Archive for the ‘Uruguay’ Category

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 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


Uruguay: UN says pot law against international law

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

As you may recall, Uruguay is the first country in the world to legalize the production and mass distribution of marijuana.

Boz points out, that, while keeping mum on Cuba’s human rights abuses,

It took exactly one day for the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to announce that Uruguay’s new marijuana regulations are against international law.

But the news on marijuana is not good: Marijuana linked to brain-related memory woes, schizophrenia risk in teens

They found changes in gray matter areas of the brain associated with working memory, which is the ability to process information and transfer it to long-term memory, if needed. Gray matter is rich in neurons (nerve cells) and plays a role in routing signals to areas responsible for numerous functions like memory and movement.

Additionally,

Marijuana likely increases the risk of testicular cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, a type of brain tumor, and the risk of leukemia in the offspring of women who use it during pregnancy.

Keep that in mind if you’re a user.

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

The rationale for the legalization “experiment” – as President Lugo calls it – is that government intervention will regulate the market.
Like the drug itself, we’ll yet find out what the side effects are.


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!


The day-before-election-day Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, November 4th, 2013

LatinAmerTomorrow is election day; if you live in Princeton, NJ, please vote for me.

ARGENTINA
Argentina opposition gains ground in vote
President Kirchner’s party loses seats in four largest districts with 72 percent of votes counted in mid-term elections.

Argentina’s mid-term election
Cristina’s come-uppance
President Fernández should build bridges to her opponents—or risk leaving office early

Argentina’s wealth gap
Barbarians at the gate
The capital’s exclusive closed neighbourhoods face a heavy new tax
Related: Visits to MIAMI Properties Soar in September, Venezuela Tops Lists of Countries Searching Miami Properties

Following Venezuela were Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Lithuania, France, Italy, Spain and the Philippines, eight of which also made the top ten list last year.

BRAZIL
The second beheading this year: Former Brazilian footballer’s head left on his doorstep

Beheadings raise concerns of violence in Brazil

CHILE
Tortured Chilean wins compensation
An 80-year-old exile wins compensation from the Chilean state over torture he suffered 40 years ago under General Pinochet, in a landmark legal battle.

Is This The End Of The Chilean Economic Miracle?

COLOMBIA
How are those negotiations with the FARC going? Rebels in Colombia Hit Energy Sector Hard in ‘Black October’
Colombia’s energy sector, the main driver of its economy, is limping away from “Black October,” a term coined by Marxist rebels who set forth on a month-long blitzkrieg, attacking oil pipelines, coal trains, electricity plants and transmission towers.

Colombian rebel group FARC free US hostage
Kevin Scott Sutay, the former US soldier who wandered in to territory of Colombian rebels, turned over to Cuban and Norwegian officials four months after being taken hostage

Probably the only time I’ll post on Mr. Bieber: Justin Bieber shows Colombia´s police force is for rich and famous?

No zombies allowed: Colombian University Bars Halloween Celebrations (video in Spanish)

COSTA RICA
Condé Nast Traveler ranks 9 Costa Rican resorts in top 15 in all of Central and South America

Four Rising Global Art Collectors Discuss Their Collections
Top buyers from Italy, Thailand, France and Costa Rica are part of a new emerging class of collectors

CUBA
Cuba shuts down private cinemas
Cuban authorities order the immediate closure of privately-run cinemas and video-game salons, saying they were never authorised.

Over 900 Political Arrests in October

ECUADOR
Chevron Vindicated As Evidence Points To ‘Green Fraud’ By Environmentalists

Chevron v. Donziger: The Lawyer Who Walked Away

The Cubanization of Ecuador

GUATEMALA
Day of the dead celebrated with giant kites in Guatemala – video

HONDURAS
Honduras General Denies Involvement In Brutal Death Squads

JAMAICA
Police: Operation Resilience seizes record number of illegal firearms

MEXICO
Mexico’s Theology of Oil

PERU
How Gold Is Destroying Peru’s Rainforests

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Economy Forecast to Shrink 0.8% in Fiscal 2014

URUGUAY
Biden Meets with President Mujica of Uruguay, but, did the get the munchies?

VENEZUELA
U.S.-Owned Oil Rigs Seized By Venezuelan Government

Maduro still trying to turn Chavez into Christ

Venezuela Unveils Orwellian Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, just unveiled the country’s euphemistically-named Deputy Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness—to mockery on Latin America’s blogosphere.

What will Mercosur do about Venezuela’s delayed payments?

The week’s posts:
Brazil: Why bug Dilma?

Brazil: The highflying tastemaker

Mexico: Enrique Krauze on oil reform

Mexico: Tax my chocolate!

Venezuela: The marauding motorcyclists

Argentina: The end for Clarín

Colombia: “Peace is not in Havana”

Mexico: The cartel-induced blackout

Uruguay: The dollar doobie

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Before you rush to Uruguay to catch a bargain, keep in mind that under the new law it remains illegal to sell pot to children or foreigners, even when the country legalized marijuana:
Growers celebrate as Uruguay prepares to legalize marijuana cultivation, distribution.

They ought to celebrate, since no other country has moved to make the production and mass distribution of marijuana legal.

President Jose Mujica has the support of George Soros, and asserts it won’t be partah-ee time,

“It is not like ‘viva la pepa’ (let the good times roll) and let’s smoke freely and we go to the seaside boardwalk, no, no, no,” said president José Mujica after his meeting with billionaire and philanthropist George Soros last week, who supports the legislation and has offered funding to evaluate the impact of the law.

Mujica, an ex guerrilla fighter, and Hungarian-American magnate George Soros, believe that legalizing the drug would be a strike against drug trafficking, a better way to control drug consumption and an opportunity to help those who suffer any drug disorder or addiction.

Apparently the legal marijuana will be sold in pharmacies for $1 per gram, which should leave room for a black market mark-up of another dollar or so.

“There’s gold in them thar hills”


The Cristina headache Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 14th, 2013

LatinAmerThe week’s big news: Cristina Fernández is recovering from brain surgery, which has generated a political headache.

ARGENTINA
Mary O’Grady: Kirchner Moves Against Argentina’s Free Press
The government acts to strip the most important television network of its main source of revenue.

Cristina Fernández health scare symbolises Argentina’s ills

BRAZIL
Power couple
Marina Silva joins the Socialists—and transforms the presidential race

Brazil prison fight leaves 13 dead
A fight between members of rival gangs in Pedrinhas prison in north-eastern Brazil leaves 13 people dead and at least 30 injured.

COLOMBIA
Canadian Miner Freed in Colombia Returns to Work
Gernot Wober, a Canadian mining company executive kidnapped in Colombia by Marxist rebels for 221 days, is back on the job.

ECUADOR
Chevron asks judge to review mystery documents in Ecuador case
Emails anonymously provided to Chevron may show a “conspiracy against Chevron,” the oil giant claims, as well as leaks of confidential court materials to high-level Ecuadorian government officials in violation of court orders

Chevron’s Ecuador Defendants Denied Jury Trial by Court

After Chevron-Ecuador, Lawyer Defends Himself
It took lawyer Steven Donziger two decades to secure one of the biggest environmental verdicts in history: a $19 billion judgment against Chevron. Now he’s battling to salvage his reputation—and his financial stake in the winnings.

HAITI
UN sued over Haiti cholera epidemic
The UN faces a claim for compensation by victims of a cholera epidemic in Haiti, which victims’ lawyers say was caused by peacekeepers.
, via Gates of Vienna.

PARAGUAY
Paraguay mulls patch-up with Venezuela

Paraguay will patch up differences with Venezuela that have paralyzed Mercosur — a trade and political association of several South American nations — and put free trade talks with Europe on the back burner.

PUERTO RICO
Worsening Debt Crisis Threatens Puerto Rico

URUGUAY
Maybe Jose Mujica didn’t want to miss a thing: Uruguay’s President Meets With Aerosmith

VENEZUELA
Venezuela to Pump Dollars into Economy
President Promises to Inject $900 Million Over Next Several Weeks to Help Import Foreign Goods

The week’s posts:
More on Vargas Llosa’s optimism

The Danish modern Salvadorans

Venezuela detains ship with US crew

Panama: Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal’

Venezuela: Maduro strangles democracy

Mexico: Why the Sinaloa Cartel {hearts} Chicago

Last night at PU: Krauze and Vargas Llosa, the two giants

Cuba: Foreign businessmen jailed for wanting to collect

Brazil: Violent demonstrations, again

Argentina: Cristina recovering from brain surgery


The Brazil downgrade Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, October 7th, 2013

LatinAmerThe big news this week: After a few years on the upswing, Latin America’s largest country and biggest economy has been downgraded from positive, to stable.

ARGENTINA
Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez suffers brain haematoma
Fernandez in hospital and has been told by doctors to take a month off, forcing her to quit congressional election campaign

Argentina’s Fernández told to rest for a month after head injury

Railways in Buenos Aires
Not driving but sleeping
The government decides it is time to shake things up

Schools in Argentina
To the barricades

Argentina seeks jail for de la Rua
Prosecutors in Argentina request a six-year prison term for former President Fernando de la Rua over a bribery scandal
.

Mexico’s Grupo Elektra to Exit Argentina
Mexican retail and banking company Grupo Elektra said it is leaving Argentina after six years in the country because of government restrictions on business and high inflation.

Andres Oppenheimer: Miami officials should thank Argentine president
Miami officials should erect a statue to Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Thanks to her disastrous economic policies, Argentines are flocking to invest here and Argentine developers are building some of the city’s most spectacular real estate projects.

BOLIVIA
Calling Jesse Pinkman: More than $1 million tossed from a plane in Bolivia

BRAZIL:
Brazil property rights: Tribes and farmers battle to the death
Brazil’s agricultural boom, led by exports to China, has made the problem worse, indigenous groups say

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

CARIBBEAN
Caribbean states seek slavery reparations from Europe, but apparently not from Spain, which is broke (h/t Gates of Vienna)

CHILE
“Missing”: Ex-US Navy Officer Wanted for Murder Dies in Chile

COLOMBIA
Jesse Jackson Should Stay Out of Colombia

Colombia’s Risky Peace Gambit

CUBA
”Cheap Flesh Of The Revolution” – Cuban Women Recount A Grim Reality

678 cases & counting: Cholera (and Castro’s Cover-Up) on the Rise

Cuban human rights groups report big spikes in political repression in September

ECUADOR
Ecuador’s Correa: Obama’s exceptionalism talk reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric before WWII

GUATEMALA
Mexico arrests Guatemala ‘drug lord’
Police in Mexico arrest one of Guatemala’s most wanted men – a drug lord suspected of masterminding the killing of eight policemen in June

HAITI
Haiti’s garment industry: a lost cause, or ready to change?
Factory co-founded by Matt Damon and promising minimum wage, hopes to bring responsible production of high-end apparel to the country

HONDURAS
POLL NUMBERS: Honduras moving to a two way race

LATIN AMERICA
Latin American cinema
Coming of age

Trade overrides ideology: Latin America’s Anti-Americanism Is All Talk

Anti-American rhetoric in ALBA countries has not prevented them from listing the US among their main trade partners. As of 2012, the US was the main import source for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. Particularly striking is that 31.2 percent of Venezuela’s imports and 28 percent of Ecuador’s come from the United States. Adding to this list, the US is Bolivia’s fourth largest source of imports, producing up to 10 percent of its imports, and Argentina‘s second source after Brazil.

The United States receives the largest percentage of Latin American exports from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. In the case of Bolivia, it drops to second place after Brazil. Such significant flows of merchandise and capital will not stop overnight, no matter how many countries forced the Bolivian presidential plane to land for a few hours.

MEXICO
Mexico police clash with protesters
Riot police clash with protesters in Mexico City during a demonstration commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre.

Armed Housewives In The Hills Of Southern Mexico Fight Back Against Organized Crime
Women in the Mexican town of Xaltianguis, an hour away from Acapulco, have joined the men in patrolling their streets and have managed to significantly reduce a local crime wave.

At the beginning of the year, town leaders reached out to the Union of Peoples and Organizations of Guerrero State (UPOEG), an established statewide network of community police. Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states, has a long-time tradition of sending waves of immigrants north to the U.S. in search of work. The state also has long history of guerrilla activity.

Historically, towns in Guerrero have had rather tenuous ties to the federal government. Many have taken advantage of provisions in Mexico’s constitution that grant indigenous groups the right to enforce their own “customs and practices,” and maintain their own semi-autonomous police and justice systems.

PANAMA
Maritime execs debate Panama Canal expansion at Miami conference

PERU
Pal of Peru cocaine mules Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum arrested in major drugs bust on party island Ibiza
CHELSEA Greaves, 20, her dad and uncle were among 15 people held in dawn raids last weekend. Cops seized more than 2000 meth pills as well as cocaine and ecstasy.

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Record Yields Luring Buyers of Distress: Muni Credit

URUGUAY
Uruguay: the world’s laboratory for marijuana legalisation
Uruguay’s president, José Mujica, wants to make pot legal. The idea is getting a lot of praise abroad, but criticism at home

Mujica, an ex guerrilla fighter, and Hungarian-American magnate George Soros, believe that legalizing the drug would be a strike against drug trafficking, a better way to control drug consumption and an opportunity to help those who suffer any drug disorder or addiction.

While it makes them money, too.

VENEZUELA:
It’s Time To Teach Venezuela A Lesson

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

The week’s posts and podcast:
Nicaragua: Bill de Blasio ignores the truth.

Nicaragua canal: Plan, nothing more

Troubled currencies: Argentina & Venezuela

Brazil: Unions to challenge use of Cuban doctors

Venezuela: Swarm loots a truck after an accident

Corruption in Venezuela’s Cuban medical missions

Brazil: Moody’s lowers outlook

Venezuela: A voice from the grave? UPDATED

Argentina: SCOTUS didn’t take the case . . . yet

Jessie Jackson heads to Colombia anyway

Podcast:
Colombia and other US-Latin America stories