Chilean lawmakers shelve tax reform
March 9, 2023
Chile’s lower chamber of congress dismissed a major tax reform bill presented by the government last July, a major blow for President Gabriel Boric’s administration, reports Reuters.
Boric defended the initiative and criticized lawmakers who shelved it, saying “they refused to discuss the possibility of having a debate in the temple of democracy.” (El País)
Chile’s government will continue to insist on changes to the tax system, according to Finance Minister Mario Marcel. (Bloomberg)
The tax reform aimed to ultimately collect up to 3.6% of gross domestic product and proposed a mining royalty, all of which would help finance Boric’s promised reforms to the country’s health and pension systems.
A growing number of Chinese migrants are heading to the U.S. via the deadly Darién Gap crossing between Colombia and Panama, reports the Guardian. Panamanian government data shows about 400 Chinese citizens made the journey during the first half of 2022. In November last year, the figure rose to 377, then to 695 in December. In January 2023, a record-breaking 913 Chinese nationals crossed, making them the fourth-largest group of migrants to do so this year.
“The Havana syndrome saga is an epic failure of science, one with severe consequences both for patients and for international relations, which reveals how medical evidence warps under political pressure. … Beyond misinforming the public, its story distorted U.S. policy decisions and, most important, deepened patients’ suffering,” according to the Scientific American. (See March 2’s briefs.)
Canada's top general said the country’s armed forces lack capacity to lead a potential mission to Haiti, given its current support for Ukraine and NATO. (Reuters)
Haitian activists called for a stop to the trafficking of weapons into Haiti, in the midst of a massive security crisis fueled by foreign arms, reports Reuters.
Governments, multilateral organizations and civic organizations across the Americas commemorated International Women’s Day yesterday. Thousands of women mobilized throughout the continent demanding the upholding of their rights, and vindicating the feminist struggle that in recent years has made significant progress in terms of reproductive rights, reports EFE.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro signed an executive order ending a ban of more than 10 years on the use and sale of the "morning after pill." It was the fulfillment of a campaign promise long-awaited by feminist groups, reports Reuters.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced a packet of 25 measures seeking to promote and protect women, the most significant of which is a bill that would guarantee equal pay for women and men who perform the same jobs. (Washington Post)
Five European oil companies filed an injunction against the 9.2% levy that Lula’s administration announced suddenly last week to help shore up public finances and counter a weak economy. (Bloomberg)
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has rejected calls from some US lawmakers advocating military action in Mexico against drug cartels, saying the proposals are threats to Mexican sovereignty. (Guardian)
Mexico rapidly recovered four U.S. citizens abducted in Matamoros last week — two dead and two alive. “The speed of the rescue elicited anger among many Mexicans, who were shocked to see their leaders spring into action after years of doing little to locate the more than 100,000 people who remain missing in a country where the vast majority of crimes go unsolved,” notes the New York Times.
The case has also put a spotlight on medical tourism south of the U.S. border — where many go seeking cheaper pharmaceuticals, but also surgical, dental and cosmetic procedures. (Washington Post, New York Times)
Venezuela’s public school teachers earn about $20 a month, far below living wage — pushing many to protest this year in massive demonstrations, a surprise challenge against Nicolás Maduro’s government, reports Bloomberg.