Mexico's Supreme Court orders medical cannabis regulations (Aug. 15, 2019)
Mexico's Supreme Court gave the government six months to regulate medicinal use of cannabis and its derivatives. The ruling yesterday granted a child permission to use a drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy.
Judges rapped the government, which should have released regulations after Congress passed a medical marijuana law in 2017. "With the absence of norms to regulate the use of therapeutic use of cannabis, it is impossible for the claimant to access treatment related to this substance," the court said. (AFP)
Mexico's health secretariat promised to comply, reports Animal Político.
The ruling is in keeping with previous court decisions in favor of medicinal use of cannabis, but has far broader implications in extending the right to access such therapies to the population at large rather than just the defendant, notes Sin Embargo.
More from Mexico
Former Mexican social development minister Rosario Robles was detained pending a trial over suspected losses to taxpayers. The case is likely to increase scrutiny of the Peña Nieto presidency, in recent months investigators have begun to close in on some prominent figures in the last administration, reports Reuters.
Mexico's crackdown on migration, at the U.S.'s behest, is routinely violating human rights. The logic that violence towards migrants is acceptable has been trickling down from the U.S. to Mexico, and threatens to become regional as the U.S. seeks allies in Central America to thwart migration, writes John Washington in The Nation.
The El Paso shooter who killed 22 people in a Texas Walmart earlier this month forms part of a long history of racially motivated attacks against Latinos. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, public lynchings were an act of terror used against hundreds of Mexican Americans across the south-west, as well as against black Americans across the United States, reports the Guardian.
A new poll indicates that between 15 and 19 percent of Venezuela's population is living abroad. That would mean 4.7 million to 6 million people, reports the Miami Herald. The U.N. estimates that 4 million people have left the country in recent years due to its prolonged crisis.
New U.S. sanctions against Venezuela will likely push more people to leave, and could overwhelm Colombian assistance resources, which are already stretched thin, reports Al Jazeera.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro did not fully close the door on negotiations when he pulled out of Norwegian mediated talks with the opposition last week, following new U.S. sanctions against government officials. But "government insiders told the Venezuela Weekly that it would require some sort of demonstration of good faith on the part of the opposition for the government to come back to the table, such as public criticism of the sanctions." Such a gesture seems unlikely, write David Smilde and Dimitris Pantoulas, because it would reveal fissures with the opposition.
U.S. accusations against Maduro's close relatives show evidence of how Maduro has used the presidency to illicitly enrich his family and close associates, reports InSight Crime.
Venezuela's opposition run National Assembly will create a debt renegotiation commission, which would seek to protect Venezuelan offshore assets after (when?) Maduro leaves power. (Reuters)
Provea accused the national police's Special Action Forces (FAES) of carrying out "a policy of social cleansing" in the country, especially in Lara state where the group has killed 238 people this year, reports Efecto Cocuyo. A U.N. human rights report in July emphasized the "shockingly high" number of FAES produced deaths, which appear to be extrajudicial killings. (See July 4's post.)
Maduro accused former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe of plotting to assassinate him. It's not the first time Maduro has accused Colombian politicians of scheming against him. (Reuters)
A witness tampering case against Uribe will proceed, after Colombia's Supreme Court rejected an appeal for annulment by his defense on Monday. (El Espectador, Colombia Reports) Uribe resigned from his Senate seat last year in order to defend himself from accusations that he pressured witnesses to falsely implicate his enemies in grave crimes. (See post for July 25, 2018.)
Two members of the indigenous Nasa in Colombia were killed last Saturday, when gunmen opened fire on the bus they were traveling in to a local fair. Colombian authorities said a dissident FARC group was behind the attack. Thirty-six members of the Nasa group have been killed so far this year, a steep rise from previous years, reports the BBC.
Argentina President Mauricio Macri unveiled a series of temporary tax cuts and subsidies aimed at lessening the pain from a suddenly intensified economic crisis just two months ahead of the general election, reports Reuters. The measures are aimed at middle and working class voters, but markets were unconvinced, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Critics say the measures will be insignificant in light of inflation, and serve merely as a campaign tool for the president to fight for a chance at reelection. (Página 12)Indeed, the government was already forced to backtrack on a promise to freeze gasoline prices. (Perfil)
Macri gave a televised speech in which he struck a conciliatory tone, and apologized for controversial remarks disparaging voters after they resoundingly backed his competitor in a Sunday primary election that serves as a sort of national opinion poll. (See Monday's post.)
Three days after the election, Macri and Alberto Fernández, who is now widely expected to win October's presidential election, spoke by phone and promised to collaborate in calming markets. (Infobae) There are initial signs of success in stopping the peso free fall: this morning the Argentine currency jumped five percent, after losing nearly 25 percent since Sunday. (Reuters, La Nación)
Argentina finds itself in a governance paradox: Macri effectively lost power to govern on Sunday, while Fernández has no legal standing to govern. The primaries unofficially inaugurated an unusually long transition until the next government in December, according to Nueva Sociedad.
International investors and analysts are asking if Argentina has "a death wish," in reference to the potential return to a Peronist led government. (Wall Street Journal editorial) Investors are terrified that a Fernández government will be a return to Kirchner administration heterodox policies. Paradoxically, their reaction is crippling the economy, only increasing the chances of a Macri defeat in October, writes Frida Ghitis at World Politics Review.
The market chaos should also be understood as a reaction to voters' definitive rejection of Macri's economic policies, argues Carlos Pagni in La Nación.
Chequeado tackles trending topic misinformation that alleges massive fraud in Sunday's elections.
Brazil is edging closer to a subtle dictatorship under President Jair Bolsonaro, writes Bruno Bimbi in a New York Times Español op-ed. Though the country is superficially democratic, it is increasingly authoritarian. Space for the opposition is decreasing and threats to freedom of expression are growing.
Thousands of students and teachers protested government education funding cuts this week, though turnout was less than similar demonstrations in May. (Associated Press)
Even after canceling a hugely controversial energy deal with Brazil, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez and Vice President Hugo Velázquez are facing accusations of treason and significant political fallout. The scandal involves a deal that would have required Paraguay's energy agency to buy more expensive electricity from the Itaipú dam that straddles the border between both countries. Nacla delves into the background of tension over the closed-door negotiations that seemed like a return to dictatorship-era corruption and sovereignty secession to many.
Abdo Benítez appears safe from impeachment, as the opposition doesn't have enough votes to carry the motion through, but the case has heightened citizen rejection of politics in general, and the Partido Colorado in particular, reports Nueva Sociedad.
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