Rafael Correa

This week's likely top stories: Ecuador's National Assembly dismisses referendum on controversial constitutional amendments; Argentina suspends Proctor & Gamble for fiscal fraud; Brazil grants contracts for 31 new solar parks; U.S. gears up for midterm elections and immigration reform; Colombian court sentences AUC paramilitary leader to 8 years.

Earlier this month, President Rafael Correa abandoned the novel Yasuní-ITT initiative, which was launched in 2007 to keep the oil underground.

Without dismissing the dangers that the U.S. government’s surveillance program poses to freedom worldwide, the Snowden affair has only cast a light again on Correa’s own failure to promote freedom of expression in Ecuador.

Voters in Ecuador on Sunday will decide whether to give President Rafael Correa of the PAIS Alliance (Alianza Patria Altiva y Soberana - Alianza PAIS) another term on Sunday, with the latest opinion polls giving him a 40 percentage point lead over his opponents for the presidential election.

Top stories this week are likely to include: President Obama discusses immigration reform in the State of the Union; Ecuador prepares for presidential and congressional elections; Colombia and FARC make progress in peace negotiations, Venezuela’s currency devaluation goes into effect; and Mexican farmers begin to release suspected criminals in negotiations with Guerrero state.

Election season got under way today in Ecuador as eight presidential candidates took to the streets and rallied supporters to campaign for the February 17 presidential and congressional elections. 

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa traveled to Argentina on Monday to receive an award from the Universidad de la Plata in La Plata, Argentina, recognizing his contributions to freedom of expression in Ecuador.

Top stories this week are likely to include: the United States heads to the polls; Puerto Rico decides on status; Michel Martelly requests emergency aid; and Rafael Correa gets re-nominated for president.

At a press conference Thursday, former El Universo journalist Emilio Palacio, of Ecuador, announced that he had been granted political asylum in the U.S. after waiting seven months.

Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will arrive in Ecuador tomorrow to begin discussions with President Rafael Correa over his government’s decision not to participate in last month’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

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