Thursday, August 29, 2013

Energy-Reform Debate Set to Begin in Mexico; Peru President Humala's Popularity Plunges: Dominican President Medina Complets One Year in Office

(Subscription required to read full articles. Click here for subscription information)

Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for August 28-30

Governing Party, Center-Left Opposition Offer Plans for Energy Reform
The chips are on the table now that the governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and the opposition center-left Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) have rolled out their proposals to overhaul Mexico’s energy sector. The conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) revealed its plan in July. The three proposals have a common goal—to ensure that any reforms to Mexico’s energy sector provide enough revenue to modernize the state-run energy companies, primarily oil company PEMEX, but also the electric utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The three parties also share another proposal: a national petroleum fund that would administer future oil and gas profits. While some common ground exists in the three proposals, the major differences are on how modernization would be funded.  -Carlos Navarro    Read More

Peru's President Ollanta Humala Sees Popularity Plummet
President Ollanta Humala began the third year of his term on July 28 isolated politically, with the lowest approval rating since he took office and facing constant social protests against his administration. In the latest Ipsos national urban poll commissioned by the daily El Comercio in August, Humala's approval rating fell to 29%, four percentage points lower than in July, when it had dropped eight points; since April Humala's approval rating has declined 22 points, based on previous Ipsos polls. In the most recent poll, 64% of respondents said they disapprove of Humala "because he does not fulfill his promises/lies"; 53% "because of crime/a lack of citizen security"; and 38% "because prices are rising." At the same time, 38% believe "there is corruption in his administration" and 32% "that he has appointed the wrong people to public positions." -Elsa Chanduví Jaña  Read More

Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina’s Year of Promises
A year after President Danilo Medina took office, polls show that a majority of those surveyed approve of his administration. Despite worsening problems such as poverty and the high cost of living, the polls appear to show that Medina still enjoys considerable approval from his support base. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says that, between 1991 and 2012, the country’s GDP has increased by 5.6%. This is above the region’s average of 3.3% and, says the IDB, it has been made possible thanks to "a stable political and social climate." Nevertheless, the IDB also points out that the country’s public finances are in a vulnerable state because of low taxation (particularly tax breaks), the impact from natural disasters, and transfers made to fund public services, such as electrical energy.   -Crosby Girón     Read More

Venezuela's Polarization Shows No Signs of Subsiding
Venezuelan political leaders say that 82% of citizens believe that political polarization is harming the country and that the leaders of the governing Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) and the opposition Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD) should negotiate a new status quo to ensure a harmonious coexistence. The government and the opposition continue to resort to insults and disparagement whenever they refer to each other. Against this backdrop, all national sectors--politicians, business people, and workers--see the government and the opposition continuing to write new chapters in a narrative that has pushed the stability of the country to the brink. -Andrés Gaudín Read More

Snubbed by Major Cell Phone Companies, Zapotec Community in Oaxaca Installs Own Telephone System
Isolated from the outside world because of a lack of telephone infrastructure, residents of the remote community of Villa Talea de Castro in Oaxaca state began efforts in 2008 to convince the major telecommunications companies to bring cellular telephone service to the village. The residents were rebuffed repeatedly, as the cellular companies, including industry giant América Móvil, declined because the venture would be unprofitable. After repeated rejection from Telcel and other companies, residents of Villa Talea de Castro decided to explore other alternatives to install a means of communication. With the help of indigenous organizations, civic groups, and universities installed its own cell-phone system.  -Carlos Navarro   Read More

The Long Battle to Eradicate Homophobia in Belize
Activists are seeking to change Article 53 of the Belizean Constitution, which declares gay relationships unlawful, on the grounds that it is an infringement of basic human rights. Caleb Orozco, a health educator and president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is now leading a legal crusade to prove that Article 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, which states that every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years, violates basic human rights. The National Aids Commission also favors the changes, but there is fierce opposition from Catholic and Protestant religious organizations. -Louisa Reynolds    Read More

No comments:

Post a Comment