South American summit ends

The two-day Mercosul summit in Rio de Janeiro has come to an end with Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, urging his neighbors to increase state control of their economies.

Leaders of the Latin American countries have discussed further regional economic cooperation. However, no breakthrough has been achieved, as the visions for the bloc's future were sharply divergent.

The Southern Cone Common Market, or Mercosul, unites some 250 million people with a gross domestic product of $US1 trillion, or about 76 percent of the total for South America.

Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, while Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru hold associate membership, and don't have voting rights.