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A new study shows glaciers in the tropical Andes have shrunk 30-50 percent in the last four decades. Glaciers provide a vital water source to parts of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Additionally, Brazil is investing in hydropower in Peru and that power source is likely to be impacted significantly by reduced glaciers. That means higher electricity costs for Peru and less chance that Peru will be able to export energy to Brazil. The bigger problems for Brazil will be political.

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Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez was not returned from his cancer treatment in Cuba in time to be sworn in for his new term. He has had four major surgeries in the last two years, and although significant details about his illness have been kept secret, there are rumors that he might not be able to continue governing.

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Latin America will benefit from having “more firepower” than other regions, as strong international reserves are already helping those countries face commodity price collapses, said Lisa Schineller, Standard & Poor's economist. From Mexico south, the expert believes most countries are in a good place to face commodity price sharp fluctuations because their external debt and financing needs are significantly lower than a decade ago.

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Former Honduran armed forces chief Romeo Vasquez, who in 2009 led the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya, on Sunday launched a presidential campaign, saying he will restore order and security to the troubled Central American country.

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Northwestern Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela is leading a project to create “sustainable energy communities” in Colombia, providing free electricity to residents of La Primavera, a town in the so-called “FARC zone,” officials said.

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Indian IT services companies that are dependent on the US and European markets see the emergence of Latin America as an opportunity. The region is politically vibrant, economically booming, has a huge talent pool of multi-lingual, cost-effective professionals, which could be used in a near-shore business model to service their North American clients for 12 hours from the same time zone and the remaining 12 hours from India.

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