Archive for the ‘Ecuador’ Category

Ecuador and the ‘straitjacket’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Many of you approaching retirement age may have read multiple public relations articles touting Ecuador as A Top Retire-Overseas Choice. Among the reasons listed,

– Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar meaning no exchange-rate risk for American retirees.

If that’s a reason for your relocation, don’t get packing yet: Rafael Correa has other plans,
Ecuador Weighs Escape From Dollar ‘Straitjacket’

Congress has until the end of today to vote on President Rafael Correa’s proposal to change the South American nation’s financial laws, which would allow payments in “electronic money.” Lawmakers are debating whether to insist the central bank back the new currency with a one-to-one dollar guarantee.

As a current-account deficit drains dollars from the economy, making it harder for Correa to fund a burgeoning budget gap, a new currency could be used to meet government payments, said Jaime Carrera, a former deputy finance minister and director of the Quito-based Fiscal Policy Observatory. It could also lose its value quickly if not backed by the central bank, he said.

You may recall, seven years ago

Rafael Correa said Ecuador’s economy will remain dollarized during his four-year mandate

Of course that was before he changed the constitution to allow for his “indefinite re-election.”

Much water under the bridge and many debts later,

Correa, who calls the South American country’s use of the greenback an economic “straitjacket,” has already started paying some pension obligations in government bonds, which brokers are refusing to redeem at face value.

Additionally, Correa wants to issue electronic money without explicit public guarantees.

I can’t wait for him to turn bitcoin.

Too bad Putin didn’t include Correa in the upcoming BRICS bank.

The upcoming Russian spy base in Cuba Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 21st, 2014

LatinAmerJust as the headlines feature a Video Posted by Ukrainian Government Shows Russian Surface-to-Air Missile Carrier Hightailing It Back to Russia… Missing One Missile, Russia will reopen spy base in Cuba

A report that Russia will reopen a Havana base that eavesdropped on U.S. communications from Key West to Washington has triggered fresh warnings of Moscow’s expansionism and predictions of a continued freeze in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Until its closure in 2002, the Lourdes base was Moscow’s largest intelligence facility abroad, with up to 1,500 KGB and GRU military intelligence officers manning an array of antennas and computers in the super-secret 28-square-mile base.

The article says, “If true, reports that Russia will reopen a spy base in Cuba will complicate, if not halt, any Obama administration effort to warm up relations with Havana,” which is risible, considering current U.S. foreign policy.

ARGENTINA
Britain should open talks with Argentina over the Falklands, says Vladimir Putin
The Russian president backs Buenos Aires’ territorial claim to the islands

20th Anniversary of AMIA Bombing is Sober Reminder to Remain Vigilant Against the Global Iranian Threat, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Pope Francis demands justice for Jewish centre attack victims

BOLIVIA
Bolivia becomes first nation to legalise child labour from age 10
Bolivia says law reflects reality in country where 1 million children regularly work, but activists complain it will increase poverty and contravenes United Nations conventions

BRAZIL
Brazil President Loses Ground
Dilma Rousseff is losing ground with potential voters and raising the odds that she will face a runoff in October’s presidential election, a recent poll showed.

Building the myth of under-development, BRIC by BRIC

CHILE
Hard-Line Socialism Overrules Chilean Consensus
“With Us or Against Us” Mindset Obstructs Public Debate

COLOMBIA
Colombian drug boss ‘The Mouse’ arrested by Spanish police
Hernan Alonso Villa is considered to be leader of the Oficina de Envigado cartel which is accused of 400 killings and is connected to the now-dismantled Medellin cartel

CUBA
ISIS follows Castro playbook

Cuban Political Prisoner of the Day, Alexander Fernandez Rico, July 18, 2014

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Many Haitian migrants in Dominican Republic find they lack documents to get legal status

ECUADOR
ALBA’s Favorite Lobbyist

HONDURAS
US child migrants: Honduras calls for anti-drugs plan

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaicans Recruit Special Economic Zones for Accelerated Development
Elusive Foreign Investment, Diversified Economy the Targets

MEXICO
Opening of Mexican Energy Sector Takes Step Forward
Mexico’s Senate voted to give Mexican companies a greater role in energy projects under the landmark opening of the country’s oil and gas sectors, tightening the national content rules that President Enrique Peña Nieto had proposed and partly satisfying demands of local industry groups.

In Mexico, impunity prevails for attacks on the journalists, says Article 19

On Southern Border, Mexico Faces Crisis of Its Own
Mexico has announced plans for tightened deportation and border control policies as its migrant numbers surge in response to worsening gang violence in Central America.

PANAMA
Manuel Noriega sues Activision over Call of Duty
Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, is suing Call of Duty’s video games publisher.

PERU
Update: Family of ODU student who died in Peru hopes he could be back home by next week

PUERTO RICO
Real-Estate Investors See No Problem With Puerto Rico
About $1 Billion of Upscale-Property Deals in Recent Years

VENEZUELA
Venezuela’s oil diaspora
Brain haemorrhage
Venezuela’s loss of thousands of oil workers has been other countries’ gain

The week’s posts:
Andrew McCarthy on the border invasion

FIFA regrets

China in Latin America

Border flood, alien invasion

Ecuador: BloombergBusinessweek lays it on the line

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
This week in smart diplomacy

Ecuador: BloombergBusinessweek lays it on the line

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Paul M. Barrett, author of the upcoming Law of the Jungle: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win, writes Ecuador’s Pricey PR Fuels Fight Against Chevron in Pollution Case:

Overall as a nation, Ecuador profited from Texaco’s misconduct, even as some of its poorest citizens, who lived in close proximity to the oil operations, suffered terribly. For a quarter century, Ecuador has made environmental matters worse in its oil zone while insisting that only Chevron is to blame. The FARA filings show Quito spending millions to promote anti-Chevron protests and issue anti-Chevron press releases in what looks to be a campaign to distract attention from that country’s duty to help its own people.

Meanwhile, Ecuador is supposedly spending US$1billion on building a research university and city in the middle of a remote pasture and it’ll call it Yachay, the City of Knowledge:

It’s almost two hours from Quito and a half-hour from a town of any size.

The politicians, consultants and contractors will do very well indeed.


The semifinals Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 7th, 2014

LatinAmerArgentina and Brazil go to the World Cup semifinals, and that has been the top story all over the hemisphere.

ARGENTINA
Argentina running out of options in lose-lose debt battle with ‘vultures’

Murder verdict over Argentina bishop
Two former senior military officers in Argentina have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Bishop Enrique Angelelli in 1976 during military rule.

World Cup police cooperation leads to arrest of fugitive from Argentina’s ‘dirty war’
Salvador Siciliano, a leading member of the notorious Triple A anti-communist death squad in the 1970s, captured in Brazil thanks to heightened communications between international forces around the tournament

BOLIVIA
Bolivia sanctions child labour as young as 10
Bolivian congress passes laws that allow 12-year-old children to be employed in full-time work for others, with 10-year-olds permitted to work if self-employed

Bolivian Cops Occupy Command Centers to Demand Pay Hike

BRAZIL
Brazilian police link Fifa official to World Cup ticket gang

Brazil Tragedy Raises Doubts on Building Rush
Grief Descended on Belo Horizonte, a World Cup Host City, Following the Collapse of a Highway Overpass
Video here.

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Introduces $27 Billion Infrastructure Program

COLOMBIA
Colombia Taps World Cup Fever to Urge Guerrilla Defections

CUBA
Putin to visit Cuba and other LatAm nations

Media bias reaches new depths in reports on Castrogonian vehicle sales
Four motorcycles sold in Cuba, in addition to those fifty cars.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Authorities Arrest 137 Haitian Migrants

ECUADOR
NYT editorializes with this headline, Government of Ecuador Can Sue Fugitive Bankers in U.S.

GUATEMALA
Four Guatemalan Cops Accused of Extorting Olympic Athlete

HONDURAS
Honduras: Search for Miners Continues

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaica selling out its paradise

MEXICO
New Telecom Rules in Mexico Clear Senate Hurdle
Mexico is near to completing its biggest overhaul of the telecommunications sector in more than two decades.

The telecom bill is a tough blow for Mr. [Carlos] Slim. It forces mobile unit Telcel to complete calls from competing networks without charge, and establishes that domestic long-distance charges made by Telmex will be phased out starting next year. The bill also gives powers to the new enhanced regulator to set some phone rates of dominant players.

Mexico’s reforms
The power and the glory
Foreigners enthuse over Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms. Mexicans are warier

PANAMA
Venezuela restores ties with Panama
Relations were broke off after President Maduro accused Panama of joining the US in an “open conspiracy” against him.

PARAGUAY
Animals Take to Rooftops to Survive Floods in Paraguay

PERU
Hero of Peru’s Battle with Shining Path Arrested

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico: The New Detroit
Puerto Rico is moving to restructure a large slice of its debt. More trouble could be on the way. And, Mercado Libre is the eBay of Latin America. But it has a new competitor: eBay itself.

VENEZUELA
Spain’s €3,500 Epalisticia buys El Universal for €90 million

Che’s Battle Comrade Becomes Maduro’s New Economic Adviser
Cuba’s Dominance over Venezuela Out in the Open for All to See

The week’s posts and podcast:
Guatemala: When The Mountains Tremble to be corrected

Venezuela: Bye-bye, El Universal UPDATED

ISIS’s Chilean spokesman

Argentina: Pay up, Cristina

Invasion update: No visitors allowed on federal facilities, CDC opens Emergency Operations Center

Today’s update on the immigrant invasion

Venezuelan army protection racket at Guyana border

Obama to heal illegals with $2billion

Tinker, hacker, Snowden spy

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Bean-counting Catholic justices

Podcast:
Are Liberals Patriotic?


Tinker, hacker, Snowden spy

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Edward Jay Epstein writes on Revisiting Snowden’s Hong Kong Getaway
A year after the intelligence thief landed in Moscow, many questions remain about how he ended up in Putin’s hands.

While important details about Edward Snowden’s activities in Hong Kong remain shrouded in secrecy, the conventional portrait of his stay there and in Russia as one of improvisation and serendipity is at odds with the precision of his well-planned thefts.

Until March 15, 2013, Mr. Snowden worked at the NSA base in Honolulu for Dell, the outside contractor which supplied technicians to work on the NSA’s backup system. From this vantage point, he had access to the NSA Net, from which he pilfered most of the documents he later gave to journalists including the ones about NSA domestic operations that have preoccupied the world’s media.

But he quit Dell and moved to Booz Allen Hamilton, the outside contractor that ran the computer systems in the NSA’s Threat Operations Center. Here he could get access to the crown jewels, the lists of computers in four adversary nations—Russia, China, North Korea and Iran—that the agency had penetrated. He later told the South China Morning Post that his whole reason for making the job switch was to get “access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked.”

He carried out that theft, which included stealing passwords that gave him access to secret files, with great precision. There is no reason to assume that his getaway was any less deliberately planned.

I’ve also read Edward Lucas’s The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster. Lucas makes a convincing case that Snowden had to have help inside Booz Allen and/or the NSA. Who are those people?

Ecuador whines at the UN Human Rights Council

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Ecuador Times reports that

Today in the Twenty-sixth Session of the Human Rights Council, the Chevron case and its impact on the Ecuadorian Amazon will be submitted. The meeting will be held in Geneva and will finish on June 27.

I doubt that Ecuador will start its presentation with Judge Kaplan’s 500-page decision against Donziger (via Business Roundtable), where Kaplan found not only Donziger but the entire Lago Agrio plaintiff team guilty of fraud,

[Donziger] and the Ecuadorian lawyers he led corrupted the Lago Agrio case. They submitted fraudulent evidence. They coerced one judge, first to use a court-appointed, supposedly impartial, “global expert” to make an overall damages assessment and, then, to appoint to that important role a man whom Donziger hand-picked and paid to “totally play ball” with the [Lago Agrio plaintiffs]. They then paid a Colorado consulting firm secretly to write all or most of the global expert’s report, falsely presented the report as the work of the court-appointed and supposedly impartial expert, and told half-truths or worse to U.S. courts in attempts to prevent exposure of that and other wrongdoing. Ultimately, the [Lago Agrio plaintiff] team wrote the Lago Agrio court’s Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment. If ever there were a case warranting equitable relief with respect to a judgment procured by fraud, this is it.

However, I fully expect that “ethically diverse demonstrators” may find employment during the HRC junket, as long as there’s any media willing to watch them.


The really, really big field trip Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

LatinAmerAll of Latin America is absorbed in the World Cup; all, that is, except for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children arriving in the United States. This invasion, which until recently the White House ignored – as if it was a really, really big field trip – but now blames on the drug cartels, will not end because the federal government has no intention of stopping this influx, other that throw $250million at it – while doing nothing to secure the border.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s bonds
A good week for some investors
Vulture funds win a legal victory over Argentina’s government
; The Economist ought to do a little less editorializing on its headlines.

Uh-oh: China backs Argentina’s position on Falkland Islands
Chinese support calls at two-day G77 summit for the governments of Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations on ‘the Malvinas Islands question’

BOLIVIA
Industrialization is Bolivia’s Biggest Challenge, Economy Chief Says

BRAZIL
World Cup 2014: Protests and anger, in pictures

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff endorsed to run for re-election
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been officially endorsed by the governing Workers Party to run for re-election in October.

CENTRAL AMERICA
Joe Biden Discusses Immigration Reform With Central American Leaders

CHILE
Ending a six-year winning streak, Spain upset after World Cup ouster

COLOMBIA
Support From the Left Helps Keep a Right-Wing President in Power in Colombia

Andres Oppenheimer: Colombian leader starts new term with a great idea

COSTA RICA
5 Things to know about Costa Rica

CUBA
Now under house arrest, Antunez says he wasn’t beaten in jail but Cuban guards did torture his wife

Internet Foils Disinformation Operation Regarding Funeral For Mother of Alan Gross

Cuba Crackdown
Human rights advocates see increased threats against press in Cuba

Castro limos reborn as Havana taxis
Some of Fidel Castro’s old Soviet-built limousines have been decommissioned and are being used as Havana taxis for foreign tourists.

Cuba ends censorship — NOT
For a brief and shinning moment, it seemed that Cuba had unblocked access to several websites censored for years because of their criticisms of the government, including the U.S. government’s Radio/TV Marti.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
New US-Caribbean energy initiative

ECUADOR
ECUADOR SEEKS TO CONTROL OPPOSITION MEDIA BY DESIGNATING PRESS A ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’

Ecuador to Take Legal Action Against Using Indian Blood for Research

GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, US VP Biden Promises Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Stem Child Immigrants Flooding US Border

GUATEMALAN PRES TO US: PASS AMNESTY BILL WITH MORE GUEST-WORKER VISAS

HAITI
U.N. Chief Served Papers in Suit by Haitian Victims, Lawyers Say

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman denied that the official had been served.

HONDURAS
Honduras’ First Lady Says She Will Collect Her Country’s Child Immigrants

JAMAICA
With murder common, Jamaica morgue plans stall

MEXICO
Lawmakers visit Marine held in Mexico, say sergeant ‘needs to come’

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., visited Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi at the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico.

As far as I could find, VP Joe Biden didn’t mention Sgt. Tahmooressi when visiting with Peña Nieto.

Mexico’s Breakout Moment?

THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS STUCK IN MEXICO STASH HOUSES JUST OUTSIDE US

PANAMA
Panama police say remains may be missing Dutch women

PUERTO RICO
Exclusive: UBS faces criminal probe for Puerto Rico bond fund sales – lawyers

Puerto Rico: Is this any way to run an island?

SOUTH AMERICA
Unesco grants Inca Qhapaq Nan road system World Heritage status
A road system built by the Inca Empire has been granted World Heritage status by the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco.

The Qhapaq Nan roads go through six South American countries

It covers some 30,000 km (18,600 miles), from modern-day Colombia in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, via Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

URUGUAY
From The White House: On Mujica and Castro

VENEZUELA
It’s already out of toilet paper and flour, but now Venezuela Is Running Out of Cookies and Coffins
Thanks to an economic crisis, the list of things you actually can buy in Venezuela seems to be getting shorter every day

As World Oil Prices Rocket on Iraq Strife, Venezuela Oil Price Jumps above $100

The week’s posts and podcast:
WH blames cartels for immigration surge

Argentina: Cristina can’t pay up . . .

Cubazuela: Free healthcare for all

Central American media actively promoting illegal immigration into US

Mexican meth kingpin busted at World Cup

Today’s Google doodle: Boca

The plan

Colombia: The view from Venezuela

Argentina: SCOTUS rules for the creditors

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The new twist in illegal immigration: Children as human shields for the cartels

5 lessons Hillary could learn from Isabel


The World Cup week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 16th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, the World Cup is front-page news on every newspaper in the hemisphere.

More important news: Santos was re-elected in Colombia.

ARGENTINA
Argentine VP Defends Self Before Judge in Corruption Case

BERMUDA
Guantanamo Uighurs Stranded in Bermuda

BOLIVIA
Don’t tell Maureen Dowd, ‘Coca’ cake for UN chief: Bolivia gives Ban a birthday treat

BRAZIL
How Brazil’s Hubris Jeopardized Its World Cup

5 pieces of World Cup hosting advice for Brazil

Comparing Brazilian states with countries
Brazil’s closest matches

CHILE
Bachelet’s Education Reforms Fall Short, Chilean Students Say

Chile: Patagonia Dams Rejected

COLOMBIA
For war-weary rebels, Colombia invites defections with comforts and kindness

Colombia poised for knife-edge presidential election

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica seizes 4 tons of cocaine at sea

CUBA
Cy Tokmakjian Canadian fears foregone verdict in Cuban court

Four people found murdered in Cuba

Note From the Pro-Cuba, Anti-Castro Lobby

ALICIA ALONSO IS SHOCKED!

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Stateless people in Dominican Republic hope to regain citizenship

ECUADOR
Ecuador Breaks Its Amazon Deal

EL SALVADOR
Central America Newspapers Tout Open US Door for Illegal Minors

IMMIGRATION
JAN BREWER: MS-13 GANG MEMBERS COULD BE CROSSING BORDER WITH CHILDREN; I’d actually be surprised if they weren’t.

FOREIGN POLICY
Fundamentally changing America by emboldening dictators: Obama’s Budget Fails Democracy Promotion Abroad
The administration is proposing to remove language from next year’s budget that would safeguard American foreign aid from repressive foreign leaders.

The proposed removal from the administration’s budget and appropriations request for next fiscal year of a provision instructing the Secretary of State not to seek the prior approval of host governments when funding nonprofits and civil society groups overseas is infuriating American democracy-promotion and human-rights activists, who argue the omission marks a retreat in U.S. leadership.

They warn the Obama administration is in effect signaling to repressive regimes that they can dictate where U.S. democracy-promotion and human rights money goes in their countries—a problem the provision introduced a decade ago was meant to combat.

MEXICO
BIKERS RIDE TO MEXICO TO FREE JAILED MARINE

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shakedown like highway robbery

PANAMA
Panama Canal chief says new locks operational by January, 2016

PERU
After Eight Decades, Sweden Returns Textile Artifacts to Peru

PUERTO RICO
The results of the welfare state: Some 68% of Babies in Puerto Rico Born to One-Parent Households

VENEZUELA
What leaving Venezuela means to Jews

Venezuelan Government Tightens Noose Around Its Citizens

Can we get a grand unified theory of political physics for Venezuela?

Venezuela: The Protesters’ Power Is Rising

TalCual: Repression vs. Inflation
On Tuesday, a group comprised by 9 human rights NGOs released their own figures. These showed that Nicolás Maduro has repressed 485% more than his predecessor, while inflation may exceed 70% by the end of this yea
r

The week’s posts and podcast:
Immigration: And I still ask, who’s organizing this?

En español: El Foro de Sao Paulo, creación de Castro y da Silva

Mexico: Drug gangs with tanks attack shale wells

Brazil: #WorldCup inaugural today

Venezuela: Tricks for bucks, Trix from Doral

Brazil: Who made out from the #WorldCup money?

Ecuador: The bond and pony show

At Da Tech Guy:
The case for harmless escapism

Immigration and the new vulnerabilities of fundamental transformation

Podcast:
Kids on the US-Mexico border & other US-Latin America stories of the week

Ecuador: The bond and pony show

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Economist looks at this week’s roadshow to peddle new Ecuadorian sovereign bonds in London, Boston, Los Angeles and New York, and opens with the old saying, Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Ecuador and the capital markets
Fool me once

Caveats remain. The state of the public finances warrants scrutiny. The non-financial public-sector deficit is widening. In April Mr Correa said Ecuador needed to obtain $9.5 billion, or close to 10% of GDP, in credit this year, compared with the $7.6 billion approved by Congress only a few months earlier. A recent $400m loan from Goldman Sachs that was secured by more than half of Ecuador’s gold reserves raised eyebrows. Such issues will doubtless crop up during the roadshow.

The Economist thinks invesors will “swallow their objections”; maybe, maybe not (emphasis added),

Not all investors are rushing to take part in an Ecuador deal.”Ecuador’s past record of defaults makes us very wary, and I don’t think taking part in the deal would be high on our radar,” said Colm McDonagh, head of emerging-market fixed-income at money manager Insight Investment in London, which manages £295 billion ($496 billion) of assets.

“There is a price for different types of risk, and there will always be demand for a deal such as this. But as far as we are concerned, Ecuador’s track record of honoring its debt obligations makes it hard for us to determine the appropriate yield level where we would be comfortable holding those bonds,” he said.

In plain english, that means, you can’t pay me enough to buy the stuff.

Here’s why:

  • The country defaulted on its debt in 1999
  • Ecuador defaulted again in 2008
  • In 2009, it bought back about 93% of the $3.2 billion in defaulted debt at 35 cents on the dollar

    That left an estimated $95.37 million of defaulted bonds that would have matured in 2012, with $194.4 million falling due in 2030.

  • And then there’s another$650 million of bonds due in 2015. Is the new debt issue going towards servicing those?

The other day I had 2 words of advice: Stay Away. I stand by those words.

In other news, Ecuador’ buying three more Airbus C295 military transport planes.

The upcoming World Cup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 9th, 2014

LatinAmerThe spotlight’s on Brazil this week, as the World Cup inaugural game is scheduled for Thursday, June 12 in Sao Paolo. Let’s hope the games don’t turn into a disaster.

ARGENTINA
Study: Poverty Tops 30% in Suburbs of Buenos Aires

In Argentina, Wine, Art and Altitude

BAHAMAS
BAHAMAS HIRES LAW FIRM FOR ‘SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY MATTERS’ AFTER NSA REVELATIONS

BOLIVIA
Chic Stops in the Suburbs of La Paz, Bolivia

BRAZIL
São Paulo unions threaten general strike for World Cup amid subway protests
Days of subway strikes raise fears of transport chaos during tournament in Brazil; union leaders say other sectors could join industrial action

Brazil finds bumpy path on way to becoming world oil power

CHILE
More Than 8,000 Affected in Chile by Storm

COLOMBIA
Colombia’s Peace Talks Backfire on Santos
FARC bombings of pipelines and electricity towers increase while negotiations drag on.

The Economist endorses Santos: Colombia’s presidential election
A vote for peace
To stop the killing, Colombians should re-elect Juan Manuel Santos
, while Colombia Politics points out that We’re voting for a president not for peace. Meanwhile, pressure from candidate Zuluaga is already achieving a cease-fire from the FARC.

Colombia to set up truth commissionIvan Marquez, Farc commander, Havana, 27 May 14
Colombia’s government and Farc rebels agree to set up a truth commission to investigate thousands of deaths in five decades of conflict.

CUBA
Gag-inducing Travel Tips from Sarah Hall

Where Are the “Self-Employed” and “Reform” Defenders?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Republic delivers on immigration promise

ECUADOR
In the cradle of Ecuadorean soccer, the beach is the fiercest field
Esmeraldas, Ecuador, is home to only 3 percent of the national population but it makes up almost half of the country’s World Cup team. Is the beach the secret?

GUATEMALA
Guatemala ex-police chief jailed for life by Swiss court

HAITI
Haiti police fire tear gas at anti-government protest

HONDURAS
More effects of America’s weak foreign policy: U.S. Crew Is Arrested on Honduras River Job
A salvage company has a contract to dredge the Patuca River and raise valuable mahogany and cedar logs, but weapons on the company ship mean time in jail.

Honduran Police Arrest 11 Undocumented Cubans

IMMIGRATION
REPORT: Illegals Bring Contagious Diseases Across Border – Obama Spreads Them Around Country

JAMAICA
Gun-toting gays drive fear in citizens of garrison communities

MEXICO
In Tampico, Mexico, where the drug war rages, ‘the walls have ears’

LA Times Columnist Is Happy US Marine Is in Mexican Prison

Mexico defends decision to prosecute US marine

Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Mexico

PANAMA
Panama’s Canal Divides A Country Into Haves And Have-Nots

PERU
Peru’s Mining Communities Left In The Dust With Broken Promises Of Schools, Jobs

PUERTO RICO
You heard about it from Fausta’s blog, but now BLUE MODEL GOES BELLY-UP
Media Catches Up on Puerto Ric
o

Work Stoppages at Public Firms in Puerto Rico Against Cuts

URUGUAY
Puff-piece on Mujica at al-Jazeera:
Uruguay’s Mujica: New global role model?
Uruguay’s ‘humble’ president defies imperial and corporate hegemony with a series of unorthodox policies.

Mujica certainly knows how to make a fashion statement:

VENEZUELA
21st Century Socialism:
Poverty Shoots Up in Venezuela; as I mentioned last week, in the last year of Hugo Chavez’s life, extreme poverty increased by a whopping 38% over the prior year.

THE FRACAS IN CARACAS
Venezuela Runs out of Drinking Water

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Secretary of national thought

#DDay70 Interpretive dance?

Ecuador: Something’s rotten in the gold swap

Venezuela-Cuba Facilitate Infiltration of Iranian Agents

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez to remain jailed while on trial UPDATED

En español: El Rey Juan Carlos en la Unidad de Quemados

Carlos Eire’s Capt. Louis Renault moment

Democrat Chavista for Congress!

Ecuador: Selling gold

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Immigration’s lost children

Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

Podcast:
Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico & US-Latin America stories of the week