Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Rio, the Olympic City, Is a Hub for Progress in Brazil

If you walk today through Complexo do Alemão—an enormous Rio de Janeiro shantytown, or favela, that was once the frequent scene of gun battles—you can see the changes.  Last Christmas eve, the Brazilian Symphony performed a classical music concert in the community that, until recently, was so dangerous that police were afraid to enter it. … Read more


Protests Continue as Brazilian Real Reaches Four-Year-Low

The real depreciated to a four-year low (R$2.1815 per U.S. dollar) on  Tuesday as protests against corruption and bad governance continued to swell in the streets of 12 Brazilian cities. The real has declined 9 percent since March forcing the Central Bank to take action to reduce inflationary pressure. While the Brazilian police were preventing … Read more


Opposition Journalist’s Corruption Investigation Highlights Argentine Media Fight

With his signature in-your-face style, influential Argentine opposition journalist Jorge Lanata continued his quest on Sunday night to single-handedly take down the Argentine government. Since April, Lanata’s weekly Sunday night news program, “Periodismo Para Todos” (Journalism for All–PPT)  has aggressively reported on allegations that businessmen close to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her … Read more


Monday Memo: Brazilian Protests – Ecuador Media Law – FARC Negotiations – U.S. Immigration – Patiño in London

Top stories this week are likely to include: Brazilian protests expand across the country; Ecuador approves a controversial new media law; FARC negotiators aspire to Northern Ireland-style ceasefire; U.S. Senator Marco Rubio says immigration bill needs to contain stronger border security provisions; Ecuador’s foreign minister travels to London. Brazilian Protests Grow: Hundreds of protesters gathered … Read more


Brazilian Protestors Say It’s Not Just About the Price of A Bus Ride

“The love ran out. It’s going to turn into Turkey here,” chanted thousands of protestors as they moved down Rio Branco Avenue in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, closing the downtown’s main thoroughfare to traffic as three police helicopters swam overhead. When Rio’s protestors returned home from Rio’s State Legislative Assembly after one arrest … Read more


Bolivian and Chilean Representatives Meet at The Hague

On Wednesday, representatives of the Bolivian and Chilean governments met for the first time at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for a preliminary meeting to establish the timetable and other details for a case around a long-standing disagreement over the countries’ maritime borders. Bolivia filed a formal lawsuit against Chile with … Read more


Argentine Farmers Announce Five-Day Strike

Four of Argentina’s main farm associations announced on Tuesday a five-day commercial strike that will begin this weekend to protest the Argentine government’s market regulations. Argentine farmers, one of the largest global providers of food, will stop selling livestock and grain from Saturday, June 15, through Wednesday, June 19.  The strike is motivated by rising … Read more


Monday Memo: Venezuelan Audit – Humala Visits U.S. – Guantánamo – Protests in Brazil – Nicaragua Canal

Top stories this week are likely to include: Venezuela’s CNE confirms April’s presidential election results; President Humala arrives in the United States; U.S. senators visit Guantánamo prison; Brazil’s FUNAI director resigns amid Indigenous protests; Nicaraguan Congress expected to vote on building a canal. Venezuelan Audit Backs April Election Results: Venezuela’s Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral … Read more


Progress Overshadows Setbacks for LGBTI Rights in Brazil

In recent months, Brazil has been portrayed increasingly as a beacon of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in Latin America. It received international praise after the Conselho Nacional de Justiça (National Council of Justice—CNJ) released a decision ordering the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country. Soon after, it garnered … Read more


Presidents Obama and Piñera Renew Push for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chilean counterpart, Sebastian Piñera, met at the White House to discuss economic development, trade and their commitment to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a free trade agreement being negotiated among 11 Pacific Rim countries. This was President Piñera’s first official visit to the White House. Both heads of state … Read more


Tsunami Case Haunts Bachelet’s Campaign for Chilean Presidency

The latest twist to an ongoing case could see former Chilean president and current candidate Michelle Bachelet investigated by the public prosecutor—but has the media blown it out of proportion, and does the Chilean public care? Santiago, Chile—When Socialist head of state Michelle Bachelet handed over Chile’s presidential sash to billionaire Sebastián Piñera on March … Read more


Biden in Brazil: Let’s Do Business

After a busy two days in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden departed yesterday afternoon for Brasília, where he meets today with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Vice President Michel Temer. While Biden’s visit partly touched on issues of public security—he toured the Santa Marta favela, the first community in Rio to have … Read more


Chilean President Makes First Official U.S. Visit

Today, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera begins a week-long trip through through the hemisphere, making his first official visit to the United States since he took office in 2010. He will also travel to Canada, El Salvador and Panama. Piñera’s visit comes as the Obama administration has displayed a more visible interest in boosting ties with … Read more


Vice President Biden to Discuss Energy Cooperation in Brazil

After visiting Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago this week, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden began a three day tour of Brazil today that is expected to focus largely on energy cooperation and economic growth. Biden’s first stop on his tour is Rio de Janeiro. While there, the vice president will address energy-sector business leaders, tour … Read more


New Trends in Latin American Migrant Remittances

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) reports this month that Latin America and the Caribbean received an estimated $61.3 million in migrant remittances in 2012.  In the new study, “Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean 2012: Differing Behavior Across Subregions,” the MIF suggests that the weak economic recovery experienced in major remittance-sending markets such as … Read more

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