Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Portillo Admits Guilt, Awaits Sentence

On Tuesday former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo plead guilty to a money-laundering case in New York City federal court and will be sentenced to four to six years in federal prison on June 23. In exchange, prosecutor Preet Bharara has agreed to drop additional charges against Portillo that could result in a life-long sentence behind … Read more


Qatar Denies Bribery over World Cup Bid

Qatar’s World Cup 2022 Bid Committee said on Tuesday that it was not aware of alleged bribes paid by the former head of the country’s football association, Mohamed Bin Hammam, to former FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner. The statement comes as a response to a March report in the London-based Daily Telegraph that claimed … Read more


Clash between Indigenous Group, Military Police Leave Seven Injured

At least seven military police were injured in a confrontation with Indigenous Mapuche in the Araucania region of Chile on Wednesday. The clash began on Monday when 30 hooded individuals, presumed to be Mapuches took over the privately-owned El Canelo farm in an act to reclaim land they believed to be theirs by ancestral rights. After the perpetrators set fire to the … Read more


U.S. Court Sides with Chevron in Ecuador Case

A U.S. federal judge ruled in favor of Chevron Corp. yesterday, dealing a blow to the 30,000 Amazonian villagers who successfully sued the California-based oil company for $9.5 billion over environmental damage in 2011. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote that U.S. courts could not be used to collect the $9.5 … Read more


Venezuelan Protests Continue as Criticism Grows Against Maduro

Widespread protests continue for a thirteenth consecutive day in Venezuela as the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, faces increasing criticism—some of it from within his own ranks—for how he has handled the unfolding crisis. The president’s recent crackdown on the remaining free media in Venezuela and an upsurge of State violence last week have led at … Read more


Venezuelan Government Crisis Unfolds in the Streets

Support AQ! “Like” our Fall 2013 issue cover here: http://on.fb.me/1kNso1z The Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, currently led by Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro, is facing the most significant wave of social discontent with its policies in more than a decade. Over the past six days, daily spontaneous protests across the country have diluted the … Read more


Guatemala’s Attorney General Faces Legal Fight to Stay in Office

Last week’s decision by Guatemala’s Corte de Constitucionalidad (Constitutional Court—CC) to reduce Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz’s term in office has been met by a wave of criticism and legal challenges. The internationally-recognized Paz y Paz, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, is credited with improving the investigative work of … Read more


Colombia: Las ‘Chuzadas’ de la era Santos

Que en Colombia hay enemigos del proceso de paz que adelanta el Gobierno con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) en la Habana no es nuevo ni sorprende. Hay fuerzas partidarias que le apuestan a las conversaciones de paz, tanto como aquellas que nunca estuvieron de acuerdo con que se comenzaran, el uribismo en … Read more


Narcocorridos Drum up Support for the Knights Templar in Michoacán

Narcocorridos—songs that celebrate drug dealers as folk heroes—have been a part of Mexican culture for as long as the illicit activity has existed in the country.  Attempts to censor them from reaching radio airwaves have triggered debates over freedom of speech, as well as outcries from the more liberal media.  But as a recent concert … Read more


Colombia Military Spies on the Peace Process with the FARC

Two top Colombian intelligence officers were dismissed on Tuesday after allegations that the Colombian military was spying on government peace negotiators. General Mauricio Zúñiga, chief of army intelligence, and General Jorge Andres Zuluaga, director of the army’s national intelligence center, were dismissed from their positions after an investigation by the Colombian newsmagazine Semana found an … Read more


Independent Watchdog Says NSA Program Is Illegal

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent federal privacy review board, has concluded that the National Security Agency (NSA)’s phone call record collection program is illegal and should be discontinued. The 238-page report published yesterday finds that the spying program “lacks viable foundation” under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, violates the First … Read more

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Inroads or Detours in the Drug Debate?

In June, 15 gunmen traveling in three vehicles attacked a police station in the small town of Salcaja in the northern Guatemalan highlands. By the time the shooting ended, eight policemen were dead—and one, the station’s deputy inspector, was kidnapped. The motive was initially unclear, but the government’s subsequent investigation revealed that the deputy inspector … Read more


Poderes Especiales para Maduro

A finales de 2002, empresarios, trabajadores y algunos medios de comunicación venezolanos unieron fuerzas e iniciaron una paralización nacional en protesta al gobierno del entonces presidente Hugo Chávez, que acababa de sobrevivir a un golpe de estado ocho meses antes. Durante 62 días, negocios, bancos y hasta puestos de gasolina permanecieron cerrados incentivando a la … Read more

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