South America

Venezuela state under martial law against smugglers

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BBC – The Venezuelan president has declared a state of emergency in a border region near Colombia following an attack by smugglers in which three soldiers and a civilian were injured. Nicolas Maduro said there would be 60 days of martial law in five municipalities of the state of Tachira. He also said the closure of the border, announced on ... Read More »

Pope holds Falklands sign urging Argentine-UK talks

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BBC – Pope Francis has been photographed in the Vatican holding a sign calling for Argentine-UK talks about the Falkland Islands, called Malvinas in Argentina. The pontiff is from Argentina. He received the sign from Gustavo Hoyo, leader of a campaign for dialogue on the islands, during a papal audience. A senior Vatican official told the BBC that Pope Francis ... Read More »

Brazil’s president says not resigning despite calls for impeachment

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said on August 12 she would not consider quitting despite calls for her impeachment from opponents in Congress as the economy sinks and her popularity hits record lows. Hurriyet – SAO PAULO – Reuters In an interview with SBT channel, Rousseff said the ongoing political crisis should not weigh down efforts to revive Brazil’s flagging economy ... Read More »

How El Salvador’s Supreme Court Is Undermining Democracy—With Washington’s Help

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WikiLeaks has exposed US government collusion with the chamber’s destabilization strategy. The Nation – By Hilary Goodfriend On July 20, 2015, the government of El Salvador issued an official warning that right-wing forces are orchestrating “a movement for a coup d’état,” against the “government of the people, a legal government, a legitimate government that fights every day for the interests ... Read More »

Petrobras Oil Scandal Leaves Brazilians Lamenting a Lost Dream

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Alberto Youssef, a convicted money launderer and former bon vivant, sat in a Brazilian jail cell in March of last year, getting ready to tell his lawyers a story. It was about an elaborate bribery scheme involving Petrobras, the government-controlled oil giant. He opened with a dire prediction. The New York Times – By DAVID SEGAL “Guys,” Mr. Youssef said, ... Read More »

Santa Rosa cemetery: Poor live alongside the dead in Peru neighbourhood

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The citizens of two impoverished neighbourhoods near Peru’s capital share space with the sprawling, century-old Santa Rosa cemetery, living among a macabre tableau of tombs and wall crypts amid flies buzzing around freshly dug graves. Some 2,000 families live in modest homes that blend with the morbid landscape of the burial site, which is larger than four soccer pitches. A ... Read More »

The Last Bullfight

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Members of Colombia’s younger generation say they “will not torture for tradition.” TheAtlantic Jim Glade MEDELLÍN, Colombia—On a scorching Saturday in February, hundreds of young men and women in Medellín stripped down to their swimsuit bottoms, slathered themselves in black and red paint, and sprawled out on the hot cement in Los Deseos Park in the north of the city. ... Read More »

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 »