Mexico to surpass Colombia as the #1 recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 14:01

One month ago, we posted an entry comparing the Senate and House versions of the 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill.


U.S. partially terminates MCC assistance to Nicaragua

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 07:52

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) announced on Friday that it is partially terminating assistance to Nicaragua - specifically, $65 million of the original $175 million compact.


Protests in Peru

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 08:02

For two months, indigenous groups in Peru have staged protests against a series of legislative decrees that threaten their ancestral lands by allowing increased exploration and exploitation of gas and oil throughout the Amazon and encourage private property, which could break up indigenous communal landholdings.


Southcom, Drones, and Counternarcotics

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 12:48

Over the past month, the United States Southern Command, in collaboration with the Salvadoran military and civil aviation officials, has been evaluating the suitability of using unmanned aircraft, or drones, for counternarcotics operations throughout Latin America.


Southcom's New Commander - Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 14:53

Yesterday, Lieutenant General Douglas M. Fraser, USAF testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee for the consideration of his nomination to become general and Commander of U.S. Southern Command (Southcom). Lieutenant General Fraser would replace Admiral James Stavridis, who has led Southcom since 2006 and has recently been nominated to be the NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Lt. Gen.


A new era: El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 13:57

Yesterday, Mauricio Funes was sworn in as President of El Salvador - marking the historic end of the conservative ARENA party's two-decade rule and the historic beginning of the leftist Farabundo Marti Liberation Front's (FMLN) first attempt at the presidency. After fighting U.S.-backed troops for over 12 years, the FMLN converted itself from a Marxist guerrilla-based group to a political party in 1992, after the signing of the peace accords.


A Uranium Allegation

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 11:29

According to press reports, a three-page document issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry alleges that Bolivia and Venezuela have sold uranium to Iran for use in that country's nuclear program. The document is to be presented by Israeli Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Dani Ayalon at the 39th Regular Session of the OAS which will be held the first week of June in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.


Highlights from the Foreign Relations Authorization Act

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 05/26/2009 - 08:52

The House of Representatives sent its "Foreign Relations Authorization Act" for FY2010 and FY2011 to the Committee on Foreign Affairs last week (H.R. 2410). The point of the authorization bill is to make changes to the underlying laws governing the operations of the State Department and foreign aid, creating new programs, eliminating others, and altering others.


House and Senate versions of 2009 supplemental differ widely for Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 08:41

The House has approved, and Senate is nearing approval, on versions of a "Supplemental Appropriation," an addition to the federal budget for 2009. The bill responds to a request (PDF) from the Obama administration to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other priorities. While supplemental appropriations to Latin America and the Caribbean make up only a small portion of the funds allocated in the bill, aid to Mexico skyrockets in the House version and therefore warrants special attention.


The Obama Administration's Latin America Team

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 07:35

The Obama administration announced last week its third appointment of an official with responsibility for U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. Arturo Valenzuela was nominated to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.