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Ecuador

Defense Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil met with his counterparts, Juan Carlos Pinzón of Colombia and María Fernanda Espinosa of Ecuador, in the Brazilian city of Manaus Thursday morning. The meeting was focused on strengthening security cooperation between the three nations that border the Amazon.

The leaders of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas—ALBA) are meeting today in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to discuss ways to further integrate the regional bloc and widen the scope of its work on social and economic issues.

The spectacle of certain Latin American countries lining up to offer asylum to National Security Administration (NSA) contractor and leaker Edward Snowden has become a sad reminder of the lack of diplomatic maturity of those countries and a red herring to the whole issue that they want to highlight. 

Without dismissing the dangers that the U.S. government’s surveillance program poses to freedom worldwide, the Snowden affair has only cast a light again on Correa’s own failure to promote freedom of expression in Ecuador.

As we wait to hear Ecuador’s decision on whether to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old contractor who leaked the details of the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program, two questions loom large: Why would Ecuador do it? And will it?  

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.

Top stories this week: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff responds to national protests; U.S. Senate votes on immigration reform; Colombian coca farmers clash with police; Uruguay upholds abortion; Judicial leaders meet in Bolivia; Ecuador considers asylum request.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Ecuadorian counterpart, Ricardo Patiño, met in London on Monday to discuss the unresolved asylum case of the Australian journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Venezuela announces new presidential elections; Falkland Islands/Malvinas inhabitants vote on political status; States party to the American Convention on Human Rights meet to discuss IACHR reforms; the papal conclave begins Tuesday; Lima Mayor Susana Villarán faces a recall vote on Sunday.

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