Latin America

US Toughens Stance on Haitians Seeking Entry at Border

By Elliot Spagat, Associated Press |

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that it was widening efforts to deport Haitians, a response to thousands of immigrants from the Caribbean nation who have overwhelmed California border crossings with Mexico in recent months.

Suriname President Desire Delano Bouterse (AP Photo/Ertugrul Kilic, File)

Suriname Slides Into Economic Abyss, in Shadow of Venezuela

By Pieter van Maele, Associated Press |

Suriname's economy is in free fall amid collapsing global commodity prices and the local currency's resulting slide against the U.S. dollar.

Brazil President Michel Temer

Temer Vows to Spend Political Capital on Reforming Brazil

By Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg News |

Brazil's President Michel Temer vowed to push ahead with unpopular measures to revive a troubled economy, saying his lack of electoral ambition gives him a free hand to act.

Humberto De la Calle, head of Colombia's government negotiation team. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

Once Little Known, Colombia's Peacemaker Gets Hero's Welcome

By Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

Younger Colombians knew almost nothing about Humberto De la Calle in 2012 when he was named the government's chief peace negotiator for talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Many older Colombians were all but sure his mission to end a half-century of bloodshed would fail.

Tables sit empty at a seaside restaurant along Pampatar beach on Margarita Island, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuela's Resort Island Devastated by Economic Crisis

By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press |

Margarita Island was once mobbed with international tourists who loved the sparkling blue water, fine white sand and flawless sunny days. Now, swimming pools are empty, toilets don't flush and many hotels can't afford to offer meal service.

Carlos Vejar, Mexico's former general counsel for international trade, now with Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office as senior counsel.

Mexico's General Counsel For International Trade Joins Holland & Knight

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The former general counsel for international trade in Mexico's Ministry of Economy has joined Holland & Knight's Mexico City office as senior counsel.

Prosecutors Charge Brazil's Silva 'Commander' of Graft Scheme

By Mauricio Savarese and Peter Prengaman, Associated Press |

Brazilian investigators charged former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with money laundering and corruption, calling him the "maximum commander" of the mammoth graft scandal roiling Latin America's largest nation.

Ventika wind farm in Mexico.

San Diego-Based Sempra International Subsidiary Buys Mexican Wind Farm

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

California-based Sempra International has agreed to a $852 million deal to purchase one of Latin America's largest wind farms in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, from a subsidiary of New York-based Blackstone Group and other partners.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels (AP Photo/Scott Dalton, File)

A Colombian General's Journey to Peace With FARC Rebels

By Cesar Garcia and Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

For 40 years, Army Gen. Javier Florez battled the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Now his mission is to make sure thousands of the rebels are safe as they disarm and return to civilian life under a historic peace deal.

Mercosur's Founding States Give Venezuela a Dec. 1 Deadline

By Associated Press |

The four original nations of South America's Mercosur trading bloc announced that they are giving Venezuela until Dec. 1 to comply with its commitments when it joined in 2012 that it would comply with all the group's requirements.

Dominican Republic Questions Why US Annulled Diplomatic Visa

By Associated Press |

Authorities in the Dominican Republic announced that they will demand an explanation from the U.S. government for why it annulled the diplomatic and tourist visas of the Caribbean country's electoral commission president.

Brazil's former President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Ex-Speaker Latest to Fall in Brazil's Corruption Scandals

By Associated Press |

The once-powerful speaker of Congress' lower house is the latest top politician to fall before the mammoth corruption scandals that have caused widespread anger among Brazilians.

Santiago, Chile

Dancing in Chile to Protest Dictatorship Disappearances

By Eva Vergara, Associated Press |

Violeta Zuniga gets around with a cane because of her knee problems, but nothing can keep the 83-year-old from performing Chile's national dance to protest her partner's disappearance during the country's military dictatorship.

Rebels soldiers of the 32nd Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)

Deep in Colombia Jungle, FARC Rebels Prepare for Peace

By Fernando Vergara, Associated Press |

Traveling deep inside the jungle after a daylong boat journey, I arrived with trepidation and mistrust at the secret camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. A Colombian photojournalist, I was raised in a modest farming family to despise the rebels my relatives characterized as killers. But watching the guerrillas of the FARC's southern bloc go about their daily routine as they prepared for peace I began to see them as regular people like myself.

Brazil President Michel Temer. Photo: ANDRE DUSEK/ESTADAO CONTEUDO (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

With Free-Market Practices, Brazil's Economic Policy Lurches Right

By Peter Millard, Bloomberg News |

Brazil managed to pull off the Rio Summer Olympics and silence the naysayers. Now the country has a bigger act to manage: approve a painful austerity package to help bring on an economic rebound.

Michel Temer, center, receives greetings following his swear-in ceremony as president of Brazil. (Xinhua/Li Ming) (wr) (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

Brazil's Michel Temer Inherits Presidency on Shaky Ground

By Peter Prengaman, Associated Press |

The permanent ouster of deeply unpopular President Dilma Rousseff by Brazil's Senate means that a man who is arguably just as unpopular is now faced with trying to ease the wounds of a divided nation mired in recession.

Joao Roberto Marinho, vice president of Grupo Globo.

Rich Clan Shaping Brazil Narrative Stays Away From Dark Chapter

By Blake Schmidt, Bloomberg News |

Brazil's Marinho clan, with a combined family fortune of $18 billion, is trying to move beyond a past that keeps popping up between the cracks of today's impeachment crisis.

Marvin Quintanilla Ramos (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

In El Salvador, 'Gang Pastor' Alleged to Be Crime Financier

By Marcos Aleman, Associated Press |

Prosecutors allege that Marvin Ramos Quintanilla used his pastoral credentials to access prisons so he could conspire with jailed leaders of the feared Mara Salvatrucha gang.

Mauricio Macri

A $67,000 Home Robbery Exposes $500 Billion Problem in Argentina

By Charlie Devereux, Bloomberg News |

The case of $67,000 stolen from Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti’s house should have ended when her bodyguard was arrested. Instead, prosecutors have shifted to tracing the money’s origin, making her a public example of the challenges President Mauricio Macri’s faces in weaning the country off its reliance on cash, an age-old system that in many instances hides tax evasion.

Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos

Colombia's President Rushing Plebiscite on Deal With Rebels

By Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

Colombia's president is moving fast to hold a plebiscite on a landmark peace deal reached with leftist rebels, as he presented to congress the full text of the accord that he says will end a half-century of bloody combat.

Laurie Holt holds a photograph of her son Josh Holt.

Utah Man Describes 'Nightmare' Conditions in Venezuela Jail

By Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

A Utah man being held in Venezuela on weapons charges described living a "horrible nightmare" of police harassment and recurrent illnesses in his first communication from jail.

Martin Corena, acting commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s southern bloc

Colombian Rebel Leader Calls on US to Free Jailed Comrade

By Fernando Vergara and Sergio Leon, Associated Press |

One of Colombia's most-grizzled and important rebel fighters is calling on President Barack Obama to do more to support peace and to free a guerrilla leader jailed for more than a decade in the United States.

A healthy volunteer receiving the NIAID Zika virus investigational DNA vaccine. (The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via AP)

Volunteers Sought as Race to Develop a Zika Vaccine Heats Up

By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press |

Wanted: Volunteers willing to be infected with the Zika virus for science. It may sound bizarre, but researchers are planning just such a study to help speed development of much-needed Zika vaccines.

Patrick Hickey of the Irish Olympic Committee (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

Irish Olympic Senior Executive Hickey Arrested in Ticket Scheme

By Adriana Gomez Licon and Stephen Wilson, Associated Press |

A senior Olympic executive from Ireland was arrested and taken to the hospital after police raided his beachfront hotel as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of tickets for the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Raul Castro

Cuba Releases New Economic Guidelines Without Major Changes

By Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press |

Cuba's ruling Communist Party released a new set of economic guidelines that emphasize the slow-moving and limited nature of the country's reforms amid a sharp national economic downturn.

At Mexico's Lone Gun Store, Even the Boss Discourages Sales

By Nick Wagner, Associated Press |

There's just one place in all of Mexico where you can legally buy a gun. It's tucked away in an anonymous building on an army base in the capital, staffed by soldiers.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio De Janeiro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

DLA Piper's Brazil Affiliate Campos Mello Boosts Energy, Employment Practices With 11 Hires

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The 11 lawyers, including four partners, come mostly from an arm of Mayer Brown and will work on Campos Mello's oil and gas, employment and benefits, and judicial recovery practices.

An miner shouts slogans during a protest on the outskirts of El Alto, Bolivia, where protestors have placed stones on the highway to block traffic, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Hundreds of independent miners have placed large stones on three principal highways blocking traffic that leads into Bolivia's capital city. Independent and state miners have been staging rival protests for months for control of the Colquiri tin mine, which is 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of La Paz. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Glencore Begins Arbitration Against Bolivia Over Mine Nationalization

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Mining and commodities producer Glencore International has begun arbitration proceedings against Bolivia for its nationalization of properties since 2007.

Alan A. Lips,  partner, Gerson Preston Klein Lips Eisenberg Gelber.

Argentina's Tax Amnesty: A Q&A With Gerson Preston's Alan Lips

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Argentina's tax amnesty law is luring residents with unreported assets abroad to rethink their tax structures and consider joining the nation's formal economy.

The entrance of

Mexican Police, Troops Hunt for Group Abducted in Resort

By Christopher Sherman, Associated Press |

Police and troops are searching for 10 to 12 suspected gang members who were abducted in a shocking raid by gunmen on an apparent celebration at an upscale restaurant in the popular beach resort of Puerto Vallarta.

Julius Baer Group LTD.

Julius Baer Said to Hire HSBC Bankers in Latin American Push

By Giles Broom and Jan-Henrik Foerster, Bloomberg News |

Julius Baer Group Ltd., Switzerland's third-largest wealth manager, hired several private bankers from HSBC Holdings Plc to bolster its Latin American business, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Puerto Rico resident Judith Perez Alvarez casts her ballot. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Puerto Ricans Flocking to Mainland Could Sway Swing States

By Dake Kang, Associated Press |

Residents of Puerto Rico can't vote in presidential elections. But with the island's economy in shambles, many are fleeing to the U.S. mainland, potentially shifting demographic norms in some of the most closely contested states.

Bob Lucy, owner of Del Rey Avocado. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

In Mexico, High Avocado Prices Fueling Deforestation

By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press |

Americans' love for avocados and rising prices for the highly exportable fruit are fueling the deforestation of central Mexico's pine forests as farmers rapidly expand their orchards to feed demand.

Construction worker in Santiago, Chile.

Chile Investment to Go From Bad to Worse as Building Frenzy Ends

By Laura Millan Lombrana, Bloomberg News |

Chile's construction industry has prevented a slide in investment turning into a slump in the past few years amid a boom in home building. Next year will be a different story.

Carlos Slim, Wikimedia

Mexico's Richest Man Wants a Three-Day Workweek

By Patricia Laya, Bloomberg News |

Carlos Slim thinks his plan will spur on economies with more tourism, entertainment, and culture.

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and first lady Rosario Murillo (AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)

Ortega Back to His Old Ways in Nicaragua's 'Dictatorship Lite'

By Michael D. McDonald, Bloomberg News |

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is slipping back into a 1980s mindset, cracking down on opposition, amassing power and locking horns with the U.S. It's "dictatorship lite," said Adam Isacson, senior associate for regional security policy at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Pope Francis on St. Peter's square at The Vatican. June 6, 2014.

Couple Has Religious Wedding in Mexico After Decades Wait

By Nick Wagner, Associated Press |

In a small town tucked into a valley, songs from a local band heralded a religious wedding that had remained out of reach for decades. The band, whose name translates to "The Forever Young Friendly Band," was aptly named to play for 75-year-old Pablo Ibarra and 65-year-old Francisca Santiago, who finally married in the church after nearly a half century together.

The Olympic cauldron in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Minister of Defense Says Stray Bullet Came From a Slum

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press |

The bullet which flew through the roof of a media tent at the Olympic Equestrian Center came from a nearby slum, according to a Brazilian official.

Cuba Sees Tourism Rise, French Will Renovate Havana Airport

By Andrea Rodriguez and Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press |

More than 2 million tourists have visited Cuba this year, state media said, putting the country on track for a record number of visitors bringing badly needed cash to an economy facing a sharp reduction in subsidized oil from its chief ally, Venezuela.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela Promotes General Indicted in US on Drug Charges

By Hannah Dreier, Associated Press |

A day after Venezuela's former drug czar was indicted in the United States on narcotics trafficking charges, President Nicolas Maduro defiantly named him interior minister.

Former Peru Vice President Marisol Espinoza (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Snapping Up Cheap Spy Tools, Nations 'Monitoring Everyone'

By Frank Bajak and Jack Gillum, Associated Press |

Except for blacklisted nations such as Syria and North Korea, there is little to stop governments that routinely violate basic rights from obtaining the same so-called lawful intercept tools that have been sold to Western police and spy agencies.

Alex Castillo (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Socially Conservative Guatemala Sees Quiet LGBTQ Gains

By Sonia Perez D., Associated Press |

Alex Castillo knew growing up that he was a boy trapped in a girl's body. It wasn't until recently, 40 years after his birth, that the government of his native Guatemala, or at least some parts of it, agreed.

Fidel Castro (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

At 90, Fidel Castro Is Symbol of Cuban Resistance to Change

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press |

After a decade out of the public eye, Fidel Castro has surged back in the run-up to his Aug. 13 birthday as the inspiration for Cubans who want to maintain strict Communist orthodoxy in Cuba in the face of mounting pressures to loosen political control and allow more private enterprise.

Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

Peru's New President Sworn In Surrounds by Ivy League Aides

By Franklin Briceno, Associated Press |

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski assumed Peru's presidency Thursday with a Cabinet that shares his Ivy League, pro-business pedigree, a reliance on technocrats that could become a liability as he deals with an unfriendly congress and a resurgent left.

Man Touted as One of Biggest Drug Dealers Ever Gets 35 Years

By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press |

A Colombian described as one of history's biggest cocaine dealers was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a Manhattan judge who called the scope of his crimes "staggering."

Jean Jacques

Lawmakers Unveil Bill After Immigrant's Murder Conviction

By Associated Press |

The killing of a Connecticut woman by a Haitian man has spurred federal legislation aimed at cracking down on countries that refuse or delay U.S. officials' attempts to deport dangerous criminals.

Rafael Caro Quintero

Mexican Drug Lord Denies He's Back in Business, Report Says

By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press |

Fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero denied in a recent interview that he is getting back into the drug trade or trying to muscle in on the Sinaloa cartel's operations.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Javier García Padilla

Hedge Funds Sue Puerto Rico, Accuse Gov't of Diverting Funds

By Danica Coto, Associated Press |

Hedge funds representing a group of Puerto Rico bondholders sued the U.S. territory, saying it violated the terms of a rescue package recently approved by Congress to help pull the island's government out of a dire economic crisis.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino, center left, chats with his Colombian counterpart during at the Venezuelan Defense Ministry building in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

Analysis: Venezuelan Military Had Big Role in Economic Woes

By Jorge Rueda and Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

President Nicolas Maduro's announcement last week that the military will lead the battle against widespread food shortages overlooks one key fact: The armed forces have played a big role in Venezuela's economic mess.

Daniel Jadue. Credit: Ministerio Bienes Nacionales via Wikimedia Commons.

Communist Has Sparked Cheap-Medicine Frenzy All Across Chile

By Laura Millan Lombrana, Bloomberg News |

In Chile, a country where free enterprise is almost sacrosanct, a communist mayor is shaking up the system by inspiring local governments to jump into the drugstore business and offer cut-rate prices to a populace that's grown weary of the big chain pharmacies.

American craftsman Ronald James Wooden (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Torture Scandal in Mexico: American 'Nearly Beaten to Death'

By Mark Stevenson, Associated Press |

Ronald James Wooden flexes the large blacksmith's hands with which he once forged everything from large chandeliers to intricate jewelry. He's says he is still regaining feeling in them three years after a four-hour beating with fists and rifle butts by municipal police in southern Mexico.

Municipal police guard Cinelandia square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brazil's Armed Forces Get Extra Funds Before Rio Olympics

By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press |

Brazil is beefing up funding for the military to help it meet security needs for the Olympics that open next month in Rio de Janeiro, the interim government announced.

A woman confronts a National Guard soldier during a protest demanding food in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuela Turns to Its Military to Combat Food Shortages

By Fabiola Sanchez and Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

Venezuela's military is getting a major promotion as the socialist-run country struggles to combat severe shortages and stave off food riots.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro.  Photo: Cancillería del Ecuador via Wikimedia Commons.

Venezuela to Seize Kimberly-Clark Factory as Production Ends

By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press |

Venezuela's government said it will seize a factory belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corp. after the U.S. personal care giant said it was no longer possible to manufacture in this crisis-wracked South American nation.

Vendor selling pork rinds in Havana

Cuba Opens 1st Bulk Goods Store, But Wholesale Still Elusive

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press |

Cuba has quietly opened a first-of-its-kind store specializing in bulk goods in Havana: Zona +, a high-ceiling space with racks stacked with large tins of tomato sauce, toilet paper and cooking oil by the gallon.

People appeal to store employees that they respect the turn of those already lined up outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Thousands of Venezuelans Stream Over Board to Colombia

By Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans streamed across bridges into Colombia over the weekend after Venezuela briefly lifted a year-old border closure to allow people to buy food and medicine.

James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP

Rio Olympics to Be Petri Dish for Study of Zika Virus for US Team

By Deena Shanker, Bloomberg News |

Talk about taking one for the team. In an upcoming study, the U.S. Olympic Committee, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, is hoping to volunteer its own staffers and U.S. Olympic athletes for a study that will help researchers answer some basic questions about the Zika virus.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro.  Photo: Cancillería del Ecuador via Wikimedia Commons.

Venezuela's Leader Sidelines Opposition-Controlled Congress

By Hannah Dreier, Associated Press |

When Venezuela's opposition lawmakers took over the congress in January, they vowed it was the beginning of the end for President Nicolas Maduro. But Maduro has since managed to almost completely sideline the legislature with the help of the Supreme Court, and now the ruling socialist party is talking about shutting congress down altogether.

Jacqueline Montero explains the draft bills she's planning to place to protect sex workers' rights at her office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (AP Photo.Ezequiel Lopez)

Former Prostitute Hopes to Shake Up Dominican Congress

By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez, Associated Press |

When Jacqueline Montero takes her seat in Congress next month, she will bring not only an unusual past but an unconventional agenda for change in this socially conservative Caribbean country.

In this Dec. 15, 2010, file photo, Cuba's Minister of Planning and Economy Marino Murillo speaks during a session of the National Asembly in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Prensa Latina, file)

Cuba Warns of Energy Problems, Cuts Some Work Hours

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press |

Cubans face tough times in the energy sector in the coming months, official media warned amid orders from authorities to implement power-saving measures and some state-run entities reducing hours of operation.

In this June 14, 2016, photo, reserve soldiers stand on a truck during a presentation to the press at the Central Square in San Salvador, El Salvador, as part of extraordinary security measures to dismantle gangs. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

El Salvador, Deadliest Nation in 2015, Sees Lull in Violence

By E. Eduardo Castillo and Marcos Aleman, Associated Press |

After becoming the world's murder capital last year and posting an equally bloody start to 2016, this violence-torn Central American nation has seen its monthly homicide rate fall by about half.

In this June 12, 2016, photo, Cuban-American Miranda Hernandez, center, accompanied by members of her extended family takes photos of the house in which her grandmother once lived in Havana, Cuba.

Young Cuban-Americans Get New Impressions on Island Visits

By Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press |

Miranda Hernandez's grandparents lost everything when they fled Cuba in the 1960s. She grew up thinking of the island as "North Korea with nice beaches," she said. But when four young Cuban-Americans started a program sending peers with similar island ties to explore their heritage after U.S.-Cuba detente, she applied. On Friday, after a week in Havana visiting entrepreneurs, artists and relatives she'd never met, the 20-year-old senior at the University of California, Berkeley flew home with impressions certain to upset many of her grandparents' generation.

Latin America Won't Escape Brexit Impact

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union has create a lot of uncertainty in the world, but there is little doubt that the economic and political ripple effects caused by the Brexit vote will do harm in Latin America.

Claudia Medina Tavariz (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Amnesty Int'l Says Mexican Women Victims of Sexual Torture

By Christopher Sherman, Associated Press |

The human rights group Amnesty International, in a report released early Tuesday, said that in interviews with 100 incarcerated Mexican women, 72 reported sexual torture during their arrests. Ninety-seven had been beaten or received some kind of physical abuse. All 100 reported at least harassment or psychological abuse.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Javier García Padilla

Puerto Rico Says It Will Default Even With Congressional Aid

By Michelle Kaske, Bloomberg News |

Two days before a potential historical default, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla made it clear that the commonwealth won't pay bondholders even as Congress votes on a bill allowing the island to restructure its $70 billion in debt.

Municipal police guard Cinelandia square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Amid Cuts, Rio Police Ask for Handouts Ahead of Olympics

By Jenny Barchfield, Associated Press |

Just weeks ahead of the Olympic Games, police helicopters are grounded, patrol cars are parked and Rio de Janeiro's security forces are so pressed for funds that some have to beg for donations of pens, cleaning supplies and even toilet paper, fueling worries about safety at the world's premier sporting event.

Opposition supporters gathered at polling stations to validate their forms in the final phase of the process that will be crucial in order to realize a possible recall referendum against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Foreign Law Firms on Edge, Decamp as Venezuela Teeters on Chaos

By Julie Triedman |

Since January, the world has watched a slow-motion disaster unfolding in Venezuela, where critical shortages of food and medicine are fueling chaos. Inside the country, a handful of international firms are doing their best to ride out the crisis, while others have already jumped ship.

The new locks on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal in Cocoli, Panama, 15 June 2016. Photo by: Denis Düttmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Panama Canal Opens $5B Locks, Bullish Despite Shipping Woes

By Juan Zamorano and Kathia Martinez, Associated Press |

Fireworks exploded as a huge container ship made the inaugural passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal, formally launching the Central American nation's multibillion-dollar bet on a bright economic future despite tough times for global shipping.

Msgr. Juan de la Caridad Garcia, the new archbishop of Havana. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

New Archibishop May Transform Cuban Church With Modest Style

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press |

In the mid-1970s, a recently ordained priest trekked the Cuban countryside, defying the communist government by distributing hand-printed religious pamphlets to townspeople bold enough to open their doors. At the height of Cuba's anti-religious sentiment, the man known as Father Juanito was tolerated thanks to his soft-spoken manner and unbending will, say those who followed his rise. His admirers say that personality served him well when he became bishop of the eastern city of Camaguey and launched an intensive outreach to the poor, arranging aid for needy pregnant women and diverting religious processions off main streets into the humblest neighborhoods.

Brazil Intelligence Official: Security Big Concern During Olympics in Rio

By Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press |

The head of Brazil's intelligence agency in Rio de Janeiro says many countries are voicing concern about security during the Summer Olympics after recent major attacks in the United States and Europe.

Venezuela Faces Mounting International Pressure Over Crisis

By Luis Alonso Lugo and Hannah Dreier, Associated Press |

The head of the Organization of American States added his voice to the chorus of international leaders stepping up pressure on Venezuela to address a humanitarian crisis and end a crackdown on opposition activists.

Juan Manuel Santos

Colombia, FARC Rebels Near Closure on Peace Deal

By Mike Weissenstein and Joshua Goodman, Associated Press |

Colombia moved closer than ever to ending a half-century of bloodshed when its president joined leftist rebels in celebrating a cease-fire and disarmament agreement at a dignitary-studded signing ceremony in Cuba.

Nicolas Maduro

Top US Diplomat to Meet With Venezuela Officials Amid Crisis

By Hannah Dreier, Associated Press |

A senior U.S. diplomat was in Venezuela on Tuesday to meet with officials to jump-start dialogue between the normally hostile governments as the socialist-run nation is torn apart by daily food protests and a campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Enrique Pena Nieto

Open Trials Come to Mexico After Yearslong Justice Reforms

By Christopher Sherman, Associated Press |

It would have seemed routine in many places: A defendant accused of illegally possessing a gun sat across a gleaming courtroom from the judge who accepted his guilty plea and would pronounce his sentence. For Mexico, though, it was a remarkable change from a century-old judicial system of paper-shuffling court cases in which defendants rarely actually testified before the judge ruling on their fate from within a cramped, bureaucrat's office. As of Saturday, the open, oral trial will be the norm nationwide as part of a sweeping judicial reform.