“Mexico, Colombia and Argentina decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana a few years ago. In Guatemala, President Otto Perez Molina is proposing moves to push for the legalisation of marijuana and potentially other drugs. Chile and Costa Rica are also debating the introduction of medical marijuana policies. Uruguay last year became the first country in the world to approve the growth, sale and distribution of marijuana”

Jamaica decriminalises marijuana use

“As of January 16 three of former President Ricardo Martinelli’s top operatives, former national security directors Gustavo Pérez and Alejandro Garúz, along with former National Assistance Program (PAN) director Rafael Guardia Jaén, were being held in preventive detention at the notorious La Joya Penitentiary in Tinajitas on the eastern outskirts of the Panama City – San Miguelito metro area.”

With his world crumbling, can Martinelli muster enough defenders?

“Several Latin American countries – particularly Mexico and Peru – have leapt up the index for their commitment in ensuring “social pensions” for the poorest older people. These are tax-financed, non-contributory pensions that ensure a basic income for the most vulnerable. In Mexico, nearly nine out of every 10 people aged 65 and over receive a social pension. Because of this, Mexico ranks at 30 on the index, outstripping the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Peru has implemented the Pension 65 programme, which provides older people with 250 nuevo soles (£53) every two months.”

Global AgeWatch Index

“Daniela Holmes, a twenty-something Caracas native, explains that breast implants have “almost become like a cultural thing. It is like a rite of passage.” “It’s our version of a bat mitzvah,” she continued. “You’re a woman, you get fake boobs now.””

Venezuela Now Has Toilet Paper but No Breast Implants.

“The revenue and expenditure figures with which Panama’s new president (Juan Carlos Varela) will have to work … are increasingly grim. The public treasury has been looted and commitments have been made without any provisions to pay for them. The new administration is just finding out many of the details. The scale is breathtaking for a country of our size.”

Varela will have to choose between austerity moves, raising the deficit limit or a combination of these things.

“According to a recent World Economic Forum survey that examined influence on judiciaries, Nicaragua is believed to be among the world’s most corrupt: Of 142 countries, it ranked 136th. Sergio León, a veteran Bluefields journalist, describes the court system this way: “There is no law and order,” he says.”

Murder And Manifest Destiny On The Mosquito Coast