lunes, 25 de junio de 2012

Ambassadors leave Paraguay after "coup"

Most Latin American states withdrew their ambassadors from Paraguay in response to the removal of its president by parliament, while Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay stated they would not let Paraguay attend the 28-29 June meeting of Mercosur, the regional trading block, agencies reported on 25 June. Deposed president Fernando Lugo was nevertheless invited to the meeting due to be held in Mendoza, Argentina. Paraguayan officials have rejected the diplomatic pressures and imminent economic sanctions that could damage Paraguay's economy, and insisted Lugo's removal was constitutional. Venezuela announced on 24 June that it would stop selling Paraguay 7,500 barrels of crude oil a day under favourable payment terms, as part of a regional agreement, Reuters reported on 24 June. Venezuelan oil sent within the terms of the Caracas Energy Accord (Acuerdo Energético de Caracas) constituted some 27 per cent of Paraguay's daily fuel consumption, Reuters reported.

Honduras bans men on motorbikes

Honduras forbad on 14 June that two men should travel on a motorbike and that either should carry weapons, in a bid to end ride-by shootings, EFE reported on 15 June. The country has one of Latin America's highest crime rates. The decision, once in force, would permanently replace and toughen a similar ban imposed from 14 December 2011 to 12 June 2012. Infractors could incur penalties including a fine, or having their bike confiscated and driving licence annulled. The norm allows a man to ride with a woman or with a child of under 12 years of age.

Mexico's former leader defends backing rivals

Mexico's former president Vicente Fox Quesada denied he was a traitor to his party for publicly backing a rival candidate ahead of presidential polls due on 1 July, El Pais reported on 25 June. Fox was from 2000 to 2006 the first president from the National Action Party (PAN), after some 70 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). But he has angered PAN politicians by speaking well of the PRI's candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. Fox told El Pais that the current PAN administration of Felipe Calderón had brought financial stability but that Mexicans were tired of crime and the war on drug cartels that has killed some 50,000 since 2006. "I think the army should never have been brought onto the streets" to fight cartels, he said; "there have been endless rights violations." He observed that the past three Mexican governments had been "minority" governments lacking the support of congress and the next one - which he believes would be led by Peña Nieto - would more effectively implement reforms. He said Peña Nieto "realises like I do that you are either capable of acting or you do nothing, but he is not seeking a dictatorship. He is proposing...harmony between the legislative and executive branches." He denied he was betraying the PAN and termed his confidence in Peña Nieto "pragmatism;" his loyalty, he said, was to "democracy, to the people of Mexico." He dismissed a recent student initiative called Yo Soy 132 (http://yosoy132.mx/) critical of Peña Nieto, as a "creation of the media" and of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the left-wing candidate Fox compares to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.