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Brazil

Pope Francis—the first Latin American to head the Catholic Church—arrived in Brazil on Monday to celebrate World Youth Day, a week-long international gathering of young Catholics initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

Likely top stories this week: Evelyn Matthei will be the UDI’s new candidate in Chile’s presidential election; Pope Francis I arrives in Brazil; Colombian government sends troops to Arauca; U.S. lawmakers debate the KIDS Act; Venezuela ends its attempt to normalize relations with the U.S.

On Wednesday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reiterated her proposal for a plebiscite on reforms to address citizen discontent over corruption and public spending that have fueled massive protests since June.

Even as Rio presents a safer image to the outside world—heralded by the much-publicized arrival of Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (Pacifying Police Units—UPPs) in Rio's favelas—violence between police and favela residents is still common.

Good economic times, including record low unemployment, provide momentum for Brazilian youth to take to the streets.(video available)

Responding to weeks of protests in over 100 Brazilian cities against corruption and government spending, President Dilma Rousseff sent Congress a proposal package on Tuesday, which included a referendum to make the country’s political system more representative.

Likely top stories this week: Michelle Bachelet wins Chile’s opposition primaries; Cuban state-run produce markets go private; President Rousseff’s popularity dips; U.S. immigration reform moves to the House of Representatives; Edward Snowden stuck in Moscow.

The continued demonstrations reflect broad popular concern for the need to improve social equality.

On Wednesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court upheld a corruption conviction against a former congressman and sentenced him to prison—the first time a congressman has been imprisoned since the 1988 constitution was put in place.

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