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Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales took office for the third time on Jan. 22 for a consecutive term of five years. In an ancestral ceremony held one day before the official oath before Congress, Morales was recognized by the indigenous amautas as an indigenous leader in the temple of Kalasasaya, part of the pre-Incan archeological city of Tiwanaku. The 55-year-old president won the election of Oct.12 with 60 percent of the vote thanks to the economic success that allowed Bolivia to be the highest growing country in Latin America in 2014, with 5.5 percent growth rate, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The Health Ministry of Brazil announced on Jan. 6 a series of policies aimed at reducing the “epidemic” of cesarean sections in the country. These policies include having doctors justify the need for a cesarean section and allowing private health insurance to refuse to pay for those surgeries if they are considered unnecessary. According to official figures, 84 percent of births in private clinics and 40 percent in public hospitals occur by caesarean section. Health Minister Arthur Chioro said that cesarean sections increase the risk of respiratory disease in infants by 120 percent and triple the risk of maternal mortality, which is “a public health problem”.
Homosexual couples in Chile will be able to legalize their partnership following the House of Representatives’ Jan. 20 approval of the Civil Union Pact (PUC), which provides a new legal status to couples who live together in a committed relationship regardless of gender. The PUC recognizes property and inheritance rights as well as pension and health benefits. According to the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH), the law would benefit more than two million people in the country, equivalent to 12.5 percent of the total population.
US oil company Chevron received on Jan. 23 the Public Eye Award as the worst company in the world because of the environmental disasters in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador between 1964 and 1992, during the oil exploitation carried out in Ecuador by Texaco, acquired in 2001 by Chevron. The company has refused to pay a fine of US$9.5 billion ordered by an Ecuadorian court in 2011. The Public Eye Awards are handed out during the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to companies that do not respect human rights and the environment.
The Jan. 22 decision of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador to pardon Carmen Guadalupe, one of 17 women serving 40 years in prison for aborting her pregnancy, could be the start of the debate to overturn the law banning abortion. Guadalupe had been charged with murder after suffering a spontaneous abortion. After the campaign to pardon the convicted women launched last April by the Citizens’ Association for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethic, and Eugenic Abortion, the Assembly admitted that the fundamental guarantees were not respected when she was declared guilty.

Latinamerica Press / Noticias Aliadas
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