Today in Latin America
Top Story — Chilean President Sebastián Piñera rearranged his cabinet for the second time this year, as a response to declining popularity and increasing social protest. Two of the most important switches are Education Minister Joaquín Lavín’s move to social planning and Mining and Energy Minister Laurence Goldborne’s switch to public works. They run two of the most controversial ministries at the moment. Chilean students, who continue to occupy more than 100 schools in a protest that has lasted for over two months, applauded Lavín’s exit. Goldbourne enjoyed high public esteem for the rescue of the 33 trapped miners last year, but risked damage to his public image as the state copper mine CODELCO faces labor conflicts that culminated in a 24-hour strike last week. Piñera’s approval rating has plummeted from its high of 63 percent at the time of the rescue of the trapped miners to 31 percent this month, according to Chilean pollster Adimark.
Read more at The Financial Times.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Pro-Chávez community organizations in New York’s South Bronx that once received generous grants from the Venezuelan government have seen their funding dry up — and they want to know why. Juan Fajardo reports.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said that immigration was one key to reinventing his state during a speech at an immigration conference at Wayne State University on Monday.
- Arrest warrants for 20 people were issued by a Mexican judge in connection to the killing of the son of poet Javier Sicilia.
- According to officials in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, at least three people have died and another 180,000 were affected over the weekend by the torrential rains that hit southern Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
- 14 people were killed over the weekend in Puerto Rico, as homicides continue at a rate of three per day on the island.
- Cuba plans to lower prices for bulk purchases of some goods to support newly independent workers and small businesses.
- Authorities in Guatemala have requested the help of INTERPOL in investigating the killing of Argentine folksinger Facundo Cabral.
- El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism reported that tourism in the country grew two percent in the first half of this year.
- Freestyle motocross athlete Travis Pastrana opened a action-sports themed resort in Panama, where guest can windsurf and skydive.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will run for re-election in 2012, according to an aide close to the ailing leader.
- The Colombian military killed four alleged FARC guerrillas in a bombing raid near the country’s border with Venezuela.
- Ecuador declared a state of emergency on Monday after 23 people died nationwide over the weekend from alcohol poisoning.
- Authorities in Chile continued Monday to investigate a shooting on Santiago’s subway that left at least three dead and four injured over the weekend.
- The head of Argentina’s Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo said that the group will continue testing the DNA from Ernestina Noble-Herrera’s adopted children, the publisher of one of the country’s most influential newspapers.
- According to a recent report, Brazil’s Federal Police said increased use of maritime routes to smuggle arms is a significant development in arms trafficking into Brazil.