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BULLETIN 29 December 2009

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Argentina: First gay wedding in Latin America

For the first time in Latin America, a gay couple got married in Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, in the southernmost region of Argentina.
Amid protests from the Catholic Church and conservative groups, Alejandro Freyre and José María Di Bello were married in the local registry, after a judge banned them from performing the ceremony in the capital, Buenos Aires.
Although gay marriages are still forbidden in Argentina, the governor of Tierra del Fuego issued a special dispensation to allow Freyre and di Bello to be legally married. They wanted to tie the knot on 1 December, to celebrate International Aids Day, but a judge put a stop to their plans.

BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8433240.stm

Clarin (Argentina, Spanish)
http://www.clarin.com/diario/2009/12/28/um/m-02109327.htm


Venezuela: Chávez accuses Colombia of linking him with rebels

The Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez accused Colombia of forging evidence that  links him with the FARC guerrillas.”They are preparing the ground for attacking Venezuelan territory”, said Chávez, who called the Colombian government “a tool of the US government”.
Chávez announced the formation of new military units to be deployed in the west of the country. He said that the attempts to link him to the guerrillas are aimed at “stopping the revolution in Venezuela and Latin America”.

El Nacional (Venezuela, Spanish)
http://www.el-nacional.com/www/site/p_contenido.php?q=nodo/114633/Nacional/Ch%C3%A1vez-advierte-que-Colombia-prepara-falsas-pruebas-para-vincularlo-con-la-guerrilla


Chile to hand over report on “espionage” in Peru

The Chilean Foreign Minister, Mariano Fernández, has announced that the National Prosecutor’s office will hand over to the Peruvian authorities a report on an alleged case of espionage.
The Peruvian government alleges that a Peruvian petty officer was recruited to collect information on military secrets and that data was handed over to the Chilean navy.
Fernández said that this is part of a formal investigation carried out at the request of the Peruvian government.
Santiago has denied the allegation. This case has put more pressure on the relations between Chile and Peru, already strained by a century-old border dispute.

La Republica (Peru, Spanish)
http://www.larepublica.pe/traicion-la-patria/28/12/2009/chile-entregaria-manana-informe-sobre-caso-de-espionaje

El Comercio (Peru, Spanish)
http://elcomercio.pe/noticia/386996/chile-prepara-nota-verbal-informacion-fiscalia-su-pais


ECONOMY

Bolivia ends the year without new investment

The Bolivian government has announced that 2009 is ending without new foreign investment. Although the government of the newly-reelected Evo Morales has created some small businesses, this initiative has not helped to reduce unemployment.
According to analysts, the Bolivian economy needs an injection of at least US$30 billion to be able to deliver the government’s Economic Development Plan.

El Diario (Bolivia, Spanish)
http://www.eldiario.net/


CLIMATE CHANGE

Brazil: Dramatic changes in river system

Climate change is affecting the river system in Brazil, with unusual periods of drought and floods in the Amazon, according to the Geological Service of Brazil (CPRM). These are the biggest changes recorded in over a century.
CPRM says that in June the Rio Negro rose by more than 15 metres, just a metre less than the level considered ‘safe’ by specialists. Similar increases in other Amazonian rivers caused floods that affected many districts in the state of Amazonas. The same communities are now suffering the worst drought in living memory.
The CPRM believes that continuing deforestation is making things worse in a region already badly affected by climate change. Specialists believe that the situation will deteriorate even futher over the next few years, unless drastic action is taken to curb climate change at home and abroad.

El Pais (Spanish)
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Alarma/Amazonia/brasilena/elpepuintlat/20091229elpepuint_1/Tes

CPRM
http://www.cprm.gov.br/