Latin America

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.