In case the Detroit 3 money begging hearings weren’t bad enough for you, there was plenty of equally depressing news in Latin America to tune into also this week.

Once again, we’ve got a cruise ship wreck off Antarctica. I saw this first on the Expert Cruiser blog, but here’s the latest from the BBC. It’s a Panamanian-flagged ship from the tour company Antarpply Expeditions. Crews from Chile and Argentina are on the way to save the day. The ship is not in danger of sinking, but this will probably not be the last incident: “Tourist travel to Antarctica is believed to have increased five-fold in the last 15 years.”

Speaking of Argentina, did you hear the one about the president wanting to force a foreign company to sell themselves for one peso? Unfortunately, this is not a joke and it applies to the Spanish holding company of two airlines: Aerolinas Argentina and Austral. Those two airlines have a lock on local traffic, with 80% of all seats. Get the whole sordid story here. New Argentine financial crisis meltdown, here we come!

Mexican cement company CEMEX met the same fate in Venezuela, but isn’t taking it lying down. They’ve taken their case to the World Bank’s arbitration panel. Meanwhile, Chavez has made it clear he hopes to be president for life. Lord help Venezuela: they’ll need it.

Some disasters are not man-made. Hold off on going to Bocas del Toro: massive flooding has hit parts of Panama and Costa Rica.

Have a good weekend?