South America

Pope heads to South America to champion the poor and the planet

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Pope Francis left Rome on July 4 for his first trip to Spanish-speaking Latin America, a “homecoming” to a continent where he will champion the rights of the poor and of the planet. Hurriyet – VATICAN CITY – Reuters His trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, three of South America’s poorest and smallest countries, is Francis’ first abroad since his ... Read More »

Cancer patient becomes Colombia’s first legal euthanasia case

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A 79-year old Colombian man has become the first person in the country to die legally by euthanasia. BBC – Ovidio Gonzalez was suffering from terminal throat cancer and said he had been suffering unbearable pain. Colombia’s Catholic Church has said euthanasia is morally unacceptable and it has threatened to close its hospitals across the country. Colombia is one of ... Read More »

On Thinner Ice: The Final Phase of Colombia’s Peace Talks

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Latin America Briefing N°32 – ICG – The Overview is also available in: Spanish  OVERVIEW The peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) enter their toughest stretch both vulnerable and resilient. The former quality was displayed on 22 May, when the collapse of the guerrillas’ five-month old unilateral ceasefire triggered the worst escalation of ... Read More »

BP will pay $US18.7 billion for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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The US Justice Department has reached an $18.7 ($24.5) billion agreement with BP to settle civil claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the worst oil spill in US history. Ellen Nakashima The agreement comes five years and 73 days after the blowout in 2.6-kilometre deep water led to an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon that ... Read More »

What can Greece learn from Argentina’s default experience?

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A Greek exit from the eurozone could have far more negative consequences than many analysts realise, warns Domingo Cavallo, Argentina’s Minister of the Economy at the time of that country’s default in 2001. BBC - Having been at the heart of government in Buenos Aires during the slow, inexorable slide to financial collapse, Mr Cavallo is attuned to the magnitude ... Read More »

Petrobras scandal: Top construction bosses arrested in Brazil

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BBC – Two top Brazilian businessmen have been arrested as part of a major investigation into corruption at state-owned oil giant Petrobras. Marcelo Odebrecht heads the Odebrecht group – Latin America’s largest construction conglomerate. Also detained is Otavio Azevedo, boss of Andrade Gutierrez, another top construction company. Investigators allege firms paid corrupt officials in order to get lucrative Petrobras contracts. ... Read More »

The Hunt for the Last Chilean Sea Bass Poachers

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They were the few ships left of what was once one of the most lucrative illegal fishing operations in history. An inside look at the high seas chases that may have brought them down for good. FP - By CHRISTOPHER PALA It was Feb. 2, on a freezing sea 80 miles from the Antarctic coast. The wind was blowing at a blustery ... Read More »

A Truth Commission for Colombia

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As they move toward a final peace agreement, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to form a truth commission. By Crisis Group Also available in: español Announced as the two sides met in the Cuban capital in talks aimed at ending Latin America’s longest war, the initiative, which is to be independent and ... Read More »

Austerity or spending? Latin America sets the example

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The different approaches to the world economic and financial crisis followed by Latin America and Europe can, respectively, be characterized by spending out of trouble, fostering social programs and stimulating the economy downstream and on the other hand, stifling the economy with cuts. Let us take a look at the Brazilian example. The following text is written by economist Welinton ... Read More »

Venezuela blocks ex-presidents’ visit to jailed leaders

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BBC - Venezuela has blocked two ex-presidents from visiting opposition leaders jailed on charges of inciting violence against the government. Andres Pastrana of Colombia and Jorge Quiroga of Bolivia were not allowed to visit opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and former mayor, Daniel Ceballos. Both prisoners started a hunger strike around a week ago. State officials said the ex-presidents were part ... Read More »