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June 28, 2006 [LINK]
Peru ratifies free trade with U.S.
The Peruvian Congress voted to approve [the free trade treaty with the United States that was signed last year.] All 28 members of the Aprista party, of which President-elect Alan Garcia is the leader, voted in favor of it. President Toledo pushed to have the vote taken before his term ends on July 28, after which the leftists allied to Ollanta Humala will gain a substantial number of congressional seats. Some of those legislators-to-be barged into the chambers during the late-night debate and staged a noisy anti-trade demonstration. This may be a grim foretaste of what is to come in Peruvian politics. CNN.com. In any case, the vote in favor of free trade marks an amazing turnabout from APRA's historical nationalistic stance, and it also demonstrates the party's strong parliamentary discipline. Some of the old guard Apristas must have cringed as they cast their affirmative votes.
Politics as usual in Colombia
Former justice minister Alberto Santofimio is on trial for plotting to kill Luis Carlos Galan, the charismatic presidential candidate, in 1989. It was a particularly gruesome scene as pistol shots were fired at close range on a crowded rally platform. Santofimio was a rival of Galan, and is accused of conspiring with the late drug lord Pablo Escobar to eliminate the crusading anti-narcotics politician. See BBC.
There are rumors that Ingrid Betancourt, who has been held hostage by the FARC rebels since 2002, may be released soon as part of a prisoner exchange. A FARC official says she is in good condition, but her family has had no contact with her since 2003. She was abducted while running for president, but the sweeping reelection victory by President Alvaro Uribe last month seems to have undermined the rebels' negotiating position. See CNN.com.
Brazil's war against gangs
Police in Brazil launched a preemptive attack against gang strongholds on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, killing at least 13 gang members. Another wave of violence was anticipated. See CNN.com. The possibility that this organized crime wave might spread to other cities and evolve into some kind of bandit-terrorist campaign poses a big threat to the government, and may hurt President da Silva's chances for reelection.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 28 Jun 2006, 8: 27 PM
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January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
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The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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