Lima Group meeting over Venezuela starts in Peru

Foreign ministers from Latin America and Canada meet in the Peruvian capital on ways to step up pressure on Venezuela’s socialist regime to coincide with the second-term inauguration of President Nicolas Maduro next week. IMAGES

New Brazil leader Bolsonaro targets crime, leftwing ‘ideology’

Just sworn in as president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro salutes troops and the public outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, before declaring a crusade against crime, corruption and leftwing ideology as he takes office for a four-year term at the helm of Latin America’s biggest nation.

New Brazil leader Bolsonaro targets crime, leftwing ‘ideology’

Just sworn in as president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro salutes troops and the public outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, before declaring a crusade against crime, corruption and leftwing ideology as he takes office for a four-year term at the helm of Latin America’s biggest nation.

A roundup of images illustrating 2018’s main stories from LATAM

A look back at some of the most important events and best images from Latin America over 2018. IMAGES

China’s Xi makes historic visit to Panama

China’s President Xi Jinping and his Panamanian counterpart Juan Carlos Varela sign a string of cooperation agreements as Beijing aims to extend its political and economic influence in Latin America.

China Built A Space Base In Argentina To Explore The Dark Side Of The Moon (HBO)

LAS LAJAS, Neuquen Province, Argentina — In the middle of the Patagonian desert, more than 40 miles from the nearest town, the Chinese have invested $50 billion in a space base they say will be used to send a rocket to the dark side of the moon.

On the base, an enormous white satellite slowly rotates next to living quarters for the Chinese scientists that man the facility, surrounded by fencing topped with barbed wire. Without an invitation, the curious can’t get closer than the gates, about a hundred yards away from the structure.

But the base also serves China’s more earth-bound ambitions, as well: To expand its reach into regions that other world powers — including the United States — have taken for granted.

“China has a general geopolitical strategy, namely the Belt and Road Initiative. This is basically an international geopolitical strategy focused on reaching trade regions, with better opportunities, as well as logistics infrastructure for positioning and importing goods they need as commodities, such as steel and copper. Everything China needs|to have a sustained growth level as well as consumption goods, such as food and soy.,” Pablo Ava, a public policy researcher with the Argentinian Council for International Relations, said in an interview.

The base is just a portion of the tens of billions China has invested in Argentina over the past decade, as part of a broader push to gain a foothold in Latin America. During the recession, at a time when other nations avoided the corruption-plagued country and Argentina was hitting the deadline to pay back billions in government debt, China swooped in with a loan that helped stabilize the Peso. China has since invested in Argentinian infrastructure and energy projects, and increased its trade with the country.

But China also took advantage of Argentina’s economic struggles to negotiate favorable terms on many of those deals. The base came at a steal: China gets access to 494 acres of land, rent and tax-free, for 50 years. The Argentine government gets access to the base just 10 percent of the time.

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Calls for legal abortion return to the streets in Argentina

Thousands of women march in fight for the legalization of abortion for the first time since the rejection of the abortion bill by the Argentine Senate, as part of the Global Day for Safe Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Venezuelans are fleeing their country in droves due to crisis

The exodus of Venezuelans fleeing their country has generated a migration crisis in Latin America. The governments of the region have called on President Nicolas Maduro to accept humanitarian aid, but the Venezuelan leader has rejected the support, calling it a campaign against the country and has offered migrants the means to return. SPECIAL SUBTITLED AFP REPORT

Abortion in Latin America: four women’s voices

To legalise or not to legalise, that is the question on the lips of many legislators in Latin America since Argentina opted not to decriminalise abortion following a senate vote. It did at least open the way for greater debate on a subject viewed so differently across the region in which abortion is entirely legal in Cuba, but where women can even be jailed for a miscarriage in El Salvador.