Today in Latin America
Top Story — Russia signed a deal with Venezuela to jointly develop an oil field in the country’s Orinoco River region, according to Business Week.
Work in the Junín-6 field could begin this year and is reported to have the potential to produce 450,000 barrels of oil per day, according to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.
Russia’s National Oil Consortium would take a 40 percent share of the project, while Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos would take the remaining 60 percent. Up to $20 billion in investments could be put into the project and if completed could see oil from the field being shipped to United States markets, Sechin said.
“After today’s agreement is ratified by the parliament of Venezuela, the consortium of Russian firms will transfer a bonus amounting to $600 million,” said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who presided over the signing ceremony.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Mayor of Ciudad Juárez José Reyes Ferriz said there was “no logical explanation” for the massacre of 16 people, mostly teenagers, that took place in his town over the weekend.
- Paraguayan soccer player Salvador Cabañas told his father he will play in the World Cup, a week after being shot in the head in the bathroom of a Mexico City bar.
- Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive called a group of U.S. missionaries who were arrested while trying to remove 33 children from Haiti “kidnappers” who knew “what they were doing was wrong.”
- The Cuban government declared a two-month amnesty for illegal gun-owners to register them without penalty.
- Colombian President Álvaro Uribe met with newly elected Honduran president Porfirio Lobo, in the first step toward renewing ties between the countries.
- Honduras awaits the resumption of foreign aid, now that it has a new president.
- The Panama Canal’s administrator said the toll will increase for ships passing through the canal, despite complaints that it will further aggravate the shipping market crisis.
- The Peruvian government declared that five regional departments were in a state of emergency after heavy rains. More rain is expected.
- Venezuela and Russia signed a joint deal to develop an oil field in the Orinoco River region.
- The Brazilian government awarded an environmental license to a controversial plan to build a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon at Belo Monte.
- Argentine president Christina Fernández de Kirchner may seek changes to the country’s central bank charter in an effort to use the bank’s reserves to create more jobs.
- Uruguay’s president-elect José Mujica wants former Argentine soccer star, current national team coach and recovering cocaine addict Diego Maradona to work on an anti-drug campaign.
Image (Wikicommons): Vladimir Putin.