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Atlantic Hurricane season
May 26, 2023
This year’s Atlantic hurricane season could have between 12 and 17 named tropical cyclones, similar to the number of named storms last year and a “near-normal” amount, according to forecasters. (New York Times)
While the El Niño weather cycle usually reduces the number of tropical storms in the Atlantic, this year the phenomenon is joined by unusually warm ocean waters, creating conditions that could instead fuel an active storm season, reports the Washington Post.
Guatemala heads to the polls on June 25 — but even if there is no overt tampering with ballot boxes, the congressionally chosen electoral court’s use of “lawfare tactics to veto legitimate candidates” has already resulted in a vote that “lacks electoral integrity,” according to political scientist Lucas Perelló — Latin America Brief.
Nearly five months into Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s mandate, his administration seems to be fracturing on environmental issues; “namely, whether the president is willing to forgo massive new energy projects and stand up to major agricultural producers that contribute to Brazil’s balance of trade but who have funded far-right initiatives and are among those most responsible for Amazonian deforestation,” writes Andre Pagliarini in The New Republic.
The New York Times profiles Colombian social leader Leyner Palacios, who served on Colombia’s Truth Commission and recently went into hiding after receiving numerous death threats.
Colombia is studying the need for more exploration contracts after a report showed oil and gas reserves dropping, Trade Minister German Umaña told Bloomberg.
Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner slammed the IMF in a speech commemorating the country’s May Revolution, yesterday, saying the country’s agreement with the international lender is holding back economic growth. (Reuters)
Fernández did not give any electoral definitions — a month away from the deadline, the Frente de Todos still has not announced formal candidacies for October’s presidential elections — but spoke surrounded by leading hopefuls. (Buenos Aires Times)
The former president is against an extended primary for her FdT coalition, believing that the best strategy would be to unite behind a single candidate as soon as possible, according to Perfil. (Via the Road to the Casa Rosada)
A leaked U.S. intelligence document highlights the growing discontent by U.S. officials towards the Mexican government’s spending priorities: “President Lopez Obrador’s federal budget for 2023 gives priority to social spending and signature infrastructure projects, rather than the investments needed to address bilateral issues with the US such as migration, security, and trade,” reads the document excerpted in The Intercept.
AMLO urged urged Latino voters not to back Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the next U.S. presidential election, accusing the Republican politician of trying to win votes at the expense of migrants, reports NBC.
Peruvian lawmakers voted to declare AMLO persona non grata, citing what they described as his meddling in Peru's internal affairs and marking a deepening diplomatic split in the region, reports Reuters.
Peru’s government was more likely to use lethal violence in marginalized areas of the country as part of its crackdown on recent anti-government protests, according to a new Amnesty International report. (Al Jazeera)
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte has been in office six months — longer than many analysts expected her to last — but political stability is frail, and “it is worth addressing whether economic recovery will be undone by a prolonged political crisis beset by disenfranchised citizens,” writes Luis Miguel Castilla in Americas Quarterly.
Peruvian authorities seized 58 one-kilo packages of cocaine bearing a picture of a Nazi flag on the outside and the name Hitler printed in low relief, reports the Associated Press.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has stuck with, and even expanded his militarization strategy, according to the Latin America Risk Report. “Mexico's military, already powerful and corrupt under AMLO's predecessors, has expanded its influence, role in the economy, and expectations of impunity under the current administration,” which has particular relevance given new revelations of spying against an AMLO administration human rights official. (See Wednesday’s post.)
Mexico might elect its first female president in next year’s elections. The Economist highlights the growing support for women in politics and the potential impact a female president could have on gender equality and women's rights in the country.
Quorum delves into Guatemala City’s water troubles — interviewing hundreds of residents and documenting how water is available for two hours a day in certain communities, and twice a month in others. Protests about water shortages have become more frequent in recent years, but there is no public information about how authorities are distributing the scarce resource, reports Quorum.
A former Guatemalan colonel has confessed to assisting the Jalisco Cartel New Generation in trafficking cocaine. The admission confirms allegations of Guatemalan military members providing logistical support to another Mexican drug trafficking group, and shows CJNG is no longer reliant only on Guatemalan drug trafficking groups to move cocaine through the country, reports InSight Crime.
Hidden runways in Venezuela’s Amazon are lifelines for Indigenous communities, but also serve as a path for equipment used by illegal miners and gold smuggling, reports Mongabay.
As inflation skyrockets in Costa Rica, economic pressures are leading to longer workdays and cuts to overtime pay, exacerbating concerns about labor rights and income inequality in the country, reports Nacla.
“Political dysfunction and economic calamity are pushing people from many nations in the western hemisphere in what US president Joe Biden has called the “largest migration in human history”, exacerbated in Latin America and beyond by the coronavirus pandemic,” reports the Guardian.
Traditionally Latin America has had mostly welcoming policies towards migrants, but there are signs that could change in some countries — Brian Winter interviews Andrew Seele, President of the Migration Policy Institute on the AQ Podcast.
Social democracy is the best hope for Latin America, argues Bloomberg columnist Eduardo Porter: “The answer to the region’s chronic political turmoil is a social contract that brings workers into the formal economy, provides old-age pensions and enables citizens to live with dignity.”
Latin America has some of the most left-leaning politicians on the planet — and they are scaring off investors, warns The Economist.
A group of Guyanese Indigenous women armed with drones are helping to measure the carbon held in remote coastal ecosystems — data that could nudge the government to create policies and programs to protect critical areas, reports the Associated Press.