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Colombia Eases Inflation in 2016 but Level Still Worrying at 5.75%

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Jan 6, 2017, 10:57 am
Colombia has struggled to rein in inflation in recent years (
Colombia has struggled to rein in inflation in recent years (wikipedia).

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Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), reported that inflation clocked in at 5.75% during 2016, a slight decrease compared to 2015, when the figure was 6.77%. Like many emerging market economies, Colombia has struggled to balance economic growth and inflation.

The lowest annual inflation occurred in the clothing sector with 3.98%. The healthcare sector, on the other hand, saw the nation’s greatest increase, at 8.14%. This was due to a rise in the prices of medicines, private insurance, supplementary payments, contraceptives, and other health items that largely increased across the board.

Another sector that was strongly impacted was food, which increased by 7.22%, the second highest increase in Colombia. The rise in food prices was also impacted by the truck drivers’ strike that occurred in the middle of the year; truck drivers, unhappy with President Santos’ tax reform, have raised the possibility of spearheading another strike in 2017.

With regard to Colombian cities Medellín, located in the northwest of the country, registered the highest inflation during 2016, with a rise of 6.54%. Neiva, the capital of Colombia’s southwestern Huila state, registered the lowest inflation, at a mere 3.85% during the last year. In the capital, Bogota, the increase in inflation was 5.96%.

The final inflation statistics are within the range expected by the Bank of the Republic. However, many are concerned about the increase in prices in different sectors of the economy and that next year, in addition to having to pay these increases, Colombians will also be subjected to higher Value Added Tax (VAT) payments, which under President Juan Manuel Santos’ legislation, will increase from 16% to 19%.

Colombia’s political and economic sectors routinely brace for year-end positioning over wages and prices; both of which have risen dramatically in the past decade as Colombia posts impressive economic growth year over year.

Source: El Espectador

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Bolivian Justice in Crisis as Opposition Demands Judicial Independence

By: Karina Martín - Jan 6, 2017, 10:22 am
The Bolivian opposition has called on President Evo Morales to guarantee judicial independence (

Español The Bolivian opposition has called for guaranteed separation of powers, respect for the judicial independence of judges and magistrates, greater allocation of economic resources for the judicial system, and provision of infrastructure for improving the operation of Bolivia's courts. Senator Arturo Murillo of Unidad Demócratas (UD), was one of the opposition politicians who worked on the proposal to resolve the systemic problems in Bolivia's judicial system today. Read More: Bolivia: Morales Tries to Thwart Democracy, Run Again in 2019 Read More: Bolivia Ruling Party Wants to Annul Referendum Preventing Morales' Reelection For Murillo one of the main changes that must be guaranteed is that of the political independence of both the judicial branch and the prosecutor's office. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); In his opinion, government authorities protect those related to the ruling Movement to Socialism (MAS) party, who have been involved in serious criminal acts. Senator Murillo has demanded the government to put an end to this practice, with the aim of ensuring application of justice in an impartial manner. Likewise, Representative Norma Piérola of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) opined that the crisis in the judicial system can be resolved without the need to reform the Constitution. For Piérola the change must conform with article 118 of the Magna Carta, which prohibits infamy, civil death, and establishes the social reintegration of those deprived of liberty. The deputy exposed the need to enforce criminal penalties, and to prosecute and incarcerate those who commit crimes. Judge Janeth Calvo, a member of the Bolivian judges' association, said that the Bolivian president's proposal to revolutionize justice is contradictory to the rule of law, and demonstrates ignorance of the judicial system, since the current legal codes establish deadlines for judges and lawyers to justify their absence from legal hearings, because they have multiple and/or simultaneous commitments, and can not be in two places at the same time. "It is a redundant proposal because the sanctions on judges who do not attend hearings are contemplated in Law 025, and they can not be dismissed under this pretext," he said. Source: El Deber

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