Maduro and opposition reps in Paris
Nov. 11, 2022
French President Emmanuel Macron and Colombian President Gustavo Petro discussed Venezuela and how to aid stalled negotiations between President Nicolás Maduro and Venezuela’s opposition, in Paris, yesterday. (El País)
Representatives from the Maduro government and the opposition Plataforma Unitaria are both present at the Paris Peace Forum that kicked off today. The French government said it hopes to “support” dialogue aimed at carrying out “fair and transparent” elections in Venezuela. (Infobae)
The meeting came amid reports that negotiations in Mexico, suspended a year ago, are set to resume imminently, again facilitated by the Norwegian government. (Reuters)
Maduro had unusual international visibility this week — he attended COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, where he exchanged pleasantries with Macron, and shook hands with U.S. envoy John Kerry. He also participated Petro’s announcement this week of a wide-ranging alliance to protect the Amazon, that would include both Colombia and Venezuela. The moves come after a recent meeting in Caracas with Petro, who has sought to rapidly normalize relations between the two countries, while pushing Maduro to hold elections and join regional oversight bodies, particularly the inter-American human rights system. (El País
Investing in care economy systems could generate a virtuous economic cycle — increasing employment, consumption and tax revenues — ECLAC head José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs told EFE. The XV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in Buenos Aires this week focused on ““The Caring Society.” (See yesterday’s briefs.)
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is problematic for Latin America’s “public square,” argues James Bosworth in World Politics Review.
Barbados’s proposed climate finance plan, presented by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at COP27 this week, garnered praise from French President Emmanuel Macron and IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva, reports the Latin America Brief. The “Bridgetown Initiative” calls for a one-time $650 billion request of the IMF to finance developing countries’ climate needs and for development banks to issue $1 trillion in low-interest loans for climate spending in developing countries. (See Wednesday’s post.)
Illegal mining, pushed by skyrocketing gold prices, has become one of the main drivers of deforestation in the Amazon, above all in Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, according to an InSight Crime investigation.
“In Venezuela’s southern Amazon region, gold mining is a principal driver of deforestation and a source of biodiversity loss. It is a major criminal economy, underpinned by corruption, the use of violence, and the instrumentalization of local populations by NSAGs,” reports InSight Crime.
The U.S. could use trade policy to support the incoming Brazilian government’s pledge to combat Amazon deforestation, argue Raoni Rajão and Anders Beal in Americas Quarterly.
The U.S. Biden administration’s Latin America policy is mostly focused on migration. Despite its limitations, “dorder-first diplomacy” is likely to remain a priority, “at least as long as Democrats see increased migration as an electoral liability,” writes Will Freeman in Americas Quarterly.
The rape of a young Indigenous Wichí girl in northern Argentina has pushed demands for a government response to “chineo,” the gang rape of Indigenous girls. (El País)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro hopes to advance towards total peace in his term, and sign agreements with as many of the country’s 26 active armed groups as possible. Foreign Policy explores his chances.
Colombian voters who chose Petro earlier this year “were motivated by hunger for change rather than security concerns, which were the driving force in Colombian politics for the past 25 years,” writes Vice President Francia Márquez in Democracy Journal. “Thanks to millions living on the margins of capitalism and society—those whom I call “the nobodies”—Colombia now has a chance to fulfill the dream of an inclusive, long-lasting, and transformative peace.”
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum accused that authorities in neighboring Morelos state of intentionally botching the autopsy of a murdered young woman in order to cover up for the killer. Ariadna López’s death “brought up all the issues that have enraged women in Mexico: officials blaming the victim, poor police investigation and misconduct that has led to a growing number of unsolved killings of women,” reports the Associated Press.
Mexican activist María Herrera Magdaleno has become an advocate for parents of Mexico’s tens of thousands of disappeared. After her four sons disappeared, “Doña Mary” has become a leader among the mothers of the missing, “connecting a disparate group of grief-stricken women into a national movement that has demanded action from a government they say has long ignored them,” reports the New York Times.
A broad coalition of Mexican lawmakers is pushing to ban nearly 200 chemicals used in pesticides, saying they endanger human health. But the plan, part of a growing movement in Mexico against pesticides, has alarmed farmers who say the move could devastate the country's food production, reports Reuters.
Mexico's government cannot make purchases of yellow corn from the United States because it does not want genetically modified corn, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said this week. (Reuters)
Chile appears unlikely to restart efforts to write a new magna carta soon, after voters rejected a proposal developed by an elected Constitutional Convention. “No clear way to get the constitutional redraft back on track has emerged yet, but the problems that led to popular demands for one have not gone away and could put a fire under the political class,” write Carlos Cruz Infante and Miguel Zlosilo at the Aula Blog.