On Saturday 26 March the Asuncion Treaty, which gave birth to Mercosur, the Common Market of the South, will be 25, and even with celebration plans the mood of its members is not enthusiastic following years of too much ideology and too little trade and business, distant from the original idea and purpose.
The attempt by Uruguay to draft a strong Mercosur and Unasur resolution in support of embattled Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has foundered. Argentina is only prepared to express support for Brazil's institutions while Chile and Paraguay have balked at the idea of personalizing the issue in Rousseff and her Workers Party.
New Zealanders have voted to keep their existing flag after a national referendum, preliminary results show. The referendum asked whether the flag which includes the Union Jack should be replaced by a design called Silver Fern, which won an earlier ballot. The results show 56.6% voted for no change, while 43.1% opted for the new design. Just over 2.1m votes were cast.
Johan Cruyff was voted world player of the year three times in four years in the early 1970’s and led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974. He later managed Barcelona for eight years, with the club winning 11 trophies, including its first European Cup title.
Unemployment in Latin America's largest country is at its highest level since 2012, the Brazilian government said on Thursday. Brazil's IBGE statistics bureau said that the jobless rate in the three months through January was 9.5%, compared to the 6.8% in the same period one year ago.
In another display of support for the Argentine administration of president Mauricio Macri, the government of the United States affirmed it has “significant foreign policy interests” in finding a “rapid” resolution to the long-standing dispute between Argentina and bondholders.
President Barack Obama paid homage on Thursday to victims of Argentina's former US-backed dictatorship, admitting the United States was “slow to speak out for human rights” in those dark days. Obama became the first US president to formally acknowledge the victims of the 1976-1983 military regime, which declassified documents have revealed was supported by top US officials.
The Brazilian government's efforts to have former president Lula da Silva into the cabinet of president Dilma Rousseff will have to wait until next 30 March when the Supreme Court is scheduled to hold its next full meeting. The political upheaval and simultaneous legal back-and forth has reached such a pitch that it inspired a bleakly funny website, lulaeministro.com, or “Is Lula a minister?” The site shows only the former president’s face and the words, “At this moment, No.” (Or yes, depending).
Odebrecht, the engineering firm at the heart of Brazil's biggest ever graft probe, on Tuesday agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, in a move likely to send shockwaves across political parties that for years illegally siphoned money from state contracts. Federal police found an office to pay bribes and it surfaced that since February it has a list of 200 politicians who benefited from siphoned funds for election campaigns.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff on Wednesday said ousting her would set a dangerous precedent for unpopular governments to be toppled in the future. On Tuesday Rousseff said that ongoing impeachment proceedings against her in Congress constituted a plot against Brazil's institutions and the nation's stability.