A recent police crackdown on protesting “guiriseros” (artisan miners) in the central Nicaraguan town of Santo Domingo has raised new questions about the government’s ‘come-on-down’ approach to foreign gold mining firms, which have been raking in riches of late thanks to increased production and soaring prices. Read the rest of this entry ?
Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category
Millions of residents in Santiago were left high and quite literally dry in recent weeks by a series of water service cuts that some Chilean citizens groups and politicians are calling a wakeup call to the perils of privatization.
The first of the disruptions hit the Chilean capital between Jan. 21-22 after flooding from a heavy rainstorm flushed copious amounts of sediment into the Río Maipo, Santiago’s principal source of drinking water. The event forced Aguas Andinas, the city’s primary waterworks company, to temporarily shut three of its treatment plants and thus cut the water supply to an estimated 2 million residents. Complicating matters was the timing of the problem – at the height of the southern summer. Between December and March, daytime temperatures in Santiago regularly top 30˚C (86˚F). Read the rest of this entry ?
Against the objections of artisan fishers, environmental groups and some opposition lawmakers, Chile’s Congress is inching closer toward approving a controversial government-backed overhaul of the country’s fisheries regulations. Read the rest of this entry ?
Just months after pledging to build a long-dreamed-about “Nicaragua Canal,” the government of President Daniel Ortega is now turning its attention to another dizzyingly expensive megaproject: a Venezuelan-backed oil pipeline and refinery scheme dubbed the “Supremo Sueño de Bolivar,” Bolivar’s Supreme Dream. Read the rest of this entry ?
A recent economic upswing in Nicaragua couldn’t have come at a better time for President Daniel Ortega, who is quickly closing in on an unprecedented – and arguably unconstitutional – third term in office. Nicaragua’s upcoming general election is set to take place Nov. 6. Read the rest of this entry ?
Since assuming office in the midst of a global financial crisis, President Maurico Funes has taken a mostly wait and see approach to El Salvador’s economy, opting to ride out the storm while focusing his energies on areas such as public security and foreign policy. The new year, however, appears to have brought with it a shift in priorities for the popular Salvadoran leader, who is now promising a series of measures to breath some life into the stagnant economy. Read the rest of this entry ?
Left for decades on the proverbial back burner, Argentina’s once cutting edge but now very much dusty nuclear power sector is experiencing a real renaissance. For the first time in more than a quarter century, the country is preparing to open a new nuclear power plant, its third. More may be on the way as Argentina looks to ease its dependence on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. Read the rest of this entry ?
Six months into his presidency, Sebastián Piñera – Chile’s first conservative head of state since dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) – continues to prove a penchant for perplexing his more liberal opponents. Read the rest of this entry ?
Home to one of the world’s most extensive oil and natural gas reserves, energy-rich Venezuela is nevertheless experiencing serious power problems at the moment, grappling with an acute electricity crisis that has resulted in rationing, rolling blackouts and periodic protests.
The government blames Mother Nature. In recent months a prolonged drought has parched the country, causing severe water shortages. A side effect has been decreased water flow (and thus reduced capacity) to the massive Guri Dam, a 10,200-megawatt (MW) behemoth that supplies more than 70 % of the country’s electricity. Located along Bolivar State’s Rio Caroni, the 1,300 meter-long dam – officially called the Central Hidroeléctrica Simon Bolivar – is the world’s third largest after the Three Gorges Dam (18,300 MW) in China and the Itaipu complex (14,000 MW) along the Brazil/Paraguay border.
Quellón, REGION X – In the dwindling light of a crisp autumn evening, snow-covered Corcovado and its sister peaks shine pink above the silhouetted fishing boats that stretch out beyond the harbor in Quellón. The alpine glow is short-lived, though, and as the sun drops below the horizon the tempting distraction of the distant volcanoes fades to black.
Lights flicker on in the mostly empty hotels and restaurants that line the Costanera, a bay-front road stretching the length of the city. The air smells of wood smoke, salt water and decay. A handful of drunks lurch by in the direction of Quellón’s main pier, where a dozen other men lean idly against a railing. Surrounding the dock are boats of all shapes and sizes. Too many are anchored. The city, some people fear, is dying. Read the rest of this entry ?