Colombia begins a six-month cease-fire with its last remaining rebel group in hopes of forging peace
Colombia’s government and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, have formally begun a six-month cease-fire as part of a process to forge a permanent peace between authorities and the country’s last remaining rebel group.
As US poised to restrict abortion, other nations ease access
As women in the United States find themselves on the verge of possibly losing the constitutional right to access abortion services, courts in other parts of the world, including in many historically conservative societies, have moved in the opposite direction.
Miami professor gets jail for laundering ‘dirty’ Venezuela money
A University of Miami expert on financial crimes in Latin America was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison for a career-ending decision to hide $3 million in proceeds from a corruption scheme run by a businessman connected to Venezuela’s socialist government.
Chinese loans to Latin America plunge as virus strains ties
A deep 7.4% recession in the Latin America and Caribbean last year wiped out nearly a decade’s worth of growth, according to International Monetary Fund data. The slowdown in lending to Latin America reflects a broader, global pullback, as China turns inward to bolster its own recovery efforts amid the pandemic. The China Development Bank and the foreign ministry didn’t respond to questions about the reasons for the decline in Chinese loans to Latin America. AdFor the region’s leaders, Chinese loans for big ticket infrastructure projects are hard to resist. No American firms placed bids for the project, which did not directly benefit from any Chinese loans.
Argentina's abortion law enters force under watchful eyes
The abortion law goes into force Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s groundbreaking abortion law went into force Sunday under the watchful eyes of women’s groups and government officials, who hope to ensure its full implementation despite opposition from some conservative and church groups. Supporters of the law say they expect lawsuits from anti-abortion groups in Argentina’s conservative provinces and some private health clinics might refuse to carry out the procedure. The law’s supporters expect backlash in Argentina’s conservative provinces. Gómez Alcorta said criminal charges currently pending against more than 1,500 women and doctors who performed abortions should be lifted.
At 78 and the oldest president, Biden sees a world changed
WASHINGTON – When Joe Biden took the oath of office as the 46th president, he became not only the oldest newly inaugurated U.S. chief executive in history but also the oldest sitting president ever. That’s 78 days older than President Ronald Reagan was when he left office in 1989. A look at how the country Biden now leads has changed over his lifetime and how his presidency might reflect that. The world population in Biden’s lifetime has grown from about 2.3 billion to 7.8 billion. The month Biden was born, a dozen eggs averaged about 60 cents in U.S. cities -- two hours of minimum wage work.
World hopes for renewed cooperation with US under Biden
Many expressed hope Biden would right U.S. democracy two weeks after rioters stormed the Capitol, shaking the faith of those fighting for democracy in their own countries. Biden “understands the importance of cooperation among nations,” said former Colombian president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos, who left office in 2018. “President Biden’s message of unity as he takes office is one that resonates with New Zealanders,” Ardern said. World leaders also acknowledged the history of Vice President Kamala Harris taking office. “That is an historic moment and one that, I think as a father of daughters, you can only celebrate," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Rejecting criticism, Pompeo says US isn't 'banana republic'
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with his designated successor as America’s top diplomat and is rejecting suggestions that the United States is a “banana republic” because of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. As Pompeo spoke, the State Department instructed U.S. embassies overseas to defend the American political process even while Trump sought to subvert it. “In the wake of yesterday’s reprehensible attack on the U.S. Capitol, many prominent people – including journalists and politicians – have likened the United States to a banana republic,” Pompeo said late Thursday. “The slander reveals a faulty understanding of banana republics and of democracy in America.”“In a banana republic, mob violence determines the exercise of power,” he continued. “In the United States, law enforcement officials quash mob violence so that the people’s representatives can exercise power in accordance with the rule of law and constitutional government.
Oposición venezolana busca conservar apoyo internacional
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. Todos los derechos reservados. Un funcionario de la UE, no obstante, insistió en que no había cambio en la posición oficial del bloque sobre Guaidó, diciendo que la declaración se enfocó meramente en el rechazo a “la elección no democrática” de la nueva legislatura, que fue juramentada el martes. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)If you need help with the Public File, call (954) 364-2526.
Bill legalizing abortion passed in pope's native Argentina
Abortion-rights activists watch live video streaming of lawmakers in session, outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Congress approved a bill that legalize abortion in Argentina. “Safe, legal and free abortion is now the law,” Fernández tweeted after the vote, noting that it had been an election pledge. The generational shift was reflected in the stance taken by Vice President Fernández de Kirchner. Argentina’s feminist movement has been demanding legal abortion for more than 30 years and activists say the bill’s approval could mark a watershed in Latin America, where the Catholic Church has long dominated.
Mexico starts giving first shots of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine
The country's 1.4 million health workers will be the first to get the shots, followed by the elderly, those with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the disease, and teachers. Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico was the first country in Latin America to get the vaccine, though others were close behind. In Costa Rica, which is the third country in the region to begin using the Pfizer vaccine, the first shot was given Thursday to Elizabeth Castillo, 91. Argentina, which has run into problems obtaining the Pfizer vaccine, received a flight carrying 300,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Argentina plans to become the first country in Latin America to administer the Russian vaccine starting next week.
NYC cathedral gunman's note says he planned to take hostages
New York police officers move in on the scene of a shooting at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. A man was shot by police after shots rang out at the end of a Christmas choral concert on the steps of the Manhattan cathedral Sunday afternoon. The shooting happened just before 4 p.m. at the church which is the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and seat of its bishop. The note was first reported by NBC New York. In the note, the law enforcement official said, Vasquez wrote he did not expect to make it home.
Fiat Chrysler posts record Q3 profit ahead of PSA merger
The Italian-American automaker, which is finalizing its full merger with French rival PSA Peugeot, reported a net profit in the three months ending Sept. 30 of 1.2 billion ($1.4 billion). That compares with a loss of 179 million euros a year earlier. Latin America, the only other region to post a profit, saw it narrow by two-thirds to 46 million euros. Overall, the carmaker said global earnings before tax and interest were a record 2.3 billion euros despite a 6% fall in revenues to 26 billion euros. PSA on Wednesday said that revenue in its auto division grew by 1.2% in the quarter to 12 billion euros, as a strong product mix offset lower volumes.
Colombia reaches 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases
(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)BOGOTA – Colombia reached 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, becoming the second country in Latin America to report that number in less than a week. The nation of 50 million saw cases peak in August and has seen a decline since but still continues to register around 8,000 new infections a day. Argentina hit 1 million confirmed cases on Monday and Peru and Mexico are expected to reach the grim marker in the weeks ahead. Brazil ranks third worldwide in the number of virus cases and passed 1 million infections back in June. Colombia has become the eighth country to hit 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Latest: Imported workers test positive in New Zealand
All remain in quarantine at a Christchurch hotel, and health officials say they expect more to test positive. — British PM Johnson imposing strict coronavirus restrictions on Greater Manchester, England’s second-largest urban area, after talks fail on financial support. Local health officials said Tuesday that the surge is overwhelming their ability to confront the pandemic. Officials say coronavirus cases related to the university represent 61% of the total in Washtenaw County, compared to just 2% in August. ___PHOENIX — Arizona reported more than 1,000 daily coronavirus cases for the second time in a week.
Argentina hits 1 million cases as virus slams Latin America
Argentina reached 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health. But as Argentina passed 1 million virus cases Monday, it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia that are seeing some of the most notable upticks. Argentina has seen cases spiral despite instituting one of the world’s longest lockdowns. “We had a plateau.”Throughout the region, testing remains a hurdle. Brazil reached 1 million cases in June and now is up to 5.2 million for the pandemic.
UN: Pandemic has cost 34 million jobs in Latin America
All rights reserved)MEXICO CITY – The U.N.’s International Labour Organization said Wednesday that at least 34 million jobs have been lost in Latin America due to the coronavirus pandemic. The count was up from the ILO’s previous estimates in early August that 14 million jobs had been lost in the region. The organization's Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Vinícius Pinheiro, called it “an unprecedented challenge.”Pinheiro said the third quarter had brought a recovery in economic activity and, according to preliminary data, a tentative recovery in employment. The ILO figures were based on data from nine countries which account for 80% of the region's workforce. The ILO lists Latin America and the Caribbean as the worst-hit region in the world in terms of lost working hours, with a drop of 20.9% in the first three quarters of the year, compared to an average of 11.7% worldwide.
Pandemic's toll among journalists in Peru is especially high
Whats happening with the journalists in Peru is somewhat a reflection of whats happening with the Peruvian population, said Zuliana Lainez, secretary general of the National Association of Journalists of Peru, a union based in Lima. At least 82 reporters in Peru died from the disease between March 16, when Peru imposed a lockdown because of the health crisis, and Aug. 17, according to the association. The Press Emblem Campaign, a Geneva-based group launched by journalists, said July 1 that Peru had lost the most journalists to COVID-19 of any country in the world. It has logged 560,000 coronavirus cases, placing it in the top 10 countries half of them in Latin America with the most confirmed cases in the world. Freelancer Ricardo Gutirrez Aparicio was among the first Peruvian journalists reported to have died of COVID-19.
El Salvador political stalemate a drag on pandemic response
SAN SALVADOR For months, the strictest measures confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America seemed to keep infections in check in El Salvador, but a gradual reopening combined with a political stalemate has seen infections increase nearly fourfold. Both have an eye on legislative elections scheduled for early next year and appear unwilling to cede any advantage. Its a reversal in a country that early in the pandemic seemed to have the situation under control. But the legislative body has declined to do so, and lawmakers have been locked in a monthslong standoff with Bukele. "If El Salvador collapses, we all go down and were already sinking.
UN refugee agency fears for displaced Venezuelans amid COVID
Of course, it is good that countries are taking these measures of prudence against the virus, Grandi said. The impact could be especially stark for 3.7 million Venezuelans abroad, the world's second-largest nationality of refugees after the 6.6 million Syrians displaced by their country's war. One region about which were very worried is, of course, Latin America and South America and in particular where countries host many millions of Venezuelans, Grandi said in an interview. Amid the outbreak, UNHCR has stepped up its cash transfer programs that put money directly in the pockets of displaced people. Grandi says 65 countries now benefit from such programs, and we have added 40 countries in just the last few months.
Spread of coronavirus fuels corruption in Latin America
Even amid a global pandemic, theres no sign that corruption is slowing down in Latin America. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)MIAMI Even in a pandemic, there's no slowdown for swindlers in Latin America. Coronavirus clusters are still spreading in Latin America, fueling a spike in deaths, swamping already-precarious hospitals and threatening to ravage slumping economies. To be sure, disasters breed corruption all over the world, not just in Latin America. But stealing state funds is especially vexing in Latin America because of gaping poverty and a tattered social safety net.
Holiday amid pandemic: Americans divided on how to respond
Statewide, New York reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths 84 in many weeks in what Gov. To the south, Trump played golf at one of his private clubs for the first time during the pandemic the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. He has been pushing for state and local leaders to fully reopen after months of closures and tight restrictions. New coronavirus cases reported in China were zero Saturday for the first time since the outbreak began but surged in India and overwhelmed hospitals across Latin America. Religious events helped spread the virus early in the pandemic; resuming such gatherings is an especially thorny issue.
Vatican sends top 2 sex crimes investigators to Mexico
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is sending its top two sex crimes investigators to Mexico on a fact-finding and assistance mission as the Catholic hierarchy in the world's second-largest Catholic country begins to reckon with decades of clergy sex abuse and cover-up. Their new mission to Mexico, due to take place March 20-27, was announced Monday in Mexico and at the Vatican. In addition, two senators presented a legislative initiative to create an independent investigatory commission into clerical sex abuse in Mexico. The Legion scandal has resurfaced anew recently, with the Salazar case spurring other Legion victims to come forward. Earlier this year, a group of former Legion priests prepared a list of 30 Mexican Legion priests who were accused of abuse and presented it to the Vatican ambassador.