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Costa Rica
Ways to tackle the region's problems of crime and violence.

With the second round of the World Cup soccer tournament concluded the main storylines have been the success of teams from the Americas, the early exit of previous stalwarts England, Italy and Spain, the relatively high number of goals, and—at least in the United States—the sudden realization that soccer actually has a strong and passionate following. With two weeks to go, some commentators are already wondering aloud whether this will be the most successful World Cup of all time.

This week's likely top stories: Juan Carlos Varela takes office as Panama's new president; Argentina negotiates a settlement with holdout creditors; the ELN attacks in Arauca; Costa Rica and Colombia advance to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time; Argentine Vice President Boudou faces charges.

Regardless of where we go from here, this has been America's Cup.

Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera became the forty-seventh president of Costa Rica yesterday. Solís, 56, appeared alongside First Lady Mercedes Peñas Domingo at the National Stadium in San José for the inauguration ceremony, saying, “We want to effectively combat poverty, not just administer it.”

Likely top stories this week: Solís wins Costa Rican election; the Obama Administration faces increasing pressure on its deportation policy; Venezuelan government reacts after Spain suspends the sale of riot gear; a FIFA executive admits that Brazil is still behind schedule for the 2014 World Cup.

Likely top stories this week: the Cuban government passes a new foreign investment law; Venezuelan troops take control of San Cristóbal; Costa Rican presidential candidate Solís lacks an opponent; Brazilian security forces raid Maré favela in Rio; China's Chinalco halts its Toromocho mining project in Peru.

Likely top stories this week: presidential candidates in Costa Rica and El Salvador will advance to runoff elections; the dispute over the Chile-Peru border continues; Colombia brings charges against the U.S.-based coal company Drummond; heavy rains in Uruguay lead to flood warnings in most of the country.

The thirty-three countries that make up the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Community (CELAC), wrapped up their second summit by declaring the region a “zone of peace,” on Wednesday.

Only six months away from the February 4, 2014, presidential election in Costa Rica, the former mayor of San José and official candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Party—PLN), Johnny Araya, holds a significant lead over his rivals in the most recent poll.

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