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Panama

This week’s likely top stories:  Panamanian voters go to the polls on Sunday; Colombian farmers launch another strike; Venezuelan dialogue enters its third week; protesters demonstrate against Mexican telecom reform; the murder of a former colonel could challenge Brazil’s truth commission.

The future of the expansion work on the Panama Canal was put into question on Wednesday over cost disputes between the construction company and the canal’s authority.

Likely top stories this week: U.S. legislators make a last push for immigration reform; Correa visits Bolivia; The Colombian defense minister travels to Central America and the Caribbean; Juan Manuel Santos declines help from Jesse Jackson; a Chilean general involved in the “Caravan of Death” commits suicide.

Panama and Colombia are expected to sign a bilateral free trade agreement in Panama City today, finalizing a commitment that was reached by the two countries last June. Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry Ricardo Quijano and Colombian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Sergio Díaz-Granados will participate in the official treaty-signing ceremony.

Likely top stories this week: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s U.S. visit remains pending; Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel hit Mexico; U.S. Vice President Joe Biden cancels Panama trip but will still go to Mexico; Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles visits Miami; Peruvian congressman files a bill to approve same-sex civil unions.

Likely top stories this week: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Colombia and Brazil; Argentines vote in congressional primary elections; FARC and Colombian government hail progress in peace talks; Panama concludes its inspection of the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang; and documents reveal details of Brazilian dictatorship-era spying.

The last barrier to an integrated electricity grid in the region.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Rios Montt convicted of genocide; Venezuelan military to fight insecurity; Panama announces continued electricity rationing; FIFA expresses concerns over Brazil’s World Cup stadium; and China’s vice president travels to Venezuela.

A four-month drought has crippled Panama’s electricity supply, prompting the government to close schools and impose strict limits on electricity use on Wednesday—a day after declaring a state of emergency in four of the country’s nine provinces.

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