President Enrique Pena Nieto’s PRI and the like-minded PAN have the congressional votes to pass an energy reform. Doing so without preparing Mexicans for the change could be counterproductive. The PRI has also vowed to unveil its own proposal later this year. But pushing a little-known reform on Mexicans at the very last minute may be as troublesome as not having a reform at all. Mexico has a historic opportunity to change its energy future. The country's politicians will make history if they educate their citizens about why their insular oil nationalism is no longer an option.

After nine months in Havana, Cuba, negotiators are making slow but steady progress toward ending the conflict between Colombia's government and its largest leftist guerrilla group, the 49-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The talks are now at the second of five agenda points, and a growing segment of public opinion believes that this peace process—the fourth in the past 30 years—may end in an accord.

The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela have agreed to work to improve relations, two months after a row erupted between the two neighbours. Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro met for talks at a border town in Venezuela. They agreed to set up high level groups to discuss security, energy and trade. Relations had been strained since Mr Santos agreed in May to meet Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles in Bogota.

Pope Francis was greeted by enthusiastic crowds in Rio de Janeiro as he returned to his native continent for the first time as pontiff, but was involved in a security scare as his car took a wrong turn on the way from the airport. Later petrol bombs were thrown and protesters accused riot police of an unprovoked attack in clashes outside the presidential palace.

Brazil has something of an identity crisis right now. As protests continue, the world has been exposed to the massive social unrest in the country over inequality, corruption, and the adverse economics of preparing to host global sporting events like the upcoming World Cup. Still, as one of the so-called BRIC countries — a term that has become less vogue as investors take a wider look at emerging market countries — Brazil is uniquely positioned to keep growing.

The Organization of American States (OAS), the Mexican National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) signed today at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, an agreement to provide scholarship opportunities to 600 citizens of the Americas for master's or doctoral studies in science and engineering in Mexico, of which 100 will be earmarked for students from Central America and the Caribbean.

Sure, we've heard fiery speeches offering asylum from leftist leaders who are eager to criticize the United States. But supporting Snowden's cause and wanting to make Uncle Sam look bad aren't the only parts of the equation, with so many trade and diplomatic relations hanging in the balance, said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington.

As in the case of mass protests in Bulgaria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey, Brazil’s political establishment was caught utterly off-guard. Predictably, they first dismissed the demonstrators as “vandals”. They quickly changed their tune after police were filmed deploying excessive force against protestors and journalists. In a bid to lower the temperature, Brazilian President Rousseff tried instead to initiate a dialogue with the protestors, and hastily unveiled a five-part reform plan.