The “Lima Group” of Latin American nations plus Canada on Tuesday criticized the Venezuelan government’s decision to hold a presidential election on April 22 without reaching an agreement with an opposition coalition.
The chairman of the charity Oxfam International, Juan Alberto Fuentes, has been arrested in Guatemala. Fuentes was detained as part of an investigation into a corruption scandal dating back to his time as Guatemala's finance minister, but no charges have been brought so far.
The British Government is supporting a project to encourage municipalities from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to adopt practices which can prevent corruption. The initiative, under the “Islands of Integrity” concept, aims to address the root causes of corruption by encouraging free-market policies and enhancing efficiency.
The Peruvian-Argentine consortium Kuntur Wasi said that it plans to sue Peru in an international arbitration court after failing to reach a deal with the government over the cancellation of its US$525 million Chinchero airport project.
Colombia and Brazil tightened border controls with Venezuela on Thursday as both nations grapple with a mounting influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants fleeing a worsening economic crisis In a visit to the border region, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he would impose stricter migratory controls, suspend new daily entry cards for Venezuelans and deploy 3,000 new security personnel along the frontier, including 2,120 more soldiers.
Mexico believes it can conclude a new free-trade agreement with the European Union before the end of February, Mexican officials have said. The EU and Mexico intend to update a trade deal agreed 21 years ago that largely covers industrial goods. They want to add farm products, more services, investment and government procurement, and include provisions on labor standards and environmental protection.
At least 8,000 Venezuelans cross the border between Colombia and Venezuela daily to the department of Arauca, southeast of Colombia. Although the migratory flow at this point does not compare with the thirty or forty thousand Venezuelans who cross the Simón Bolívar bridge between Santander and Táchira every day, in Arauca the majority of migrants arrive in conditions of extreme vulnerability.
Ecuadoreans on Sunday voted to prevent presidents from holding more than two terms in office, according to the elections council, a win for President Lenin Moreno that blocks his mentor-turned-adversary Rafael Correa from returning to power. The results from the referendum, called by Moreno, roll back a measure Correa pushed through Congress in 2015 to allow unlimited presidential re-election.
Costa Rica’s presidential election is headed to a runoff after no candidates secured enough votes to win outright. The top vote-getter, evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado, is expected to face his closest opponent, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, a former labor minister, April 1. Alvarado won nearly 25% of votes on Sunday to Alvarado Quesada’s 22%.
Citibank has sold its Colombian consumer and small business operations to Banco Colpatria Multibanca Colpatria S.A, the Colombian subsidiary of leading Canadian financial institution Scotiabank. Citibank operations in Colombia include 500,000 customers, 47 branches, and 424 self-service access points in Colombia. The deal also includes “assumption by Banco Colpatria of Citibank’s workforce,” according to Scotiabank.