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Uruguay
The IDB tackles climate change at the municipal level.

Last Tuesday, Uruguayan’s Senate approved a bill in which the State will regulate the production and sale of marijuana and allow citizens to grow the plant at home.

Likely top stories this week: Gay marriage begins in Uruguay; Venezuela is not invited to the Paraguayan president’s inauguration; Amnesty International demands the release of Cuban prisoners; U.S. Republicans reject Senate approach to immigration reform; Brazilian police officers are sentenced for the 1992 Carandiru massacre.

The United Nations International Narcotics Board (INCB) issued a statement on Thursday urging Uruguay to not implement legislation that would make it the first country in the world to create and regulate a legal marijuana market.

A summit of Mercosur countries—a regional bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Venezuela as full members with Paraguay suspended from the group—will convene tomorrow in Montevideo to discuss Paraguay’s possible re-admission to the group as Venezuela takes the helm of the South American trade bloc.

Top stories this week: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff responds to national protests; U.S. Senate votes on immigration reform; Colombian coca farmers clash with police; Uruguay upholds abortion; Judicial leaders meet in Bolivia; Ecuador considers asylum request.

On the heels of Uruguay’s Congressional decision on Tuesday to legalize gay marriage, the country embarks on another bold decision today as it begins a three-month public debate over legalizing marijuana.  President José Mujica presented a bill to Congress in November that will be voted on in June, after both proponents and opponents have made their cases to the public. 

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