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2009-07-03

July 3 News Brief South America

Eduardo Herrera

July 3 News Brief South America

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Ingrid Betancourt calls on people to remember those still in captivity: One year after her release as a result of a highly successful military operation, former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt called on people not to forget those still held hostage by the FARC guerrilla and spoke of her project to consolidate a foundation to help kidnapping victims. Betancourt spoke on the anniversary of Operation Checkmate, an undercover army operation which led to her rescue along with 14 other FARC hostages, among them three U.S. citizens and 11 soldiers and police officers.

[DPA, Radio Caracol]

LIMA, Peru – Chilean businessmen reaffirm interest in Peru: After meeting with Peruvian President Alan García, Peru-Chile Business Council (CEPC) representatives reaffirmed Chile’s interest in investing in its neighboring country. “Chilean businessmen maintain full confidence in Peruvian institutionality and its magnificent macroeconomic administration,” asserted the Chilean head of the CEPC, Hernán Somerville. He expressed his satisfaction with the free trade agreements signed by Peru with countries such as China, Japan and Korea. Chilean investment in Peru amounts to over US$6.5 billion, while Peru's investment in Chile amounts to US$2.5 billion.

[Reuters, Andina, DPA]

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Refining of first crude extracted from massive deposits begins: State-owned oil company Petrobras has begun to refine the first batches of crude extracted from the ocean floor of the massive Tupí oilfield. The extraction took place under “quite severe” conditions below the seabed, including a 1.25 mile deep salt layer, in a sea area with a depth of between 7,000 and 10,000 feet. The crude presented “low acidity and low sulfur levels” after refinement.

[EFE, Folha de Sao Paulo, O Globo]

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – A/H1N1 flu death toll reaches four: A 59-year-old man and two women, aged 56 and 54, have died after falling ill with the A/H1N1 flu virus. These take the death toll in country up to four. Health Secretary Jorge Basso did not wish to alarm people with the news, and compared the deaths to those which normally occur in the winter season. According to the secretary, there are 133 people currently in hospital with symptoms of the virus, and the illness has been confirmed in 45 of these cases.

[Reuters, EFE]

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