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Chasing ‘El Chapo’: Prison breaks, hideaways and life on the lam

November, 8 2017 (CNN) The notorious cartel boss hid in a laundry cart the first time he broke out of prison -- or so the story goes. The next time, he slipped out through an underground tunnel and rode a motorcycle to freedom. The brazen escapes, and the stories that swirled about them afterward, cemented [...]

Ecuador’s Vice-President Glas to face corruption trial

November, 15 2017 (BBC) Mr Glas, who was arrested on 2 October, is the highest-ranking politician to be indicted in the massive Odebrecht corruption scandal. Prosecutors accuse Mr Glas of taking $13.5m (£10.2m) in bribes from the Brazilian construction giant, which he denies. He could face up to five years in jail. Mr Glas has [...]

Peru’s Kuczynski denies allegations of Odebrecht links

November, 15 2017 (Reuters) LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Wednesday claims he had worked as a consultant for Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL], which is embroiled in an international bribery scandal, were false. Kuczynski also said in a speech broadcast on television that he had never received any campaign [...]

Venezuela wins Russia and China backing as it says it is honoring debt

November, 15 2017 (Reuters) MOSCOW/CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela won easier debt terms from Russia and got a vote of confidence from China on Wednesday, as the oil-rich country said it had starting making interest payments on bonds after a delay that had threatened to trigger a default. A debt restructuring deal with Russia that allows [...]

Argentine President Urges US to Toughen Sanctions on Venezuelan Regime, Cut Oil Imports

November, 9 2017, (Panampost) During Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s visit to the United States, he asked the US to toughen sanctions against the dictatorship in Venezuela, claiming that a total embargo of oil exports has become necessary. “We should go to a complete seizure,” he said. “Things have gotten worse and worse. The situation is [...]

Texas execution of Ruben Cardenas Ramirez sparks row with Mexico

November, 9 2017, (BBC) The state of Texas has executed a Mexican national, sparking an outcry over his human rights. Ruben Cardenas Ramirez was pronounced dead at 22:26 (04:26 GMT) after receiving a lethal injection. He had been convicted of the 1997 kidnap, rape and murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Mayra Laguna. Mexican President Enrique [...]

U.S. warns bondholders that negotiating with Venezuela may be illegal

November, 8 2017 (Reuters) WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury has warned bondholders that dealing with Venezuela’s chief debt negotiators, both of whom are blacklisted by the United States, would be “problematic” and could lead to stiff penalties under U.S. sanctions. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro invited creditors to a Nov. 13 meeting in Caracas [...]

Argentina congress passes law to fight corporate corruption

November, 8 2017 (Reuters) BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s congress on Wednesday passed a law aimed at punishing companies for corruption by fining or blacklisting them from public contracts, a measure that comes as the judiciary reviews high-profile graft cases. The measure also includes a provision for companies to sign leniency agreements lessening their punishments [...]

The Mato Grosso branch of Aprosoja, the association representing the growers that filed the lawsuit at a federal court on Wednesday, claimed “the patent does not fully reveal the invention so as to allow, at the end of the exclusivity period, any person can freely have access to it.” That requirement “avoids that a company controls a technology for an undetermined period of time,” Aprosoja said, adding Intacta’s patent protection extends through October 2022. Monsanto said it has not been formally notified of the lawsuit and therefore would not make a statement. Mato Grosso farmers are leading a push in Brazil to replace genetically modified soybeans with non-GM seeds. “Aprosoja is not against innovation or paying for intellectual property,” its head Endrigo Dalcin said, but added that farmers should not have to pay for technology that is protected by what it claims to be an invalid patent. With about 53 percent of Brazil’s soy area planted with Intacta technology in the 2016/17 crop cycle, Monsanto is a dominant force, Aprosoja says, citing data from consultancy Agroconsult. Some 40 percent of the country’s area is grown with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seed technology and only 7 percent is non-GM, the data showed. This is the second time Mato Grosso farmers have challenged Monsanto in Brazil, its most important market outside the United States. In 2012, Aprosoja claimed Monsanto was charging royalties over a patent that had expired two years prior. By 2013, after legal disputes, Monsanto had stopped collecting royalties linked to its first-generation Roundup Ready technology, Intacta’s predecessor, according to Aprosoja. At that point, some farmers agreed to a discount rate on using Monsanto’s newer Intacta seeds for four years, it said. Monsanto, which is being acquired by Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE), is also facing close scrutiny from regulators concerning that deal. As one condition for approval in Brazil, Aprosoja’s national branch is seeking to persuade local competition watchdog Cade to force the biotech company to sell its Intacta soy seed technology. Biotech crops are genetically engineered to resist pests or disease, tolerate drought or withstand weedkillers such as glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

November, 8 2017 (Reuters) BOGOTA (Reuters) - Police seized more than 12 tons of cocaine from Colombia’s top crime gang on Wednesday, the biggest haul ever in the nation’s long-running fight against drug trafficking, President Juan Manuel Santos said. The cocaine, with a U.S. market value estimated by Santos at about of $360 million, was [...]

Brazil soy growers ask court to cancel Monsanto’s Intacta patent

November, 9 2017 (Reuters) SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Soybean growers in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest producing state, have asked a court to cancel Monsanto’s (MON.N) Intacta RR2 PRO patent claiming irregularities, including the company’s alleged failure to prove it brings de facto technological innovation. The Mato Grosso branch of Aprosoja, the association representing the growers [...]

Implications of Venezuela’s proposed foreign debt restructuring

November, 3 2017 (Reuters) CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the country and state oil company PDVSA will restructure its burgeoning foreign debt, even as he vowed to make a payment of more than $1 billion that came due on Thursday. The announcement did not put Venezuela or PDVSA into default, [...]

Environmentalist’s murder a criminal plot, new report says

November, 3 2017 (CNN) It was a little before midnight on March 2, 2016, when at least two men kicked in the back door of the home of award-winning environmentalist and activist Berta Cáceres in La Esperanza, western Honduras. Moments later, 44-year-old Cáceres was shot dead. Her friend, Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro Soto was wounded, [...]