Today in Latin America
Top Story — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in San José, Costa Rica this morning as part of her week long tour of Latin America.
Earlier this week, Clinton visited Chile where she met with President Michelle Bachelet and promised aid to the earthquake-plagued country.
After Chile, Clinton flew to Brazil to meet with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and discuss Brazil’s support of Iran.
Clinton failed to convince the Brazilian President to support sanctions against Iran for defying U.N. requests to end its uranium enrichment program. She was counting on Brazil, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, to support the sanctions along with permanent members Britain and France.
“It is not wise to push Iran into a corner. It is wise to establish negotiations,” said President Silva, who is planning to travel to Tehran in May.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The Mexican government lifted an import duty on apples from Washington state.
- Mexico and England will face off on the soccer pitch in May as a primer game before this summer’s World Cup.
- Cuba remains quiet on the issue of allowing U.N. torture investigators to inspect the country’s prisons.
- Juan Yasser Serrano, a right-handed pitcher who defected from Cuba, signed a $250,000 contract with the Chicago Cubs.
- FBI agents raided Puerto Rican government offices during an investigation dealing with the misuse of education funds.
- A Guatemalan police chief and drug enforcement official were charged in connection to a gun fight that left five anti-drug police officers dead last April.
- Panama’s economy dealt better with the global economic crisis than other Latin American nations and grew 2.4 percent in 2009.
- The Venezuelan government said it will cooperate with a Spanish investigation into a claim that it aided the Basque-separatist group ETA and the Colombian-guerilla group FARC in a plot to assassinate Colombian President Álvaro Uribe. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez dismissed the claims, saying he had “nothing to explain.”
- Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV won a $45 million gas plant contract in Peru with Pluspetrol Peru Corp. SA.
- Two Australians died in a rafting accident in Peru.
- Strong aftershocks measuring 5.5 magnitude or higher hit several cities in Chile, including the capital Santiago, prompting tsunami warnings and brief panic.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government lost its majority in the Senate yesterday for the first time in seven years.
- Uruguay’s Punta de Rieles Prison, a penitentiary for female political prisoners from 1973-1985, was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior today in order to house the country’s overflowing prison population (Spanish).
Image: US Mission Canada @ Flickr.
This post has been corrected — an earlier version mentioned Germany as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which it is not.