Chile students give Bachelet no respite

On 28 May thousands of students held protest marches in cities across Chile in rejection of the government’s education policies and over other grievances.

Is Argentina’s presidential election becoming a two-horse race?

The third-placed candidate in Argentina’s presidential election contest on 25 October, Sergio Massa, is losing ground to the two leading candidates, Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri, opinion surveys suggest. On 26 May, Humberto Zúccaro, the mayor of Pilar in the province of Buenos Aires, announced his decision to abandon Massa’s Frente Renovador (FR) and return to Scioli and President Cristina Fernández’s ruling Frente para la Victoria (FPV) - two rival factions in the Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronist). The danger for Massa is that as he slips in the opinion polls, others may follow Zúccaro’s lead, jumping ship to either the FPV or Macri’s centre-right opposition party Propuesta Republicana (PRO).

Saving the Petrossauro

At last, after months of delay, Petrobras has published its accounts. The state-owned Brazilian oil company, sometimes described as a Petrossauro, a prehistoric and cumbersome giant from the past, has taken a series of punishing blows to its balance sheet because of the impact of a corruption scandal and the fall in international oil prices. Revealing the depth of the damage may be a first step to beginning a recovery.

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.

Colombia’s peace process enters decisive end game

The Colombian military’s decisive response to the death of 11 soldiers in Cauca in April brings about the end of the Farc’s unilateral ceasefire and means that it is now make or break for the peace process.

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