Thursday, April 25, 2013

Slow Progress in Colombia Peace Process; Panama Tax Haven for Germans; Questions about Press Prize for Veracruz Governor

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Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for April 24-26

Colombian Government, Rebels Struggle to Keep Peace Process On Track
Just when the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrilla Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) were showing clear signs of progress toward signing an agreement to end a half century of armed conflict, "those who live off war"--as the president called critics who contend that such social conflicts can only be explained using military language--made several alarmist statements aimed at destroying the dialogue taking place in Havana, Cuba. Spokespersons for the government and the rebels had made it known that in May they might announce an agreement on the first of six points--the agrarian issue--included in the conversations begun in November 2012.   -Andrés Gaudín   Read More

Cuba's Food and Sugar Production Remain Below Expectations Despite Reforms
Obtaining food remains a cause for daily concern in Cuban homes because of insufficient domestic food production despite agricultural reforms and plans of President Raúl Castro’s government to spend a record US$1.9 billion this year for purchases on the international market, where prices have increased dramatically.   -Daniel Vázquez   Read More

Panama Becomes Tax Haven for Wealthy Germans
Some of Germany’s richest families, including the Porsche and Jacobs families, have opted for registering their businesses in Panama, a country where tax loopholes persist, revealed German daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung in a report published in March. The newspaper obtained the information from British hacker Dan O’Huiginn, who published data regarding German multimillionaires who had registered their companies in Panama on his blog.   -Louisa Reynolds  Read More

Questions Arise About Veracruz Governor’s Commitment to Protect Journalists
The weekly news magazine Proceso and the administration of Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte Ochoa are at the center of the latest controversy involving the plight of journalists in Mexico. The controversy began on April 10, when Duarte announced that authorities had detained Jorge Antonio Hernández Silva, who was alleged to have killed Proceso reporter Regina Martínez in the state capital of Xalapa in April 2012. Under normal circumstances, Hernández Silva’s arrest would be a significant development in a country where authorities at all levels have failed to solve the murders of dozens of journalists. But a Proceso investigation raised strong questions about the arrest, primarily the inadequate evidence presented against Hernández Silva, a drug addict who was semi-homeless. -Carlos Navarro    Read More

State-run Oil Company PEMEX Inaugurates Electricity-Generating Plant in Tabasco State
In 2003, the Mexican Senate approved changes to the Constitution to allow state-run oil company PEMEX to produce its own electricity, and the decision appears to be paying off. Since that time, PEMEX has constructed a handful of small power plants to supply the oil company with electricity, but the largest project to date was a cogeneration facility inaugurated in April 2013, 10 years after the reform was approved. The plant--in the CPG Nuevo Pemex complex in Tabasco state, just outside of the capital city of Villahermosa—has the capacity to produce 300 megawatts of electricity and as much as 800 tons of steam per hour . -Carlos Navarro  Read More

Pardons Again on Political Agenda in Peru
In April, the hot topic in media news coverage was pardons, and the issue was firmly on the country's political agenda as well. A possible humanitarian pardon for convicted ex-President Alberto Fujimori was receiving extensive news coverage as were allegations that former President Alan García (1985-1990, 2006-2011) pardoned convicted drug traffickers. -Elsa Chanduví Jaña  Read More

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