- - Monday, April 16, 2012

BUENOS AIRES — President Cristina Fernandez on Monday proposed a bill to nationalize the YPF oil company that is controlled by Spain’s Repsol, moving ahead with the plan despite fierce opposition from Madrid.

Mrs. Fernandez said in an address to the country that the measure sent to Congress on Monday is aimed at recovering the nation’s sovereignty over its hydrocarbon resources. She said the shares being expropriated will be split between the national and provincial governments.

The president complained that Argentina last year had to spend more than $3 billion to import gas and petroleum.

Spanish officials have already protested the plan, saying Argentina risks becoming “an international pariah” if it takes control of Repsol’s YPF subsidiary.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo last week summoned Argentine Ambassador Carlo Antonio Bettini to convey concern over the possible nationalization.

BRAZIL

Inmates take hostages in prison rioting

RIO DE JANEIRO — Inmates armed with pistols and knives have rioted at a prison in the country’s northeast and are holding about 100 visitors and two guards hostage, the state news agency reported Monday.

Agencia Brasil said no deaths or injuries have been reported.

The report said negotiations were under way early Monday, nearly a day after the start of the revolt at the Advogado Antonio Jacinto Filho prison in the coastal city of Aracaju.

The news agency said the penitentiary’s 470 inmates are demanding an end to acts of torture they claim regularly take place inside the prison, as well as better treatment of female visitors.

COLOMBIA

Obama, Santos agree on plan to boost security

CARTAGENA — President Obama and his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, agreed Sunday to deepen their security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and West Africa.

The efforts, formalized under a U..S-Colombia Action Plan on Regional Security Cooperation, are a response to “increasing insecurity generated by transnational organized crime,” the State Department said.

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