Chile’s Bachelet appoints new education minister

On 27 June Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet appointed Adriana Delpiano as her new education minister.

‘Zannini effect’ causes blue dollar to spike

To no-one’s surprise, Florencio Randazzo, Argentina’s interior and transport minister, dropped his bid for the presidency on 19 June. Randazzo’s decision, taken after a long meeting with President Cristina Fernández, means that the ruling Frente para la Victoria (FpV) can rally around a single candidate ahead of the October election: Daniel Scioli, the current governor of Buenos Aires province. Randazzo’s withdrawal was all but confirmed when Carlos Zannini, one of Fernández’s closest allies, accepted Scioli’s invitation to be his running mate. With the ultra-kirchnerista Zannini on the ticket, the price of the blue dollar soared as analysts anticipated a continuation of the government’s currency control policies in the event of a Scioli victory.

Education – Latin America’s big problem

Is the Latin American education system broken? There is a certainly a sense that it is not working as well as it should. Some believe under-par schools and teachers are one of the root causes of the region’s poor economic performance, certainly when compared to other parts of the developing world such as Asia. Here, we look at some of the arguments, plus the reforms being attempted by different countries.

US investigations into Venezuelan narco links threaten a new spat

A new diplomatic confrontation between the US and Venezuela may be in the offing as a result of investigations in New York and Miami into the alleged involvement of high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the national assembly, Diosdado Cabello, in drug trafficking. This could depend on whether, apart from the testimony of Venezuelan defectors, there is enough hard evidence for formal charges to be filed.

Humala enters the final stretch beset by scandal and with his popularity in freefall

Peru’s President Ollanta Humala’s final year in office may be his most difficult yet. Humala has lost much of the political capital that he enjoyed after his election in April 2011 and remains in open confrontation with a national congress in which the ruling Gana Perú (GP) coalition no longer has a majority. Outside of congress, the president’s public support remains in freefall. Humala’s approval rating hit a new low in June on the back of continued anti-mining protests and fresh scandals affecting First Lady Nadine Heredia.

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