TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua shows the weapons authorities seized from 13 alleged narco-traffickers who were arrested by the Navy aboard a vessel in the Caribbean Sea last week. Naval officials also confiscated US$658,000 during the bust. (Honduran Ministry of Defense/AFP)
Aug. 4 News Brief South America
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Advertising spending grows in first half of year: Spending on advertising rose by 13.7 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2009, spurred on by legislative election campaign expenses in June. The Argentinian Chamber of Media Agencies calculated that spending on advertising totaled US$974.6 million between January and June. Newspapers and terrestrial television channels received three quarters of advertising spots, whilst other media sectors, such as subscription television and radio, enjoyed above-average growth.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Military attack ends in 14 FARC casualties: At least 14 FARC guerrillas were killed when the Colombian Air Force bombed a rebel camp in the central department of Meta. There were around 200 guerrilla fighters at the site operated by the FARC’s Front 27 at the time of the attack. This faction is in charge of logistics, finances and security for the FARC’s Eastern Bloc. General Freddy Padilla, commander of the Armed Forces, invited members of the FARC to enter the government’s demobilization program.
[Radio Caracol, EFE, El Tiempo]
SANTIAGO, Chile – FTA talks between Chile, Malaysia resume: Delegations from Chile and Malaysia met in Santiago for the sixth round of talks aimed at drawing up a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. The previous round of talks held in Kuala Lumpur produced “significant progress” in terms of market access, stressed the Chilean government, which hopes to finalize the agreement in 2009. Bilateral trade has increased by 135 percent since 2003, amounting to US$311 million.
[ANSA, EFE, El Financiero]
LIMA, Peru – Oil block contracts postponed until October: Contracts for 17 oil blocks in Peru initially programmed for July have now been postponed until October. State owned oil company Perupetro President Daniel Saba said, “The international economy is expected to improve in the second half of the year,” and went on to say, “There is interest from foreign investors, but according to our analysis the timing will be better in the final quarter of the year .” Brazil’s state owned Petrobras, the United States’ Maple and Canada’s Talisman are currently drilling at previously tendered oil blocks.