Today in Latin America
Top Story — The government of Bolivian President Evo Morales and representatives of indigenous Amazon protesters reached an agreement Monday that ends two months of protests over a planned highway through an ecological reserve. After a marathon session of negotiations, Bolivia’s communications minister Iván Canelas announced that the government and protestors reached agreements on all 15 of the protesters’ demands. On Friday, Morales announced that he had scrapped the controversial Brazil-financed road project that was to form part of a network linking Bolivia to both the Pacific through Chile and the Atlantic through Brazil. Protests over the project began in August when 2,000 demonstarors struck out on a 370-mile trek to the capital of La Paz. Harsh government crackdown and Morales’ reticence to address the issue have eroded support for the once popular president. About 100 protesters still remain camped in La Paz waiting for Congress to approve an amendment sent by Morales to end the highway project.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Construction began on an unmanned border crossing between Texas and Mexico, where border guards will remotely scan travelers’ documents.
- Hurricane Rina has picked up strength in the Caribbean as it makes its way towards Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula.
- G.O.P presidential hopeful Rick Perry lashed out at rival Mitt Romney’s record on undocumented immigration in a recent press release.
- The case of Pero Pablo Oliva highlights the tensions the Cuban government faces as it attempts to make more room for criticism.
- The head of the U.N. Mission to Haiti Mariano Fernández says the government’s plan to restore the army will require a new agreement with the world body.
- Puerto Rican Education Minister Jesús Rivera Sánchez says he resigned over threats.
- Recent polls are showing that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega holds a large lead in the run-up to the country’s presidential elections next month.
- Guatemala’s official apology to the family of ousted former President Jacobo Árbenz has reignited the conversation about his legacy in the country.
- A team of international treasure hunters said that they are close to revealing the final resting place of British Naval hero Sir Francis Drake off the coast of Panama.
- Craig “Tequila” Schieber is the first Costa Rican surfer to win the title of world champion at the 2011 International Surfing Association World Masters Surfing Championship.
- Negotiations lead to inmates in a Venezuelan prison releasing more than two dozen captives, after they took more than 50 guards and other prison workers hostage earlier this month.
- Ecuador’s cabinet has offered to resign due a request by President Rafael Correa, which could foreshadows changes in a government that has seen five finance ministers since 2007.
- The Peruvian government could issue a resolution later this week to end an indefinite strike at the copper producer Cerro Verde.
- Colombia could produce its smallest crop of Arabica coffee beans in two years due to an excess of rain that poses a risk for next year’s harvest.
- Chile’s student protests appear to be gaining traction after six months, according to the BBC.
- New laws are needed to protect the rights of minorities in Paraguay, especially women and the indigenous, according to a top U.N. human rights official.
- Brazil’s oil workers union said Monday it may strike on Nov. 16 over payment and working conditions.
Image: Allain Bachellier @ Flickr.