Nicaragua's president on Sunday withdrew changes to the social security system that had triggered several days of deadly protests and looting. President Daniel Ortega said in a message to the nation late Sunday that the National Social Security Institute's board of directors had canceled the changes that were implemented April 16.
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.
Tropical storm Nate has killed at least 22 people in Central America with torrential rains that forced thousands from their homes, uprooted trees, knocked out bridges and turned roads into rivers, according to officials on Thursday. The storm is moving to Mexico and United States.
Free trade agreements, FTA, signed by the European Union with Colombia, and with Central American countries Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama became effective August first as part of the EU strategy to eliminate tariffs on trade with Central American and the Andean region.
In the eve of the Managua summit which will focus on creating a new Economic Zone, Petrocaribe, the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s oil treaty, continues to play a vital role in the economic development of its 18 member states from the Central America and Caribbean region. But given the current political and economic climate in Venezuela, the question remains if Petrocaribe’s cheap oil is sustainable?
Spanish members of the European parliament and Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht called on Tuesday on the full house to ratify the association agreement of the EU with Central America, and the EU free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru.
President Barak Obama ends his four years in January with free trade and security, particularly in Central America, as pending issues to develop in Latin America, said Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jackson in a press round with foreign correspondents.
Growing crime and violence in Central America not only have an immediate human and social toll but they also pose a tremendous threat to development potential in the region since it is estimated that these sources of instability cost 8% of GDP, once health, institutional, private security, and material expenses are accounted for.
Latin American economies as a whole are recovering nicely from the global economic downturn but “cheap and abundant external finances raise the risk of a boom-bust cycle”, said Nicolas Eyzaguirre, IMF Western Hemisphere Department Director.