NO AGREEMENT AMONG LATIN AMERICAN LEADERS ON HONDURAN CRISIS
Agreement proved impossible. Latin American leaders, meeting in the Portuguese city of Estoril for the Ibero-American Summit, could not reach agreement about the elections in Honduras and chose to issue a watered-down communiqué.
The statement demands the reinstatement of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, condemns violations of human rights and makes a brief mention of the elections that took place last Sunday.
Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates congratulated himself because at least “no delegation objected to the communiqué”. Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela have said that they will not recognise the results of Sunday’s election, but Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama and Peru have said they will.
EL Pais (Spanish)
ARGENTINA: ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS TAKE OVER CENTRAL BUENOS AIRES
Hundreds of “piqueteros” (unemployed activists) have taken over the centre of Argentinean capital Buenos Aires and built makeshift camps demanding jobs. They have accused the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of giving jobs only to members of her Peronista Party, as part of a plan to give subsidised employment to the long-term unemployed.
The demonstrators have said they will stay in their improvised camps until the government listens to their demands.
Clarin (Argentina, Spanish)
BOLIVIA: EVO MORALES REMAINS FAVOURITE FOR RELECTION
President Evo Morales should be re-elected in Sunday’s general elections with 53% of the votes, according to the latest opinion poll carried out by Mori. If the poll is right, there will no need for a run-off.
According to Mori, the president’s right-wing rival, Manfred Reyes Villa, will gain 31% of the votes. Morales and his Movement to Towards Socialism (MAS) Party are favourites in six of the nine departments, where they are heading for an absolute majority, whereas in those departments where the opposition is doing well, its candidates are not expected to gain 50% of the votes.
La Prensa (Bolivia, Spanish)
PERU: “FAT” THIEVES GANG – A LIE
Last week a leading police officer said that he had arrested most members of a gang of criminals who had killed at least 60 people to steal their body fat. The story was reported throughout the world.
Now, the police officer in charge of the operation has been suspended because he made the whole thing up. When the original announcement was made, the police showed a container full of what they said was human fat. But later police officers in the region where the crimes were supposed to have been committed said they knew nothing about it. Furthermore, experts say that human fat has no value in the international cosmetic market.
EL PAIS (Spanish)
MEXICO: FAST GROWTH OF TELECOMMUNICATION SECTOR
The telecommunications sector grew by 13% during the third quarter of this year, the highest rate this year.
The telecommunications is bucking the national trend, for overall Mexico’s economic output fell by a huge 6% during the same period. Despite the high growth in the third quarter, the telecommunications sector is expected to grow more slowly this year than in 2008. At the end of September, Mexico had 78.9 million mobile-phone users, an increase of 7% in relation to the end of September last year.
El Financiero (Mexico, Spanish)
SOUTH AMERICA, PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTARTIC MELTING
Pollution coming from South America is partly to blame for the melting of the glaciers in the Antarctic.
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) has published a report which it states that sea levels will rise more rapidly than had earlier been predicted, as the polar ice melts away. In their report, SCAR blames air pollution coming from South America and South Africa as partly responsible for the presence of heavy metal in the ice caps of the Antarctic. This metal contributes to the deterioration of the ice caps.
The document says that the “growing demand for energy, the burning of coal and biomass, the extraction of gold, intensive agriculture, the spraying of pesticides for disease vector control, and the lack of emission control technologies in South America, Africa and Asia will likely increase the atmospheric burden of Hg (mercury) and many other persistent contaminants.”