LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Thousands march against Colombian President Petro's tax reform
The latest in Latin American politics today: Thousands march against Petro's tax reform
BOGOTA - Thousands of protesters marched on Monday against economic and social reforms proposed by Colombian leftist President Gustavo Petro just 50 days after he took office. Petro has asked lawmakers to approve a tax reform which would raise an initial $5.6 billion for social programs next year. The reform would raise taxes on those earning more than $2,259 per month, about 10 times the minimum wage, and eliminate exemptions.
Some 5,000 people, many waving signs with slogans like "no to the tax reform", marched in Bogota, according to the mayor's office. Peaceful marches also took place in Medellin, Cali, Armenia and Villavicencio. Uruguay President Lacalle Pou's security chief arrested
MONTEVIDEO - Uruguay's police arrested the head of the president's personal security detail at the presidential residence for allegedly participating in a scheme to help possibly hundreds of Russian nationals illegally obtain Uruguayan passports. Prosecutor Gabriela Fossati said on Monday night that President Luis Lacalle Pou's security chief, Alejandro Astesiano, was being investigated for participating in a criminal ring that created fake Russian birth certificates that claimed Uruguayan parents.
"I'm as surprised as you all are," the president said at a news conference he abruptly called on Monday in the capital Montevideo. "I'm sick," he added. Trump nominee Claver-Carone voted out at IDB
MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON - The governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) voted to fire Mauricio Claver-Carone, two people with knowledge of the vote said, after an investigation showed the only American president in the bank's 62-year history had an intimate relationship with a subordinate. The 14 directors had voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend firing Claver-Carone after an independent ethics investigation found evidence he had engaged in an intimate relationship with a senior staffer for whom he had made employment decisions, including salary increases totaling more than 45% of base pay in less than one year.
Claver-Carone denied in an interview with Reuters on Monday that he ever had an intimate relationship with the staffer and said he was planning legal action against the bank. Cubans approve gay marriage by large margin in referendum
HAVANA - Cubans approved gay marriage and adoption overwhelmingly in a Sunday referendum backed by the government that also boosted rights for women, the national election commission said. More than 3.9 million voters voted to ratify the code (66.9%), while 1.95 million opposed ratification (33%), Alina Balseiro Gutierrez, president of the commission, said on state-run television.
"Justice has been done," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrote in a tweet. The 100-page "family code" legalizes same-sex marriage and civil unions, allows same-sex couples to adopt children, and promotes equal sharing of domestic rights and responsibilities between men and women.
Colombia, Venezuela set to reopen cargo trade at two major crossings SAN ANTONIO DE TACHIRA, Venezuela/ CUCUTA, Colombia - Colombia and Venezuela are set to reopen cargo transport at two major border crossings, potentially enabling billions of dollars in trade after years of icy bilateral relations and heavily-restricted economic ties.
The re-opening - which will see goods like coal, toilet paper and fruit moved through crossings between the Colombian city of Cucuta and the Venezuelan state of Tachira - was a key campaign promise of Colombia's new leftist President Gustavo Petro. Petro is set to mark the re-opening in Cucuta. It was unclear if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would attend. (Compiled by Steven Grattan; Editing by Alistair Bell)
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