Friday, October 2, 2015

Daily Headlines: October 2, 2015

* Central America: The confessed head of a Guatemalan customs fraud gang incriminated former President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti, while proceedings began in the corruption trial of the former vice president of the Honduran legislature.

* U.S.: Last night convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto became the first death row inmate in Virginia  to be executed by lethal injection since 2011.

* Haiti: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was deposed from the Haitian presidency in 1996 and 2004, broke his four-year public silence to back presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse.

* Ecuador: Ecuador’s economy contracted for the second straight quarter and, thus, has officially fallen into a recession for the second time since 2009.

YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources – InSight Crime, Jurist, NDTV, Bloomberg, The Washington Post

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Daily Headlines: October 1, 2015

* Nicaragua: A planned interoceanic canal crossing Nicaragua is “fraught with risks and uncertainties” according to a social and environmental report commissioned by the Chinese firm in charge of construction.

* Chile: Chilean business groups backed President Michelle Bachelet’s proposal to decrease federal spending in 2016 by more than half compared to this year.

* Brazil: Five policemen in Rio de Janeiro were arrested after a viral video showed one of the officers apparently planting a firearm over the gunned down corpse of a seventeen-year-old.

* Mexico: Mexican authorities extradited thirteen alleged drug traffickers including Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez, the suspected chief of the Beltran Leyva Cartel.

YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour (Video uploaded in April 2015).

Online Sources – Reuters, Bloomberg, Vice News, BBC News

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Daily Headlines: September 30, 2015

* Peru: A thirty-day state of emergency was declared for Peru’s Apurimac region after at least four people died in violent anti-mining protests.

* Argentina: The Argentine government accused the U.S. of failing to cooperate with them in locating an ex-intelligence chief who may have been involved in the mysterious death of top prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

* Puerto Rico: The U.S. Congress is apparently hesitant over allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy on its $72 million public debt despite a push by the island’s officials.

* Brazil: In the latest negative sign for Brazil’s economy, the 8.6% unemployment registered between May and July was the highest since the monthly rate in August 2009.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“The US$7.4 billion Chinese-Australian owned copper mining project in Challhuahuacho in Arequipa province has been criticized for its effects on the environment.”)

Online Sources – UPI, Latin American Herald Tribune, Reuters, The Latin Americanist, CNBC

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Argentinian President Skips Falklands Dispute in U.N. Speech

Leaders from Latin American and the Caribbean discussed familiar topics on their respective countries during this week’s U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) session. Raul Castro blasted the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff pledged stronger steps to protect the environment, and Juan Manuel Santos lauded latest efforts in the Colombian peace process. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina on Monday referred to problems like “vulture funds” and the AMIA bombing case but omitted a major topic for her government: the diplomatic tug-of-war with Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands.

Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman claimed in a radio interview this morning that Kirchner was hampered by time limits and, hence, unable to mention the Falklands issue. But that explanation doesn’t seem to pass the smell test, thus, here are five other possible reasons why CFK left out “Las Malvinas” from her UNGA address:
  • Numerous Latin American leaders spoke out at the UNGA   
While Kirchner did not breach the Falklands topic, several other Latin American leaders expressed their support for dialogue over the sovereignty of the disputed archipelago. “The ‘Malvinas’ belong to Argentina and Latin America,” declared Bolivia’s Evo Morales prior to Kirchner’s intervention while Castro expressed his “solidarity” with the Kirchner regime. Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro also gave their backing to Kirchner who may have decided to allow other regional heads of state to speak on her behalf regarding the Falklands.
  • U.N. ambivalence over Argentina’s case
Kirchner has repeatedly appealed to the U.N. regarding her country’s claim to the Falklands and call for a dialogue with Britain. In 2012 she criticized Britain's “colonialist” legacy while her 2014 UNGA speech pushed for reform of the Security Council body. The Decolonization Committee last year passed a resolution via consensus pushing for bilateral talks but thus far little else has been accomplished at the U.N. Perhaps Kirchner felt there was no need to bring up the Falklands once again to a largely ambivalent body.

Daily Headlines: September 29, 2015

* Venezuela: The heated diplomatic crisis between Guyana and Venezuela stemming from offshore oil finds thawed after leaders of both states agreed to restore their respective ambassadors.

* Colombia:I was very happy and felt like I was part of it,” Pope Francis admitted yesterday over the transitional justice pact agreed upon by the Colombian government and FARC.

* Latin America: A new Pew Research Center survey found that a plurality of respondents view immigrants from Africa and Latin America favorably and more Asians than Latin Americans will migrate to the U.S. by 2065.

* U.S.: Salvadoran-born convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto could soon become the first death row inmate to be executed in Virginia since January 2013.

YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources – Reuters, The Latin Americanist, NPR, UPI, The Guardian

Monday, September 28, 2015

Daily Headlines: September 28, 2015

* Chile: Chile’s Foreign Minister rejected negotiating with Bolivia over the landlocked nation’s claim of access to the sea days after the International Court of Justice agreed to settle the territorial dispute.

* South America: Indigenous communities in countries like Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have accused groups that promote ayahuasca tourism of exploiting scared customs and shamelessly putting visitors at risk.

* Brazil: Residents of Rio de Janeiro’s Caju favela marched last week against alleged police abuse in the case of an eleven-year-old boy killed under unclear circumstances.

* Honduras: President Juan Hernandez will allow the U.N. to open a human rights ombudsman's office in Honduras with the aim of monitoring possible future violations by state security agents.

YouTube Source – Ruptly TV

Online Sources – Al Jazeera America, Yahoo News, Latin American Herald Tribune, Reuters