INTELDROP 21 Feb 2016 [Latin America]



Latin America Correspondent – Sam Farnan

FARC Peace Talks will not be Extended: President of Colombia

20 February 2016

BBC (LONDON) – The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has expressed a need for the FARC to re-engage in peace talks that began in 2012 in Cuba. Santos has stated they have until March 23 of this year to finalize remaining points mainly having to do with disarmament of the group. In addition, Santos has accused FARC leaders of violating previous terms of the deal by holding a rally that included armed guerrillas. In the event that the deal is not signed, it is unclear where both the Colombian government and FARC stand and what the future will hold. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–FARC when translated to Spanish–was born in the 1960s during a period of political upheaval in Colombia. The FARC have participated in drug trafficking to finance their operations that include bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings. Source: (Reliability – High)

WHO Leader: Zika virus “Spreading Explosively”

20 February 2016

CNN (ATLANTA) – Dr. Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization has stated the Zika virus is rapidly spreading throughout South America and is finding its way across oceans, ranging from South Africa to New Zealand. The virus originated in Brazil in 2015 but has spread rapidly across the continent. Most who are infected are unaware that they can transmit the mosquito borne virus that has no vaccine as of yet. Those most at risk pregnant mothers and newborns which aids researchers and healthcare professionals in attempting to treat patients. The WHO predicts another 3-4 million infectious cases will arise in the next year in South America alone. Source: (Reliability – High)

Venezuelan Government hikes Gasoline Prices but not Diesel

20 February 2016

Reuters (NEW YORK) – Venezuela’s government has raised the price of gasoline for the first time in twenty years but hesitated in doing so for diesel. President Nicholas Maduro was quoted about leaving diesel prices alone, saying he felt hiking diesel prices would “that there’s no problems with cargo or public transport” referencing the vast majority of Venezuela’s public transport utilizes diesel vehicles. Increasing the price would only hurt those that need it most in an economy desperately struggling to stay afloat. The price of gasoline however increased 1300% for 91 octane gas and 6000% for 95 octane. Regardless of this week’s price hikes, Venezuela’s gas remains the world’s cheapest worldwide which is not good for an economy the IMF predicts will surpass 700% inflation later this year. Source: (Reliability – High)

Citibank Ending Consumer Banking in South American Countries

19 February 2016

Associated Press (BOGOTA) – Due to the struggling economies of numerous South American countries, Citibank is ceasing its consumer banking services in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. The bank, which has been active in South America for over a century, is cutting its losses in order to reap more returns. Combined with China’s slowing economy and questionable management of national economies, this move will affect thousands of citizens of the previously mentioned countries prompting citizens to seek other banking services to conduct basic financial transactions such as checking, deposits, and money transfers.  Source: (Reliability – High)

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