Guatemala presents measures to rein in prices rises

Alvaro Colom, the Guatemalan president, announced measures to soften the blow of increases in fuel and food prices.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Colom said the increases had given his government little room for maneuver but he said he would seek accords with industry to keep their prices under control. Producers of vegetable oil, flour and chicken have already agreed to back the measures.

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Guatemala's Colom abandons plan to force planting of basic grains

June 2008

President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala has abandoned plans to revive a law that obliges farmers to plant basic grains.

The attempt to revive the law caused outcry among farmers and the private sector. Now Colom has admitted the law is an anachronism. "People own their land and it's up to them what they plant on it," he said.

Colom forces Guatemala's farmers to grow basic grains

June 2008

President Alvaro Colom has stirred controversy in Guatemala by invoking a 1974 law that obliges people with large landholdings to use at least 10 percent of them for the cultivation of basic grains.

Sugarcane growers, exporters, business leaders and economic analysts have all said the measure is wrongheaded.

Aid offered in food crisis

May 2008

The Inter-American Development Bank on Tuesday announced a $500 million line of credit for Central America in hopes of heading off food-price unrest.

Trying to get ahead of potential unrest because of rising food and energy prices, the Inter-American Development Bank on Tuesday announced a new $500 million line of credit for six Central American nations and the Dominican Republic.

Honduran authorities drag their feet on food crisis

April 2008

The authorities in Honduras have waited too long to take action against a growing crisis in food supplies, the daily La Prensa said in an editorial.

Only last week, it was revealed that farmers, who generate 60 percent of the nation's exports, were failing to take advantage of free trade agreements.

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