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A reported blog on happenings around Latin America.

Chavez, back from Cuba cancer treatment, is high in the polls

Upon returning from radiotherapy in Cuba, Venezuela's strongman says he is slowed down but government is accelerated.
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A boy takes pictures of a poster with the image of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has returned to Venezuela after his first session of radiotherapy in Cuba, coinciding with the pope's visit to the Communist island.

Hugo Chavez back in Cuba for radiotherapy

Some Venezuelans hope to see the president meet Pope Benedict XVI, also visiting the island.
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks in Caracas on March 24 before departing for Cuba to receive cancer treatment. Hopes are high that he will have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, also visiting Cuba this week. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
The timing of Chavez's treatment in Cuba — coinciding with the pope's visit to the island — could not be better to cement the Venezuelan president's Catholic credentials ahead of a general election.

Major Mexico earthquake causes no deaths

Tuesday's earthquake was the largest since the 1985 one that killed thousands.
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A federal policeman stops the traffic to let people evacuating buildings to cross the street in Mexico City following a strong quake that hit Mexico on March 20, 2012. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Not one death has been reported after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake which hit Mexico yesterday, in stark contrast to a tremor in 1985 which, though higher in magnitude at 8.1, killed around 10,000 people and destroyed the city.

Venezuela government sees a plot to kill top opponent

Hugo Chavez offers rival presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski increased security. Opposition leaders hits back on Twitter.
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Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski celebrates after winning the primary elections in Caracas on Feb. 12, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
CARACAS — The Venezuelan government says it has uncovered information about a plot to assassinate opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Venezuelan police kill Chilean diplomat's daughter

Twelve officers have been arrested after the fatal shooting on Friday.
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Chilean Consul Fernando Berendique (R) carries, with relatives and friends, the coffin of his daughter Karen Vanessa Berendique, who was shot dead earlier on March 17, 2012, in her car in a confused incident that is being investigated by the prosecution, in Maracaibo, state of Venezuela. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Chilean diplomat's teenage daughter was killed by Venezuelan authorities on Friday in a chilling reminder of the country's issues with security and a police force that many believe is part of the problem.

Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela

Socialist president is back from Cuba after cancer treatment
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves a national flag from a balcony of the presidential palace in Caracas on March 17, 2012. Chavez has returned to Venezuela after spending three weeks in Cuba where he underwent cancer surgery. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
President Hugo Chavez landed back in Venezuela late Friday night before today entertaining "el pueblo"—the people—in his inimitable style, singing, cracking jokes and confirming to the nation that he is firmly in the game for October's presidential election.

Second Chevron oil spill in Brazil halts production

A second spill in Brazil is worrying authorities here.
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Greenpeace activists protest against an oil spill in waters off Rio de Janeiro state days ago, on November 18, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian authorities warned US energy giant Chevron Thursday that it faces severe punishment if it fails to completely seal an offshore well that has been seeping oil in waters off Rio de Janeiro state. (LUIZA CASTRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Chevron is already treading on eggshells after Brazilian authorities harshly clamped down on the US giant in the wake of a relatively small oil spill in November. Another leak at the same offshore field has now forced a halt in production.

Mexican authorities come close to capture of drug boss Chapo Guzman

President Calderon appears keen to nab the drug lord before his presidency ends.
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Mexican police on Feb. 14 show the press drugs and weapons seized from alleged members of the Pacific drug cartel run by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican authorities came extremely close to capturing the world's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, at a coastal mansion in Los Cabos, according to an Associated Press exclusive.

Chavez to return to Venezuela next week- Santos

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, a close US ally, met with Hugo Chavez in Cuba and said he seems in good health and high spirits.
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Hugo Chávez meets Juan Manuel Santos in Havana on March 7, 2012. (Marcelo Garcia/Prensa Miraflores/Courtesy)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is to return to Caracas next week after cancer surgery, according to his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos who visited the socialist leader in Cuba yesterday.

Canceled US contract with Brazil's Embraer stirs confusion

The Air Force was set to buy aircraft to use in its Afghanistan exit strategy but broke off the deal over unspecified paperwork problems.
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Three light attack and pilot training Super Tucano planes are shown to the Colombian press 14 December, 2006, at the military Airport in Bogota, Colombia. Colombian Airforce bougth twenty-five (25) airplanes from Brazil for surveillance mission in the forest. (Mauricio Duenas/AFP/Getty Images)
The US Air Force canceled a deal to purchase military planes from Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, in the latest of a series of Air Force procurement affairs in the last decade.