BRASÍLIA, Brazil – Brazilian Army soldiers recently participated in a training exercise in which terrorists unleashed a chemical weapons attack during the Confederations Cup. The drill was part of security preparations leading to soccer tournament, which will be held from June 15-30. (Evaristo Sa/AFP)
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Successor to Colombian boss “Don Mario” arrested: The Criminal Investigation Bureau (Dijín) has arrested Omar Alberto Gómez, alias “El Guajiro,” in the city of Aguachica in the northern region of César. Gómez is known as the successor to Colombian drug trafficker Daniel Rendón Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” leader of a narco-paramilitary group Gaitanist Self Defense of Colombia. Four other men were arrested in the operation, including the head of the group’s assassin wing. The detainees had surrendered earlier in the context of the agreements between United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC) and the government, but took up criminal activities again months later.
[El Espectador, EFE]
LA PAZ, Bolivia – Choquehuanca travels to Washington to review diplomatic relations: The Bolivian government reported that Bolivian Foreign Affairs Minister David Choquehuanca traveled to the United States for a meeting at the State Department with Bolivian María Otero, Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs. Both governments will resume the dialog they began in La Paz in May, with a view to normalizing the bilateral relations interrupted after the expulsion of both countries’ ambassadors. The meeting will focus on cooperation for development, social inclusion and shared responsibility for combating drug trafficking.
CARACAS, Venezuela – PDVSA pays off debts through sale of bonds: The state enterprise Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) will pay suppliers and settle other debts using a portion of the funds obtained from the sale of dollar-denominated bonds maturing in 2014, 2015 and 2016, yielding a total of US$3.26 billion. The 2014 and 2015 bond issuances were for US$1.41 billion each, with a coupon of 4.90 percent and 5 percent, respectively. The 2016 bond was for US$434.8 million, with a coupon of 5.125 percent.
SANTIAGO, Chile – LAN earnings decline: Third-quarter 2009 earnings of Chilean airline LAN, one of the largest airlines in Latin America, totaled US$52.1 million, a 37.3 percent decline from the US$83.04 million earned during the corresponding period in 2008. The drop in revenue was due to the international crisis and losses incurred from fuel coverage, although the decline was less than in previous quarters. Between January and September, LAN’s earnings totaled US$121.3 million.