The week at a glance...Americas
Ciudad Victoria, Mexico
Cartel targets Facebook: A drug cartel is offering a reward for information about the anonymous person who runs a Facebook page detailing shootings and robberies in the state of Tamaulipas. Local reporters are too terrified to cover gang activity, but the Facebook page “Valor por Tamaulipas” has been posting reports of kidnappings, shootings, and carjackings. Last week, flyers in Tamaulipas’s capital promised a $47,000 reward for information about the identity of the poster or that of his “parents, siblings, children, or wife.” In 2011, a woman who blogged about cartel violence in the state was decapitated.
Chávez is home: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced his surprise return to Caracas this week after 10 weeks of cancer treatment in Cuba. “Thank you, my God,” he said on Twitter. “I am back in the fatherland, where we will continue my treatment.” The announced return came just three days after the government released photos of Chávez in a Havana hospital with his daughters, the first images the country had seen in months. Analysts said Chávez may have decided his absence was too destabilizing: Since he went to Cuba in December, Venezuela has seen a sharp devaluation of its currency and the worst food shortages in four years.
La Paz, Bolivia
Airports nationalized: In a slap to Spain, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has nationalized three Spanish-owned airports, saying the foreign owners were “maximizing profits” at Bolivians’ expense. It was the third appropriation of Spanish property in less than a year. Last year, Morales seized two Spanish electric companies and took over the Bolivian subsidiary of Spain’s REE, which ran most of the Bolivian power grid. Spain said that in light of the string of “unfriendly acts,” it was forced to “reconsider the whole of relations” with Bolivia.