QUITO, June 14 (Reuters) – Ecuador’s Congress on Friday
passed a law creating a state watchdog to regulate newspaper and
television content, a move critics called a blow to free speech
but the government hailed as a step toward more balanced media.
The law represents a victory for socialist President Rafael
Correa’s in his six-year battle with the country’s media during
which he has sued several media outlets for libel and insulted
reporters with epithets such as “wild beasts” and “rabid dogs.”
QUITO, June 13 (Reuters) – Ecuador’s lawmakers on Thursday
approved a mining law that should speed the development of small
and medium-size ventures, only days after Canada’s Kinross
canceled a massive $1.2 billion gold project in the country over
a tax dispute.
Ecuador’s mining industry is at its infancy, but the Andean
nation is largely unexplored and could potentially have big
copper, gold and silver deposits.
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday dismissed as “crazy” accusations made by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro that Santos is involved in a plot to overthrow him, and called for a diplomatic solution to the dispute.
Santos met with Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles earlier this week, triggering a furious reaction from Maduro, who accused Santos of “betrayal” and said he was in cahoots with Capriles to plot against him.
BOGOTA, May 31 (Reuters) – Colombia’s central bank is likely
to hold its key interest rate on Friday for a second straight
month as the country’s economic growth outlook improves on a
government stimulus package, already-low borrowing costs and an
improved overseas scenario.
In a Reuters poll on Monday all 22 analysts expected
policymakers to maintain borrowing costs at 3.25 percent. It was
the first such poll in 12 months in which all economists
predicted the same monetary policy move.
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s central bank chief said on Friday his main challenge over the medium term was preparing the nation for a normalization of U.S. monetary policy, possible rate hikes by developed nations and a drop in commodity prices.
After years of near-zero interest rates, the United States is showing signs that an end to expansive monetary policies could occur in two or three years as its economy gains steam, Jose Dario Uribe told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit.
BOGOTA, May 23 (Reuters) – A Latin American bloc that
includes Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile on Thursday agreed to
eliminate tariffs on most goods to promote free trade between
the countries and increase exports to Asia.
The members of the nascent Pacific Alliance group also aim
to promote free market policies as the key to economic growth,
attract more foreign investment and integrate their capital
markets and energy networks.
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s coffee farmers are striving to sell their surging coffee output by getting a foothold in new markets in the Middle East and Latin America, and also by winning back disenchanted vendors who sell in the country’s traditional markets, the head of the growers federation said on Tuesday.
Good crop weather, increased fertilization, and the progress of a coffee tree renovation program will lift Colombia’s production to 10 million bags in 2013, up about 30 percent from 2012, and pave the way for higher output in the future, Luis Genaro Munoz told the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit.
BOGOTA, May 17 (Reuters) – The Organization of American
States on Friday published a report calling for
decriminalization of drug use and for greater coordination
between nations in tackling the scourge.
“The report presented by the OAS today is a vital piece in
the construction of a common way to fight this problem,”
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during the
presentation of the 200-page report in Bogota.
BOGOTA, May 15 (Reuters) – Colombia, the world’s
fourth-largest exporter of coal, said on Wednesday it produced
18.4 million tonnes of coal in the first quarter, a drop of 21.4
percent from the same quarter last year, due to labor disputes
as well as port and rail disruptions.
Workers at Colombia’s top coal miner, Cerrejon, walked off
the job for more than a month in February, demanding better
wages and benefits. Weeks of tough negotiations led to the
signing of a three-year agreement in March, but Cerrejon said it
will likely miss its 2013 output goal of 34 million tonnes.
BOGOTA, May 9 (Reuters) – Colombian Finance Minister
Mauricio Cardenas on Thursday described the collapsed Interbolsa
brokerage as a “launderette” and a “sewer” after accusations
from a lower house lawmaker that it laundered cash from drug
cartels and Marxist FARC rebels.
Interbolsa, the largest brokerage in the fast-growing Andean
country, was intervened and dissolved in November following a
liquidity problem that left it unable to make $11 million in
scheduled bank payments.