Hemisphere Highlights, Volume VIII, Issue 7 - July 2009

  • Aug 4, 2009

    An overwhelming volume of refugee claims leads Canada to impose visa restrictions on Mexican citizens seeking to enter the country. A recent study released suggests levels of extreme poverty are on the rise in Mexico, where the H1N1 flu virus and other problems continue to plague the nation’s economy.  The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, announces a desire to hold a referendum to allow him to seek reelection, spurring comparisons with the unfolding situation in neighboring Honduras. The governments of Colombia and the United States negotiate the future of the U.S. military presence in the country, and meanwhile, a new minister of defense is appointed, and a dispute over criminal allegations on the former minister raise tensions between Colombia and Ecuador. A new U.S. GAO report suggests that Venezuela is becoming a key transit point for cocaine, eliciting impassioned responses from both Washington and Caracas. Presidential primaries conclude for the October 25 election in Uruguay, and the candidates selected for the ballot suggest a shift in ideology within the governing Frente Amplio party.