Discover more from Latin America Daily Briefing
Brazilian Deputies pass fiscal framework
May 25, 2025
Brazil's lower chamber of Congress approved a new fiscal framework bill by 372-108, a major victory for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Federal lawmakers rejected all amendments that could alter the bill's main text, that ties government spending limits to revenue growth and inflation. The proposal will now head to the Senate, reports Reuters.
The rules will replace a more rigid cap on spending that limits growth in expenditure to the previous year's inflation rate.
"It was a resounding vote," Finance Minister Fernando Haddad told a news conference yesterday. "The Chamber has shown its commitment to finding a deal to help Brazil return to higher rates of economic growth."
If the bill passes it will clear the way for the government to increase social spending, reports AFP.
Inflation in Brazil continued to slow down in early May, information is likely to put increase pressure on the central bank to lower interest rates, reports Reuters.
Brazil’s Congress has sought to weaken Lula’s Indigenous Peoples and Environmental ministries, a move the ministers and activists say will undermine the government’s efforts to protect Indigenous communities and the Amazon. (Guardian)
A Brazilian mobile phone game dubbed the ‘Slavery Simulator’, which allowed users to buy and sell enslaved people, was removed from Google Play this week, but remains available to the 1,000 people who had previously downloaded it. Activists denounced the game, which allows players to torture Black characters, as racist and called on the developer Magnus Games and Google to be held to account. (Guardian)
Brazil must have a "louder voice" in world affairs, including a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a news conference in Brasilia. The "global balance of power" has shifted south, he said. (AFP)
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the Bahamas next month — her first trip to the Caribbean since taking office — to discuss climate change, energy, food security and economic prosperity in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic with CARICOM leaders who will gather in Nassau. (Miami Herald)
Harris’s trip will occur just days before Caribbean Community leaders host a gathering of Haitian political leaders in Jamaica on June 11-13. CARICOM leaders earlier this month, agreed to appoint three former prime ministers to work with a technical support group to engage with Haitian leadership to try to broaden consensus around a path to elections, security and other areas of agreement, reports the Miami Herald.
The United States is continuing to explore ways to help Haiti’s critical security challenges, Brian Nichols, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, told the Miami Herald. International presence will be required but “the exact form that it will take, will need to be discussed; whether it’s a multinational force or some other element, like a traditional peacekeeping operation.”
Salvadoran civil society groups have struck an agreement with four opposition parties — Arena, FMLN, Vamos, and Nuestro Tiempo — to jointly back a unity candidate, proposed by civil society movements, for next year’s presidential elections, reports El Faro. The opposition alliance is led by Sumar por El Salvador , a confluence of ideologically diverse social and political movements.
Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso called for a “national agreement” ahead of snap elections to be held on Aug. 20 after he dissolved the country’s legislature earlier this month. (Reuters)
“Thinking regionally about migration and implementing collaborative migration policy with partners across the Americas is relatively new in Washington,” writes Jordi Amarral in the Americas Migration Brief, highlighting “a new paradigm that seeks to look beyond the US-Mexico border to better understand the reality of human mobility.”
Argentina’s government has asked oil companies to finance their own imports for 90 days due to the shortage of foreign currency at the country's central bank, reports Reuters.
Cuba’s most recent fuel shortage has hit rural villages particularly hard. Residents have resorted to coal fires to cook their food, scramble to find transportation and spend days attempting to fuel vehicles, reports the ABC.
Roman Catholic Church leaders in Bolivia acknowledged that the institution had been deaf to the suffering of victims of sexual abuse, commenting in the midst of a pedophilia scandal involving priests that has roiled the country, reports the Associated Press.
Outgoing Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez said the country is open to trading with China but would will not abandon its diplomatic allegiance with Taiwan. (AFP)
Scientists have discovered, hidden beneath jungle covering in Guatemala, 417 Mayan cities that date back to circa 1000 B.C. and that are connected by nearly 110 miles of “superhighways” — a network of what researchers called “the first freeway system in the world.” (Washington Post)