Archive for September, 2013

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Chile Elections: Right Opts For Evelyn Matthei After Pablo Longueira (Too Depressed To Run) Bows Out

September 16, 2013
Last-minute Alianza presidential candidate Evelyn Matthei (Wikipedia)

Alianza presidential candidate Evelyn Matthei (Wikipedia)

Three months after a financial scandal sank its most-promising presidential candidate, Chile’s governing coalition, the Alianza, has been forced to pass the proverbial baton yet again, opting this time for a contender better known for her potty mouth than for her politics. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Ortega Hands Nicaragua Canal Project to Untested Chinese Firm

September 16, 2013

Sticking to his grandiose promise of building an ocean-to-ocean canal through Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega has decided to place his faith – and a huge swath of national territory – in the hands of an untested Chinese firm whose mysterious owner, telecom tycoon Wang Jing, promises nothing less than to “change the world.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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‘Femicide’ Numbers Fall in El Salvador

September 16, 2013

El Salvador’s female homicide figures have fallen sharply over the past year-and-a-half, thanks in large part to a tenuous government-backed gang truce that has cut overall murders by more than half. An encouraging sign for the country as a whole, the decrease is a particularly welcome development for the President Mauricio Funes administration, which has made women’s rights a policy priority with initiatives such the Ley Especial Integral para una Vida de Violencia (LEIV), a so-called “femicide” law that went into effect early last year, and Ciudad Mujer, a network of female-focused resource centers. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Press Freedom Under Fire In Nicaragua

September 16, 2013


Rights groups are sounding the alarm over a pair of apparent press freedom violations, both involving news photographers who – on separate occasions last month, just days apart – were prevented from completing their respective assignments after being manhandled by Nicaraguan security personnel. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Gang Truce Faces Hurdles In El Salvador

September 16, 2013

An experimental “tregua” (truce) signed last year by rival street gangs has cut El Salvador’s horrific homicide numbers by more than half. A remarkable turnaround for a country that until recently had the world’s second highest per capita murder rate, the Salvadoran experience is inspiring similar efforts in Honduras. Guatemalan leaders are taking note as well, prompting some wishful thinkers to contemplate a “second peace” for Central America. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Chile’s Unpopular President Delivers Final State Of The Nation Speech

September 16, 2013

Taking the podium last month for his fourth and final state of the nation speech, President Sebastián Piñera delivered a resounding toot on his own horn, citing an array of facts and figures to make the case that Chileans are better off now than they were when he took office three years ago. The approach looks to have paid dividends: a poll released in early June showed a six-point bump in Piñera’s approval rating. But with Chile’s next election just five months away, the president’s conservative coalition still has some convincing to do if it hopes to stay in power beyond March, when Piñera is set to leave office. Read the rest of this entry ?

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El Salvador’s Mining Opponents Want More Than Just A Moratorium

September 16, 2013

Anti-mining activists have enjoyed a fair share of success in El Salvador, where a five-year-old moratorium on metals extraction continues to keep would be miners at bay. But rather than rest on their laurels, organizations like La Mesa Nacional frente a la Minería Metálica, an influential umbrella group, remain active and alert, lobbying hard for policy changes that, in their opinion, would better protect the country from the still clear and present danger posed by corporate mining interests. Read the rest of this entry ?