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.
August 8, 2011 |
Many major U.S. companies are making big plans to expand overseas even as some of them announce new layoffs at home, and there's a chilling reason why: They're beginning to give up on the American consumer as a source of future growth. For years, U.S. companies went off shore to get cheaper labor and lower manufacturing costs for products to be sold to Americans. Now, as the nation's economy stalls and personal incomes stagnate, they see consumers in Asia and Latin America as offering brighter prospects for future sales and profits.
July 6, 2011 |
Expanding its reach from two countries to the entire Western Hemisphere, Netflix Inc. will launch its successful online film and television subscription service across Latin America in a bid to maintain its sky-high subscriber growth and stock price. The Los Gatos, Calif., company, which boasts more than 23.6 million subscribers and has become the nation's No. 1 movie rental provider, announced Tuesday that this year it will expand into 43 countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean but not Cuba.
June 30, 2011 |
Casting more uncertainty on the health of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that it has canceled a summit of foreign leaders scheduled for next week that Chavez was to have presided over to mark Venezuela's bicentennial independence celebration. The ministry statement said the Latin America and Caribbean Summit on Development and Integration would not be held because Chavez is in a "process of recuperation and extremely strict medical treatment" in Cuba.
June 28, 2011 |
Lima was always gray. The Peruvian capital, for much of the year, had this overcast dullness; the sun rarely shone, it never rained, it was just damp and gray. Your hair didn't dry. Your clothes molded, literally, in the closet. When I returned to Peru this month for the first time in 26 years, Lima was still damp and gray. That had not changed. But many other things had. Peru has the fastest-growing economy in Latin America, having registered substantial growth nearly every year for a decade.
June 11, 2011 |
Aldo Damian, 15, seems a likely recruit for the rough, and often abbreviated, life of a street-gang member in El Salvador. Aldo is poor, doesn't know his father and says he is unaware what his mother does for a living. Instead of going to school, he passes the day with members of a gang he hasn't yet officially joined. What to do with such boys? Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes has an idea: Draft them. Funes, a leftist who came into office two years ago, is proposing a form of obligatory military service he says would combat the growth of gangs in this violence-plagued Central American nation.
June 9, 2011 |
As drug cartels wreak murderous havoc from Mexico to Panama, the Obama administration is unable to show that the billions of dollars spent in the war on drugs have significantly stemmed the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States, according to two government reports and outside experts. The reports specifically criticize the government's growing use of U.S. contractors, which were paid more than $3 billion to train local prosecutors and police, help eradicate fields of coca, operate surveillance equipment and otherwise battle the widening drug trade in Latin America over the last five years.
June 6, 2011 |
Homer Simpson would feel at home in Latin America. His favorite beer, Duff, is available in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. The lager has the same logo as the brew that Homer guzzles at Moe's, his local bar in the Fox cartoon series. In South America, the beer's motto is "Yes it does exist!" But nobody seems to be willing to discuss Springfield's finest. The makers of Duff in South America say they aren't allowed to talk to the U.S. media. Duff Mexico — which started the Latin American trend — would not respond to interview requests.
June 5, 2011 |
Mexican military forces on Saturday arrested the former mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, after an early-morning raid at his compound resulted in the seizure of 88 weapons and more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition, military officials said. Hank, 55, a flamboyant casino mogul and one of Mexico's wealthiest men, was taken to the federal attorney general's office in Tijuana and then by armed convoy to an air force base, as supporters lined the streets to protest his transfer to Mexico City.