Colombia govt reaches ‘historic’ deal with farmers

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The latest in Latin American politics today:

Colombia reaches ‘historic deal’ to buy land from cattle ranchers

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BOGOTA – Colombia’s government said it

reached a deal

with cattle farmers to buy 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of land, earmarked for poor rural farmers to push agrarian reform while boosting food production and tackling poverty.

“We’ve reached total agreement, this is an historic act, the third component of the agrarian reform is beginning,” Agriculture Minister Cecilia Lopez said in a statement, adding the deal will be signed next week by President Gustavo Petro.

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The cost of the purchase and how it will be financed were not disclosed.

UN renews human rights mission in Venezuela

GENEVA/CARACAS – The United Nations Human Rights Council has

renewed the mandate

of its fact-finding human rights mission in Venezuela, an initiative that Caracas considers an aggressive tool for interfering in domestic matters.

The mandate to extend the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission for Venezuela (FFM) for two more years was approved during a Council session in Geneva, having been first created in 2019 to look into alleged human rights violations.

President Nicolas Maduro’s Foreign Minister Carlos Faria called the FFM’s extension “a new attack against Venezuela” on Twitter.

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Brazil’s Lula looks to replace spending cap

SAO PAULO – Economic advisers to Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are looking at

two main ideas to replace a constitutional spending cap

, two senior aides have told Reuters.

Lula has stressed that if elected he will not maintain the spending cap, which only allows spending by the federal government to grow as much as the previous year’s inflation.

Sources said Lula’s preferred proposal involves the establishment of a primary budget surplus target with bands so the government can spend more in the event of an economic downturn.

Bolsonaro says ally Trump would have averted war in Ukraine

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the war in Ukraine

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would not have happened

if former U.S. President Donald Trump were still in office, but offered no explanation for how his close ally could have prevented the conflict.

The comments in an interview with news magazine Veja could add to tensions with Washington as Bolsonaro seeks to overtake Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of the country’s

Oct. 30 runoff


Haiti to seek a foreign armed force to combat gangs

Haiti’s government has authorized Prime Minister Ariel Henry to ask the international community for a “specialized armed force” to address a crisis caused by a blockade of the country’s main fuel port that has led to crippling shortages, according to a decree.

Haiti has ground to a halt since a coalition of gangs blocked the Varreux fuel terminal last month. The lack of gas and diesel has crippled transportation and forced businesses and hospitals to halt operations.

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The decree allows Henry to “solicit and obtain from Haiti’s international partners effective support through immediate deployment of a specialized armed force to stop … the insecurity resulting from the joint actions of armed gangs and their sponsors.”

Argentine minister resigns after indigenous Mapuche women evicted from land

BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Alberto Fernandez accepted the resignation of the minister for women, genders and diversity after she opposed the eviction of a group of indigenous Mapuche women from land in the southern Patagonia region.

Elizabeth Gomez Alcorta, who before taking office had worked as a defense lawyer for a Mapuche leader, had on Thursday criticized the eviction and subsequent arrest in Rio Negro province of six Mapuche women, one of whom was pregnant.

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Gomez Alcorta had said it was “extremely serious” that the detainees did not have a lawyer and were denied release.

Mexican tax chief Raquel Buenrostro named as next economy minister

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has named Raquel Buenrostro as economy minister, setting up the head of the country’s tax authority, who made her name cracking down on big business for unpaid taxes, to lead efforts to fix a major trade dispute with the United States.

“She’s done a great job (as tax authority chief),” Lopez Obrador said at a regular news conference, touting Buenrostro’s experience in the public sector and master’s degree in economics.

Former economy minister Clouthier stepped down at the president’s regular news conference Thursday, leaving her ministry without a key negotiator amid trade disputes with the United States and Canada. She did not say why she was leaving the post. (Compiled by Steven Grattan and Brendan O’Boyle. Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman)



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