Paraguay has seen a spillover of organized criminal activities from countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Argentina which manifests itself in home invasions, kidnappings, and shootouts with drug traffickers, Maldonado said.
As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world’s biggest ships.
Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger “Post-Panamax” ships through the Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.
The project involves building a third set of locks on the Canal. It is being headed by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Spain’s Sacyr, and should open on April 1, 2016.
The new Uruguayan government says it will no longer grant asylum to prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
In December, Uruguay gave sanctuary to six Arab men who had been held at the US base in Cuba for 12 years.
Opinion polls said most Uruguayans rejected the decision taken by outgoing President Jose Mujica.
Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa also said Uruguay would stop taking refugees from the Syrian conflict.
Does that mean they’ll kick Syrians Jihad Abu Wael Dhiab, Ali Husain Shaaban, Ahmed Adnan Ajuri, and Abdelhadi Faraj, Palestinian Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, and Tunisian Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi out of the country?
Witnesses at the airport said that a few minutes after takeoff they heard a significant explosion followed by a huge fireball.
The passengers were members of the Argentine company La Rural which is an associate in a project to exploit a Convention Center under construction in the Atlantic resort of Punta del Este and had flown to Uruguay for a business conference with their Uruguayan partners and the local government.
La Rural is a leading company in Argentina and Latin America in the fairs, congress and events industry.
About 1.5 million protesters hit the streets across Brazil on Sunday in a major show of anger against leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who faces crises from a faltering economy to a massive corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras.
Many called for the impeachment of Rousseff, less than six months after she was narrowly returned to power in the most bitterly fought presidential race since the end of a military dictatorship in 1985.
The biggest demonstration took place in Sao Paulo, where a million people rallied — according to police estimates — many in the distinctive yellow and green of Brazil’s national football team. The city — South America’s biggest, and Brazil’s business and industrial hub — is a stronghold of opposition to Rousseff.
Peaceful demonstrations also took place in 83 cities and towns around the country, including major protests in the capital Brasilia and in Rio de Janeiro.
The latest protests coincide with the 30th anniversary of the year in which Brazil’s military dictatorship ended and democracy was restored. In recent days, Brazilians have debated whether the demonstrations would mark a milestone for democratic expression and free speech or, conversely, signal the country’s unwillingness to obey the verdict of the ballot box when times turn tough.
Will the protests make a difference? Only if the people of Brazil are deteermined to strengthen the institutions that guarantee transparency and the rule of law.
The Economist itemizes how the Maduro regime continues to criminalize dissent:
VENEZUELA’S “Bolivarian” regime is lurching from authoritarianism to dictatorship. On February 19th it arrested the elected mayor of metropolitan Caracas, Antonio Ledezma. Then it moved to expel Julio Borges, a moderate opposition leader, from the National Assembly—a fate already suffered by his colleague, María Corina Machado, ejected last year. Leopoldo López, another opposition leader, has been in jail for a year and is now on trial. Almost half the opposition’s mayors now face legal action. The regime’s favourite charge to level at hostile politicians is plotting to overthrow the government, often in conspiracy with the United States. But it is the president, Nicolás Maduro, who is staging a coup against the last vestiges of democracy. Venezuelans call it an autogolpe, or “self-coup”.
Hugo Chávez, who created and presided over the Bolivarian state-socialist system until his death in 2013, was repeatedly elected by Venezuelans, thanks to windfall oil revenues and his rapport with the poor. He took his majority as a mandate to squeeze the life out of Venezuelan democracy, seizing control of the courts and the electoral authority, and suppressing opposition media.
The Economist calls for other LatAm countries to become involved:
For too long Latin America has tolerated Venezuela’s abuse of democratic norms. The latest outrages have provoked expressions of concern from Brazil, the Organisation of American States and others. They must do more. They should demand the release of Mr Ledezma and Mr López and call for guarantees that the election will be fair. If they fail to get them, they should suspend Venezuela from regional groupings, such as the South American Union, which require their members to be democracies. The threat of becoming a pariah might just give Mr Maduro pause.
Over in Colombia, President Santos has offered to mediate between the Communist regime and the opposition, since “only dialogue can save Venezuela from its current crisis,” adding that the presidents of Brazil and Ecuador are also willing to help.
By calling for dialogue instead of demanding a stop to the government’s abuse, Santos and his buddies are willing to turn a blind eye to Maduro’s egregious violations.
The opposition in Brazil, however, are the ones on the right track as they passed by a large majority yesterday a motion repudiating Venezuela’s “violation of democratic principles” and demanding that Rousseff’s administration to harden its stance on Venezuela. The only three parties that didn’t join in were Rousseff’s own, the Communist Party, and the far-left PSOL Socialism and Liberty Party.
U.S. soybean futures surged to a six-week high on Tuesday as truckers across Brazil’s main farming regions blocked roads to protest fuel-tax increases and low wages, impeding shipments to ports and fueling speculation the U.S. would enjoy increased overseas demand for soybeans at Brazil’s expense. Prices pulled back Wednesday as police officers cleared some roads, but analysts said the situation remained fluid as the protests spread to more states.
The effect will be felt by the farmers, further cramping Brazil’s economy.
Over in Argentina (the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and derivatives), rather than expedite exports,
farmers defending their fields at night amid accusations that they’re hoarding crops to undermine the government.
Argentina imposes an insanely high 35 percent export tax on soy.