electoral authorities declared that legislative elections would be held in the final quarter of this year.

YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources – Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Fox News Latino, MercoPress

Monday, May 11, 2015

Abortion Debate Intensifies in Southern Cone

The abortion issue is a very sensitive and divisive topic in many areas around the world. This has certainly been the case recently in several countries of Latin America’s Southern Cone region.
  • Paraguay
On Monday police in Paraguay transferred to a prison the alleged rapist stepfather of a ten-year-old girl who sought an abortion.

“I never touched her,” said 42-year-old Benitez Gilberto Zarate after he was arrested last Saturday. He denied sexually abusing his stepdaughter and has requested a DNA test in an attempt to clear his name. Yet he was on the run for nearly a month after prosecutors accused him of impregnating the girl who was first seen by doctors in Asuncion on April 21st.

The child’s mother was detained on April 27th and charged with breaching duty of care of her daughter. In January 2014 she denounced her husband for sexually abusing the girl but the authorities allegedly took no action. Earlier this month she requested permission to seek an abortion for her daughter where the procedure is allowed if the mom’s life is in danger. Yet Paraguayan courts rejected the solicitation much to the satisfaction of the federal government.

Health Minister Antonio Barrios on May 4th insisted that the doctors are closely monitoring the girl’s health and declared his opposition to abortion. He further argued that performing such a procedure might be too late.

It is impossible because the girl arrived in our hands in the 21st week of pregnancy. The abortion should have been done prior to the twentieth week. We are now in the 23rd week,” said Barrios.

Paraguayan feminists and reproductive rights groups believe that the child’s life is certainly at risk and that her mother has been unfairly punished for seeking the abortion.

“When you consider the threat to life and the anatomical and psychological risks, the first step that should be taken in pregnancies of girls under the age of 13 should be an abortion. This is what the authorities fail to understand,” asserted Lilian Soto, an activist at the Centro de Documentaci√≥n y Estudios.

The abortion case has also caught the attention of international rights groups and entities. The European Union is “closely following the evolution” of the girl’s health and called for the “global protection…of the rights of children.” A panel of U.N. human rights experts blamed the Paraguayan government for refusing to provide the proper treatment for the pregnant girl.

“Every day in Paraguay and average of two girls between the ages of ten and fourteen give birth to a child,” said UNICEF official Andrea Cid. “These cases are a consequence of sexual abuse and, in most situations, from constant abuse where victims have not received opportune assistance,” she added.

[Read about the abortion debate in Uruguay and Chile below the page break].

Daily Headlines: May 11, 2015

* El Salvador: At least ten suspected MS-13 members were killed on Saturday amid a surge of gang-related violence that has led to 481 murders in March 2015 alone.

* Cuba: Cuban President Raul Castro met with Pope Francis yesterday, thanked the pontiff for brokering the diplomatic thaw between his country and the U.S., and “promised” to attend all the Pope’s masses during his September visit to the Caribbean island.

* Peru: The Peruvian military has been deployed to the southern Arequipa region where police have clashed with residents opposed to the $1.4 billion Tia Maria copper project.

* Mexico: Mexican boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez beat James Kirkland in an electrifying bout that was the polar opposite of the dull and overhyped Mayweather-Pacquaio match one week prior.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, The Latin Americanist, ESPN, UPI