March 8, 2012 |
Despite intensified counter-narcotics efforts over the last five years, the military's ability to stop drug smuggling into the U.S. from Latin America has declined as planes and ships have been diverted to combat operations around the globe, according to a senior military officer. As a result, the Navy and Coast Guard are stopping one of three suspected seaborne drug shipments headed to American shores, Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, told reporters Wednesday.
February 19, 2012 |
"I will be the first woman president of Mexico. " Thus declared Josefina Vazquez Mota on the night this month when she was officially crowned the incumbent party's candidate in upcoming national elections. A former congresswoman and education minister, Vazquez Mota, 51, has eagerly embraced her historic position as Mexico's first female presidential candidate for a major political party. In a contest where she trails the leader by a wide margin, she does not hesitate to play the so-called gender card at chosen moments.
February 9, 2012 |
At first, Lima taxi driver Mario Segura was disgusted by the thought of buying a Chinese-made car. He had doubts about the vehicles' durability, service and resale value. But favorable word of mouth, assurances that spare parts are plentiful and, of course, unbelievably low prices won him over. "Little by little, I heard favorable comments," said Segura, speaking in a Chery showroom in the Surquillo district. He had just plunked down $12,000 in cash for a new Fullwin XR sedan, half the cost, he said, of a comparable Fiat or Renault.
January 27, 2012 |
Courting two critical constituencies in the days before the Florida primary, Newt Gingrich reached out to Jewish and Latino voters on Friday and pledged to chart a more aggressive course in the Middle East and Latin America. Addressing a mostly white-haired crowd at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Delray Beach, Gingrich said the United States and Israel would not be safe until Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was no longer in power in Iran. "I believe we need a profoundly new approach to the Middle East," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2011 |
Pounding surf and corrosive sea air have stymied efforts for years to erect a sturdy fence at the westernmost edge of the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, the U.S. Border Patrol is trying again, with a $4.3-million project that would extend a nearly quarter-mile barrier 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean and remake one of the more scenic spots on the border. When completed early next year, a steel fence 18 feet tall will replace a teetering, gap-riddled barrier that did little to discourage people from crossing back and forth on a wide beach linking Tijuana and Imperial Beach.
November 5, 2011 |
Guatemalan voters pick a president Sunday at a moment when deepening drug crime threatens the nation's feeble justice system and doubts hang over both candidates. Rampant violence by encroaching Mexican drug traffickers provides an ominous backdrop to the sharp-elbowed runoff between the front-runner, retired Gen. Otto Perez Molina, and congressman Manuel Baldizon, who came in a distant second in the initial round of voting in September. Both men vow aggressive action. The rightist Perez Molina promises to use army troops to attack traffickers and says he will cut the murder rate in half, while the populist Baldizon has called for greater use of the death penalty.
October 16, 2011 |
When Dilma Rousseff took over as president of Brazil in January, she had rather big shoes to fill. Her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, finished his two terms as one of the most popular leaders in the world, with his country riding a wave of economic progress and optimism. Rousseff, known as Dilma in Brazil, had little executive experience or public profile until Lula handpicked her to carry the torch for his center-left Workers' Party. The former guerrilla waged a successful campaign and gained a reputation as a tough and pragmatic technocrat, but many were unsure whether she'd have the skill, or luck, needed to follow in Lula's seemingly blessed footsteps.
October 10, 2011 |
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was touring Latin America this week, his second visit to the region in less than a year as part of a worldwide lobbying effort to gain recognition for a Palestinian state. Abbas met officials in the Colombian capital of Bogota on Monday, a day after announcing with President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador plans to establish diplomatic ties there. Until recently, El Salvador was one of Israel's closest allies in Latin America. "We are very interested in developing our relations with all the countries of the American continent," Abbas said in San Salvador, according to a Spanish translation of his remarks.
September 26, 2011 |
The 50-year-old teacher is about to do something she's never done, something remarkable in Colombia: Buy a home. Inez Angel has her eye on a $35,000 split-level condo in the Villa Verde subdivision in the western Colombian city of Pereira. It is priced right, and the 15-year mortgage at a fixed 7% interest rate is affordable. Just as important to her — and her country — is her confidence in Colombia's future stability. Experts say homeownership can help a society lock in a sense of greater security.
September 10, 2011 |
Four years ago, former army Gen. Otto Perez Molina promised voters to employ a mano dura , or firm hand, to end Guatemala's crime epidemic if elected president. He lost, to a leftist. This year, though, Perez Molina's conservative tough-on-crime message appears to have gained traction with jittery voters as the mayhem mounts, mainly at the hands of homegrown street gangs and Mexican drug traffickers muscling south into Central America. The career soldier, who fought leftist guerrillas during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, boasts a hefty lead in opinion polls as voters prepare to pick a new president Sunday.