Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro invited opposition leaders to the presidential palace on Wednesday for a peace conference in an effort to quell the worst unrest in in the country in a decade that has claimed 13 lives thus far

Widespread protests continue for a thirteenth consecutive day in Venezuela as the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, faces increasing criticism—some of it from within his own ranks—for how he has handled the unfolding crisis.

Likely top stories this week: Venezuelans seek a solution to the escalating political conflict; Ecuadorians vote in municipal elections; young immigrants demand action from U.S. President Barack Obama; Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says his e-mails were hacked; the U.S. seeks to extradite “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Venezuela will deploy military units to San Cristobal, Táchira, where demonstrators continue to protest the arrest of opposition leader Lepoldo López, government officials announced today.

Venezuelan opposition leaders have condemned President Nicolas Maduro’s government for the violent backlash to what started as peaceful student protests last week.

Con una inflación de 56%, un índice de escasez de alimentos básicos en 26,2%, una tasa de homicidio de 70 asesinatos por cada 100 mil habitantes, y un dólar que se cambia en el mercado negro por un precio siete veces mayor al valor oficial, Venezuela inicia 2014 con una crisis política que, temporalmente, parece opacar los problemas económicos y sociales que se han agudizado en el último quinquenio.

Today, Caracas will be the site of yet another round of political protests. This time, the protests will be far from spontaneous. They will concentrate in two opposing marches that will take city streets simultaneously.

Student-organized protests against the Nicolás Maduro Administration turned violent yesterday when pro-government groups began shooting into the crowd in Caracas.

Likely top stories this week: Self-defense forces take over in Apatzingan, Michoacán; currency controls threaten Venezuelan newspapers; stadium construction workers may go on strike in Manaus; Obama's pending decision on the Keystone Pipeline; nine people are killed in Petén, Guatemala.

Across Latin America, military-led anticrime strategies are losing ground to newer concepts such as community policing.

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