- The climate for doing business in Latin America has improved in the fourth quarter compared to the third, influenced by better perceptions about the current situation, but remained less than positive, said a report released on Wednesday.
Brazilian think tank Fundación Getulio Vargas said in its quarterly report that the Economic Climate Index (ECI) rose 11.8 points to 66.5 points, a level still well below the 100-point mark that indicates a favorable climate. .
Constructed as the geometric mean of the Present Situation Index (PSI) and the Expectations Index (EI), the ECI increased this quarter mainly due to an improvement in the PSI, which rose 22.7 points to 67 points, according to the report. The IE registered 66.1 points with a slight increase of 0.6 points, indicating stability.
Latin America's ICE has remained mostly at an unfavorable level since the third quarter of 2013, according to the report.
In the fourth quarter, the business climate in Brazil has improved the most, with an ECI increase of 30 points, while Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia have also seen an improvement, but only Paraguay (114.7). and Uruguay (108.2) were in the favorable zone.
"There was an improvement in the current situation driven by the largest economies in the region, but expectations rose little or fell," the report says. ■
- The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) said this Friday that it raised the commission for financial intermediaries, such as banks and exchange houses, for the first time in eight years.
The commission increased from 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent, which took effect on November 16.
The price readjustment is due "to the global increase in interest rates in US dollars, which was generated by the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) and other monetary authorities in the world, in order to reverse the inflationary process," he said. the bank.
"This increase translates into higher import costs of monetary material in dollars for the BCB," he added.
The Fed raised the interest rate by 0.75 percentage point earlier this month in an attempt to curb inflation.
Bolivian economist Mike Gemio said recently that the Fed's hike is likely to have an impact on developing economies in the region by making it harder to service loans or attract foreign investment, causing an economic slowdown. ■
The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
In the general debate, many speakers welcomed the work of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
They said the comprehensive action-oriented Durban Declaration and Program of Action remain an essential tool to combat racism and racial discrimination, and are as relevant today as they were in 2001 when they were adopted by consensus at the World Conference against Racism in Durban.
Some speakers highlighted the importance of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination and reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Declaration.
The implementation and comprehensive follow-up of the Durban Declaration must continue to be a priority for all States.
Many speakers said that systemic racism and other forms of racial discrimination continued to deprive millions of people of their dignity, equality and fundamental human rights.
Minorities and ethnic groups, namely people of African, Asian and Muslim descent, have long been discriminated against and marginalized, their rights have been violated and their security is under constant threat of violence.
Racism, ethnic profiling and the glorification of past crimes seriously undermined efforts to promote international peace and security.
Some speakers expressed concern about the persistence of structural racism, particularly in developed countries, and their subsequent attempts to evade their historical debt to people who were victims of slavery.
Several speakers strongly condemned racial injustices and racially motivated violence perpetrated against people of African descent, saying that the reports presented under the agenda item painted a bleak picture; it was clear that the world was not doing enough to end racism and racial discrimination.
Some speakers highlighted cases of Islamophobia and strongly condemned any action that prevents Muslims from practicing their faith.
Aligning the actions of terrorist groups with religions such as Islam is an act of racial discrimination.
Some speakers said that in autocratic systems, racist hate speech and dehumanization of ethnic or religious groups were often elevated to the level of state ideology, with the aim of replacing any internal discourse with propaganda about the designated enemy.
Only through collective efforts can racism and racial discrimination be eliminated.
Diversity was a strength and not a threat to society.
Some speakers highlighted that, although more than two years had passed since African-American George Floyd died as a result of police violence, discriminatory law enforcement against ethnic minorities and related violence and deaths continued to emerge in some countries.
Police racism and violence were issues of chronic, systemic and structural racism and social inequality in certain countries, with the legacy of slavery and colonialism in their history.
Some speakers said it was unfortunate that in some of the countries that proclaimed themselves leaders in human rights, people were more likely to be extrajudicially detained or killed by law enforcement because of the color of their skin.
Although digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, presented increasing opportunities, their misuse also posed risks to fundamental rights and democracy, some speakers said.
They expressed deep concern about the rise of online hate speech and harassment, which was often driven by algorithms programmed to record engagement, generate more views, and stimulate users to post hateful content.
Despite the opportunities digital platforms offered for public engagement and participation, speakers were concerned that the misuse of those platforms could amplify hate speech and contribute to national, ethnic, racial, or religious polarization.
It was essential to protect and promote the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age.
There was a need to work on the use of technology as a means to contribute to the fight against racism and racial discrimination.
Some speakers called on relevant countries to address the serious problems of racism and racial discrimination in their countries, and comprehensively review and review discriminatory policies, review judicial and law enforcement bodies, and thoroughly investigate cases of violence to hold criminals accountable and compensate victims.
States must adopt a victim-oriented approach to the problems of racism and related intolerance to accelerate action for racial equality and address disparities and inequalities in human development.
The Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should attach greater importance to the problems of racial discrimination and violence by law enforcement agencies and take the necessary measures.
Several speakers urged the international community to redouble its efforts to resolve international challenges and address problems related to any form of racism.
They said that the Council had a role to play in leading the discussion on the issue, with a broad commitment and participation of States.
Some speakers discussed ways in which their countries were deepening national programs focused on eliminating racism and racial discrimination, with civil society often playing a critical role in this process.
They described the specific legislation and mechanisms that had been established to prevent, address, eradicate and punish racial discrimination.
One speaker reported on specific programs that exist to deal with hate crimes in certain States, including a free program that assists victims of anti-Muslim hate through counseling, advocacy and legal signaling services.
Speakers said that many States had been represented at the General Assembly in September, where they commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
Speaking in the general debate were China on behalf of a group of countries, Armenia on behalf of a group of countries, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Namibia, India, Armenia, Malaysia, the United States, Nepal, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Benin , Bolivia, Ukraine, Malawi, Qatar, Mauritania, Sudan, Germany, Israel, Ecuador, Iraq, Morocco, Bahrain, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Peru, Syria, Belarus, Algeria, Suriname, Türkiye, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Georgia.
The following non-governmental organizations spoke: International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, International Movement of Youth and Students for the United Nations, Al Baraem Association for Charity Work, Social Organization "Association of Women with University Education", Elizka Relief Foundation, Institute for NGO Research, International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities, International Service for Human Rights, International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Coordination Board of Jewish Organizations, Afrique Esperance, World Jewish Congress, China Foundation for the Development of Human Rights, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man, Chinese NGO Network for International Exchanges, Interfaith International, Rencontre Af ricaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, B'nai B'rith, Fitilla, Guinea Humanitaire and Center Europeen pour le droit, les Justice et les droits de l'homme.
Also speaking were the China Association for International Understanding, the Chinese Society for Human Rights Studies, the Youth Parliament for the SDGs, International-Lawyers.Org, the Center for Gender Justice and Women's Empowerment, the International Humanist Union and Ethics, the Meezaan Center for Human Rights, Human Rights Information and Training Center, Human Is Right, Association Ma'onah for Human Rights and Immigration, Peace Track Initiative, Sikh Human Rights Group, International Commission of Jurists, Conselho Indigenista Missionário , Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Conectas Direitos Humanas, Association Bharathi Center Culturel Franco-Tamoul, Association pour les Victimes Du Monde, Organization for the Defense of Victims of Violence, Integrated Youth Empowerment - Joint Initiative Group, Platform for the Integration of Youth and Volunteering, Association pour la défense des droits de l'homme et des rev endications démocratiques/culturelles du peuple Azerbaidjanais-Iran, Mother of Hope Cameroon Common Initiativ e Group, Africa Culture Internationale, Institut International pour les Droits et le Développement, Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health, Iraqi Development Organization and LePont. Speaking with the right of reply, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
General discussion on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, began at the previous meeting and a summary can be found here.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here.
All meeting summaries can be found here.
Documents and reports related to the fifty-first regular session of the Human Rights Council can be found here.
The Human Rights Council will resume its work at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon when it will hear the High Commissioner's oral presentation on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, followed by an interactive dialogue.
The Council will then hear a presentation of the High Commissioner's report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue.
If time permits, the Council will hear an oral update from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in South Sudan, including the challenges facing the post-conflict transition, followed by an interactive discussion.
More than 80 maternal and child health experts from around the world have concluded a meeting in Freetown with the aim of improving midwifery education.
The body of experts included health authorities from Sierra Leone, Malawi, Bolivia, Pakistan and India, the WHO and other global health partners.
Their deliberations focused on finding actionable strategies to help strengthen the quality of midwifery education and training in order to improve standards that will help curb preventable maternal and newborn deaths.
The preventable death of mothers and young children remains a major public health challenge in many low- and middle-income countries, including participating countries.
In 2010, Sierra Leone introduced the Free Health Care Initiative to improve universal access to quality health care for pregnant and lactating mothers and children under 5 years of age.
The Initiative and other national strategies have contributed to improving the coverage of essential services for these categories of beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2019) showed that about 83% of all deliveries take place in health facilities, and about 87% of these are attended by qualified health care providers.
However, statistics on the burden of the country's maternal and infant mortality rate are still grim and among the highest in the world.
The maternal mortality rate is estimated at 717 per 100,000 live births (2019), while neonatal mortality is estimated at 31 per 1,000 live births.
“Sierra Leone has many experiences to share on maternal and child mortality and, at the same time, has much to learn from the experiences and lessons of other parts of the world to help curb the perennial and unacceptably high mortality of women of childbearing age and babies,” says Dr. Steven Shongwe, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.
“We can change this narrative now rather than later because we have the opportunity and the tools to do so.
We have evidence-based policies, strategies, guidelines, standards and best practices.
However, we must now be intentional and challenge ourselves to improve institutional capacities for midwifery education and training to transform the delivery of health services that will save the lives of women during childbirth and children early in life.
life,” added Dr. Shongwe.
He emphasized the need for strategic investment in human resources for health, equipment, medicines and supplies.
Through financial support from the MSD for Mothers Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and other partners are providing technical assistance to countries to implement programs aimed at improving public-private partnership to drive investment in strengthening the human resources and institutional capacities to enable health facilities to provide optimal quality health care, including obstetric care, when and where it is needed to achieve universal health coverage.
In 2019, WHO launched the Framework for Action to Strengthen the Quality of Midwifery Education for Universal Health Coverage 2030.
The Framework sets out the steps that countries need to take to develop and strengthen their national strategies for human resources for health.
, including strengthening quality midwifery capacities.
WHO works closely with multiple partners, including UNFPA, UNICEF, other UN agencies, donors and development partners to help the Ministry of Health and Sanitation advocate, mobilize resources and act together to reach the required number of trained and qualified midwives and health-related.
professionals that Sierra Leone needs.
Some of the main results of this meeting will lead to better coordination, regulation, capacities and functionality of midwifery in Sierra Leone and the other participating countries.
An indigenous man who lived in complete isolation in the Brazilian Amazon for over 25 years has died, the indigenous rights group Survival International announced late on Monday.
According to Funai, Brazil’s agency for the country’s indigenous population, which was tasked with monitoring him, the man was found dead in a hammock.
There were reportedly no signs of foul play.
The indigenous man was known as “Índio Tanaru’’ or “Índio of the hole,’’ as he was known to dig deep holes in which he hid and caught animals.
He was believed to be the last survivor of his tribe and the only inhabitant of Tanaru territory in the state of Rondônia.
He was dubbed by some as the world’s loneliest person.
Human rights activists believe that the other remaining members of his tribe were killed by cattle ranchers when they expanded into the region in the 1970s and 1980s.
The region, near Brazil’s border with Bolivia, was often referred to as Brazil’s Wild West, as land conflicts were often settled violently.
According to Fiona Watson of Survival International, the man “symbolised both the appalling violence and cruelty inflicted on indigenous peoples in the name of colonisation and economic benefit and their resistance,’’ statement said.
Peruvian police and public prosecution agents raided the presidential palace in Lima on Tuesday in an unsuccessful bid to arrest Yenifer Paredes, the sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo, for alleged corruption and money laundering.
The unprecedented police operation was carried out after the prosecutor’s office requested a “raid” of the “residential area of the government palace,” the Court of Justice said in a statement.
After almost four hours of searching, the agents left the presidential residence without finding Paredes, who now appears to be a fugitive from justice.
Paredes, 26, lives with Castillo and his family in the presidential residence within the Government Palace.
Judicial raids were taking place simultaneously in several other locations in the capital, with Jose Nenil Medina, a mayor from Castillo’s native Chota province, and businessmen brothers Hugo and Angie Espino arrested for alleged involvement in the same corruption ring.
The court authorized the preliminary detentions of those involved for 10 days.
Paredes had already been summoned to testify before the public prosecutor’s office and to appear before a commission of the Peruvian Congress in mid-July.The public prosecutor’s office has five open investigations against President Castillo, who is himself facing corruption allegations.
In a message broadcast on television late Tuesday, Castillo called the operation “an illegal raid” that was part of a conspiracy to remove him from office.
“Today, the Government Palace and the Presidential House have once again been violated with an illegal raid endorsed by a judge, coincidentally when a request is being made for my disqualification for five years to take away from the Peruvian people their legitimate government,” said Castillo, a 52-year-old former teacher and trade unionist.
Earlier on Tuesday, a parliamentary report recommended disqualifying and criminally prosecuting Castillo over his reported consideration of a proposal to allow landlocked Bolivia access to the sea through Peru, an allegation he denies.
Castillo completed a year in office in July. He has so far faced two impeachment proceedings in Congress and has a 74 percent disapproval rating amongst the public, according to opinion polls.
Paredes is the fourth person in the presidential entourage to be investigated for alleged corruption.
Other members of Castillo’s close circle to be prosecuted are a nephew who served as an adviser and a former transportation minister, both of whom are fugitives from justice, and his former presidential secretary.
Turkey, Venezuela announce plans for closer tiesPlansde Jaeneiro, June 9, 2022 Turkey and Venezuela have signalled their intention to forge closer partnership as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro signed several agreements in Ankara.Both sides stressed the importance of improved bilateral relations, with Maduro calling Erdoğan his “brother” in a tweet, while the Turkish president condemned the “unilateral” sanctions on Venezuela in a tweet written in Spanish.The U.S. had imposed a whole range of sanctions against the authoritarian Venezuelan leadership.Maduro, unlike most other Latin American leaders, was not invited to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week by U.S. President Joe Biden.The U.S. government also declined to invite the authoritarian leaders of Cuba and Nicaragua to the summit, that caused Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Bolivian President Luis Arce and Honduran President Xiomara Castro to cancel their own planned participation.Venezuela had been in a severe political and economic crisis for years, experiencing dire food, medicine and fuel shortages despite the country’s enormous oil wealth, forcing millions of Venezuelans to leave the country. (
Bolivian prosecutors said Monday they would seek a 15-year prison term for former President Jeanine Anez, who is on trial for an alleged plot, dismissed as fictitious by many, to oust her rival and predecessor Evo Morales.
Áñez, 54, has been in preventive detention since March 2021 and denounces what she calls political persecution.
She was arrested just a few months after handing over the presidential reins she had held in an interim capacity to elected leader Luis Arce, a Morales protégé.
Áñez faces charges in two trials, including a criminal case that she attended by videoconference from her cell on Monday, for “breach of duty” and making resolutions contrary to the Constitution when she was a senator, before becoming president.
In this case, Attorney General Juan Lanchipa said at a press conference on Monday that he will seek a 15-year prison sentence.
In a separate case pending before lawmakers, Áñez faces sedition and other charges related to her brief presidential term.
The right-wing Anez became Bolivia's interim president in November 2019 after Morales, who claimed to have won a fourth consecutive term as president, fled the country in the face of mass protests against alleged electoral fraud.
The Organization of American States (OAS) said at the time that it had found clear evidence of voting irregularities in favor of Morales, who had been in power for 14 years.
Many of those who would have succeeded Morales, all members of his MAS party, also resigned and fled. This left the opposition Áñez, then vice president of the Senate, as the highest-ranking official on the left.
The Constitutional Court recognized Áñez's mandate as interim president, but MAS members questioned her legitimacy.
The elections were held a year later and Arce won. With the presidency and congress firmly under MAS control, Morales returned to Bolivia in November 2020.
Áñez was arrested in March of the following year, accused of irregularly assuming the presidency.
At the start of her brief presidency, Áñez had called in the police and army to restore order. The post-electoral conflict caused some 35 deaths, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
For this reason, Áñez also faces charges of genocide.
A 36-year-old man was arrested and placed in psychiatric care after he smeared cake on a glass screen covering the Mona Lisa, prosecutors said Monday, in an alleged protest against artists not focusing enough on " the planet".
Officials at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where the enigmatic portrait takes pride of place, declined to comment on Sunday's bizarre incident, which was captured on multiple phones and widely circulated on social media.
The prized work of Leonardo da Vinci, which has been the target of vandalism attempts in the past, escaped unscathed thanks to its bulletproof glass case.
A Twitter user identified as Lukeee posted a video showing a museum employee cleaning glass and another showing a man dressed in white being escorted by security guards.
“A man dressed as an old woman jumps out of a wheelchair and tries to break the bulletproof glass of the Mona Lisa. He then proceeds to spread cake on the glass and throws roses everywhere, all before being approached by security,” Lukeee wrote.
Speaking French, the man says: “There are people who are destroying the Earth… All artists, think about the Earth. That's why I did this. Think of the planet.
No images have surfaced showing the actual incident.
An investigation has been opened into "an attempt to vandalize a cultural work," the Paris prosecutor's office said.
The Mona Lisa has been behind glass since a Bolivian man threw a rock at the painting in December 1956, damaging her left elbow. In 2005, it was placed in a reinforced box that also controls temperature and humidity.
In 2009, a Russian woman threw an empty teacup at the painting, which slightly scratched the box.
The Louvre is the world's largest museum, home to hundreds of thousands of works that drew some 10 million visitors a year before the Covid-19 pandemic.
A powerful explosion due to a suspected gas leak ripped through a luxury hotel in central Havana and killed at least 22 people on Friday, according to official counts.
Rescuers pulled four bodies from the rubble in the early afternoon as they searched what was left of the prestigious Saratoga Hotel for survivors.
At least one woman contacted by rescuers was alive in the rubble, authorities said, adding that they believed there were still more survivors trapped and that a canine squad was looking for them.
Cuba's president attributed the massive explosion to a gas leak.
"It was neither a bomb nor an attack, it was an unfortunate accident," said Miguel Díaz-Canel, who arrived at the scene an hour after the explosion, accompanied by the prime minister and president of the National Assembly.
“Compatriots and friends from all over the world. #LaHabana is in shock today,” she tweeted.
The latest death toll of 22, which includes at least one child, was announced on television news after a day when ambulances and paramedics raced through the center of Cuba's historic capital.
Both the Health Ministry and the Cuban presidency said dozens had been injured, but cited different numbers, ranging from 50 to 65 people.
The first four floors of the property, which were closed to guests while they were being renovated, were destroyed by the early-morning explosion that sent a cloud of dust and smoke into the air.
The blast also tore off much of the facade, blew out windows and destroyed cars parked outside the five-star hotel, which has in the past hosted celebrities including Madonna, Beyonce, Mick Jagger and Rihanna.
The dome of a nearby Baptist church also collapsed.
Employees were inside the hotel at the time preparing for its post-refurbishment reopening, scheduled for next Tuesday.
Miguel Hernán Estévez, director of the Hermanos Almejeiras hospital, said that a two-year-old boy had undergone surgery for a skull fracture.
"So far we have no information that any foreigner has been injured or killed, but... this is preliminary information," added Tourism Minister Juan Carlos García Granda.
– It is not a bomb –
Roberto Calzadilla, from the state company Gaviota, which owns the hotel, said the explosion occurred while a gas tank was being refilled.
Ambulances and fire trucks responded to the scene on Friday and police cordoned off the area, dispersing people who were flocking to the hotel near Havana's iconic National Capitol that housed Congress before the Cuban revolution.
It is also next to a school, but no students were injured, according to the presidency.
Rogelio García, a cyclist taxi driver who was passing by the hotel at the time of the explosion, reported that "we felt a big explosion and (we saw) a cloud of dust... many people ran away."
“There was a terrible explosion and everything collapsed,” said a woman, her face covered in dust, who declined to give her name.
According to the Saratoga Hotel website, it is a luxury establishment with 96 rooms, two bars, two restaurants, a spa and a gym.
It was built in 1880 to house shops and was converted into a hotel in 1933.
"The United States sends its deepest condolences to everyone affected by this morning's tragic explosion," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would not cancel a trip to Cuba planned for Sunday.
"Our solidarity with the victims and those affected, as well as with the people of our beloved sister nation," Ebrard tweeted.
Condolences also came from Bolivia, the head of EU foreign policy, Josep Borrell, and Nicolás Maduro, the president of close Cuban ally Venezuela, who said: "the Cuban people have the solidarity and support of all the peoples of the world." and especially Venezuelans.