Archive for the ‘Carnival of Latin America’ Category

The Groundhog Day / Superbowl weekend Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentina’s Luck Is Finally Running Out

Héctor Timerman: el canciller que denunciaba que “Cuba es una dictadura” hoy participa de la CELAC en La Habana

BRAZIL
Debt bondage and indentured servitude in modern-day Brazil: Brazil’s Slaves Are Being Freed, But Owners Go Largely Unpunished

Barbarians at the Mall Entrance

CHILE
Detenida por caso Guzmán relacionaría a Bachelet con el FPMR
“Ella es clave en delitos terroristas y además podría individualizar dirigentes, jerarquías y funciones en que participaron dirigentes actuales de la izquierda chilena”, acusa el abogado Raúl Meza sobre la información que manejaría la “Comandante Ana”.

COLOMBIA
Colombia`s next president; a woman Marta Lucia Ramirez

Colombian chief prosecutor Eduardo Montealegre says he will bring charges against six employees of the US coal mining company, Drummond, over an environmental disaster last year.

COSTA RICA
After yesterday’s elections, Luis Guillermo Solís is ahead: Leftist Costa Rica outsider leads election, run-off expected

Costa Rica Flirts with Chavismo

Costa Rica holds presidential poll
Voters in Costa Rica choose a successor for President Laura Chinchilla, with opinion polls predicting a tight race between four main contenders.

CUBA
Cuba steps up repression on the eve of the CELAC summit

How do Cuban doctors escape Venezuela?
Doctors escape medical missions assigned by the Cuban government. These missions are not only to Venezuela, but to other parts of the world.
Via Babalu.

ECUADOR
Ecuador Fines Leading Newspaper Over Cartoon
The Ecuadorean government has fined newspaper El Universo, saying a political cartoon it recently published was defamatory and promoted social unrest, stoking concerns about press freedom in the South American country.

Lima Journal, Part I, and Part II By Jay Nordlinger

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador: former leftwing guerrilla takes lead in presidential election
Salvador Sanchez Cerén was rebel leader in bloody civil war but with nearly half votes counted he is favourite to win March run off

El Salvador in Peril
If leftist Sánchez Cerén becomes president, the future would be grim.

El Salvador votes for new presidentElection posters in San Salvador, 31 January
El Salvador is voting in a presidential election pitting the left-wing FMLN against the conservative Arena party, amid rising concern gang violence.

GUATEMALA
The Antigua Forum: Exporting A Different Kind of Latin American Revolution

Central America’s largest museum of Mayan culture to be built in Guatemala (h/t DP)

HAITI
Haiti celebrates first cardinal
The first Haitian cardinal didn’t believe the news — until he turned to the Internet.

HONDURAS
Narcos In The Mist

JAMAICA
Tufton wants Jamaicans to open eyes to economic realities

MEXICO
The Violent Gang Wars Behind Super Bowl Guacamole
Mexican growers in the world’s avocado capital chase off a criminal gang that extorted millions of dollars a year.

Humor: Los Horóscopos del Maestro Piyush 30/01/2014

PANAMA
Panama releases majority of crew on North Korean ship

PUERTO RICO
Not surprising: Puerto Rico bonds facing possible junk ratings are no longer part of the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index because of the debt’s outsized yields and spotty liquidity, S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Friday

Dead Puerto Rico boxer posed standing in the ring

HUMOR: Cinco Parientes De AGP Trabajan En El Gobierno; Aparecen Miles De Garcías Y Padillas A Pedir Cacao

VENEZUELA
At markets, Chavez successor falls short

Venezuela and Argentina
The party is over
Latin America’s weakest economies are reaching breaking-point

Quiqueo throws the towel. He made the news.

Daniel’s recipe for the Venezuelan opposition (for what good it does…)

The week’s posts and podcast:
Brazil: Not quite ready for World Cup prime time

Crazy Venezuelan headline of the day: “Maduro offers 80% discount in tickets to the moon”

Ecuador: Maybe Mia ought to meet Vaca

Argentina: Chronicle of a default foretold, continued

En español: Angry Birds en la Unidad de Quemados

Cuba: CELAC, the hypocrisy summit

Mexico: Michoacán vigilantes to join with police

Guatemala: The lost orphans

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Latin America: What was missing from the SOTU

Podcast: Crime and inflation in Venezuela PLUS other US Latin America issues.

The misplaced Machu Picchu Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 27th, 2014

To err is human, and to misplace the ruins is definitely not divine, so today’s Carnival is dedicated to Hema Maps, the publishers of this guidebook.

ARGENTINA
Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Argentina’s Latest Crisis

THE TWO WORLDS OF BUENOS AIRES: MACRI’S LEGACY OF INEQUALITY

Erosion of Argentine Peso Sends a Shudder Through Latin America
The decline in Argentina’s currency is the steepest since the country’s economic collapse in 2002, and it is raising fears of a global slump in developing countries.

Currency controls in Argentina
Relaxation therapy

BELIZE
Belize and Guatemala agree on ‘road map’ to address the territorial dispute
Belize and Guatemala agreed at the headquarters of the Organization of American States on a “Road Map and Plan of Action”, which has as its main objective the strengthening of the bilateral relationship between the two countries during 2014 in order to make concrete the holding of popular consultations to enable the consideration of the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

BOLIVIA
Bolivia ‘to build first nuclear reactor’

Radio Serial About Evo Morales Debuts in Bolivia

BRAZIL
The Brazilian ranch where Nazis kept slaves
On a farm deep in the countryside 100 miles (160km) west from Sao Paulo, a football team has lined up for a commemorative photograph. What makes the image extraordinary is the symbol on the team’s flag – a swastika.

New book claims THIS picture proves Hitler escaped his Berlin bunker and died in South America in 1984 aged 95
Fuhrer ‘fled to Argentina and then Paraguay before settling in Brazil’
Hunted for treasure with a map given to him by Vatican allies, book claims
Author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims fascist actually died aged 95
Claims he had a black girlfriend to disguise his fascist background
Says her suspicions increased after she photoshopped a moustache [sic] onto the grainy picture and compared it to photos of the Fuhrer

World Cup protesters set fire to car
Brazil World Cup protesters set fire to car
Violence erupts on the streets of Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo as more than 2,000 demonstrators gathered to protest against the cost of the upcoming soccer World Cup

CHILE
Chile’s president-elect chooses old faces for new cabinet

Chile’s 33 miners still haunted by their past

Magic and Mystery: Isabel Allende
The best-selling author on her new mystery and why her work isn’t so ‘magical’

COLOMBIA
Cash for votes

COSTA RICA
Cato’s ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BULLETIN NO. 18
Growth without Poverty Reduction: The Case of Costa Rica

Costa Rica needs genuine market reforms that eliminate the government’s power to pick winners and losers or otherwise bestow favoritism. In the areas aforementioned, the country should

* Implement a neutral exchange rate regime either by allowing the colón to freely float against the U.S. dollar or by adopting the latter as the country’s official currency.
* Abolish all tariffs on agricultural products as well as other regulations that provide monopoly powers to conglomerates that produce farm goods such as rice, beef, and sugar, and eliminate price controls on rice.
* Dismantle regulations that stifle domestic entrepreneurship, following the guidelines laid out by the World Bank’s Doing Business project.
* Adopt a neutral and competitive tax regime that taxes all businesses domiciled in the country equally but at a low flat rate.

CUBA
Dissidents Arrested Ahead of CELAC Summit

RIP, Inter-American Democratic Charter

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic runaways told they cannot return to Stonyhurst College
The two pupils who ran away from Stonyhurst College to the Dominican Republic will not be allowed to return to school

ECUADOR
Ecuador airline suspends flights to Venezuela because of tickets’ debts
Ecuadorean airline Tame has suspended flights to Venezuela, demanding 43m dollars in overdue payments for tickets. Some 80 passengers were left stranded on Thursday at the airport in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito. Tame says the Venezuelan Central Bank has not transferred any money to its account in Ecuador since April 2013.

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador Presidential Election Preview, 2014

Shaky truce: Is El Salvador’s gang war really on hold?

GUATEMALA
Guatemala’s Stranded Orphans
Unicef’s pressure to stop international adoptions has tragic results.

JAMAICA
Mass Burial Site Claim
Police said to be aiding some criminals in the East

LATIN AMERICA
Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

MEXICO
The American roots of a Mexican militia movement
Many who have joined fight against Michoacan drug cartel once lived and worked in the U.S.

Knights Templar on quest for drugs efficiency
Mexican narco-gang diversifies into mining and iron ore export

PANAMA
Panama Canal Authority Says Proposal on Table That Could End Dispute

Car Shopping Observations

PARAGUAY
Six Hurt in Clash with Police in Paraguay

PERU
Peru Lawmakers Find Evidence of Graft Under Former President

PUERTO RICO
Your taxes just went up: Gobernador convierte en Ley medidas de COFIM

Puerto Rico: The next debt crisis?

Puerto Rico: Harbour of debt
The territory is imposing tough austerity measures as it seeks to allay investor concerns and issue new bonds

URUGUAY
A really big mess: Dead Sperm Whale Washes Up on Beach in Uruguay

Uruguayan Economy Minister Resigns Amid Airline Scandal

VENEZUELA
Carta abierta a @abc_es

Maduro sets limits on company profits and prison terms for hoarding or over charging
Venezuela decreed a new price control law that sets limits on company profits and establishes prison terms for those charged with hoarding or over-charging, part of populist President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to tame inflation.

Jeff Bezos will go to jail in Venezuela

Venezuelan Government Devalues Currency

Miami on the cheap? Venezuelans traveling to Florida face new restrictions

HRW “unlikes” Maduro

Will Venezuela default on its debts?

The week’s posts and podcast:
CELAC: Maduro & Cristina want Puerto Rico’s independence

The question the media should be asking about Menendez

Argentina And Venezuela: Chronicles Of Devaluations Foretold

Who is to gain from smearing Robert Menendez?

Argentina: Chronicle of a default foretold

Cuba: Success through ruination

En español: Terapia intensiva

Cuba: Michael Totten’s road trip

Mexico: Michoacan’s fighting priests

The BVI, China’s new tax haven

Venezuela: Worst judicial system

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
UN Climate chief: Communism fights global warming

Cuba: What a “prosperous and sustainable socialism” looks like UPDATED

The week’s podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week


The Corcovado thumb Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio was struck by lightning, damaging its right thumb. Here’s the striking photo.

ARGENTINA
Argentine Government Rules Out Military Role in Drug Enforcement

The fish are biting . . . you: Carnivorous fish injure 10 Argentine river bathers in area where 70 were wounded last month

BOLIVIA
Bolivian President Touts Nuclear Power Program

BRAZIL
The Laureus World Sports Awards, abruptly cancelled, Sporting events in Rio
We regret to announce

Inri Cristo, preacher on a scooter

Mulher de malandro decidirá eleição
O eleitorado diz que quer mudança, mas pretende reeleger Dilma. É puro chavismo

CHILE
The drugs industry in Chile
Getting the treatment

COLOMBIA
Someone explain to me why should anyone trust the FARC, Bomb explodes in Colombian town as rebel ceasefire ends
At least one person was killed when a bomb went off in the town of Pradera in western Colombia, officials say.

Bogota; time to move on

CUBA
Cuban political prisoner Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta starts hunger to protest denial of family visit

Another Moronic Offensive Stunt to Take Place in Castrogonia

One Year of Immigration And Travel Reform… What Changed?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
OBAMA CALLS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ‘THE DOMINICAN REPUBLICAN’

ECUADOR
A tale of two hacks: Ecuador’s continued assault on the press

Ecuadorian state newspaper says new media outlet would seek to destabilize the government

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador’s first presidential debate brims with pledges – but can candidates deliver?
El Salvador’s presidential election takes place next month, and topics of gang violence, the economy, and healthcare are top of mind.

GUATEMALA
Guatemala’s president and vice president withdraw criminal complaints against newspaper editor

HAITI
Haitians living abroad weigh investment opportunities
After four years in Washington, D.C., a diaspora investment conference moves to Port-au-Prince

JAMAICA
LGBT tolerance growing in Jamaica, push to repeal of anti-gay law

LATIN AMERICA
Cuban Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Has Lived in an Oppressive Society

Andres Oppenheimer is optimistic: Latin America’s downward spiral?

Sure, Venezuela may descend into further chaos, but it doesn’t have many followers. Argentina will most likely change course within the next two years, and Brazil will, in the worst-case scenario, remain stagnant.

More importantly, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile are doing well, and may drag several other countries in their direction. Together with Brazil, the four Pacific-coast countries make up more than 75 percent of Latin America’s economy.

More than a downward spiral, we may soon see the end of the populist cycle, and the beginning of an upward spiral.

Organized crime in 2014: What can Latin America expect?
Organized crime is adaptable and profit-driven, and in 2014, that could mean moving beyond Mexico and Colombia to a more diverse set of nations.

MEXICO
Adrift in Mexico’s deportation capital
Mexicali has became the U.S. government’s biggest dumping ground for deportees who often have deep ties in America.

Michoacan replaces security chiefsMexican soldiers patrol the streets of Apatzingan, Michoacan. Photo: 16 January 2014
Mexico’s authorities say top security officials will be replaced in the western state of Michoacan that has recently been rocked by violence.

Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

Gangs from Central America on the rise in Mexico: Report
A new report out of Mexico details the growing links between Central American Maras and the nation’s main criminal groups, highlighting more cross-border gang activity

El pincel de la justicia
Ramiro Gómez hace su primera presentación en un espacio formal, en una pequeña galería en Chinatown. No tiene un taller: el dueño del lugar le prestó el primer piso para que ahí concluyera cuatro lienzos que son parte de la obra que expone.

PANAMA
Canal Standoff Worries Panamanians
A standoff over cost overruns in the Panama Canal expansion has Panamanians as anxious as the global shipping industry.

PERU
Peru: Media Merger Serving as Pretext for Manipulation
Let the People, Not Caudillos, Determine the Role of the Press

Disagreement between Vargas Llosa and his son illustrates the debate in Peru over media concentration

PUERTO RICO
Fixing Puerto Rico: Part I

URUGUAY
A leopard never changes its spots: Paris Hilton poses up a storm on the beach in Uruguay wearing animal print dress

VENEZUELA
Regulation, Death by a thousand cuts (Updated)

Thomas Berry died ‘trying to show family real Venezuela’, parents say
Berry family speaks for the first time of grief at death of their son and his wife, killed by robbers in front of their daughter after their car broke down on a dangerous stretch of highway

Pet rights? When all are rights there are no rights

Venezuelan economic controls lead to newsprint shortage

The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: Festival success

Brazil: Corcovado damaged by lightning

Argentina: Where’s Cristina?

Panama: North Korea to pay fine for the rust bucket

Mexico: Mireles won’t back down

Puerto Rico: Take down that fence!

Venezuela: Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic UPDATED

Mexico: Military clash with cartel-fighting militias

Ecuador, Iran, Syria: The new axis?

Argentina’s crumbling economy

Mexico: El Universal claims DEA-Sinaloa deal in Fast & Furious

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Do heed those travel warnings.

The week’s podcast: The US-Latin America stories of the week


The “I swear it by Louis Vuitton” Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 13th, 2014

LatinAmerThe week’s big news in Latin America was the terrible murder of Mónica Spear and ex-husband Henry Thomas Berry in Venezuela.

However, I dedicate this week’s Carnival to the best-named style blog Te lo juro por Louis Vuitton (I swear it by Louis Vuitton), which comes from Argentina.

ARGENTINA
Comodidad

Latin American rivers among most polluted in the world, says new study
Experts are warning of a possible public health and environmental crisis after it was revealed that rivers in Latin America are some of the most polluted in the world

US Supreme Court to Hear Appeal In Argentina Case
Argentina seeks to stop Elliott Management unit from obtaining records on accounts maintained by officials, including President Kirchner

The court, in a brief written order, agreed to hear an appeal by Argentina seeking to stop Elliott Management Corp.’s NML Capital Ltd. from obtaining records on accounts maintained by Argentina and leading public officials, including its president, Cristina Kirchner.

BAHAMAS
$100M lawsuit over Bahamas chopper crash refiled

BOLIVIA
Bolivia Uses G77 Post to Put Coca Legalization on International Agenda

BRAZIL
Gunmen kill Brazil church’s pastor
Police in Brazil say two gunmen killed an evangelical pastor by shooting him at his church in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Brazil Forging Economic Ties With Cuba, While Hiring Its Doctors

Brazilian College Student Auctions Off Her Virginity AGAIN, h/t Instapundit

CHILE
Chile forest fires spark health alert as smoke spreads
The Chilean government has declared a health alert in four of the country’s 15 regions as smoke from dozens of forest fires spreads

Chilean fishermen win court backing
Chile’s Supreme Court sides with fishing groups and orders the operator of two coal power plants to ensure they do not pollute or kill marine life.

Spain’s Crown Prince Honors Indigenous Latin America Moviemakers

COLOMBIA
Colombia once again ranked happiest country in the world: survey

CUBA
WARNING
: Very gruesome photos Atrocity in Cuba: revisiting the horrors of Mazorra

Mysterious Death of Young American in Cuba

Spreading Use of Internet Tools in Cuba, Other Repressive Lands is Essential for Freedom

Cuban rights group counts more than 6,400 political arrests in 2013

ECUADOR
El Comercio: Enlace ciudadano 356, desde Babahoyo, provincia de Los Ríos

Read the Overwhelming Evidence of Fraud, Extortion and Other Misconduct

During a six-week federal trial in New York, Chevron introduced overwhelming evidence of fraud, extortion and other misconduct as part of a civil lawsuit against Steven Donziger and his associates.

Read a comprehensive summary of Chevron’s claims and supporting evidence against Steven Donziger and his associates in the company’s post-trial brief here.

HONDURAS
World Bank Is Criticized for Honduran Loan
The bank’s ombudsman delivered a stinging review of a loan to a palm-oil company engaged in a violent conflict with poor farm workers over land in Honduras.

LATIN AMERICA
‘Moderate’ Iran maintains terrorist cells in Latin America.

MEXICO
Los caballeros templarios: Executive Slaying Sparks New Fears
The death of a top ArcelorMittal executive, believed to be the work of a powerful drug cartel, raises concerns about foreign companies operating in Mexico.

Vanished
In 2011, Israel Arenas Durán disappeared in northern Mexico. Why can’t the government find him — and the thousands of others who’ve gone missing in the country’s drug war?

Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

PANAMA
As Costs Soar, Who Will Pay For The Panama Canal’s Expansion?

Panama named best place in the world to retire
That’s where retirees will get the most bang for their buck, and be able to bask in the sun and warm weather every day. Plus, a new program makes it easy to establish residence in Panama. Also on the list of top places to retire are Ecuador, Malaysia and Costa Rica.
I don’t know about Malaysia, but Ecuador would not be on my list. The Huffpo has a 5-part series: Is Panama Truly a Retirement Haven?

PARAGUAY
Paraguay, world’s second largest producer of marijuana will not legalize

PERU
Vigilantes whip ‘prostitutes’ in Peruvian nightclub attack
In disturbing scenes, members of a local vigilante group in Peru storm a nightclub, whipping and shoving dozens of female employees

PUERTO RICO
In Puerto Rico, ditching sun and sand for a day in the caves

TURKS & CAICOS
Michael Misick, Former Turks and Caicos leader extradited from Brazil under U.S. escort, spends first night in prison on corruption charges.

URUGUAY
8 reasons Uruguay’s not all that
Media have hyped up the tiny South American country that just legalized weed. Sorry for the buzz kill, but …

VENEZUELA
Hundreds protest over murdered Miss Venezuela
Hundreds took to the streets of Caracas to demand the government protect its citizens from callous killers, following the murder of a former Miss Venezuela and her British ex-husband

Violence in Venezuela
Crime and impunity

Cubazuela Aims to Annex Puerto Rico

The week’s posts:
Puerto Rico: 6.4 earthquake

Mexico: “Shame and Name”, Blacklisting for taxes

Colombia: When El Dorado is the gateway to freedom

Cuba: Dementor sighting at an art gallery

Venezuela: Aftermath of the Spears murder

Chile: Somebody didn’t read the instructions for the #CauCau bridge

Panama: no deal on Canal overruns

En español: Terapia intensiva 190

Libre’s initiative

Chile: Palestinian shirts making a statement

Uruguay: What not to wear

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Venezuela: Killing beauty


The first 2014 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 6th, 2014

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Ex-Israeli envoy to Argentina: Israel killed most perpetrators of AMIA, embassy bombings
Former ambassador Itzhak Aviran accuses Argentine gov’t of not doing enough to probe 1990s Buenos Aires terrorist attacks.

Dejó un mensaje telefónico porque las monjas no pudieron atender la llamada
El Papa llama a un convento de Lucena para felicitar el año nuevo
La conversación con el Pontífice duró 15 minutos y la pudieron escuchar cinco monjas
El Santo Padre envió su bendición a toda la buena gente de la localidad cordobesa

Argentina Criticizes Utilities After Outages
Argentina’s government has ruled out raising electricity rates and instead repeated threats to revoke the concessions of the two largest utilities that serve the capital if they don’t invest more to prevent a repeat of recent blackouts.

BOLIVIA
Headbanging in Bolivia to the Flutes of Yore
Heavy metal, Bolivian style, is a fusion of thrashing guitars and shrieking lyrics with the rhythms and instruments of pre-Incan Andean folk tunes.

BRAZIL
Brazil’s fighter jet decision

CHILE
Photos: Violent protests in Chile

Chilean miracle miners back in spotlight, with Antonio Banderas.

COLOMBIA
Bogota needs a “Bloomberg”; maybe, but it’ll do much better with a Giuliani.

CUBA
Reuters shocked…. shocked! … by Cuban car pricing

Mujeres: la carne barata de la revolución

The media
The most absurdly oblivious headline you’ll read all year

Cuba’s unhappy birthday

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haitians without a nation
A ruling in the Dominican Republic divides immigrants in Boston

ECUADOR
Ecuador Authorities Raid Journalist’s Home
The raid is the latest crackdown on the press following a recent law restricting negative reporting.

USAID to Pull Out of Ecuador
Organization cites efforts of Correa admin to stifle aid programs

Sitting in the Ecuadorian embassy, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange derides Catholic confessional system but can’t come up with an original thought.

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador orders evacuation from volcano’s slopes
Authorities in El Salvador have resumed evacuating residents living on the slopes of the Chaparrastique volcano

HONDURAS
Election fraud in Honduras

JAMAICA
Cool Runnings Again? Jamaican Bobsleigh Team Return for Sochi Winter Olympic Glory Bid

LATIN AMERICA
Nafta at 20: A Model for Trade Policy
Opponents of the 1993 agreement have been proven definitively wrong.

MEXICO
Mexico: 6 Police Officers Charged in Death of U.S. Citizen in Custody
The man, Yeudi Estrada, was dead when he arrived at Police Headquarters in the resort of Playa del Carmen after his arrest, local prosecutors said.

Mexico 2013: End of the Year Reflections and the Year to Come

Suspected leader of Mexican drug cartel nabbed at Amsterdam airport, via Gates of Vienna.

PANAMA
Trouble at the Panama Canal
Your money or your locks

THE $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the world’s great infrastructure projects, aimed at enabling giant mega-tankers to pass through the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific. So a threat by an international consortium, led by Spain’s Sacyr, to halt construction work on January 20th if the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) doesn’t pay it $1.6 billion for cost overruns, is serious. The amount it is claiming is fully half the $3.2 billion it bid in 2009 for its part of the project.

Jorge Quijano, administrator of the PCA, told The Economist that the authority would not pay the money because cost increases were accounted for in the contract.

Panama Canal expansion: Spain steps in to negotiations

Meanwhile, In 2013 Chiriquí Had 673 Earthquakes

PARAGUAY
Paraguay drug seizures up by 39% in 2013

PERU
Peru Plans to Increase Eradication of Coca Leaf
The nation’s drug czar says Peru plans to eradicate an estimated 30,000 hectares of illegally grown coca leaf in 2014.

PUERTO RICO
Could a Puerto Rico Default Hammer the $3.7 Trillion US Muni-Bond Market in 2014?

Puerto Rico Marijuana Reform Gets A Second Life

Puerto Rico’s Population Continues Rapid Decline

USA
No, an illegal immigrant should not be admitted to the bar

URUGUAY
Uruguay consumer prices up 8.5 pct in 2013, top government target

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s surveillance state strikes again

Transforming a mistake into a revamped tool of repression: the Delcy Rodriguez scandal

Venezuelan Central Bank Joins The Dark Side

The inflationary monster (in Spanish)

The week’s posts:
Argentina: More price controls

Latin America: Free trade vs. Mercosur

Cuba: Lies, lies, and more lies

Mexico: Another Fast & Furious gun found

Italy: Latin American thieves pick the wrong town to hide

Cuba: The new car

Is 2014 Latin America’s “big year”?

Mexico: What has changed

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Ringin’ in the New Year in yellow undies: A brief story by Fausta


The year-end Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 30th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Nine-year-old US boy climbs Aconcagua peak in Argentina
A nine-year-old boy from the United States has become the youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas.

BRAZIL
Brazil jail fights kill 59 in 2013
At least 59 inmates have been killed in a single northern Brazilian prison this year
; the town is Pedrinhas.

Smart Diplomacy: Boeing’s Super Hornet Banned From Brazil’s Fighter Sales Because of Fury Over NSA Scandal

Brazil Boosts Levy On Overseas Transactions
Brazil is raising taxes on more transactions its residents make abroad, as the country tries to increase government revenue and reduce the outflow of dollars.

ICYMI, Smart Diplomacy: Brazilian President complains to Obama about “a grave violation of human rights” and “especially of disrespect to national sovereignty

CHILE
Statistics in Chile
No consensus

COLOMBIA
Colombia`s year of peace

Colombian military kills 10 Farc rebels in bombing raid
The Colombian military says it has killed at least 10 members of the left-wing Farc rebel group in an operation in central Meta province.

CUBA
The Free Alan Gross website.

Magazine Celebrates Mass Murderer Che

Man who shouted “Down with communism!” during pope’s visit to Cuba is now in Chattanooga
Andrés Carrión Says security agents threatened to kill him, fired his wife, forced them out of their home and sent two snitches to get close to him.

ECUADOR
Ecuador Faces Legal Quandary over Intra-Indigenous Violence

HONDURAS
Honduran High Court Rejects Challenge to Presidential Vote

JAMAICA
Police in Jamaica probe slaying of New York teen

MEXICO
Observations and Questions as NAFTA Reaches 20 Years of Age

Mexico to Tax Luxury Item: Pet Food
Mexico’s pet owners are bracing for a new tax on pet food, which the government recently declared a “luxury item.
A 16% Sales Tax to Kick In as Government Scrounges for Revenue

A Civil Servant in Mexico Tests U.S. on Asylum

NICARAGUA
A must-read firsthand account from a former NGO worker: 32 years after the revolution Reagan is right

PERU
The Dark Side of El Dorado: Illegal Gold Mining In Peru Generating More Money Than Drug Trafficking (emphasis added)

In fact, so much gold has been produced by the “informal” (or “illegal’) mining sector in Peru – involving some 40,000 miners who have tried to scrape whatever they can in abandoned mines around the country, from the jungle province of Puerto Maldonado to the deserted landscape of Ica – that gold has become more lucrative than cocaine trafficking (of which Peru is the largest exporter, having surpassed Colombia in 2012, according to the United Nations).

PUERTO RICO
PENSION WARS
Pension Update: Puerto Rico Up, San Jose Down
It’s been an up-and-down week for public pensions. In San Jose, a judge struck down a significant piece of the city’s pension reform plan, setting the stage for a big ballot fight next year. In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, the Senate finally passed a measure to put the Teachers Pesion Fund on solid footing.

With A Downgrade On Debt Imminent, Puerto Rico Needs A Visit From Santa Claus

TURKS & CAICOS
Turks and Caicos Islands: 18 Believed to Be Migrants From Haiti Drown
Eighteen people believed to be migrants from Haiti died Wednesday when their overloaded sailboat overturned as it was being escorted to shore in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

URUGUAY
Uruguayan Navy Seizes Over 1 Ton of Cocaine

USA
‘Military-Style’ Raid on California Power Station Spooks U.S.

The Most Underreported Foreign News Stories of 2013

The Most Underreported Domestic News Stories of 2013

VENEZUELA
Caracas Says It Received China Credits
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said China has given his country $5 billion in credits under a deal reached in September.
Money Pledged in September to Be Used for Several Purposes

PDVSA awards crude tender to U.S. refiner at wide discounts-trade, via Kermit, wjo points out,

A decade or so ago Venezuelan crude was sold on longterm contracts at about $10 per barrel discount from the two widget fiction crudes, WTI & Brent. Looks like it is now $20 discount and crude production has declined quite a bit.

What Will Happen In Venezuela In 2014?

2013 in review: the year we realized that the Venezuelan electorate is wretched and vile

Muere Hugo Chávez, nace el chavismo
Con o sin el expresidente, el chavismo es una plataforma viable, y es la preferida por los venezolanos. De eso ya no queda duda

ICYMI, The Venezuelan State’s Occupy “Movement”: The Victory of Socialism!

The week’s posts:
Cuba: Institutionalized racism

Argentina: Rocket up, power out

Ecuador: Cléver Jiménez, accused of hacking, gets raided. Assange & Snowden could not be reached for comment.

Mexico showed the way in 2013

Argentina: 60 wounded by piranha attack

Cuba: Doctors to earn $40 a month

Nicaragua: Paul Berman writes to de Blasio

Reformed dictators don’t exist

At Da Tech Guy: Fausta’s Puerto Rican Christmas menu


The Christmas week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
The Kirchner-Baez scandal

Argentina’s socioeconomic statistics
Still lying after all these years
Official figures paint a rosy picture. So why are Argentines rioting?

BARBADOS
Barbados Bonds at Record Yields as IMF Urges Restraint

BOLIVIA
Bolivians cheer satellite launchBolivian indigenous rituals ahead of satellite launch
Thousands of people in La Paz celebrate the launch of Bolivia’s first telecommunications satellite from a base in China

BRAZIL
An Open Letter to the People of Brazil

CHILE
Bachelet y el triunfo de los idiotas

CUBA
Why did Barack Obama shake the hand of my father’s killer, Raul Castro?

RAUL CASTRO ISSUES STERN WARNING TO ENTREPRENEURS

Over 3,000 Cuban Doctors Defected From Venezuela

ECUADOR
How China Just Grabbed 90% of Ecuador’s Oil

Belarus, Ecuador to set up joint laboratory for unmanned systems

JAMAICA
Jamaican bride dumps new husband 20 MINUTES after arriving in the UK… and guess who paid for her £5k visa
Heartbroken charity worker believes she ‘joined boyfriend with whom she planned scheme’
He paid £5,000 for her visa

LATIN AMERICA
EL FORO DE SAO PAULO, UN PELIGRO PARA LA DEMOCRACIA

The Pope and Capitalism

MEXICO
Mexico’s Reforms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Mexico’s Congress has delivered an energy reform plan that could alter Mexico’s economic outlook for decades to come, but its populist tax policies and profligate spending threaten the steady growth the country has achieved in recent years.

Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back to Living

JUDGE: DHS COMPLICIT IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING THAT HELPS FUND DRUG CARTELS

Crime and Growth Convergence
Evidence from Mexico

PARAGUAY
Paraguay’s new president
Cartes plays his cards
Trickle-down economics in one of South America’s poorest countries

PERU
British drug mules sentenced to six years for trafficking in Peru
Michaella Connolly and Melissa Reid have been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Peruvian judge, for attempting to smuggle 11 kilos of cocaine out of the country

PUERTO RICO
Coast Guard rescues man kicked off mountain by goat (h/t Tree-hugging Sister)

URUGUAY
The Economist’s country of the year, for legalizing the mass production and distribution of marijuana.

VENEZUELA
More bad news from Venezuela

OLIVER STONE CONFIRMS HUGO CHAVEZ BIOPIC IN VENEZUELA

The week’s posts and podcast
Colombia: mayor trouble

Colombia: Don’t fire the mayor yet! And how about the GPS?

Cuba: How to starve as a Cuban for 30 days

Venezuela, the next Zimbabwe

Colombia: Maicao, Hezbollah money-laundering center

Mexico: Manufacturing jobs moving back to US

Brazil: Snowden not in asylum

En español: Terapia intensiva de esta semana

Uruguay: UN says pot law against international law

Ecuador’s poor investment climate

Venezuela: Diplomats confirm Venezuelan links to drug trafficking

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Brazil: Edward Snowden asks for asylum

Podcast:
Venezuela elections outlook & US-Latin America stories of the week


The handshake Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 16th, 2013

LatinAmerMarking another low point in “smart diplomacy through obeisance” last week we saw the O-Raul handshake, which came after six months of talks but was totally unplanned.

ARGENTINA
This Is What A Feminist Looks Like (h/t Instapundit)

BARBADOS
Barbados Debt Higher Than Cyprus Prompts Firing of 3,000

BELIZE
The story of a girl activist – Belize
“Accurate, fun and interactive information about teenage pregnancy helps girls make better and more informed decisions,” says Thandiwe Diego, 14

BRAZIL
A bank that may be too big for Brazil

Brazil Wants More Cuban Slaves

CARIBBEAN
Norway asked to pay up for slave-owning past
A commission set up by countries in the Caribbean announced on Tuesday that it planned to sue Norway for its involvement in plantation slavery from the 17th to the 19th century.

CHILE
Elections in Chile
Bachelet’s coronation

COLOMBIA
Thousands march for sacked Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro
Tens of thousands of people in Colombia have been taking part in a demonstration in support of the sacked mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro.

Bogota’s Mayor Petro deposed in “coup”

CUBA
Must-See: “Ladies in White” Beaten and Stripped Naked

POPULATION OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA STONED THE STATE SECURITY FORCES

South Africa “joined at the hip” to Cuba

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Fighting to Exist in the Dominican Republic

A-Rod news: NY YANKEES
Rodriguez Soaks Up the Love in the Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
Must-Read: CNN Reporter Describes Interview With Elian

At odds with Ecuador, USAID moves to leave
USAID expects to close its doors in Ecuador by September 2014 due to an increasingly acrimonious relationship with President Rafael Correa. This comes six months after it was kicked out of Bolivia

EL SALVADOR
Spain’s ABC: Venezuela arranged drug trafficking access for Salvadoran FMLN
José Luis Merino, a leader of the left-wing Salvadoran political party, arranged a drug lord’s meeting with the Colombian FARC on a flight coordinated with the office of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

REPORT: PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FELON FREE IN US

JAMAICA
Jamaica hailed for role in anti-apartheid fight

MEXICO
Vigilantes in Mexico: A Warning Sign of Chaos

You Can Go Home Again:
Mexican Migrants Return
in Record Numbers
(h/t Mexidata)

Unidad de quemados:

PERU
CNBC: Accused scam artist apprehended in Peru
CNBC: Eric Bartoli, featured on “America Greed” caught in Lima after 10 years on the run.

PANAMA
Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and Panama recall their ambassadors

PUERTO RICO
Obamacare Pushing Puerto Rico Further Into Social Welfare State, Doctors Warn

Puerto Rico May Be Cut to Junk by Moody’s on Weak Economy

Puerto Rico’s Economic Problems Not Going Away — My Newyorican Suggestions

URUGUAY
Can Uruguay Handle the Pot Business?

Simon Jenkins inhales deeply: Heroic Uruguay deserves a Nobel peace prize for legalising cannabis
The war on the war on drugs is the only war that matters. Uruguay’s stance puts the UN and the US to shame

VENEZUELA
Anatomy of the Oppo Bullshit Machine

The Details Of Sunday’s Venezuelan Municipal Election Results Are Ugly For The Opposition

Smuggling from Venezuela to Colombia exceeds formal trade
According to estimates from customs authorities and members of the Venezuelan-Colombian Economic Integration Chamber (Cavecol)

Ending Venezuela’s Addiction to Populism

The week’s posts and podcast:
BNDES: Brazil’s really big bank

Venezuela: What food rationing creates

Mexico: Border tunnels “significant and growing threat to border security”

Pope Francis, the glass is more than half-full.

Putin, the new Evita

Mexico: Will fracking save the oil industry?

Mexico: A house divided

Today: International Day of Tango

Cuba: Handshake between Obama and Raul came after six months of talks

TIME’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis

Puerto Rico: Drawing on cash

Obama bows to Raul Castro

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Venezuela vs Ukraine: Why we won’t see the protests in Caracas

Podcast: The elections in Venezuela PLUS other US Latin America stories.

The Communist Venezuela Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 9th, 2013

LatinAmerARGENTINA
Argentines teach tango inside mental hospital

BRAZIL
Turning Good Economic Luck into Bad

CHILE
Chile Presidential Candidates Square off in Debate

COLOMBIA
Five points on President Obama’s meeting with Colombia’s President Santos

The stateless Colombia

COSTA RICA
POLL NUMBERS!!! Three way race in Costa Rica

CUBA
Cuba: Castro State Security releases dissident leader Berta Soler after arrest at airport

Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro: A Relationship Built On Mutual Admiration

Communist vandals attack home of former Cuban prisoner of conscience Librado Linares

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Haiti and the Dominican Republic
A storm in Hispaniola
And no agreement as to how many have been cut off from citizenship

ECUADOR
A Possible Overture From Ecuador in the Chevron Pollution Mess

GUATEMALA
Was it 7 or 8? A Little Miscommunication Among Friends.

JAMAICA
Reggae Wine From Indiana To Be Launched In Jamaica

LATIN AMERICA
Latin American, Caribbean dilemma: Many entrepreneurs, but little innovation

MEXICO
Nuclear Terrorist Threat Looms On Our Southern Border

Truck with dangerous radioactive material ‘stolen in Mexico’

O’Grady: Mexico Nears an Energy Breakthrough
A proposed change to the nation’s law could free private capital to develop the country’s vast oil and gas reserves.

At the burned-out unit (in Spanish): former governor of Tamaulipas Tomás Yarrington, who not only is being accused of money laundering and fraud by both the Mexican and US governments, he allegedly played the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas and the Beltrán Leyva cartel against each other.

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shootout raises specter of guerrillas

PANAMA
101 Years After Its Birth, The Panama Canal Is On The Verge Of Creating A Huge New Opportunity For US Exporters

PUERTO RICO
Is Puerto Rico Too Big To Fail?

Puerto Ricans fleeing debt battle
Tax increases, pension cuts and a fall in jobs are part of the strategy to save Puerto Rico from another rating downgrade

URUGUAY
Uruguay opposition demands marijuana referendum
Last minute opposition to Uruguay’s plans to legalise sale and consumption of marijuana

VENEZUELA
Electoral coverage by VN&V

Venezuela headed for chaos

VENEZUELA GOES INTO THE CAR BUSINESS

The week’s posts:
Venezuela municipal elections results

Mexico: Congress to vote on bill ending PEMEX monopoly

Extortion from the state and from the cartels: Mexico: The border-crossing “tax”

Mexico: 6 detained on cobalt-60 case

Brazil: Corinthians Arena to be ready by April

Today’s Louis Renault moment

Mexico: The cobalt-60 case

Argentina: #Córdoba police strike linked to prostitution; 140 brothels’ worth.

Venezuela: Al-Jazeera op-ed in denial

Mexico: AMLO has a heart attack, and other news

The most corrupt countries in the world

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Cuba’s foreign prisoners

This week’s podcast: Medical tourism in Latin America plus other issues this week


The Colombian graffiti Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

LatinAmerFollowing Justin Bieber’s acts of vandalism, Colombian and Brazilian authorities are having to deal with an outburst of graffiti. Maybe they ought to ban the little twerp from coming back, or better yet, make him clean it up with his own two hands.

ARGENTINA
Drugs in Argentina
Southward marching powder

Authorities have focused on seizing drugs, not dismantling the organisations that peddle them. “This strategy is futile,” says former under-secretary of security for Buenos Aires province, Diego Gorgal. “It doesn’t change the supply, demand, or price of drugs.” It is also poorly executed. According to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report produced by the US State Department, Argentine security forces seized 12 tonnes of cocaine in 2010; in the first six months of 2012 they confiscated only 3.4 tonnes. Operation Northern Shield, an initiative to improve Argentina’s border security through the installation of seven radars in the north, has flopped. Only three have been activated. Their backup? Forty-year-old aircraft.

Argentina police raid brothels
Raids on brothels in and around Buenos Aires lead to the rescue of almost 100 women forced into prostitution, Argentine police say.

Video: NSFW Pro-abortion and gay activists attack the Catholic cathedral in San Juan (h/t Gates of Vienna)

BOLIVIA
Chile will not cede territory to Bolivia: FM

BRAZIL
Fire ravages Oscar Niemeyer building
Authorities in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, fight a major blaze at a landmark building designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer,
The Latin America Memorial.

World Cup 2014: aerial view of collapsed Brazil football stadium
Three people have been killed in an accident at a Sao Paulo stadium that is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup

Brazilian who auctioned off virginity wants to sell it again Catarina Migliorini claims that deal last year was never consumated [sic] and she is now looking for another buyer

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Must Balance Growth and Spending

CUBA
Reuters (Poor and Irresponsible) “Analysis” of Cuba’s Banking Woes

D.C. Jews press Obama to secure subcontractor’s release from Cuban jail Alan Gross was arrested in 2009 while on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet; a rally planned for Dec. 3 is meant to raise awareness for his cause.

23 UNPACU activists arrested in violent crackdown Santiago de Cuba

Arms Smuggling versus Equestrian Tourism: Which matters most?

Thanksgiving Terror From Friends of The Council on Foreign Relations

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Gay U.S. ambassador faces backlash in Dominican Republic

ECUADOR
U.S. trial ends over Ecuador pollution judgment against Chevron: The case is Chevron Corp v. Steven Donziger et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-0691.

A look at the traders behind the China-Ecuador-U.S. oil triangle

HONDURAS
Elections in Honduras Advantage, the old guard

Honduras ruling party hope wins presidency on vow to tame gangs

JAMAICA
Uncovering Jamaica’s Jewish Past In the great Caribbean melting pot, one group is largely overlooked: Jewish refugees who settled centuries ago. Their descendants are unearthing graveyards to reclaim a piece of history.

Jamaican authorities seize 3,300 warheads, and ‘Ja Fighting A War’ (h/t Gates of Vienna)

MEXICO
EPN’s first year

Monthly Mexico Media Roundup

PANAMA
Update on the Chong Chon Gang: Panama Reverses: North Korean Crew Not Freed

Organized crime prosecutor Nahaniel Murgas first said only the ship’s captain, first mate and a Korean official who watched the crew would continue to be detained and face charges of arms trafficking. He appeared later in the afternoon at the base where the crew members were being held and changed his version, saying only the ship was legally free to go. He left without further comment.

North Korea agrees fine with Panama for ship’s release

PARAGUAY
Paraguay senator loses immunity after public pressure

PERU
Peru’s government Partners in crime A spy casts a shadow on the president

PUERTO RICO
Research and Markets: Puerto Rico Oil and Gas Markets Outlook to 2025

URUGUAY
Mientras dice que “no defiende la marihuana”, Mujica pide que ‘el mundo ayude a Uruguay’ en su ‘experimento’ con marihuana.

Wine Finds: Malbec from Uruguay is a restrained treat

VENEZUELA
Maduro’s government uses ambulances for posting flyers while hospitals lack ambulance service:

Venezuela elections: Empty shelves and a skyscraper squat
Venezuelans go to the polls in local and regional elections on 8 December that are being widely seen as a referendum on the six-month presidency of Nicolas Maduro. Opponents accuse him of leading the country to economic ruin, but he insists his reforms are essential and popular.

Pero Tenemos Free Gas 

It’s [sic] means this entire thing, the whole of the macroeconomic mess, all the crazy dislocations of the last few years, the raspaíto, the impossible-to-find milk, the shoving matches for perniles, the cars that suddenly jump up in price as they roll out of the showroom, all of it (and, much worse, all of what’s to come) all of it is – to a much greater extent than almost anyone realizes – just a knock-on effect from the financial chasm left in PDVSA’s finances by the gasoline subsidy!

China + oil = deal CITIC Mining Survey Agreement With Venezuela: Another Boondoggle?

The week’s posts:
Venezuela: “21st Century socialism” = same old Communism

Venezuela less influential in LatAm, says Oppenheimer

Mexico: No more Pact

Brazil: Will the stadium meet the deadline? You betcha.

Ecuador: Oil bidders not quite chomping at the bit

Argentina: Same old, same old

Shearith Israel’s Thanksgiving

Cuba closing its consulates in the US

Mexico: Teen hit man sent back to USA

En español: Terapia intensiva

Ecuador: How China took control of Ecuador’s oil

In case you missed it, Che in 10 quotes

Honduras: What next?

At Da Tech Guy’s Blog: Colombia: The controversy started by . . . Justin Bieber?

UPDATE:
Linked to by Devil’s Excrement. Thank you!