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Brazil's Amazon Day and National Day
Brazil celebrated 'Amazon Day' on Tuesday and President Lula announced several initiatives including the creation of two Indigenous territories as well as financial support to municipalities that have reduced deforestation rates the most, according to the Associated Press. Lula said, “The Amazon is in a hurry to continue doing what it has always done, to be essential for life on Earth.”
Thursday, September 7, is Brazil's national holiday, a date that the military have often participated in. "Things are awkward between the commander-in-chief and the armed forces," according to Agence France Press. Still, Lula's poll numbers rise toward 60% nationally as the economy continues to best market expectations, reports Bloomberg. There are suggestions that Lula is set to move toward the political center with some cabinet changes in the offing, according to Veja. The weekly magazine’s cover questioned how Lula was going to balance the demands of his political party in his next phase of governing.
Over 500 workers were freed from “modern-day slavery” in August in raids involving over 22 states plus the capital Brasilia., according to Reuters. "In Brazil, slavery is legally defined as forced labor but also covers debt bondage, degrading work conditions."
Regional Climate Change
Dozens of Caribbean organizations called on the Biden administration to do more in responding to climate change, according to the Miami Herald. "Caribbean countries contribute the least to the climate crisis yet bear the brunt of some of its worse effects as hurricanes and tropical storms increase in frequency and intensity."
"Cyclone rains" in southern Brazil killed over 20 people, displacing over 3000 people. (NYTimes and Reuters). "60 cities had been battered by the storm, which was classified as an extratropical cyclone," according to the AP; see dramatic video reports from The Guardian and NYTimes.
Chile still is suffering from "unprecedented" weather - heat and rain and snow - with property damage is approaching US$1 billion, according to China Daily. Snow has caused the Cristo Redentor tunnel, which connects the Argentinean province of Mendoza with the Chilean region of Valparaíso, to be closed off and on, according to Crisis 24 and Memo.
On Tuesday, Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal gave Bernardo Arévalo the credentials formally making him president-elect, according to La Hora.
However, even though the August 20 elections were declared "free and fair" by observers, "fraud complaints" were filed by the losing candidate, the National Unity of Hope party and former first lady Sandra Torres, reports the Associated Press. Earlier in the week, the 'Grupo de Puebla' warned about the continuing coup threats against Arévalo, even before his inauguration, according to Prensa Libre and a press release.
Germán Rivera is set to plead guilty this week in the trial on assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, a move that the New York Times reports "could be a major breakthrough for U.S. prosecutors who are handling the case in Miami federal court." A guilty plea by Rivera, a retired Colombian Army captain, would be "an important development that would bolster the prosecution’s case." Colombia media like Semana magazine and El Tiempo credit the NYT for breaking the story and include additional backstory to Rivera's presumed involvement.
Cuba says it dismantled a Russian fighter-recruitment network looking for mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, according to CNN (reporting from Havana), the Washington Post and the Financial Times. The Miami Herald includes profiles of two teenagers who were lured to Ukraine. The Cuban Foreign Ministry declared that "Cuba has a firm and clear historical position against mercenarism." The Post adds that this has created "unusual tensions with Russia".
Next Monday, on September 11, Chile marks the 50th anniversary of the Pinochet coup and the Associated Press reports on those who still believe in his dictatorship. A national poll suggests that 66% of Chileans believe that the "country needs a firm government" is more important than a "worry about the rights of individuals", a figure that has doubled since a similar poll in 2019, according to a poll by Center for Public Studies.
A newly restored version of the documentary ‘The Battle of Chile’ will premiere in New York City this week. The three-part and over four-hour long film receives a full review this week The Village Voice, in the context of Patricio Guzman's other films.
Leading presidential candidate Javier Milei's attack on Pope Francis, calling him "an imbecile" and "a representative of evil", induced priests in Buenos Aires to hold an open-air Mass on Tuesday to defend the Argentine pontiff, according to Reuters. Victoria Villarruel, Milei's vice-presidential running mate, talk of honoring "victims of leftwing terrorism", trying to justify the military dictatorships in the 1970s, was profiled in the Buenos Aires Times and the Financial Times. "Villarruel’s strategy consists of maintaining a certain ambivalence about the crimes of the dictatorship."
"Are Ecuador’s Army, Police, and Prisons Beyond Reform?," sets a pessimistic view in anticipation of Ecuador's run off election on October 15, according to an essay in Insight Crime.
UFOs In Latin America
While most UFO documentation is classified in the USA, this is not so in other countries in Latin America where the "remarkable historical archive of reported UFO visitations" is all part of the "public record," according to an investigation by the Washington Post. The piece focuses on Brazil but reports that Argentina, Chile and Peru have "public government programs that study and investigate UFO activity." As for Uruguay, their military runs the Commission for the Reception and Investigation of Complaints of Unidentified Flying Objects.
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