Latin America Daily Briefing
(Nov. 18, 2022)
A 68-page policy paper by Brazilian environmental policy organization Plataforma CIPÓ — which served as input for president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s remarks at COP27 this week — suggests a potential paradigm shift in climate policies under the incoming administration. The recommendations go far beyond reducing deforestation and lobbying developed nations for climate financing; they outline plans for a green industrialization in Brazil, explains the Latin America Brief.
Whether or not the Amazon has reached the tipping point, the massive rainforest is beginning to collapse and showing signs of lost resilience, reports the Washington Post. Savannization and global warming would subject millions of Brazilians to extreme, potentially deadly heat, and create an exodus that could reshape the region.
Former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad is emerging as the front-runner to be Lula's finance minister, reports Reuters.
Brazilian photographer Ian Cheibub’s project “Golgotha” is a probing look at the rise of evangelicalism in Brazil. — Washington Post
A couple of U.S. firms appear to be helping Venezuela bypass U.S. sanctions to transport millions in petroleum products aboard an Iranian-built tanker, reports the Associated Press. The sanctions evasion effort is centered around an idled refinery and adjacent oil terminal on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
The Colombian government’s government said it will restart peace talks with the National Liberation Army next week. President Gustavo Petro has promised to bring "total peace" via negotiations with rebels and armed criminal organizations, reports Reuters.
Peru's executive branch doubled down on a request that Congress hold a confidence vote on the current Cabinet. Prime Minister Anibal Torres’ request suggests the legislature's refusal could be interpreted as a vote of no confidence in itself, reports Reuters.
The head of Argentina’s economy portfolio, Peronist moderate Sergio Massa, has managed to avoid wholesale collapse in his three-month tenure as a “super minister.” He is not an economist, but the problems he has tackled are more political in nature anyway, writes María Esperanza Casullo in Americas Quarterly. Nonetheless, his presidential potential in 2023 hinges on inflation, and whether he can push it down.
Could Argentina be close to another moment of social upheaval, similar to what happened in December 2001? Brian Winter discusses popular discontent, the 2023 elections and Argentine foreign relations with the Wilson Center’s Benjamin Gedan on the AQ Podcast.
Argentina is on an international charm offensive to pitch its lithium sector to international investors — though the white metal is hardly a silver bullet for the country’s beleaguered economy, warns the Economist.
Divisions among Latin American countries over the next IDB president signal that “broader policy coordination and regional integration will not come easily,” despite the region’s leftward political swing, writes Oliver Stuenkel in Americas Quarterly.
Latin America’s current spate of leftist leaders and the U.S. Biden administration should avoid knee jerk antagonism, and recognize a limited window for cooperation, argues Michael Paarlberg in Foreign Policy.
Latin American public security forces have rapidly adopted facial recognition technology, but adequate protections have not been put into place to protect citizen rights, according to a Chatham House research paper.
Mexican security and immigration authorities have stepped up patrols, highway checkpoints and raids in southern Mexico since the United States started expelling Venezuelan migrants last month, according to the Associated Press.
The Dominican Republic is stepping up deportations of Haitians and is creating a police unit focused on foreigners. The moves have ratcheted up long-standing tensions over migration between the neighboring countries, reports Reuters.
Canadian police have charged a Quebec man with terrorism over allegations he conspired to overthrow the government of the late Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, though the investigation is unrelated to his assassination in 2021. (Guardian)
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel embarked on a rare international tour of Algeria, Russia, Turkey and China this week, aimed at obtaining support for the island’s embattled economy, reports Bloomberg.
China's President Xi Jinping has invited Chilean President Gabriel Boric to visit the country next year, reports Reuters.
Mexico’s two most powerful organized crime groups — fierce competitors — are reportedly sourcing precursor chemicals from the very same suppliers to produce fentanyl, according to InSight Crime.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on Mexico’s Familia Michoacana drug cartel, which it accused of manufacturing “rainbow” fentanyl pills purportedly aimed at children, reports the Associated Press.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s bitcoin gamble has not paid off — the value of country’s crypto currencies has dropped by two-thirds, reports the Economist.
This is expected to be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, and his home country of Argentina is desperate to see him hoist the trophy in the air. Argentina is always World Cup crazy, the country stutters to a halt during matches, but this year economic and political malaise mean citizens are particularly desperate for good news, reports the Washington Post.
Brazil’s “famed yellow jersey, the canarinha, remains soccer’s most iconic look. Brazil is still Brazil. Whether its team is Brazilian, though, is a different matter.” The New York Times delves into how European major leagues’ define “every aspect of soccer’s global culture.”
The World Cup has always been about more than sport — it’s an opportunity for countries to shine on a world stage. Critics question Qatar’s human rights record — particularly for LGTBQ people and migrant workers. The Washington Post looks at past World Cups, including the shameful 1978 tournament hosted by Argentina’s military dictatorship.