Friday, April 3, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 3, 2015

* Brazil: World landmarks including the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were lit blue on Thursday as part of World Autism Awareness Day.

* U.S.: A new study concluded that “four-fifths of…Mexican-American toddlers lagged three to five months behind whites in preliteracy skills, oral language and familiarity with print materials”.

* Bolivia: The Bolivian government plans to invest over $600 million to develop at the world's largest reserve of lithium in Potosi according to President Evo Morales.

* Ecuador: Researchers recently identified a frog species in Ecuador as being the first vertebrates with the ability to change its skin texture.

YouTube Source – User BYN – TV News

Online Sources – Apex Beats, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Fox News Latino

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 2, 2015

* Cuba: According to a new poll a majority of Cuban-Americans support the White House’s push to normalize diplomatic ties with Cuba and back the easing of travel restrictions.

* U.S.: Influential Latino Senator Bob Menendez is expected to face a judge today after he was indicted on Wednesday on fourteen federal corruption charges.

* Panama: As many as 120,000 employees working on the expansion of the Panama Canal who reportedly have not been paid their full wages could soon go on strike.

* Mexico: At least four people died and more than 300 were evacuated from an offshore oil platform run by Mexican state-run company Pemex that exploded.

YouTube Source – Associated Press (“Cuban and U.S. delegations on Tuesday ended a preparatory meeting for holding future negotiations on human rights without setting a date, agenda or host for those talks.”)

Online Sources – Politico, teleSUR English, The Atlantic, ABC News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Daily Headlines: April 1, 2015

* Peru: President Ollanta Humala will have to choose a new Prime Minister to replace Ana Jara after she resigned over allegedly spying on her rivals.

* Puerto Rico: At least 104,000 signatures have been placed since February 18th on a White House petition seeking the removal of Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla.

* Latin America: Argentina, Brazil and Mexico won both of their respective international soccer friendly matches played over the past week.

* Argentina: Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernández warned labor union leaders not to follow-up yesterday’s nationwide strike with another slowdown that could last 36 hours.

YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources – Reuters, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, MercoPress

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Daily Headlines: March 31, 2015

* Argentina: Small British energy firms are reportedly still interested in offshore oil exploration near the Falklands despite the plummeting price of crude and heightened diplomatic tensions with Argentina.

* Venezuela: Ex-Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and ex-Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González are the latest former Ibero-American leaders to support imprisoned Venezuelan opposition activists.

* U.S.: Could Marco Rubio soon become the second Latino senator to launch a bid for the U.S. presidency?

* Bolivia: President Evo Morales blamed corruption scandals for his political party suffering losses in this month’s local elections.

YouTube Source – Financial Times (Video uploaded in 2012).

Online Sources – MercoPress, The Guardian, Politico, ABC News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today’s Video: Swept Away

According to a 2014 Global Witness report, attacks against environmental activists worldwide has “soared dramatically” over the last few years. Latin America has not been an exception to this and, hence, this week we will look at several environmentalists murdered in the region.

Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval would have been 28-years-old on March 27th. Yet in May 2013 he was kidnapped along with four other volunteers while trying to protect endangered sea turtle eggs. The other hostages were able to escape yet authorities hours after his abduction found his bound and beaten corpse.

Mora’s death shined a light on the work of animal rights supporters in Costa Rica including facing constant death threats and harassment from poachers and local drug traffickers. Seven suspects in Mora’s murder were arrested two months after he was killed but they were acquitted earlier this year when most of the evidence implicating the defendants was “either lost or excluded.” Nevertheless, campaigners vow to keep Mora’s legacy alive and continue seeking justice for someone seen as “an environmental martyr” in Costa Rica.

Below the page break is a short video on the late Jairo Mora Sandoval made in late 2013 including comments from some of his fellow coworkers.

Daily Headlines: March 30, 2015

* Chile: At least twenty people are dead as a result of heavy rains, flooding and landslides affecting usual arid regions in northern Chile and portions of eastern Peru.

Update: The death toll has risen to at least twenty-five while some twenty people are still missing in Chile.

* Latin America: Jose Juan Ruiz, the chief economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, warned that Latin America’s economic growth could slow down in 2015 and for the fourth consecutive year.

* Colombia: U.S. counternarcotics officers in Colombia participated in “sex parties” with prostitutes that were organized by drug dealers according to a recent Justice Department report.

* U.S.: The organizers of Saturday’s El Salvador vs. Argentina soccer friendly apologized for playing the anthem of Kazakhstan instead of the one for the Central American country.

YouTube Source – BBC News (“Heavy rains have brought torrential floods and mudslides to parts of Peru and Chile - including the Atacama desert, one of the driest regions of the world.”) 

Online Sources including Update– Bloomberg, Latin American Herald Tribune,, Yahoo News UK, BBC News