A total of 35 agreements and contracts were signed during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to Brazil, as part of the growing ties between the two countries. But there is one project that drew all the attention: the Transcontinental Railway.
Megaprojects are high-risk bets. They can shore up the government that brought them to fruition, but they can also ruin its image and undermine its power – and in the case of Brazil the balance is leaning dangerously towards the latter.
Chile expects to have a more efficient and stable electricity market, with a more steady - and above all, less expensive – supply, when the country’s two major power grids are interconnected over a distance of more than 3,000 km.
The Atlantic ocean is Brazil’s last frontier to the east. But the full extent of its biodiversity is still unknown, and scientific research and conservation measures are lagging compared to the pace of exploitation of resources such as oil.
Angolans are generally grateful for China’s participation in the reconstruction of their central African country, in spite of the fact that some of the roads and buildings built by Chinese firms are of poor quality, and mainly Chinese labourers have been hired rather than local workers.
Activists and local residents have brought legal action aimed at blocking the construction of a nearly 50 sq km port terminal in the Northeast Brazilian state of Bahia because of the huge environmental and social impacts it will have.
Despite the precipitous fall in global oil prices, Argentina has continued to follow its strategy of producing unconventional shale oil, although in the short term there could be problems attracting the foreign investment needed to exploit the Vaca Muerta shale deposit.
Even moderately well-informed analysts knew that the Brazilian economy was in dire straits as President Dilma Rousseff initiated her second term in office in January.
The new interoceanic canal being built in Nicaragua has brought good and bad news for the scientific community: new species and archeological sites have been found and knowledge of the local ecosystems has grown, but the project poses a huge threat to the environment.
Traditionally, falling oil prices have discouraged development of renewable energy sources, but clean energy is making steady progress in Latin America, according to regional experts.
The government of Argentina is building a marriage of convenience with China, which some see as uneven and others see as an indispensable alliance for a new level of insertion in the global economy.
With the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expiring at the end of this year to be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will set priorities for the next fifteen years, 2015 will be a crucial year for the future of global development.
"We ran down to the beach and found a black tide, whose waves didn’t make the sound of water, but the slurp of a thick paste,” said Alexandre Anderson, describing the oil spill in Guanabara bay in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro which turned him into an activist and leader among the local small-scale fishing community.
Shale fever and the political chess among major oil producers and consumers have put OPEC in one of the most difficult junctures in its 54 years of history.
The boom in unconventional fossil fuels has revived indigenous conflicts in southwest Argentina. Twenty-two Mapuche communities who live on top of Vaca Muerta, the geological formation where the reserves are located, complain that they were not consulted about the use of their ancestral lands, both “above and below ground.”