Today in Latin America
Top Story — Bolivian President Evo Morales was in Tehran on Monday for a three-day visit in which he hoped to secure Iranian investment in the Andean nation.
Morales, who arrived late Sunday evening in the Iranian capital, is holding talks with his counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about expanding bilateral relations, especially in the fields of trade and industry.
“Iran and Bolivia have identical revolutionary conscience which allows for the expansion of relations and accounts for the closeness of the two states,” Morales said, according to Press TV.
The two governments are expected to discuss Iranian investment in Bolivia’s minerals and textiles sectors and to sign agreements covering technology transfers, industrial machinery, cement production and food.
This is Morales’ second visit to Iran in as many years and comes less than two months after Tehran extended a credit line worth over $250 million as development aid to Bolivia.
The loan comes with no restrictions, but Iran’s minister of industries and mining, Ali Akbar Mehrabian, said it could be used to fund mineral exploration as well as develop Bolivia’s textile industry.
Morales, like his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chávez, has developed strong ties with Iran. For his part, in 2007 Ahmadinejad became to first Iranian president to visit Bolivia.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala outlined his nationalist program on Thursday in New York, saying it would transform Peru from a mineral exporting country to an industrialized country that privileges the internal market.
- With it the nation’s toughest state immigration law, Arizona has taken center stage in the national debate about immigration as the midterm elections approach. Molly O’Toole reports from Arizona in a three-part series.
- The threat to freedom of the press posed by Mexico’s drug cartels begs a bilateral response, a panel of journalists and press freedom groups said in New York Tuesday. Andrew O’Reilly has more.
- Protesters demand restraints on federal involvement in immigration enforcement in New York City jails, reports Alison Bowen in Beyond Borders.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- President Obama defended his unsuccessful effort to revamp U.S. immigration policies in an interview aired Monday on Spanish-language radio, saying that Latino voters should blame Republicans for obstructing reform and pointedly reminding listeners that change takes time.
- Greenpeace said Monday it disagreed with official statements that most of the oil from the BP PLC spill is gone from the Gulf of Mexico and added that it has a laboratory test to confirm crude from the disaster sits on the seafloor.
- Armed men burst into a drug rehab center in the Mexican border city of Tijuana and killed up to 13 people. While police would only confirm today that 10 people were shot dead, officials had been celebrating a decline in the terror unleashed on the city by the drug cartels.
- The E.U. foreign affairs chief, Baroness Ashton, is set to contact the Cuban government in an effort to improve ties with Havana, diplomats say.
- The rate of deaths in Haiti’s cholera epidemic slowed on Monday as a multinational medical operation scaled up to limit the spread of an outbreak that has killed 259 people in the earthquake-hit country.
- Five men were gunned down by unidentified assailants in a poor neighborhood in the northwestern section of the Guatemala City metro area, the fire department said Sunday.
- Two people died and seven others were injured when they were hit by a pickup truck that slammed into a Protestant church in El Salvador, local media said.
- Police in El Salvador say one of the owners of the Deportivo Vista Hermosa football club has been arrested in a cocaine-dealing bust.
- The Canadian Foreign Affairs Department has warned those travelling to Nicaragua to practice good hygiene to protect themselves from leptospirosis, a potentially fatal illness passed through water, soil or food contaminated by the urine of infected animals.
- This week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo A. Valenzuela will travel to San José, Costa Rica and Managua, Nicaragua, where he will meet with government officials and political, business, and civil society leaders to discuss bilateral and regional issues.
- A former British insurance executive has pleaded guilty to paying nearly $2 million in bribes to win insurance contracts in Costa Rica, The Guardian reports.
- Costa Rica was named as the winner of the 2010 Future Policy award at a global summit on biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan on Monday.
- President Juan Manuel Santos said on the weekend that the government would announce measures this week to help mitigate the impact of the rising peso on Colombia’s export-based economy.
- At least four gold miners were killed and another six wounded when gunmen stormed into an unregulated mine in Peru’s southern Andes mountains and opened fire police said Monday.
- Assailants gunned down a Brazilian and a Paraguayan man driving in an SUV between the Brazil-Paraguay border Sunday, in a killing that may have been liked to drug cartels in the area.
- The Rio Negro, a major Amazon tributary, is at its lowest level in 47 years as northern Brazil struggles with a devastating drought and several municipalities have declared a state of emergency.
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera faced off on the soccer field Monday against a team composed of some of the rescued Chilean miners after he promised to pass stricter mine safety laws at a ceremony on Monday.
- All twelve people aboard a plane that crash landed in La Pampa, Argentina on Sunday survived with only minor injuries.
Image: Daniel Samper @ Flickr.