Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aug. 8-10: More Women in Mexican Congress; Dominican Republic's Controversial Immigration Law; Brazil to Boost Defense Capability

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SourceMex, August 8, 2012

Increase in Women Elected to Congress in July Improves Mexico's Gender-Equity Ratio

The number of women serving in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate will increase in the next session of Congress as a result of an agreement between the political parties and the electoral court. A total of 183 women will serve in the 500-seat lower house, just short of the 40% target. There will be 42 women serving in the Senate, or about 33% of the total. The totals include both the directly elected legislators and the at-large representatives, who are appointed based on the percentage of the vote received by each party.

Accidents at Two Coal Mines in Coahuila State Renew Safety Concerns

Concerns about safety in Coahuila’s coal mining region resurfaced following two separate explosions at two facilities in the span of 10 days. Only one of the accidents was fatal, but the incident brought reminders of the disaster at the Pasta de Conchos mine in February 2006 and resulted in renewed demands that the mining companies place a higher priority on implementing safety measures.

NotiCen, August 9, 2012

Global Financial Crisis Takes Toll on Central America

In the past few months, the global economy has been increasingly sluggish, mainly as a result of the deep crisis that has hit the eurozone. The report "Central America and the crisis. Can we do more than just wait?" published in March by the Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI) says the global economy will continue its downward spiral due to the European recession and slow economic growth in the US and in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). ICEFI predicts that this year, Central America’s economy will grow by approximately 4%, mainly as a result of steady growth in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

Wave of Haitian Migrants Causes Tensions with Dominican Republic

For many years, migration has caused friction between the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti. In an attempt to reach a solution, former President Leonel Fernández (1996-2000, 2004-2012) ratified a new immigration law in late 2011, which had been debated for several years. However, both human rights groups and business organizations have argued that the new law, which went into full effect on June 1, is so draconian that it is unfeasible.

NotiSur, August 10, 2012

Ecuadoran Government Will Modify Laws to Favor Mining

It has become customary for large transnational mining companies to pressure governments to modify national legislation to suit company interests. However, this was not expected to happen in Ecuador since its Constitution specifically protects the rights of nature and is very clear on the control the state must have of extractive activities as well as on the state's share of earnings from this industry. In July, the Ecuadoran government caved in to pressure from the Canadian company Kinross Gold Corporation and sent the Asamblea Nacional a package of reforms to the mining law (Ley de Minería) and the internal tax law.

Brazil Plans to Expand Defense Industry

After consolidating its economy and moving to a prominent position on the world stage during the eight-year administration of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2002-2010), Brazil under the leadership of President Dilma Rousseff has begun to think and act like a major global player. It is now the world's sixth-largest economy, and both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the British Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predict that by 2015 it will overtake France to become the fifth-largest economy, topped only by China, the US, Japan, and Germany.

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