South America

Venezuela: Unnatural Disaster

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Caracas/Bogotá/Brussels, ICG – Latin America Briefing N°33 The full briefing is also available in: Spanish OVERVIEW The accelerating deterioration of Venezuela’s political crisis is cause for growing concern. The collapse in 2014 of an incipient dialogue between government and opposition ushered in growing political instability. With legislative elections due in December, there are fears of renewed violence. But there is ... Read More »

Bolivian football chief arrested in corruption probe

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The president of Bolivia’s Football Federation has been arrested as part of a corruption inquiry, officials say. BBC – Carlos Chavez is also the treasurer of the South American Football Confederation, Conmebol. Bolivia began investigating its football federation after a major corruption scandal broke out involving the sport’s world governing body Fifa. More than 20 Bolivian football executives have given ... Read More »

Huge crowd attends Pope’s final Mass in Paraguay

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BBC – Hundreds of thousands of people have attended the final Mass celebrated by Pope Francis during his visit to Paraguay. The Pope urged Christians to “embrace hospitality” and reject the “logic of selfishness”. Pope Francis leaves Paraguay on Monday, after an eight-day tour of some of South America’s poorest countries. During his previous stops in Bolivia and Ecuador, he ... Read More »

Pope calls unfettered capitalism ‘the dung of the devil’

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Pope Francis, who is visiting South America, says Christians are victims of genocide as he also begs forgiveness for crimes committed by Catholic church during colonial conquests The Telegraph – By Agencies Pope Francis on Thursday launched a blistering attack on the “new colonialism” of austerity, describing unfettered capitalism as “the dung of the devil” and apologising for the Catholic ... Read More »

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 »

Venezuela faces national beer drought

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Striking workers linked to the Maduro government have forced the closure of breweries at Polar, the country’s largest producer and a beloved household name The Telegraph – By Hannah Strange They have been hit by shortages of milk, sugar, medicines and even toilet paper. Now Venezuelans face the prospect of a nationwide beer drought, due to strikes at the country’s ... 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 »