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Latin America Daily Briefing 7/25/22
Finance Minister Silvina Batakis is currently in Washington and planning on meeting with the IMF and US Treasury, although plans for President Alberto Fernández to join her in order to meet with US President Joe Biden have been curtailed by the latter’s positive COVID results last week. (Clarín, Buenos Aires Times)
Representatives of 18 Brazilian civil society organizations are visiting Washington DC this week to discuss threats to the Brazilian electoral process with policymakers and implementers, reports Valor.
The heads of the MDB party in 11 Brazilian states voiced their support for Lula in the first round of the upcoming presidential elections. This comes despite the fact that the MDB is running its own candidate for president in the so-called “third way,” Simone Tebet. (UOL)
The United States should deepen its relationship with CARICOM by “(sending) a cabinet-level delegation led by (Vice President Kamala) Harris to attend” CARICOM’s next meeting in February, increasing development financing to the region, and “improving the US-CARICOM economic relationship through the Cities Forward Initiative announced at the Summit of the Americas. For example, expanding financial relations between CARICOM countries and local banks in the United States can help address de-risking in the region,” according to the Atlantic Council.
A physical and verbal altercation broke out between those that approve and reject the proposed constitution, reports BioBioChile.
“Fears that Petro will pose a seismic or even minor threat to either Colombia’s democracy and its relations with the United States are hyperbolic and premature. Allegations that Petro is a Castro-Chavista, and that he will emulate the policies of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, ignore not only Petro’s political biography, but the ways that Colombia’s domestic and international institutions have previously constrained aspiring populists… But though Petro has alleged that his political opponents are characterizing him as a Castro-Chavista merely to scare voters and the international community, it would be disingenuous to say that there are no valid concerns about the incoming Colombian president’s commitment to democracy,” writes Andrew Ivey for War on the Rocks.
A new law will create a referendum on same-sex marriage in the Caribbean country for September 25. If passed, the law “would legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as allow same-sex couples to adopt children,” according to DW.
El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin has not brought economic good fortune, instead being accompanied by “waves of repression” by the Bukele government, according to The Intercept.
A new Inter-American Dialogue report explores the activities and results of the Thriving in San Marcos project, implemented alongside the Cities Alliance from November 2019 to 2021 in San Marcos, Guatemala. They found that formalizing savings from remittances can help promote local development and wealth accumulation.
Monterrey, one of Mexico’s wealthiest cities, struggles with water management and drought, reports the LA Times.
A new report from the IADB explores migration policy regimes and legal frameworks across Latin America and the Caribbean.
After 6 years of silence, the anonymous whistleblower from the Panama Papers speaks out against corruption and rising global authoritarianism—among other topics—in a new interview, as published by OCCRP.
The US sanctioned former Paraguay President Horacio Cartes for alleged corruption and links to terrorist groups, reports Al Jazeera.
A truce to halt protests at Las Bambas copper mine ended last Thursday, leaving the status of the mine “in flux,” reports Reuters.
“Peru's attorney general has opened a new probe of President Pedro Castillo, a day after the country's former interior minister accused the leftist leader of obstructing graft investigations of close allies,” notes Reuters.
“The Puerto Rico Status Act introduced last week in the House of Representatives is the latest in a long line of efforts to address the legislation’s namesake issue. It would allow Puerto Ricans to choose between statehood, independence, and free association; for the first time ever, that vote would exclude the status quo and bind Congress to the result. Therefore, it’s the most serious attempt in decades to decolonize the largest and longest-held U.S. possession. It’s also a politically stillborn effort that has no chance of becoming law,” writes Alberto C. Medina at The New Republic.
Latin America needs a Green New Deal and regional action to combat climate change. This could include increasing regional electricity trade, “(expanded) involvement in higher value-added segments of renewable energy value chains,” and developing a greater reliance on low-carbon services and industries, writes Amir Lebdioui for Americas Quarterly.
High fuel prices are likely to spark protest across the region, having already done so in Argentina, Ecuador, and Panama, reports CNN.
According to a new study, the illegal economies related to gold, drugs, and gasoline in Venezuela reportedly made up at least 21.74% of Venezuela’s GDP last year, notes Caracas Chronicles. This figure is likely an underestimate due to the clandestine nature of these economies.