South America

Colombian soldiers killed by roadside ‘rebel’ bomb

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( BBC ) – Three Colombian soldiers were killed on Sunday when an explosive device blew up the armoured vehicle they were in. The army said the device was planted by Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN). The attack happened in Norte de Santander province, near the border with Venezuela, where the ELN has its stronghold. ... Read More »

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner may face Argentina bomb probe

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( BBC ) – An Argentine prosecutor has asked a federal judge to investigate President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over allegations she helped cover up Iranian links to a deadly 1994 bombing. Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita inherited the case from Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The president denies the allegations, with the government calling the probe an “anti-democratic ... Read More »

Argentina’s Lessons for Greece

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NEW YORK – Thirteen years ago, Argentina was in dire straits. Project Syndicate Raquel Fernández is Professor of Economics at New York University. read more Jonathan Portes is Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. read more Its peso was pegged to the dollar at a level that far exceeded its value. Its external debt was unsustainable. And political ... Read More »

Is Venezuela About To Collapse?

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FAILING IDEOLOGY Falling oil prices and incompetent governance mean Venezuela might default on its debts, leaving major trading partners like Brazil holding the bag. The Daily Beast – Catalina Lobo-Guererro CARACAS, Venezuela — “God will provide,”said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in his State of the Union speech last Wednesday. Praying is one of the few options left for Maduro, after an unsuccessful ... Read More »

Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years

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Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira has said the country’s three most populous states are experiencing their worst drought since 1930. ( BBC ) The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais must save water, she said after an emergency meeting in the capital, Brasilia. Ms Teixeira described the water crisis as “delicate” and “worrying”. Industry and agriculture ... Read More »

Colombia: The ELN’s Long and Slow March to Peace

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This blog post by Crisis Group’s Analyst for Colombia/Andes, Christian Voelkel, was published with permission from Razón Pública, where a Spanish version of the blog post was published on 18 January.   ICG – By Christian Voelkel | @voelkelchr When the big moment finally came on 7 January, it was hard to avoid the feeling that an opportunity has been lost. Some ... Read More »

Gold mining affects 1000 km of biodiverse tropical forests in South America

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By Jayalakshmi K – International Business Times Rising demand for gold is being met at the cost of some of the most biologically diverse regions in the tropics. It has stimulated new gold mining activities which come with removal of vegetation, construction of roads and railways and mushrooming of unorganised settlements in the eco-sensitive regions. Researchers from the University of ... Read More »

Venezuelan President seeks prisoner swap with U.S.

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(CNN)President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said he is seeking the release of a jailed opposition leader if the United States agrees to release a Puerto Rican nationalist. By Chloe Sommers “The only way I would use (presidential) powers would be to put (Leopoldo Lopez) on a plane, so he can go to the United States and stay there, and they ... Read More »

Cuba and the U.S.: Turning the Page

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The dramatic improvement this week in U.S.-Cuban relations, and the possibility of an end to the decades-long U.S. embargo of the island, is set to transform political relations in the entire hemisphere. In the three posts below, the director of Crisis Group’s Latin America and Caribbean program, Javier Ciurlizza, and our vice president and special adviser on Latin America, Mark ... Read More »

Argentina sentences four to life in jail for crimes against humanity

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BUENOS AIRES: An Argentine court has sentenced four former military officers to life in prison for crimes against humanity during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. AFP – The Times of India The sentence was handed down Thursday by a Buenos Aires court that found the four guilty of “illegal deprivation of liberty, torture, rape and homicide” involving 204 people held at ... Read More »