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Chile

On March 25, Chile’s Interior Ministry declared a state of emergency for cities in the country’s northern Atacama and Antofogasta regions after flash flooding from the worst rains in two decades left at least four people dead and 22 missing.

On Thursday, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced new measures to curb corruption in Chile’s public sector.

This week’s likely top stories: Colombia and FARC agree to clear landmines; Peru recalls ambassador to Chile; Citigroup to sell Central American entities; Puerto Rico debates possible VAT; Chilean officials charged with corruption.

This week’s likely top stories: Peru’s allegations against Chile threaten relations; Panama to address conflict over Barro Blanco; Guatemala and Honduras to eliminate customs duties; São Paulo grapples with drought; Caracas Mayor to appeal conspiracy charges.

The Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (The Union of South American Nations—UNASUR) and the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina (Latin American Development Bank—CAF) announced plans on Tuesday to develop the first fiber optic cable exclusively financed by Latin American institutions. 

The region's tough-on-crime policies have failed. It's time for serious penal and judicial reforms that address rehabilitation as well as punishment.

Likely top stories this week: the deadline passes for children of undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status in the Dominican Republic; U.S. companies stand to lose billions of dollars in Venezuelan currency losses; Michelle Bachelet moves to end Chile’s abortion ban; relatives of Mexico’s 43 missing students meet with UN officials in Geneva; Puerto Rico’s economy continues to suffer.

After a four-year long debate, the Chilean Senate has passed a bill allowing for same-sex unions. The law passed on Wednesday with a vote of 25 to 6, with three abstentions.

Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz said yesterday in a press conference that the country rejected any possible mediation from the Pope in a dispute with Bolivia over sovereign access through Chile to the Pacific Ocean that dates back to the nineteenth century.

The leaders of Chile, Peru and Mexico used their time in Beijing to push for greater Chinese investment back home.

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