Today in Latin America
Top Story — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he will push legislation to allow the expropriation of private oil companies from Spain, Brazil, Italy and China if they refuse signing his new services-based contracts.
Correa said that everyday millions of dollars went to private oil companies when they should be going to the state.
“The oil companies are playing with us. In the coming weeks there are going to be very considerable actions. I have no regard for these companies, which have abused our country,” Correa said, according to The BBC.
Ecuador is the fifth largest oil producer in Latin America, but 56 percent of the country’s 13.4 million inhabitants live in poverty and 80 percent of the country’s indigenous population live in poverty, according to the World Bank.
Also in 2008, Correa defaulted on loan worth $3.2 billion, calling international lenders “monsters.”
“I’m out of patience. We are sending a bill to Congress that would allow for the expropriation of oil fields should the companies not want to sign the new contracts,” Correa said during a televised address on Saturday.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- By targeting gangs, police may end up profiling immigrant communities. Alison Bowen has more on her blog, Beyond Borders.
- Lesly Kernisant of the Haitian American-led investment group SImACT discusses the challenges of bringing investment to Haiti.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents shot at a man who tried to drive into California from Mexico after failing to present proper identification.
- According to the United Nations, Mexico has become a major supplier of sex slaves throughout the Americas.
- Cuban writer and journalist Carlos Franqui died in Puerto Rico at age 89. Franqui was a prominent figure in the Cuban Revolution, but left Cuba in 1963 and broke openly with the government after the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
- Humberto Ríos Labrada became the first Cuban to win a Goldman Environmental Prize. He has been granted permission by both the Cuban and U.S. governments to attend the ceremony on Monday.
- Haiti’s fuel problem is affecting its electricity output.
- A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit western Guatemala Sunday morning, about 14 miles east of the town Suchiate. No damage or injuries have been reported.
- Iranian Ambassador to Nicaragua said the country spent $1.5 million to build a hospital in Nicaragua as he refuted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claim that Iran was making “disturbing” inroads in the United States’ backyard.
- China plans to lend Venezuela $20 billion and form a joint venture to pump crude oil from the an Orinoco Belt block.
- Venezuelan boxer Edwin Valero was arrested over the weekend in connection with the death of hif wife.
- Despite massive amounts of U.S. aid, Colombia continues to struggle with poverty.
- Delegates have begun to arrive in Cochabamba for Bolivia’s alternative to the U.N.’s climate change summit in Copenhagen held last year.
- A Brazilian judge overturned a verdict that would postpone the construction of a new hydroelectric dam in the Amazon rainforest.
- The ocean census revealed an enormous colony of microbes off the coasts of Chile and Peru. Scientists believe they could be the direct descendants of some of the world’s earliest life forms.
- A delegation from Uruguay is headed to the Netherlands to attend a hearing on a case Argentina brought against Uruguay regarding a paper factory built on a mutual border.
Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.