5 things to know from Latin America and the Caribbean

1. Death toll in Peru protests rises to 58

Amid ongoing protests in Peru, Víctor Santisteban Yacsavilca, 55, became one of 58 people, including a police officer, who have died amid protests in Peru, the Associated Press reported. He suffered a serious head injury during clashes with the police, according to a report from the Ombudsman’s Office.

The riots began in December when then-President Pedro Castillo was indicted and arrested for trying to dissolve Congress. Vice president Dina Boluarte took office in the face of large demonstrations calling for new elections, especially in the south of the country.

Protesters descended on Peru’s capital earlier this month to expand demonstrations that had earlier largely been focused in the country’s south and exposed deep divisions between residents of the capital and the long-neglected countryside.

To read the full story, visit: https://bit.ly/APPeru58dead

2. Germany pledges $222 million for Brazil environment, Amazon

German development minister Svenja Schulze announced Monday that her government will make 204 million euros ($222 million) available for environmental policies in Brazil, the Associated Press reported.

This marks a change with environmental policy in Brazil. Former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro dissolved the steering committee that selected sustainable projects they would finance in 2019, considering the Amazon an internal affair. In reaction, Germany and Norway froze their donations.

Under Bolsonaro, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon reached a 15-year high as he dismantled environmental protection policies in favor of agribusiness expansion.

After left-wing President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in in January, these funds mark an important international cooperation effort to preserve the Amazon rainforest.

Of the total funds, $38 million is a donation to the Amazon Fund — mostly ffunded by Norway. Germany also pledged to provide $87 million in low-interest loans for farmers to restore degraded areas and $34 million for Amazon states to protect the rainforest.

To read the full story, visit: https://bit.ly/APBrazilAmazonfund

3. Haiti gangs taking control amid declining democracy

Since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in late 2021, Haiti has been plunged in political turmoil, the Associated Press reports. In the absence of a head of government, current Prime Minister Ariel Henry emerged in a power struggle as the country’s leader.

Taking advantage of the power vacuum, Haiti’s nearly 200 gangs are fighting for control. In December, the U.N. estimated that gangs controlled 60% of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-prince.

The G9 Family and Allies gang under Jimmy Cherizier started a fuel blockade that brought the Caribbean nation to its knees late last year.

Even though the fuel blockade ended, the nation lost its final democratically-elected institution when the terms of 10 senators symbolically holding office ended their term in January.

Amid the chaos, civilians face kidnappings at the hands of competing gangs. Without a clear government, Henry has not called for new elections, citing fears of gang influence.

To read the full AP story, visit: https://bit.ly/APHaitiGangrule

4. Puerto Rico selects company to privatize power generation

Puerto Rico announced the company selected to privatize its electricity production on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. The government selected Genera PR to take over the operation and maintenance of state power generation units as part of an initial $22.5 million annual contract.

The announcement comes as the island struggles to rebuild its crumbling power grid amid chronic power outages blamed in part on what Gov. Pedro Pierluisi called “archaic and unstable” generation units.

Genera PR is a subsidiary of New York-based New Fortress Energy, which works closely with Shell Oil and other oil and gas producers. Genera also will handle contracts related to fuel purchases for the island’s 12 power facilities as part of a 10-year contract with Puerto Rico’s government.

However, many Puerto Ricans remain wary of this process as previous privatizations of power transmission and distribution in June 2021 did not lead to an improvement in issues like the length of outages.

To read the full AP story, visit: https://bit.ly/APPRpowercompany

5. Venezuela to host 2023 Caribbean Series

After the United States eased the sanctions that applied to Venezuelan players in Major League Baseball, Venezuela prepares to host the 2023 Caribbean series between February 2-10, El Nuevo Día reported.

This is the 65th edition of the regional tournament which will feature eight teams from the region, including Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia and Panama. Following the 2022 series that was won by Colombia, the 2023 series will be the first to be played simultaneously in two Venezuelan stadiums.

Ahead of the series, construction is underway at La Rinconada Baseball Stadium in Caracas. The Venezuelan sports minister said the stadium has a 38,000-person capacity. The other stadium selected is the Jorge Luis García Carneiro Stadium in La Guaira.

After being barred from hosting in 2018 and 2019, Venezuelan officials hope to use the series as a showcase of the nation’s economic recovery.

To watch on TV or online, tune in to ESPN or ESPN+, respectively.

To read the full story, visit: https://bit.ly/ENDVenezuelahost


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