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Colombia’s presidential election heads to runoff

May, 28 2018 (CNN) Colombia’s presidential election will head to a runoff next month, since no candidate won 50% of the vote Sunday. With 99.9% of polling stations reporting on Sunday, conservative Ivan Duque was leading with 39% of votes. In second place was leftist Gustavo Petro with 25%, closely trailed by centrist Sergio Fajardo. [...]

Venezuela election runner-up to formally challenge result

May, 23 2018 (reuters) CARACAS (Reuters) – The runner-up in Venezuela’s election, which was widely condemned by other countries as undemocratic, will formally challenge his loss to President Nicolas Maduro after refusing to recognize the result, his campaign said on Wednesday. The head of Henri Falcon’s campaign, Claudio Fermin, told a news conference that given [...]

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal still stuck in congress

May, 23 2018 (Colombia Reports) A year after FARC rebels demobilized, Colombia’s Congress has yet to vote on the war crimes tribunal’s powers. The legislative branch’s indecision has caused a crisis in the judicial branch. The Special Jurisdiction for peace (JEP) last week ordered to suspend the extradition of FARC leader “Jesus Santrich,” much to [...]

EU beefs up Colombia election monitoring commission amid growing fraud scandal

May, 23 2018 (Colombia Reports) The EU said Tuesday that eight members of the European parliament will monitor Colombia’s elections amid mounting evidence of widespread election fraud. The lawmakers will arrive in Colombia on Friday and join two representatives that have been in the country since May 4. The announcement came after leftist candidate Gustavo [...]

Business cartel defrauded Colombia’s military for $16M: authorities

May, 23 2018 (Colombia reports) A business cartel that fixed prices of military rations defrauded Colombia’s armed forces for more than $16 million (COP47 billion), according to the country’s industry watchdog. The Superintendency for Industry and Trade (SIC) filed charges against seven firms and 11 executives for allegedly conspiring to rip off the security forces [...]

Human rights group condemns Nicaragua’s use of force in protests as death toll rises

May, 23 2018 (CNN) A human rights watch group is accusing Nicaraguan authorities of using excessive force, threats and torture against demonstrators since protests began in the country last month. In a preliminary report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says at least 76 people have been killed and 868 injured in anti-government protests. According [...]

Venezuela election: Maduro expels top US diplomat

May, 22 2018 (BBC) Venezuela has expelled the senior US representative in the country amid an international backlash against Nicolás Maduro’s re-election as president. Mr Maduro announced the expulsion of charge d’affaires Todd Robinson as his victory in Sunday’s vote was being proclaimed officially. He accused Mr Robinson of conspiring against his socialist government. The [...]

The López Obrador Effect: a plummeting peso

May, 1 2018 (Panampost) The Mexican economy had remained relatively immune to the possibility of Andrés Manuel López Obrador triumphing in the next presidential election; that is, until recently, when this false sense of tranquility disappeared. Markets are now beginning to factor in the danger that López Obrador represents. For some, peso exchange rates have [...]

Brazil military airlifts Venezuelan migrants as border crisis grows

May, 4 2018 (Reuters) BOA VISTA, Brazil (Reuters) – The Brazilian Air Force has begun flying Venezuelans from a remote border region to elsewhere in Brazil, trying to defuse a humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of migrants flee an economic collapse in their country. On Friday, 233 Venezuelans boarded a Boeing 767 on a [...]

Top Venezuelan bank Banesco’s chairman slams state takeover, arrests

May, 4 2018 (Reuters) CARACAS (Reuters) – The chairman of Venezuela’s top bank Banesco on Friday condemned a 90-day state takeover and arrest of 11 executives as locals thronged cash machines and sped up transfers to other institutions. In the biggest crackdown on the financial sector since late leftist leader Hugo Chavez, the government of [...]

Colombia sees billion-dollar bonanza from legacy of marijuana trade

May, 2 2018 (Reuters) Tired of living in fear of arrest or running afoul of drug traffickers, Romairo Aguirre is ready to destroy his illegal plantation of 1,500 marijuana bushes in the mountainous Cauca region of southwest Colombia and become legitimate. Like many of the farmers who grow cannabis near the town of Corinto, Aguirre [...]

Latin America Scraps $2 Billion Worth of Bond Sales as U.S. Rates Jump

May, 3 2018 (Bloomberg) The angst surrounding higher U.S. rates has spread to Latin America’s bond market. Four South American companies postponed at least $2 billion of planned U.S. dollar bond sales this week, according to five people familiar with the situation. This happened in the wake of 10-year U.S. Treasury yields climbing above 3 [...]