CHIHUAHUA, Mexico, March 21 (Reuters) – A severe drought in
Mexico that has cost farmers more than a billion dollars in crop
losses alone and set back the national cattle herd for years, is
just a foretaste of the drier future facing Latin America’s
second largest economy.
As water tankers race across northern Mexico to reach
far-flung towns, and crops wither in the fields, the government
has allotted 34 billion pesos ($2.65 billion) in emergency aid
to confront the worst drought ever recorded in the country.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Some 2,000 Venezuelan women are threatening to sue doctors, private clinics and distributors for faulty PIP breast implants if they do not get free replacements in one of the world’s hottest markets for plastic surgery.
The image-conscious South American country was disproportionately hit by defective breast implants sold by French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) and filled with dangerous, industrial grade silicone.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday he will start radiation therapy for cancer in the coming weeks, a treatment that could leave him weakened ahead of his re-election bid on October 7.
In a televised appearance from Cuba, where he is recovering from a third surgery to treat cancer in his pelvic region, Chavez spoke with his cabinet ministers to project an image he is fully in command of the government despite his illness.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Cranes tower over new apartment blocks in Venezuela’s capital where President Hugo Chavez’s government plans to house 20,000 poor families as part of a populist pre-election spending push.
Though finished, the buildings stand empty – waiting for the usual fanfare inauguration of such projects by Chavez himself.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will return home next week from Cuba where he is recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Colombian leader Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday.
Although the socialist leader’s return will calm anxious supporters and put him back at the helm of government, Chavez still faces the tricky prospect of radiation treatment as he heads into the campaign for an October 7 presidential vote.
BRUSSELS/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Oil consuming nations have no need to release stockpiles as they do not face a supply crunch, EU officials and the agency for consumers said on Wednesday after Washington announced it may use stocks to stem soaring gasoline prices in an election year.
Oil prices hit a 10-month high last week in dollar terms and an all-time high in euros and British pounds amid fears over a loss of Iranian oil supplies and a Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear installations.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico may be sitting on a vast untapped reserve of shale oil just south of the Rio Grande, but state monopoly Pemex is showing little urgency to exploit their share of the bounty.
While U.S. energy companies are racing to drill more wells in the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale play that geologists say extends well south of the border, Mexican energy officials and Pemex executives appear unrushed.
COLONIA JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – In the craggy desert of northern Mexico, U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s relatives turned an arid valley into lush agricultural land and prospered after being chased from the United States for their Mormon beliefs.
They suffered years of hardship, living in dirt dugouts and overturned wagons, but then went on to build sturdy homes and a thriving school, develop irrigation canals and dams, raise herds of cattle, and plant vast peach and apple orchards from the punishing landscape.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Voters from Mexico’s ruling conservative party selected their first woman presidential candidate on Sunday, choosing a former education minister to battle the opposition’s nominee, who has a big lead in the polls.
National Action Party (PAN) voters threw their support behind party congressional leader Josefina Vazquez Mota, pushing aside Ernesto Cordero, a close ally of President Felipe Calderon.
CIUDAD JUAREZ (Reuters) – In March, municipal police officers detained the two brothers of Armida Vazquez and whisked them away in patrol cars.
Vazquez and her mother searched for Dante and Juan Carlos, cell-phone shop workers in their mid-20s, and checked with the local and federal police here, to no avail. Nineteen days later, the strangled bodies of the brothers were found on the outskirts of this notoriously violent city. Witness testimony and other evidence led to three policemen, now in jail awaiting trial.