Latin America News Round Up – August 25, 2017

Venezuela’s Luisa Ortega accuses Maduro of corruption

Aug 24 – “Luisa Ortega, who is now in self-imposed exile, has said that she has proof of multimillion-dollar corruption by Venezuela’s top leadership, including President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelan opposition congressmen are demanding a full investigation into allegations made by the deposed Attorney General. Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman reports from Caracas.” …watch now

For more on the situation in Venezuela:

Aug 18 – Venezuela’s New, Powerful Assembly Takes Over Legislature’s Duties

Aug 17 – Venezuela intensifies crackdown on government critics

Aug 20 – HIV Positive Mothers in Venezuela Face an Impossible Choice

Colombia’s Farc concludes weapons disarmament

Aug 16 – “The last batch of weapons carried by Colombia’s former Farc rebels has been removed under UN supervision. Speaking at a camp in the north of country where the arms were loaded onto a lorry, President Juan Manuel Santos said this was the “last breath” of the 52-year conflict with the Farc. The UN mission head Jean Arnault said a total of 17 containers of arms had been handed over over the past year. About 7,000 rebels have demobilised and are to be reintegrated into society.” …read more

Although the FARC has laid down their arms, conflicts persist:

Aug 22 – Not Just the FARC: Numerous Colombia Conflicts Rage On


With Court’s OK, Chile Relaxes One Of The World’s Strictest Abortion Bans

Aug 21 – “A Chilean court dealt abortion rights activists a landmark victory Monday, approving a controversial bill that rolled back parts of one of the world’s strictest abortion bans. The bill passed by lawmakers earlier this month — after a years-long campaign by President Michelle Bachelet — added three exceptions to a law that for nearly three decades outlawed abortion in all cases. By a narrow margin, lawmakers rendered abortion legal when the pregnancy results from rape, when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life and when the fetus is unviable.” …read more


Brazil scraps Amazon reserve to allow mining

Aug 24 – “The government of Brazil has abolished a vast national reserve bigger than the size of Denmark to open the area to commercial mineral exploration, drawing sharp criticism from environmentalists and political opponents. The area, which straddles the northern states of Amapa and Para, is thought to contain rich deposits of gold, iron, manganese and other minerals. A decree from President Michel Temer published in the official government gazette on Wednesday dissolved the protected area, known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca).” …read more


Mexican Muralists Transform Violent Neighborhoods

Aug 19 – “For many years the rundown Palmitas neighbourhood that overlooks the Mexican city of Pachuca was a hive of delinquency. The drab homes and dimly lit streets that hugged the steep hillside were rife with drug addiction, theft and domestic violence. Now proudly bathed in kaleidoscopic colours, the area stands as an example of how to transform marginalisedneighbourhoods across Latin America.” …read more



Peru’s indigenous-language push

Aug 26 – “THE son of European refugees, Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, is fluent in Spanish, English, German and French. He does not speak any of the country’s 47 indigenous languages. Yet his government is doing more to encourage the use of those tongues than did those of his predecessors, some of whom have indigenous roots.” …read more



Traducing El Salvador’s Truce

Aug 26 – “Officials who implemented a peace agreement between gangs and the government are on trial. The proceedings reverberate far beyond the courtroom. […] FEW issues bedevil El Salvador more than how to deal with criminal gangs. One group called Mara Salvatrucha and two factions of another, Barrio 18, have carved up much of the country into zones over which they rule and from which they extract profit—mainly by extorting money from businesses and residents. Clashes between them, and with the police, help make El Salvador one of the world’s most violent countries.” …read more


Guatemalan leader seeks ouster of U.N.-backed anti-graft chief: sources

Aug 23 – “Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales will ask United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to remove the head of a U.N.-backed investigative body probing the politician’s family for suspected graft, two government officials said on Wednesday. Morales, a former comedian elected on a pledge to fight corruption, has been tarnished by a graft probe focused on an elder brother and one of the president’s sons. It is led by the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).” …read more