Argentina ‘Best Passport in Latin America’: According to a new Visa Restriction Index, Argentines have the best passport in Latin America, allowing them visa-free access to 147 countries. The index, developed by the International Aviation Transport Association and Henley & Partners, ranked the country 18th in the world, followed in the region by Brazil, ranked 19th with free travel to 146 countries, and Chile, ranked 21st with 141 countries allowing Chileans to enter without visas. The index also highlights that 20 more countries have dropped their visa restrictions for Argentine citizens in the past five years. The findings, which were based on 2013 figures, also showed Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti to be the countries who had their travel most restricted, the latter able to travel to just 46 countries without a visa.
New Buenos Aires Taxi Fares Implemented: As agreed in February between unions and the city government, a 15% rise in taxi fares will come into effect in the coming days. The basic day fare will now cost $12.70 with each 200 metres – or each minute if the taxi is stationary – costing $1.27. The nighttime far (between 10pm and 6am) will start at $15.20, rising in increases of $1.52. It is expected that the government will meet with the unions again in September to discuss a further increase – expected to be around 15% – to be implemented in six months time. Last year the taxi fares rose 21%.
Police Charged over Parque Indoamericano Eviction: Judge Mónica Berdión today announced the move to prosecute 24 Metropolitan Police and eight Federal Police officers for “unlawful injury and manslaughter” during the December 2010 Parque Indoamericano eviction, which left three dead and five injured. Charges are being brought against both the leaders of the operation and various lower-ranking officers who were actually involved in the clearing of the terrain, located in Villa Soldati, in the south of Buenos Aires. The park had been occupied by some 5,000 people in protest of the lack of city government action in providing social housing solutions for the many residents of the city’s shantytowns. The occupation lasted for ten days, with occupiers facing hostility from local residents, whilst the city and national governments showed reluctance to find a solution, both claiming the problem to be out of their jurisdiction, before a joint operation eventually cleared the park. Judge Berdión has confirmed that the police will not be remanded in custody.