Chile launched constitutional referendum campaign (Aug. 27, 2020)
Campaigning for a referendum on whether to reform Chile's constitution began yesterday. Chileans will vote on October 25 on whether to amend the country's dictatorship-era magna carta, which became the focal point of months of protests calling for greater social justice last year.
Proponents of reform see an opportunity to establish a more fair social order, while opponents fear the framework for the country's stability will be lost, reports AFP.
The vote was originally scheduled for April, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Advocates from both camps are forced to resort to creative campaigns in the midst of ongoing social distancing and lockdown measures. Much of the initial campaign is taking place online or video, reports La Tercera.
There are growing calls for Brazilian lawmakers to strip one of their colleagues of impunity, so that she can face murder charges. Flordelis dos Santos de Souza – a favela-born celebrity congresswoman -- is accused of masterminding the assassination of the husband who was once her adopted son. (Guardian and Guardian)
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he had rejected a proposal by his Economy Minister Paulo Guedes for a new cash welfare program called “Renda Brasil” because it would involve cutting other social programs. His statement highlights a rift between the president, whose popularity has benefited from aid programs, and Guedes who is struggling to control Brazil's fiscal deficit, reports Reuters.
Political pressure is growing in Brazil to disband the anti-corruption prosecutors team behind "Operation Car Wash," reports Reuters.
Bolivia's powerful social movements, who defied the interim-government's repeated postponement of a presidential vote scheduled for this year, have proved a far better guarantor of the country's battered democracy than the U.S. or the O.A.S., writes Gabriel Hetland in the Washington Post.
Five international organizations have documented human rights violations under Bolivia's interim-government, reports Nodal.
The bodies of three young men were discovered by a Colombian roadside on Tuesday -- it's the seventh massacre in two weeks. The wave of massacres, 46 so far this year, has raised fears that Colombia is unable to turn the page from its decades of civil war, reports the Guardian.
A Salvadoran judge convicted three police officers of killing Camila Díaz, a trans woman, in 2019. Though the prosecution could not prove her assassination was a hate crime, it is an important precedent against the impunity that LGBTI people generally face in El Salvador, reports El Faro.
The trial against the person who allegedly masterminded the 2016 asssassionation of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres started yesterday in Tegucigalpa. Daniel Castillo, a former executive at Desarrollos Energéticos, or DESA, which pushed for construction of the Agua Zarca dam that Caceres protested against, is accused of organizing the plot and was arrested in March 2018, reports Reuters.
Venezuelan activists and opinion-makers are expressing concern about the humanitarian implications of an impending tightening of sanctions that could impede importation of diesel fuel, according to the Venezuela Weekly.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is trying to rally a new “unitary pact” against the Maduro government -- Venezuela Weekly.
The corruption cases scandalizing Mexico currently implicate politicians from across the spectrum, but they aren't hurting President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's popularity, notes the Latin America Risk Report.
The Guardian profiles photographer Enrique Metinides, who documented car crashes, crime scenes and disasters for Mexico’s sensational nota roja newspapers.
Peru’s Congress passed a law that permits citizens to partially draw down their contributions to the state pension fund, a few months after doing the same with the private system.The government fiercely opposed the move, reports Reuters.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández has promised to legalize abortion -- but the pandemic has thrown off the schedule for introducing the bill to Congress. But, the country's successful bid to legalize gay marriage a decade ago shows that government support is just one of the elements the project needs to succeed, writes Pablo Méndez Shiff in a Washington Post Opinión piece.
Argentina's government formally opened consultations with the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to agree new terms on the repayment of a US$57-billion bailout agreed in 2018. (Buenos Aires Times)
A series in Anfibia documents the stories of migrants in Argentina, chronicles that show diversity of stories and origins.
A new bill in Argentina's Santa Fe province would provide free menstrual care products, a policy aimed at reducing health care gaps and gender inequality. Provincial lawmakers are responding to activist campaigns, like that of Economia Feminita, that have highlighted the economic and social costs of menstruation. (Página 12)
Correction: On Tuesday I cited a BBC article that mistakenly identified Juan Carlos Moreno as the mastermind of journalist Miroslava Breach's 2017 assassination. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Moreno shot Breach and killed her. Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative, noted to the press that the mastermind remains at large.