LAPI Weekly Round Up – Interesting Stories From the Americas

Every Tuesday, the Latin America Policy Initiative (LAPI) will share a couple of news events or opinion pieces that we find are not only interesting but demonstrate the diversity of Latin American politics and societal views. Check out the following stories that you may have missed in the past week:

  • The BBC reports that Colombia has announced it’s working on negotiations with China to build an alternative to the Panamá Canal.  This story is yet another example of how Latin American countries are deepening both their diplomatic and economic ties with other partners. More here.

 If you are alarmed by these figures, and you think that all prophesies about the nexorable decline of U.S. influence around the world are bound to come true if Washington can’t be the biggest donor in its own neighborhood, get ready: it will get much worse.…the drastic foreign aid cuts proposed by Republicans could lead to a slow motion U.S. diplomatic suicide. The fact that Venezuela is already outspending Washington in donations to Haiti should speak for itself.

  • Mexico is mad at the US government for referring to their drug war as an ‘insurgency’…again. The Calderón Government condemned the characterization by a top U.S. Defense Department official as uniformed and innacurate. The Washington Post quotes the Mexican Foreign Minister calling for an equal partnership  

Espinosa said the two countries "need to find cooperation mechanisms that lead  to a greater ability to confront organized crime. It's totally unacceptable and  inappropriate to see the problem unilaterally”

  • Spanish newspaper El País published a fascinating interview with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The interviewer and newspaper director, Javier Moreno, questions Santos about his similarity to FDR in being called a ‘traitor to his class’. The President refutes the question as nonesense but accepts that Colombia has to do a lot more on the social justice front. For full interview in Spanish, click here.