A Venezuelan passenger plane with 46 people aboard went missing and likely crashed in a remote mountain region soon after taking off from an Andean city just before dusk on Thursday. Villagers reported hearing a huge noise they thought could be a crash after the twin-engine plane flew out of the high-altitude city of Merida headed for the capital Caracas.
Venezuelan President Hugo ChÃ¡vez stopped oil exports to Exxon Mobil on Tuesday, escalating a multibillion-dollar fight with the United States company two days after threatening to cut off all supplies to America. The anti-US president's retaliation for Exxon's legal offensive pushed oil prices higher in late trading.
Centre-leftist Alvaro Colom won Guatemala's presidential election on Sunday, denying power to a retired general who had sought to unleash the army to fight a violent crime wave. Colom, a soft-spoken textile businessman, had an unassailable lead of 5,4 percentage points over General Otto Perez Molina.