Friday, January 16, 2015
* Cuba: Several new, relaxed travel and commerce restrictions from the U.S towards Cuba go into effect today as part of a bilateral push to normalize bilateral relations.
* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos announced his willingness to seek a bilateral ceasefire with the FARC yet a chief government negotiator noted that the Colombian military’s offensive against the rebels has not been suspended.
* Brazil: Health officials in Brazil removed the prohibition on the sale and import of a medicine containing a cannabis-based ingredient.
* Mexico: The U.S. will allow Mexican companies to apply for permission for “long-haul, cross-border transportation” based on NAFTA guidelines according to the State Department.
Video Source – YouTube user Newsy Politics
Online Sources – CNN; New York Times; Xinhua; ABC News
Thursday, January 15, 2015
* Guatemala: The genocide retrial of ex-Guatemalan strongman Efrain Rios Montt was once again suspended after he skipped attending a court hearing this week.
* Venezuela: Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles called on the Venezuelan opposition to unite and protest against the government amid a worsening economic crisis.
* Mexico: At least twenty Mexican state officials including prosecutors, forensic investigators and state police are being investigated for allegedly helping cover up the extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members in June 2014.
* Colombia: Colombia will become the first Latin American country to use a new cell phone app aimed at providing free internet nationwide and championed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Video Source – YouTube user WochitGeneralNews (The genocide retrial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was initially suspended last week following the intervention of his lawyers).
Online Sources – BBC News; Bloomberg; ABC News; Voice of America
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
* Venezuela: Moody’s downgraded Venezuela’s credit rating while President Nicolás Maduro traveled to fellow OPEC countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to try to boost plunging oil prices.
* Haiti: Haiti’s political crisis worsened on Tuesday when the parliament was dissolved following failed negotiations.
* Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico reported 681 murders last year, which represents a 40% drop compared to the record high 1164 homicides in 2011.
* Mexico: The former mayor of the Mexican town of Iguala will be officially charged with the kidnapping of forty-three students missing for nearly four months and presumed dead.
Video Source – YouTube user Financial Times
Online Sources – Bloomberg; Reuters; Fox News Latino
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
* Colombia: Colombian striker James Rodriguez won the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of 2014 for his strike in last year’s World Cup round of 16 victory over Uruguay.
* Mexico: Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, the wife of former mayor of the Mexican town where forty-three students may have been massacred, will be tried over her alleged ties to local criminal gangs.
Update: On a related note, several family members of the disappeared students accused Mexican authorities of "assaulting" them with rocks and tear gas during a protest on January 12th. (Source link is in Spanish).
* Brazil: Several thousand striking autoworkers upset at the announcement of layoffs last week blocked traffic on a major highway connecting Sao Paulo to Brazil’s largest port.
* Argentina: Argentina’s central bank will reportedly receive $400 million from China as part of an $11 billion currency swap with the Asian country.
Video Source – YouTube user FIFATV
Online Sources including Update – ITV Sport; Reuters; The Latin Americanist; GlobalPost; Bloomberg; La Republica
Monday, January 12, 2015
* Haiti: Deep political divisions, economic uncertainty and outbreaks of disease are some of the challenges still faced in Haiti more than five years after a major earthquake hit the country.
* Cuba: U.S. officials confirmed the liberation of fifty-three Cuban political prisoners “whose release was sought as part of the U.S. agreement last month with the Cuban government”.
* U.S.: Actor, comedian and artist Taylor Negron died on Saturday at the age of 57 following an extended battle with cancer.
* El Salvador: The path to sainthood for assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero became clearer last week after a Vatican committee reportedly recognized him as a martyr.
Video Source – YouTube user AFP news agency
Online Sources – CBC News; The A.V. Club; The Latin Americanist; NPR; ABC News