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Rule of Law & Transparency
Colombia's <i>pimpineros</i> struggle to survive in the shadowy, violent world of border gas smuggling.

Likely top stories this week: results in the race for governor of Baja California; protests over legislation in Peru; Costa Rica approves same-sex civil unions; Brazil responds to surveillance reports; and UNASUR divided over Evo Morales’ flight interruptions.

Responding to weeks of protests in over 100 Brazilian cities against corruption and government spending, President Dilma Rousseff sent Congress a proposal package on Tuesday, which included a referendum to make the country’s political system more representative.

The continued demonstrations reflect broad popular concern for the need to improve social equality.

On Wednesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court upheld a corruption conviction against a former congressman and sentenced him to prison—the first time a congressman has been imprisoned since the 1988 constitution was put in place.

On Friday, Human rights organizations across Latin America will take to the streets to protest the May 20 decision by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court to overturn the genocide conviction of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. The Guatemalan general was sentenced to 80 years in prison on May 10 for ordering the deaths of at least 1,771 members of the Ixil Maya ethnic group during his 1982–1983 rule.

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