BUENAVISTA TOMATLÁN, Mexico – The Mexican Army patrolled the streets of the western state of Michoacán on May 22 to improve security in a region tormented by violent drug cartels. About 4,000 army soldiers and marines and 1,000 Federal Police Officers have been deployed to the state, but they’ll leave once security has improved and the state government can hold its own. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP)
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has awarded the 2009 Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean to O Globo columnist Merval Pereira. Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez was awarded a special mention.
At the presidential summit held from July 27 to 29 in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the nine Tuxtla Mechanisms member countries repeated their commitment to the rule of law and the principal of subordination of the armed forces to civil authorities.
After six alleged of members of La Familia Michoacana drug cartel's financial arm were arrested by Mexican federal police, the gang reacted by brutally executing a police commander and his family in Veracruz state.
Disturbed by poverty in the region, a number of Latin American artists have joined in the “Yo Amo America” (I Love America) campaign launched by noted Dominican musician and composer Juan Luis Guerra and financed by the Inter-American Development
The implementation of the new Bolivian Constitution, approved in a referendum on Jan. 25, will give the country new bills. President Evo Morales’s government has issued a request through the Vice Ministry of Decolonization to the Central Bank of Bolivia
Speaking at the closing session of the Cuban Parliament, Raul Castro announced that the government would be cutting its budget to weather the island’s economic crisis and reiterated the communist regime’s willingness for dialogue with the U.S. He adde
World Bank representative for Bolivia Óscar Avalle has highlighted the projected economic performance of Panama, Bolivia and Peru for 2009, citing these Latin American countries as international examples of a positive reaction to the global crisis.
Amidst threats of closure for news network Globovisión and a controversial bill of law to penalize “media crimes,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his government revoked the licenses of 34 radio stations and two regional TV stations which had
The global crisis will not affect the Panamanian government’s canal expansion project, which has already secured US$2.3 billion in financing from multilateral agencies. The mega-project is already having an effect on the labor market.
Luis Ferney Castro Arias slowly is slowly making his way in a wheelchair among the trucks on the busy highway from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba in Bolivia. The 53-year-old Colombian has been paralytic for 26 years and has tried to make a living in three South
Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra described himself as very excited at the prospect of playing his first concert in Japan on another leg of a tour that began a year ago in the USA. His “Travesía” Tour, which will end in September, has alre
Just days away from beginning his second term as president of Ecuador and taking on the pro tempore presidency of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), President Rafael Correa has announced that he will promote political integration and growth wit
Central America and the European Union (EU) will resume negotiations in September toward a Association Agreement and will exclude Honduras if a solution to the political crisis is not found. Honduras will only be allowed to join the agreement when democra
On Aug. 1, a shipwrecked cargo of almost 10 tons of gold and silver bullion that had been lying on the seabed since January was recovered from the Atlantic off the coast of Argentina’s Santa Cruz province, some 1,300 miles south of Buenos Aires.
Some 45,000 Argentinians are allowing the pharmaceutical industry to use their bodies for clinical trials of new drugs. Although the government has promised better state supervision of medical experiments, the safeguards still fail to meet international b
Universidad de Chile beat visitors Deportivo Cali by a one goal margin, with two goals by Uruguayan striker Juan Manuel Olivera, in the opening game of the 2009 South American Cup, played on August 4 at the Estadio Nacional in the Chilean capital.
An opinion poll released on Aug. 4 showed that President Tabaré Vaźquez's ruling Broad Front center-left coalition is tipped to win the presidential elections on Oct. 25 ahead of its closest rival, the National Party (PN).
According to a report produced by credit rating agency Moody’s, Latin America’s corporate bond default rate in 2008, although no worse than in the rest of the world, was at its highest level since 2003.
The judges of the 16th Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize have awarded this year’s edition to Colombian writer William Ospina for a work which “deals with the contradictions of the humanist spirit and sets out an ethic of respect for other peo
Urging indigenous communities to adopt self-rule, Evo Morales has signed a decree calling on them to organize referendums on the issue. The referendums would be held together with the presidential elections on December 6.
In what can be seen as a milestone for Chilean mining, taxes paid by large private mining companies in 2009 will exceed Treasury contributions by state-owned copper-mining company Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco) for the first time ever, an acade
On a stage decked in white, Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes and Cuban troubadour Silvio Rodríguez will join voices in a mega concert to transmit a message of peace. The show is likely to be held at Havana's Revolution Square on Sept. 20.
Forty-one million young Brazilians between the ages of seven and 17 will have the chance to learn Spanish in school, now that Brazil – South America’s only Portuguese-speaking country – has signed an agreement with Spain under which the language wil
Radical militant Lina Ron handed herself over to police two days after leading a group of 30 armed people in an attack on opposition channel Globovisión on Aug. 3 which resulted in minor injuries. The Venezuelan District Attorney’s Office has charged h
For almost the entire month of August, the residents of La Paz will be regaled with a feast of digital art. Artists from Germany, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Portugal are taking part in “Digital Dialects,” a mixture of
In the face of the international financial crisis, Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras is showing signs of recovery and increased robustness and now ranks fourth on the list of the American continent's largest trading corporations.
At least 42 people have died since mid-July as a result of confrontations between paramilitary groups which are fighting for control over illegal coca leaf crops and drug trafficking routes in the southern department of Nariño, on the border with Ecuador
In response to the announcement that Colombia and the U.S. were engaged in talks over the use of seven Colombian air bases as well as Bogotá’s claims that Venezuelan rocket launchers had fallen into the hands of FARC guerrillas, Venezuelan President Hu
The Honduran de facto government under Roberto Micheletti refused to accept a visit by a delegation of foreign ministers from the Organization of American States led by OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The ministers had planned to arrive in Tegu
An agreement between the main political forces in the Costa Rican Congress has allowed a new immigration law to be passed. The law establishes the crime of human trafficking, orders the creation of an immigration fund to finance health and education servi
Many Argentinians received an unpleasant surprise when they opened their August electricity bills and found that they were up to 300 percent higher than a year earlier. After the National Electricity Regulatory Agency received thousands of complaints, the
Aug. 11 News Brief Central America/Caribbean
Argentinian tennis ace Juan Manuel del Potro won the ATP Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C. His victory over local idol Andy Roddick gave the world’s sixth-ranked player his second title this year and the sixth of his career.
At the Third Summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) held in Quito, member countries failed to produce a joint declaration on the military pact between Colombia and the U.S. to allow seven bases to be used in the regional fight against drug
The influenza A/H1N1 outbreak comprised the central theme at a meeting of health ministers from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), where they urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to guarantee access to the vaccine against the illness, expe
The Bolivian government has launched a project to settle its sparsely populated Amazonian border with Brazil by sending 750 peasants to Santa Rosa del Abuna and Manoa.
Sources close to Kudai, Chilean pop music’s most successful group in recent years, have revealed that, after a decade-long career, the award-winning quartet will be taking time out in 2010 to give members a chance to work on personal projects.
The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada concluded the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) summit held in Guadalajara with commitments on free trade, climate change, drug trafficking, cooperation on the influenza A/H1N1 v
The already strained relations between Bogotá and Quito have worsened following the Colombian Trade Ministry’s refusal to accept an Andean Community ruling that Ecuador was entitled to slap higher tariffs on 1,300 imports from Colombia.
President Rafael Correa began his second four-year term on Aug. 10 with a ceremony held at the National Assembly (Congress) attended by 10 Latin American leaders, including Evo Morales (Bolivia), Raúl Castro (Cuba), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela) and ousted Ho
Honduras moved up to second place in the playoffs for the 2010 World Cup South Africa after beating Costa Rica 4-0 in game six of the six-way finals between the countries in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (
Because semi-skilled and low-skilled jobs in developed countries were among the worst hit by the global economic storm, there will be a marked drop this year in the amounts that Latin American and Caribbean expatriates send home to their families.
Juan Daniel Carranco Salazar, alias “El Colosio,” was captured during a military operation near the southern city of Cancún. Carranco is considered by authorities to be the kingpin of the Gulf cartel and is the main suspect in the attack on the U.S.
The Peruvian drug trade has received a blow with the recent arrest of Jesus Lujan, the traffickers’ link with Shining Path, the terrorist group that sold them protection for their coca crops and clandestine jungle laboratories.
In an effort to fight food insecurity, health problems and the crisis faced by people living on the border between the two countries, Haitian and Dominican authorities have agreed to work together and perform “urgent” interventions in the region.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe have agreed to strengthen their countries’ economic relations and to work to together to combat the problems threatening both nations, especially drug trafficking, with its ass
In a surprise move, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has ordered the withdrawal of his government’s request for the Senate to approve Venezuela’s application for full membership in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). This was expected to be rejec
In the second quarter of 2009, Brazil’s government controlled Banco do Brasil (BB) announced an assets increase of 43.9 percent compared to the same period in 2009, becoming the number one bank in Latin America and the seventh largest on the continent.
Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have signed a free trade agreement that will allow Panama to boost its trade from 2010 onwards by giving it access to a market of 33 million consumers with high purchasing
Neither the economic crisis nor allegations of corruption against his main political ally appear to have tarnished the image of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, whose approval rating in the sixth year of his administration still hovers
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has passed a controversial new Education Law which, according to members of the opposition, seeks to indoctrinate children in the teachings of socialism.
Rising temperatures and scarce rainfall are causing the majority of glaciers in Tierra del Fuego to shrink in volume, affecting Chile's largest reserves of fresh water.
Leftist former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo became Paraguay’s president in August 2008. Elected on promises to fight corruption and combat poverty and with early approval ratings of almost 90 percent, Lugo broke the conservative Colorado Party’s six-
Michael Jackson’s unfinished projects included not just the tour he was preparing for, but also recording of a full album in Spanish, Panamanian singer Rubén Blades said.
Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa, who is recovering from an accident he suffered during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix, has said that he hopes to be able to race again in Brazil on Oct. 16 and confessed that he is not “afraid to accelerat
With just two months left to complete the biometric voter registry before the December presidential elections, the registration process is moving very slowly. Nevertheless, the National Electoral Tribunal (CNE), which is compiling the new electoral roll,
President Leonel Fernandez finished the first year of his second consecutive term amid protests and criticism sparked by his government’s failure to combat corruption and solve the country’s acute electricity crisis.
Following in the footsteps of São Paulo, which has the world’s second largest fleet of civilian helicopters after New York, Chile’s capital has seen a boom in helicopter use and in the demand for landing places.
The athlete set a new world record of 9.58 seconds on winning the 100-meter final of the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. He knocked 11 hundredths of a second off his own record from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Bolivia will invest an estimated US$800 million over the next six years to develop its lithium industry at the Uyuni salt flats in the south of the department of Potosi. Despite the high cost and interest from several multinational corporations, the gover
The Panamanian government has requested a US$1 billion line of credit from Brazil to invest in infrastructure projects, particularly relating to transport.
Central American nations will have to wait until 2010 to resume negotiations with the European Union (EU) toward an Association Agreement (AA) after they were suspended on June 28 owing to the situation in Honduras and the ousting of President Manuel Zela
Italian Prime Minister and A.C. Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi called his order to club manager Leonardo to make Brazilian star Ronaldinho the club’s main striker this season a categorical imperative.;"2009-08-20 10:47:18
Mapuche Indians in southern Chile once again occupied lands they believe ancestrally belong to them one week after an indigenous activist was shot dead by police during the forced eviction of a property.
Long jail sentences were handed down to the men found guilty of the tragic blaze that killed 194 young Argentinians during a concert by “Los Callejeros” at the packed Cromañón nightclub, thus concluding four painful years of nationwide commotion.
Miguel Maza Marquez, a former head of the Colombian intelligence service, surrendered to the authorities in Bogotá after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of involvement in the 1989 assassination of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.
Until recently, Argentinian soccer could only be viewed on cable TV, but now that the government has bought broadcasting rights, fans will be able to watch next season’s first division games on free-to-air television.
Colombian singer Juanes has confirmed that he will press ahead with the Peace without Borders concert set to take place in Havana, Cuba on Sept. 20, in spite of threatening messages he has received on his Twitter social networking account.
The difficulties affecting diplomatic relations between Colombia and Venezuela have extended to the economic sector as Venezuela suspends its commitment to renew a monthly supply of 11 million barrels of subsidized gasoline to northern Colombia.
The global financial crisis has begun to subside and Latin America could be on the way to recovery. The regional Economic Climate Index, a measure of experts’ confidence and expectations for the next six months, reached four points in July, its highest
Carlos Villegas, president of the state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), has announced that the country plans to invest US$11 billion in the sector over the next seven years in order to develop its entire oil and gas
With an end in sight to the global financial crisis, several multinational corporations and auto manufacturers have begun to reconsider Mexico as an attractive mid-term investment option.
Latin America’s state-owned oil companies have substantially increased their production capacity and in some countries can even compete on an equal footing with privately-owned competitors.
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez were keen to discuss a number of Latin American issues besides the imminent U.S.-Colombia military base deal which prompted an special summit of the Union of South American Nations (Un
The World Athletics Championship at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin drew to a close on Aug. 23 with mixed results for Latin American and Caribbean athletes.
Despite the international financial crisis, Argentina’s wine exports between January and June 2009 were 13.7 percent higher than during the same period last year. The leading wines are made from world-renowned Malbec grapes, grown in the vineyards of Me
The presidents of Argentina and Chile, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Michelle Bachelet, respectively, were the only two Latin Americans to feature on Forbes magazine's annual list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the world.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva and Bolivian President Evo Morales have signed four agreements on economic cooperation and the joint development of enormous lithium reserves lying under Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats.
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet and her government are preparing a series of measures to mitigate the effects of renewed Mapuche Indian protests in southern Chile which have escalated in recent weeks.
Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho celebrated his 62nd birthday on Aug. 24 by letting visitors to his blog download two unpublished novels and a collection of his writings free of charge.
Mexican-American astronaut José Hernández Moreno, who as a boy traveled every year from Michoacán to the United States to work on farms with his parents, has at last achieved his childhood dream by joining the crew of space shuttle Discovery’s next 1
Responding to Hugo Chavez’s criticism of the military cooperation agreement between Bogotá and Washington, Colombian ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, said that “insults against Colombians cannot be tolerated.”
Relations between Bolivia and Peru were already strained with tension between Presidents Evo Morales and Alan García, but now the Devil has stepped in. Bolivia is considering suing Peru in the International Court of Justice to defend its cultural rights
The latest attempt by the Organization of American States to negotiate with the de facto Honduran government led by Roberto Micheletti has ended in failure. Despite the efforts of a mission composed of seven foreign ministers and OAS Secretary General Jos
A delegation of Taiwanese investors visited Guatemala to promote bilateral trade. Among their proposals was an alliance with local businessmen to build assembly plants in Guatemala for low cost PCs.
The 13th Central American International Book Fair (Filcen) has managed to attract 500 publishing houses, proving that the publishing industry remains afloat despite the financial crisis. The cultural event promoting Central American literature draws to a
Indigenous women leaders from 12 American countries met on Aug. 26 for an international workshop organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Asunción, to join forces, discuss ideas to consolidate their rights and draw up plans for cooperat
Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has announced that work will begin in October on a northern coast-to-coast highway project (FTN). With an initial budget of US$240 million, the project is intended to boost rural development.
Argentinian farmers have announced a one-week strike starting Aug. 28 to protest the president’s veto of a law granting export-tax exemptions to drought-hit grain producers.
Since the 1879 to 1883 War of the Pacific, Bolivia, Chile and Peru have not always been on best terms, and on Aug. 26 tension rose again when Chile's Foreign Minister Mariano Fernández categorically requested Peru not to meddle in his country's affai
The knowledge of midwives, traditional medicine doctors and indigenous Mexican folk healers together with a guide detaining over 5,000 medicinal plants will be freely available to internet users from Aug. 26.
Paraguay’s first state-owned television channel will soon go on air. Arandu Rape (“The Way of Wisdom” in Guaraní) begins bilingual broadcasts on Sept 1.
Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi has been named UEFA Champions League Player of the Year. The prize was awarded in Monaco, where Messi, the top goal-scorer in the 2008-2009 season, received double honors on being awarded the prize for Best Forward in
The rain in Bariloche apparently cooled the tempers of critics of a joint U.S.-Colombia military agreement. Following a heated seven-hour debate, the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) overcame recent tensions between member countries with an agreem
A meeting between Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and her Bolivian counterpart, Evo Morales, at the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) summit in Bariloche, Argentina, has been widely interpreted as a confirmation that their countries are seeking