Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
 

Costa Rica to Invest $100 Million to Modernize Border Crossings

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $100 million dollars for Costa Rica to modernize its border-crossing infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday. The plan seeks to bolster trade competitiveness at Costa Rica’s four border crossings with Nicaragua and Panama. In late 2014, Nicaragua completed the construction of a bridge at the Las Tablillas … Read more

 

Panamanian Supreme Court Approves Corruption Inquiry against Martinelli

Panama’s Supreme Court voted unanimously on Wednesday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate corruption claims against former president Ricardo Martinelli. Martinelli has been accused by his erstwhile political ally and former head of the Programa de Ayuda Nacional  (National Assistance Program—PAN), Giacomo Tamburelli, of ordering the inflation of government contracts worth $45 million for  … Read more

 

New Study Ranks Democracy in Latin America

Only two countries in Latin America—Costa Rica and Uruguay—can be considered “full democracies,” according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by BBC for Democracy Day on January 20. The report says that a majority of Latin American countries hold “free and fair” elections and are better ranked than their counterparts in the Middle … Read more

 

Behind the Numbers: Insecurity and Marginalization in Central America

With 11 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, Nicaragua stands out as a relatively fortunate exception in a region whose homicide rates rank among the world’s highest. Its northern neighbors all recorded rates at least three times greater: with Guatemala at 34.3 murders per 100,000 citizens; El Salvador at 41.5; and—at the top of this … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Varela in Panama – Argentine debt – ELN attack – Costa Rica and Colombia World Cup Firsts – Amado Boudou

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. Juan Carlos Varela inaugurated in Panama: Panamanian President-elect Juan … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Panama Elections – Haiti and the Dominican Republic – Uruguayan Marijuana – Colombian Mine Collapse – Brazil Soccer Death

This week’s likely top stories: Juan Carlos Varela will be Panama’s next president; talks between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are postponed; marijuana legalization goes into effect in Uruguay; a Colombian mine collapse kills at least 12 people; a Brazilian soccer fan is killed in Recife. Juan Carlos Varela Wins Panamanian Election: Juan Carlos Varela … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Panama Elections – Colombian Farmers – Venezuela – Mexico Telecom Reform – Brazilian Colonel’s Death

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. Panama Prepares for Presidential Election: Panamanians will go to the polls on Sunday, May … Read more

 

Panama Canal Expansion Interrupted Over Cost Disputes

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. Negotiations between the Spanish based construction company Sacyr and the Panama Canal Authority over who should foot the bill for the $1.6 billion additional, unforeseen costs unraveled, leaving … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Immigration Reform – Correa in Bolivia – Colombia-Panama Border Security – Jesse Jackson – Chilean General Commits Suicide

Likely top stories this week: U.S. legislators make a last push for immigration reform; Correa visits Bolivia; The Colombian defense minister travels to Panama; Juan Manuel Santos declines help from Jesse Jackson; a Chilean general involved in the “Caravan of Death” commits suicide. Renewed Push for Immigration Reform in U.S. House of Representatives: Despite a … Read more

 

Panama, Colombia To Sign Trade Agreement

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. During a … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Dilma’s U.S. Visit – Hurricane Ingrid – Biden in Mexico – Capriles in Miami – Civil Unions in Peru

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. Dilma Still Weighing … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Kerry in Brazil and Colombia – Argentine Primaries – Colombia Peace Talks – Chong Chon Gang – Brazil Dictatorship Spying

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. John Kerry Travels to Brazil … Read more

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Will the Darién Gap Stop the Region’s Electrical Integration?

In April last year, the Colombian government announced its intention to pursue the creation of an interconnected electrical grid from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. Naming the project “Connecting the Americas 2022” (“Connect 2022” ), the Colombians had picked up the idea from Washington and included it in last year’s agenda at the Summit of … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Rios Montt – Venezuela’s Military – Panama’s Electricity – World Cup – China’s Vice President

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. Rios Montt found guilty: On Friday, a three-judge tribunal sentenced the 86-year-old former dictator of Guatemala, Efrain … Read more

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