Uber said Friday it will stop operating in Colombia, following stiff opposition from taxi drivers' unions and a lawsuit that said the ride-sharing app was breaking local transport laws.
In a statement, Uber said it will cease operating in Colombia on Jan. 31 and will comply with a December ruling by Colombia's Superintendency for Industry and Commerce that had ordered the app to shut down.
The company said that it will appeal the ruling, which it described as "arbitrary" and in violation of a free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States.
Uber said that it has more than two million users in Colombia as well as 88,000 drivers who make some or most of their income through the app. The company faces legal challenges in several other Latin American countries, including Brazil and Argentina.
Chile's human rights watchdog is calling for an investigation into the electrocution death of a man during anti-government protests.
The death during clashes between police and protesters on Friday raised the number of those killed during protests that started in October to at least 27.
The man who died was 40 years old and was electrocuted after falling into a pit with cables during chaotic street scenes, according to police and local media.
The exact circumstances of the man's death should be clarified as soon as possible, Chile's National Institute of Human Rights said.
The death happened during a protest in Plaza Italia, a focal point of unrest in the capital of Santiago. The demonstrations started over an increase in the subway fare and eventually encompassed grievances about pensions, education, health care and other issues.
Demonstrations are frequently held on Friday, and a movie theater burned in the latest clashes.
Demonstrators made way for firetrucks arriving to fight the blaze at the Alameda Cultural Center, which also has been a staging ground for volunteer medics who treat injured demonstrators.
Firefighters said the building was badly damaged and the cause would be investigated.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's approval rate has fallen to a new low of 29 percent, according to a survey published on Friday.
According to the survey conducted by pollster Ibope and commissioned by the National Industry Confederation, 38 percent of interviewees considered Bolsonaro's government bad or very bad, while 31 percent regarded it as regular and 3 percent were undecided.
In the previous survey published in September, Bolsonaro's approval was slightly higher: 31 percent of interviewees found Bolsonaro's government good or very good, 32 percent found it regular, and 34 percent found it bad or very bad. Three percent were undecided.
Bolsonaro's approval has been falling steadily since the beginning of his administration in January. In the first poll of his government in April, the approval rate was 35 percent, while disapproval was 27 percent.
The latest Ibope poll was carried out on Dec. 5-8, involving 2,000 interviewees from 127 towns across Brazil.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his American counterpart Donald Trump assured him on Friday that he will not impose tariffs on the South American country's steel and aluminum.
"I had the great satisfaction of receiving a call from President Donald Trump. A 15-minute long conversation, with a spirit of cordiality and respect between two heads-of-states," Bolsonaro said in a short Facebook live video.
"Our aluminum, our steel will not be over-taxed," Bolsonaro said.
Brazil was among a group of U.S. allies initially exempted from such tariffs. On Dec. 2, however, Trump accused Brazil and neighboring Argentina of manipulating their currencies and hurting American farmers and pledged to lift the exemption.
On his own Twitter feed, President Trump said he had "a great call" with Bolsonaro but did not mention the tariffs.
"We discussed many subjects including Trade. The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!" Trump said.
If confirmed that Trump has walked back his prior decision, that would come as a relief for Bolsonaro and help him save face. Bolsonaro has focused much of his diplomacy on rapprochement with the U.S. and Trump's tariff announcement this month caught the Brazilian government by surprise.
With the failure of the U.N. climate conference to produce an agreement, some Brazilians who participated in previous climate meetings say their country is now part of the problem in efforts to forge an international approach to global warming.
Others, taking a cue from Brazil's Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, are blaming the world's wealthy nations. Salles demanded money from industrialized countries to help with protecting the Amazon, accused those countries of being hypocritical about addressing climate change.
Salles also took a jab at environmentalists who wring their hands over what they consider damage caused by beef consumption. He tweeted a photo of his enormous beef meal "to offset carbon emissions" at the Madrid conference.
Activists questioned what Brazil's role will be in climate conferences, noting that the two-week conference held in Madrid originally was supposed to be put on by Brazil, before Jair Bolsonaro took office as president last Jan. 1. His government declined to do so, citing fiscal constraints.
Where previous Brazilian administrations sought to join in multinational approaches to dealing with problems, Bolsonaro takes a more Brazil-centered view along with a combative, far-right political approach.
He has questioned whether activists were behind some of the fires that raged in the Amazon region this year and accuses nonprofit groups of working on behalf of international powers to hinder Brazil's development. He has presented no evidence for either claim.
Rubens Ricupero, a former Brazilian environment minister and head of the U.N. trade and development organization, said the government's approach in Madrid "had no pragmatism at all" and could hurt Brazil's trade and efforts to attract investment. He said he attended the U.N.'s historic 1992 meeting in Rio de Janeiro, where global warming discussions started gaining traction.
"Brazil's administration has moderated on a few topics, such as bringing Chinese investment in, which they refused until not long ago. But there has been no moderation in environmental discussions, (or) in anything that has a relation with human rights," Ricupero said.
Claudio Angelo, communications coordinator for the nonprofit group Observatório do Clima, said the Brazilian delegation left journalists and activists in the dark about its positions during the negotiations in Madrid.
"Diplomats and nonprofits often have disagreements, but that never stopped conversations during meetings, some of them very frank. But that didn't happen this time," Angelo said.
Two Brazilian diplomats who took part in the climate conference did not respond to a request for comment on their handling of negotiations.
Salles said rich countries were the cause of the failure to reach agreement in Madrid. "They want measures and point their fingers at the rest of the world, but when they have to put their hands into their pockets they don't want to," he said on Twitter.
Conservative pundit Rodrigo Constantino agreed with Salles' assessment.
"They are trying to kick the ladder out from under developing countries. One thing is for a rich country to talk about much more expensive alternative energy. Another is for developing countries like Brazil to replace their energy sources," Constantino said on Jovem Pan radio.
Celso Amorim, who led Brazil's delegation at the 2009 climate change conference, said the positions taken by Bolsonaro's administration at the U.N. meeting will have an impact on future discussions.
"Until recently, leaders of other countries looked to Brazil for some help on this issue," Amorim said in an interview. "Now Brazil is the problem, and that surely brings consequences for agribusiness, for example."
He added that he was a diplomat during Brazil's hard-line military dictatorship, but said that "even then there was much more moderation in international forums."