Mexicans protest INE reform
Nov. 14, 2022
Tens of thousands of Mexicans protested yesterday against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s proposal to overhaul the country’s electoral authority. It was the largest demonstration against AMLO during his nearly four years in office. (Animal Político)
Critics say the proposed reforms to the National Electoral Institute would affect the institution’s independence and make it more political. AMLO said the reform would let citizens elect electoral authorities and reduce the influence of economic interests in politics. It would also cut financing for political parties and limit advertising time. (Reuters)
“The massive turnout was a strong rebuke of the president’s assertion that criticism comes only from a relatively small, elite opposition,” according to the Associated Press.
Mexican lawmakers will discuss the proposal in Congress in coming weeks.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry dismissed Haiti’s justice minister, interior minister and its government commissioner last week. He gave no explanation for the latest round of political upheaval, reports the Associated Press. The dismissals come a month after the U.S. government announced it was pulling the visas belonging to current and former Haitian government officials involved with gangs. The officials were not identified.
The Haitian government’s request that the United Nations send “a specialized armed force” to combat armed gangs has proved divisive within the country. The request has also renewed “questions about accountability and redress.” Cholera cases are surging, and the United Nations has fallen far short of the its 2016 pledge of $400 million in a “new approach to cholera,” reports the Washington Post.
The U.S. is loathe to take the lead regarding Haiti’s request, in part because of Haitian resentment over past U.S. interventions, reports Politico. The Biden administration has sought for international partners to step up, but have been met with deflections.
“Haitian women and children are not just being caught up in the country’s spiraling gang wars – they are increasingly being targeted for rapes, torture, kidnappings and killings by the 200 armed groups that now control 60% of the capital,” reports the Guardian. “Their plight has been compounded by a lack of safe shelters or refuge. More than 96,000 people have been displaced by the gang violence.”
Gas stations reopened in Haiti on Saturday for the first time in two months, after the country’s main fuel terminal was liberated from a gang blockade. (Associated Press)
Representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition met on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum, but made no concrete announcements about when negotiations between the two sides might resume in Mexico, reports Deutsche Welle. (See Friday’s post.)
French President Emmanuel Macron, Colombian President Gustavo Petro, and Argentine President Alberto Fernández met with Venezuelan representatives to urge them to resume talks aimed at resolving the country’s prolonged political crisis. (Deutsche Welle and see Friday’s post.)
De facto dollarization has improved Venezuela’s economy, though living conditions remain dire for a large portion of the country’s residents. Poverty in Venezuela has fallen to 50.5%, down from 65.2% last year, according to a study by Universidad Catolica Andres Bello. (Reuters)
Increased oil revenue, in part related to the war in Ukraine, has also improved conditions in Venezuela, and bolstered leader Nicolás Maduro, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Nonetheless, despite the relief dollarization has brough for some, “the reality is that Venezuela is still in the middle of a deep humanitarian emergency,” WOLA’s Geoff Ramsey told the Los Angeles Times.
Five countries - Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil and Chile - nominated candidates for president of the Inter-American Development Bank ahead of a Nov. 20 board election. Argentina announced its nominee, international economic relations Secretary Cecilia Todesca Bocco, at the last minute ahead of the Friday deadline. The other candidates are: Mexico's central bank Deputy Governor Gerardo Esquivel, Chile's former Finance Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre, Brazilian former central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn, and Trinidadian Gerard Johnson, a former IDB official. (Reuters, see last Thursday’s post.)
The Organization of American States has launched an external probe into allegations that Secretary General Luis Almagro may have violated the organization’s code of ethics while carrying on an intimate relationship with a staffer, reports the Associated Press.
Latin America has huge potential for renewable energy, but the regional energy transition is hampered by U.S. restrictions on financing for upper and middle-income countries, writes the Wilson Center’s Benjamin Gedan for Foreign Policy.
Peruvian Indigenous leaders from the Achuar and Wampi communities in the Amazon are asking international banks to cut financial ties with Peru’s state oil company, Petroperú. They say the company is responsible for oil spills in their territory that violate their human rights by polluting their water sources and irreparably damaging their fishing and hunting grounds, reports the Guardian.
Bolivia will hold its national census in March 2024, President Luis Arce said in a midnight speech on Saturday. The new date is a year later than demanded by opposition protesters in the Santa Cruz region, although it is a few months earlier than a previous government deadline. Anti and pro-government protesters clashed on Friday, while a three-week strike has caused food shortages and soaring inflation. (Reuters)
Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will speak at COP27 on Wednesday. It will be his first international trip since winning last month’s presidential election, and signals an effort to return Brazil to the forefront of global climate negotiations, reports Bloomberg.
Brazilian celebrity gospel singer Flordelis dos Santos de Souza has been found guilty of ordering the murder of her preacher husband and sentenced to 50 years and 28 days in prison. She was found guilty of associated crimes as well, including unsuccessfully attempting to poison Anderson do Carmo with cyanide at least six times before giving up and arranging his killing, reports the Guardian.
A Colombian mayor has become a laughingstock after publicizing a cooperation agreement signed with Liberland, an uninhabited and unrecognized micro state on the Serbia-Croatia border. (Infobae)