Brazil’s Former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci Arrested as Part of Corruption Investigation

Brazil’s Former Finance Minister Antonio Palocci Arrested as Part of Corruption Investigation

SÃO PAULO—Brazilian police arrested former Chief of Staff and Finance Minister Antonio Palocci on Monday, as the country’s sprawling anticorruption investigation expands to more high officials from the administrations of ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff. Mr. Palocci was arrested in his home in São Paulo on allegations that he favored construction company Odebrecht SA in contracts with state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, and that he and members of his political party benefited financially from ...  

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENTS OF EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, AND HONDURAS, AND THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENTS OF EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, AND HONDURAS, AND THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The presidents of El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Cerén; Guatemala, Jimmy Morales; and Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez; and the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, met at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. on September 23, 2016 to follow up on progress in addressing regional migration, security, governance, and economic challenges within the framework of the Northern Triangle governments’ Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity and the United States Strategy for Engagement in Central America, with the goal ...  

For Colombia, a flawed peace is better than war

For Colombia, a flawed peace is better than war

By Andrés Martínez-Fernández

September 26, 2016

On Oct. 2, Colombians will vote on whether to approve or reject a flawed peace agreement reached by the government and the FARC narco-terror group.

While generally praised by the international community for his efforts to secure peace for Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos has been criticized by some for investing virtually all of his energy into securing an agreement, while deprioritizing important challenges such as tax reform, poverty and ...  

US’ Lew Praises Argentina Reforms, Offers Tax Help

US’ Lew Praises Argentina Reforms, Offers Tax Help

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday issued a stamp of approval to Argentina’s economic reform efforts and said the United States would try to expedite the exchange of tax data that could help Argentina repatriate overseas assets.

Lew, in the first visit by a U.S. treasury secretary to Argentina since 2002, told Reuters that he believed that U.S. support for President Mauricio Macri’s business-oriented reforms can help shore up support from both financial markets and the Argentine public.

“With Argentina, there ...  

John Kerry tells Maduro he’s ‘deeply concerned’ with situation in Venezuela

John Kerry tells Maduro he’s ‘deeply concerned’ with situation in Venezuela

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he is “deeply concerned” about escalating political tensions in Venezuela as he held his first official meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The two met in Cartagena, Colombia, following the signing of Colombia’s historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and rebels with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

“We’re very, very concerned for the people of Venezuela, for the level of conflict, starvation, lack of medicine,” Kerry told reporters ahead of ...  

Santos Sets a Trap for Colombians

Santos Sets a Trap for Colombians

The paradox of Obama foreign policy is that its compromises with enemies of liberty in the interest of peace are leaving the world more violent, polarized and dangerous. This is especially true in Latin America.

On Oct. 2, Colombia will hold a plebiscite to ask the nation to approve or reject an Obama-backed agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization. The deal gives the FARC ...  

Venezuela opposition at crossroads as 2016 recall hopes fade

Venezuela opposition at crossroads as 2016 recall hopes fade

Venezuela is in terrible shape. Two-thirds of voters say in polls they want President Nicolas Maduro gone amid worsening shortages and inflation. It seems like the job of the opposition would be easy.

But critics of the country’s 17-year-old socialist government are reeling after elections officials torpedoed their primary political effort for the year — a campaign to recall Maduro and hold an early presidential election.

Electoral officials said last week that the opposition could go ahead and try to trigger the ...  

Colombian president to sign peace deal with Farc rebels today

Colombian president to sign peace deal with Farc rebels today

The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, and the Marxist rebel leader Timochenko will sign a deal on Monday ending a half-century war that has killed a quarter of a million people, stymied the economy and made Colombia a byword for violence.

After four years of negotiations in Havana, Santos, 65, and Timochenko, a nom de guerre for the 57-year-old revolutionary, will shake hands for the first time on Colombian soil in front of world leaders.

Their deal to end Latin America’s longest-running ...  

Traders Skeptical Mexico Can Avoid Downgrade As Debt Surges

Traders are growing increasingly pessimistic about Mexico’s ability to stave off a credit-rating downgrade.

It costs 0.23 percentage point more to insure Mexico’s bonds against nonpayment than debt from lower-rated Panama, based on trading in credit-default swaps. That’s the most in six years. Mexico is also more costly to protect against default than Peru, which shares the same A3 rating from Moody’s Investors Service, four levels above junk, and the BBB+ from S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

Mexico is struggling to ...  

ROYCE, ENGEL STATEMENT ON VENEZUELAN OBSTRUCTION OF RECALL REFERENDUM PROCESS

ROYCE, ENGEL STATEMENT ON VENEZUELAN OBSTRUCTION OF RECALL REFERENDUM PROCESS

WASHINGTON—House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) released the following statement on efforts by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the country’s National Electoral Council to block a constitutionally mandated presidential recall referendum from taking place this year:

“By blocking efforts to hold a recall referendum this year, President Maduro and the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) are standing on the wrong side of history. Out of an obvious fear of facing the Venezuelan ...  

Chief FARC negotiator: Peace in Colombia is difficult without amnesty

Chief FARC negotiator: Peace in Colombia is difficult without amnesty

Fighters must be given amnesty if peace in Colombia is to succeed, the rebels’ chief negotiator told CNN en Español.

“Without this law, well, it is very difficult for the guerillas to begin their movement into the peace zones or to the transitional points for normalization,” Ivan Marquez told Fernando Ramos in an exclusive interview.

Marquez said “assurances” were vital if the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were to lay down their weapons to end the continent’s longest-running war. But he ...  

Venezuela’s Regional Oil Diplomacy Cools as Crisis Looms Large

Venezuela’s Regional Oil Diplomacy Cools as Crisis Looms Large

Plagued by triple-digit inflation, political turmoil and a recession, OPEC member Venezuela has scaled back an 11-year program that allows its allies in the Caribbean and Central America to buy its oil at subsidized prices.

Latin America’s largest oil exporter has been favoring shipments to Asia and the U.S. while trimming sales to Petrocaribe, a program in which Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, sells oil to members under low-cost financing, Mara Roberts, a New York-based analyst at BMI ...  

Socialism’s left Venezuela a ‘walking dead’ nation

Socialism’s left Venezuela a ‘walking dead’ nation

Here’s socialism at its finest: Venezuela is now forced to import oil from the United States, the devil in the eyes of the regime.

Yes, the South American energy powerhouse is still pumping 2.4 million barrels a day on its own — but that’s a million barrels below the level before Hugo Chavez took over in 1999, and down 350,000 barrels from just last year.

Worse, production in key fields has reduced the state to buying 50,000 barrels a day of US ...  

U.S. shifts Haiti deportation policy, and gives a warning

U.S. shifts Haiti deportation policy, and gives a warning

The U.S. Department of Homeland and Security has a warning to undocumented Haitians enroute to its southwestern border with Mexico — turn around. Otherwise, you will be deported back to Haiti.

After a six-year moratorium on deportations to the earthquake-scarred country, the Obama administration is resuming them, citing “improved conditions in Haiti” since the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake and “a significant increase in Haitians arriving at the Southwest border in San Diego, Calif.”

“The United States has recently witnessed a sharp ...  

Hugo Chávez’s Dream Is Dead but His Fanatics Refuse to Fade Away

Hugo Chávez’s Dream Is Dead but His Fanatics Refuse to Fade Away

The judge is shaking. Never mind that she’s sitting in her office dressed with the tasteful elegance of a jurist, a large painting of Venezuela’s national hero, Simón Bolívar, on one wall, watercolors on another. She’s just returned from an event at the Supreme Court, which should be a monument to the objective application of law. But the gathering was a political rally with singing and dancing and a fervently applauded speech about the need to emasculate the nation’s legislative ...  

Venezuela election board sinks push for Maduro referendum in 2016

Venezuela election board sinks push for Maduro referendum in 2016

Venezuela’s national election board on Wednesday dashed opposition hopes of holding a referendum this year to remove unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

If the opposition next month successfully collects 20 percent of total voter signatures requesting the plebiscite, then it “could take place halfway through the first quarter of 2017,” the board said in a statement.

The timing is crucial because if Maduro were to lose a referendum this year, as polls indicate he would because of an economic crisis, that would ...  

Obama praises the peace efforts of Colombia as ‘historic’

Obama praises the peace efforts of Colombia as ‘historic’

President Barack Obama is praising the peace accord in Colombia as an “achievement of historic proportions.” Obama says the U.S. is proud to have played a modest part in encouraging the talks that led to the breakthrough deal to end the Western hemisphere’s longest-running war.

Obama noted the deal faces challenges in implementation, including approval by the Colombian people in an October referendum. Obama made the remarks at a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The leaders met on the ...  

Nicolás Maduro: Lacking Oil Cash and Panache, He Will Face Skeptics

Nicolás Maduro: Lacking Oil Cash and Panache, He Will Face Skeptics

Flush with oil money and political bravado, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela used his United Nations platform a decade ago to call George W. Bush the devil. Mr. Chávez’s successor as president, Nicolás Maduro, faces vastly changed fortunes before his General Assembly speech.

In some ways, Mr. Maduro must simply assure supporters that the region’s leftist shift survives. From Brazil to Argentina, left-wing leaders have fallen, and Venezuela’s Socialist-inspired revolution is struggling because of the country’s economic disaster, aggravated by the collapse ...  

Venezuela has solved its hunger problem? Don’t believe the U.N.’s numbers.

Venezuela has solved its hunger problem? Don’t believe the U.N.’s numbers.

Hunger is one of the world’s most pressing development problems. It should have been great news when the United Nations announced at the close of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that 72 countries had cut their hunger rates in half since 1990. The problem? We haven’t decided what “hunger” is, nor is there agreement on how to measure it. This means that the United Nations’ old goal of cutting world hunger in half, and its new goal of achieving ‘zero ...  

Honduran president seeks to create jobs to deal with gangs

Honduran president seeks to create jobs to deal with gangs

President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who declared war on street gangs when he took office in 2014, is now seeking to attract investment to create jobs, attacking Honduras’s gang problem from another angle.

The plan has won the support of the presidents of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, and El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who will join Hernandez for a meeting in Washington with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday.

The meeting, Hernandez told EFE in an interview, aims “to bring in private sector ...  

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS

WAC Philadelphia: Latin America’s Role in 2017 and Beyond, feat. José R. Cárdenas

Promo for CNN's AC360°: "Passports in the shadows", feat. Roger Noriega

Ambassador Roger Noriega on PBS NewsHour discussing U.S.-Mexico relations under Trump

José Cárdenas Interview with Opinion Journal: "Hungry in Venezuela"

Ambassador Noriega Analyzes President Obama’s visit to Cuba on PBS’ ‘Newshour’

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.