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Abortion Rights in Mexico
Mexico’s Supreme Court yesterday unanimously declared as unconstitutional the federal criminalization of abortion because it is contrary to women's right to choose. This makes abortion legally accessible in all federal health institutions across the country, according to the New York Times though a patchwork of state restrictions remains, reports the Associated Press. "Some 20 [of 32] Mexican states, however, still criminalize abortion. Those laws were not affected by the Supreme Court ruling, but abortion rights advocates will likely ask state judges to follow its logic."
The Washington Post reports that the ruling means that more than 70% of women will have access to legal abortion, citing GIRE, the group which took the case to the Supreme Court. GIRE's Twitter feed offers a 5-step explanatory graphic that outlines what just happened.
Most articles note that several countries in the Americas are broadening abortion rights as well as compare them with what is happening in the USA.
Two women will be Mexico's top presidential candidates in the June 2024 election. On Wednesday, President López Obrador’s Morena party announced that former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum would be their candidate, according to the Associated Press. The primary opposition candidate is Xóchitl Gálvez who represents the Frente Amplio coalition that includes the conservative National Action Party, the more progressive Democratic Revolution Party, and the traditional Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The NYTimes confidently predicts in its headline, "Mexico will elect its first woman as president next year and contrasts the two women: "Sheinbaum, 61, a physicist with a doctorate in environmental engineering and a protégé of [AMLO], will face off against the opposition’s top contender, Xóchitl Gálvez, 60, an outspoken engineer with Indigenous roots who rose from poverty to become a tech entrepreneur." The Washington Post is not quite as optimistic describing Mexico " not quite Barbie Land ... [though] progress is remarkable in a country where women couldn’t even vote until 1953." For comparison's sake: "Mexico ranks fourth in the world in female participation in national legislatures, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The United States ranks 71st — just below Iraq."
There are still calculations among political candidates. For example, the Citizen Movement party, could still nominate a man. ALSO: former Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard was Sheinbaum’s closest Morena rival and has yet to accept the results.
UNICEF warned that "children are migrating through Latin America and the Caribbean in record numbers and now account for a larger share of the migrant population than other regions in the world." The Miami Herald highlighted the 15-page report which can be downloaded here. The root causes identified are systemic including "socioeconomic factors like widespread poverty, limited livelihood opportunities, structural inequality, food insecurity and barriers to essential services, to a desire among families to secure a more hopeful future for their children." UNICEF is appealing for US$160.5 million to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees and migrant children.
The U.S. State Department has made a push for regional migration processing centers called “Safe Mobility” or “Movilidad Segura” sites which serve as intakes for refugee applications among other things. The purpose is to stem migration to the border but they are not working like they should, according to Al Jazeera
The infectious disease chagas currently infects an estimated 6 million people around the world "the vast majority [of which] are in Latin America" and is endemic in places like Bolivia, according to The New Humanitarian. "Chagas is also becoming a worldwide public health concern due to its spread through migration."
The Panama-Colombia border has seen a record number of migrants this year, according to Doctors Without Borders and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reports The Guardian.
Transnational criminal gangs have become such a serious problem in Latin America that they are damaging the region’s overall economic performance, according to a top IMF official, reports the Financial Times. According to their yet-to-be released report, "having a higher murder rate is more than correlated [with] . . . lower economic performance, in terms of growth, in terms of investment."
Otto Pérez Molina, Guatemala's former president, was sentenced yesterday to eight years in jail, after pleaded guilty to money laundering, fraud and corruption, according to the BBC and Prensa Libre. Corruption charges against Pérez Molina and his vice president were uncovered "with the help of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)."
Javier Milei, the current frontrunner in Argentina's presidential contest, comes off as "an eccentric academic rather than an aspiring president" according to an extended interview in The Economist. In an accompanying editorial, the magazine concludes that "Milei would be a danger for democracy in Argentina."
Opposition and pro-market presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich previewed the presumptive cabinet for her Juntos por el Cambio coalition in Argentina's December 10 elections, according to the Buenos Aires Times.
Guy Philippe, the former Haitian police commander who once led a government rebellion, is set to be released from a federal prison in Atlanta and eventually deported to Haiti, according to the Miami Herald. He had been sought and after a decade, captured by U.S. authorities on drug charges and is seen as a destabilizing force in his home country.
Chile's proposed constitution must be finalized by November but polls show its prospects dimming, according to a broad review in America's Quarterly. President Gabriel Boric has said that if the text is rejected, “I believe the conditions would not be there to carry out a new constitutional process.”
Venezuelan extortion gangs are increasingly moving beyond issuing direct threats, instead broadcasting wide-reaching acts of intimidation to residents via social media sites like Instagram, and exerting greater social control in the process, according to Insight Crime. The story includes several links that show the fear that it creates and the severity of the situation although the article ends with police successful enforcement in some cases.
Former President Ricardo Martinelli is the frontrunner for 2024 elections in Panama, acknowledges the Latin American Risk Report which notes some similarities to the Trump campaign in the USA. It signals "the potential for a corrupt administration and a breakdown of US-Panama relations remains a threat going into next year." Martinelli was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to 10 years in jail, according to earlier reporting, a charge that he is contesting.
Brazil's President Lula announced some shifts in his cabinet, according to the Financial Times. According to Reuters and Deutsche Welle, this "seals the entry of the party of lower house speaker Arthur Lira, who was a supporter of former President Jair Bolsonaro, into Lula's cabinet."
Peru's President Boluarte announced six changes in her cabinet yesterday, according to Reuters.
11,000 Runners Disqualified
The Mexico City Marathon expelled 11,000 runners, one third of their participants, for cutting out sections of the running course, according to ESPN. However, many runners blamed malfunction in the technology that was used to track them that had problems.
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