<a href="LINK">Economists Think Brazil Will Get Downgraded to Junk in the Next Few Years</a>

Economists Think Brazil Will Get Downgraded to Junk in the Next Few Years

From another economic recession to a juicy corruption scandal embroiling President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has had a tough 2015. It’s now looking down the barrel of another likely event: a junk rating of its government bonds. …

 

<a href="http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21660569-south-american-union-faces-test-venezuela-edifice-search-function">An edifice in search of a function: The South American Union faces a test in Venezuela</a>

An edifice in search of a function: The South American Union faces a test in Venezuela

AT MITAD DEL MUNDO (“Middle of the World”), a park in an Andean valley outside Quito, Ecuador’s capital, a stone monument marks the line of the equator. Just a couple of hundred metres to the south rises a striking new building clad in silver and black glass, its two cantilevered wings describing a U. It is the headquarters of the South American Union, or Unasur, opened last year. …

 

<a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33813695">Peru admits Shining Path rebels have not been ‘exterminated’</a>

Peru admits Shining Path rebels have not been ‘exterminated’

The Peruvian government has admitted that the Shining Path Maoist rebel group is still in existence. “We cannot say this terrorist group has been exterminated,” said Defence Minister Jakke Valakivi. “It is much weakened, of course, but it continues to operate.” …

 

<a href="http://colombiareports.com/farc-truce-fails-to-curb-colombias-pessimism-over-peace-talks/">FARC truce fails to curb Colombia’s pessimism over peace talks</a>

FARC truce fails to curb Colombia’s pessimism over peace talks

Colombia’s urban dwellers continue to be highly pessimistic about the outcome of ongoing peace talks with FARC rebels despite concrete steps to deescalate the conflict, according to a recent poll. …

 

<a href="LINK">‘Cártel de Sinaloa’ creció, incluso con ‘El Chapo’ preso</a>

‘Cártel de Sinaloa’ creció, incluso con ‘El Chapo’ preso

Por Zorayda Gallegos y Silber Meza

Antes de su segunda fuga de un penal de máxima seguridad realizada el 11 de julio pasado, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán pasó un año, cuatro meses y 17 días internado en el Centro Federal de Readaptación Social de El Altiplano, en el Estado de México, y en ese lapso su cártel creció su presencia de seis a siete estados, y aumentó de ocho a 10 el número de grupos criminales a su servicio. …

 

<a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/08/06/former-argentinian-president-goes-to-trial-over-14-bombing-jewish-center/?intcmp=hplnws">Former Argentinian president goes to trial over 1994 bombing of Jewish center</a>

Former Argentinian president goes to trial over 1994 bombing of Jewish center

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (AP) –  On the home page of Argentina’s largest Jewish community center is a counter that keeps track of the “days of impunity” since a bomb ripped through the organization’s central building, causing it to collapse and leaving 85 dead amid the rubble. …

 

<a href="http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2015/08/06/john-kerry-george-shultz-and-the-kerry-visit-to-cuba/">Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’</a>

Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’

Since the opening of diplomatic relations and of the Cuban embassy in Washington, what’s been going on in Cuba? More repression. There were 630 political arrests in June, according to the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights. …

 

<a href="http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-officials-state-depts-politicized-trafficking-report-could-kill-credibility/">Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’</a>

Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’

Accusations that the State Department watered down its report on human trafficking for political reasons threaten to undermine the agency’s credibility and promotion of human rights, according to former department officials. …

 

Hablemos claro sobre Venezuela

Hablemos claro sobre Venezuela

Por Roger F. Noriega

Durante años, el presidente Obama hizo caso omiso mientras el gobierno de Venezuela destruía la economía y democracia de ese país. Ahora que el régimen está en una espiral de muerte, Obama podría empeorar la situación al darle oxígeno a líderes corruptos en Caracas que han dilapidado al país y lo han transformado de ser un viejo aliado en una nueva amenaza.

La administración “está trabajando para mejorar las relaciones [con Venezuela], impulsados ​​por la preocupación de que ...  

Obama’s failed ‘charm offensive’ in Venezuela

Obama’s failed ‘charm offensive’ in Venezuela

By Roger F. Noriega

For years, President Obama stood by and did nothing as Venezuela’s leaders wrecked that country’s economy and democracy. Now that the regime is in a death spiral, Obama may actually make things worse by buying time for the corrupt leaders in Caracas who have looted the country and transformed an old ally into a new threat.

The administration “is working to improve relations [with Venezuela], driven by concern that upheaval ...  

<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6f41d49888174b45857d34511fda1caf/apnewsbreak-email-leak-suggests-ecuador-spied-opposition">APNewsBreak: Email leak suggests Ecuador spied on opposition</a>

APNewsBreak: Email leak suggests Ecuador spied on opposition

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Ecuadorean opposition activist Dr. Carlos Figueroa was being pursued by the state when his email and Facebook accounts were hacked. Several dozen of his colleagues have similarly had their digital lives violated. All blamed President Rafael Correa’s government, but no one had proof.

 

<a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/08/06/venezuela-critics-under-threat">Venezuela: Critics Under Threat</a>

Venezuela: Critics Under Threat

(New York) – The government of President Nicolás Maduro and its political supporters in parliament are misusing the criminal justice system to punish people for criticizing its policies, Human Rights Watch said today. In addition to the well-publicized arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of opposition politicians, Venezuelan authorities have brought criminal charges or threatened to open criminal investigations against dozens of lesser-known critics over the past year. … 

 

<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-06/billionaire-mottas-try-getting-trapped-money-out-of-venezuela">Billionaire Mottas Try Getting Trapped Money Out of Venezuela</a>

Billionaire Mottas Try Getting Trapped Money Out of Venezuela

Stanley Motta, chairman of Copa Holdings SA, asked Venezuela to free up $470 million of the airline’s revenue that’s trapped in the country by turning it into bonds that can be paid over time. …

 

<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:16b76d972305455dbe60c5866efe2a83">Poll shows Brazil president approval rating at rock bottom</a>

Poll shows Brazil president approval rating at rock bottom

SAO PAULO (AP) — A new poll published Thursday shows Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating at a new low and a growing number of people favoring her impeachment. …

 

Crimen Organizado diezma cooperación anti drogas en Latinoamérica

Crimen Organizado diezma cooperación anti drogas en Latinoamérica

Por Roger F. Noriega

El alcance e impacto de la delincuencia organizada en las Américas ha crecido profundamente en las últimas décadas. Organizaciones criminales han adoptado las prácticas y la tecnología de una economía globalizada para construir redes transnacionales. En América Latina, la cooperación antidrogas—caracterizada por el avance de la estrategia de seguridad y desarrollo apoyada por Estados Unidos conocida como “Plan Colombia”—ha sido desmantelada en la última década. Un grupo de regímenes anti-estadounidenses, inspirados y financiados por el fallecido líder ...  

<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/06/us-venezuela-looting-idUSKCN0QB21420150806">Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets</a>

Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets

Venezuelan supermarkets are increasingly being targeted by looters as swollen lines and prolonged food shortages spark frustration in the OPEC nation struggling with an economic crisis. …

 

<a href="http://www.thedialogue.org/resources/will-legislative-elections-put-haiti-on-the-right-track/">Will Legislative Elections Put Haiti on the Right Track?</a>

Will Legislative Elections Put Haiti on the Right Track?

Q: Haiti’s electoral council in early July officially opened the campaign season ahead of the long-delayed legislative election scheduled for Aug. 9. Earlier decisions by the Provisional Electoral Council eliminating a number of candidates were controversial, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed a number of bills that would tie U.S. aid to Haiti to free and fair elections. How are Haiti’s elections shaping up? Has enough been done to ensure that they are clean? What role should the United ...  

<a href="http://www.perdue.senate.gov/content/bipartisan-group-senators-call-free-and-fair-elections-haiti">Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Free and Fair Elections in Haiti</a>

Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Free and Fair Elections in Haiti

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are urging President Obama to collaborate with the international community to ensure the Haitian people have the ability to freely and fairly elect their leaders. … 

 

<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/argentina-leader-defends-cabinet-chief-accused-crime-32907849">Argentina Leader Defends Cabinet Chief Accused in Crime</a>

Argentina Leader Defends Cabinet Chief Accused in Crime

Argentina’s president defended her Cabinet chief Wednesday against a media report that implicated him as the mastermind in the killing of three men allegedly connected to an ephedrine trafficking ring. …

 

<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/05/americas/mexico-el-chapo-escape/">Journalist: Documents show Mexico could have foiled ‘El Chapo’ escape</a>

Journalist: Documents show Mexico could have foiled ‘El Chapo’ escape

(CNN)Clues that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was plotting a prison break were seemingly all around, but Mexican officials chose not to act, according to a leading investigative reporter. …

 

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About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.