INTELDROP 07 March 2016 [Latin America]

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Latin America Correspondent – Sam Farnan

Former Brazilian President Questioned and Properties Searched

4 March 2016

CNN (ATLANTA) – Ex Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was questioned by police last week regarding the current Petrobras corruption scandal. His home and other properties were also searched. Although nothing has come yet of this week’s investigation, prosecutors allege that da Silva received bribes during and after his time in office. The Petrobras scandal that erupted this year involves the state-run oil company, Petrobras, and large construction firms that largely inflated contract agreements, with both parties using funds for bribery and political donations. Source:http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/04/americas/former-brazil-president-lula-question/index.html (Reliability: High)

Venezuela Opposition Calls for Foreign Intervention

23 February 2016

TIME (NEW YORK) – Furthering the political strife in Venezuela this week, the opposing Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) called on the Organization of American States to intervene in what it sees as a gross breach of Venezuela’s constitution by President Nicholas Maduro’s Socialist party. The National Assembly recently gained the majority in the national legislature. After a number of moves by both the executive and judicial branches during the last few months, it argues that democratic practices have been violated and under this accusation the OAS can begin to help restore balance to the political landscape although it is unclear what the outcome may be. Source: http://time.com/4247401/venezuela-opposition-oas-maduro-political-crisis/ (Reliability: High)

Venezuelan Students Protest Supreme Court Ruling

3 March 2016

BBC (LONDON) – Highlighting the tension between the ruling Socialist party and the National Assembly controlled by the opposing Democratic Unity Roundtable party (MUD) last Thursday saw turbulent student protests in favor of the opposition controlled legislature. This followed a Supreme Court ruling that restricts the power of the National Assembly to review judicial appointments. Earlier this year outgoing Socialist legislators rushed through the Supreme Court judiciary nomination process, essentially loading the highest court in the ruling Socialist party’s favor, something the now opposition controlled legislative branch sees as a threat. In particular, the Supreme Court ruled this week that the National Assembly is only able to review the executive branch, not the judiciary, effectively sealing the national court in favor of the Socialist Party. Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35716100 (Reliability: High)

Jamaica Swears in new Prime Minister

3 March 2016

BBC (LONDON) – Jamaica swore in its new Prime Minister Andrew Holness this week after defeating Jamaica’s first female head of government. Holness based his campaign on promises to boost Jamaica’s economy during a time of crushing debt and to expand healthcare and education in a country where youth unemployment is at almost 40%. Another challenge facing his rule is that his party only has a one seat majority in the parliament. He hopes to make Jamaica the central hub of Caribbean affairs in finance, commerce, culture, and trade. Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35723037 (Reliability: High)

Colombian Oil Company Suffers Sharp Losses

6 March 2016

Reuters (NEW YORK) – Colombia’s state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol reported a sharp loss of $1.26 billion for 2015, a 170% drop from 2014. Ecopetrol’s production in 2015 was greater than 2014 by 0.7% or 760,000 barrels per day. Reasons for the huge drop in profits include the global decline in crude prices, new international accounting practices, and a more volatile security situation because of rebel attacks. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/ecopetrol-results-idUSL2N16C1WC (Reliability: High)

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