Uruguayans to vote on penal code (March 21, 2022)
Uruguayans vote in a referendum on a sweeping 2020 penal code reform, the Ley de Urgente Consideración (LUC), on Sunday. The latest Factum poll found that 42 percent of voters would vote "yes," which means they are in favor of reverting the reform, while 48 percent would vote "no," supporting the reform and the Lacalle Pou administration. Many voters remain doubtful, however, given the 135 articles encompassed by the reform. (El País Uruguay, La Diaria)
The reform, backed by President Luis Lacalle Pou, toughens sentencing and limits chances for early release from prison. It includes stronger powers to dismantle protests and imprison anyone who obstructs or “insults” police officers. It declares illegitimate all protests that “impede the free circulation of peoples, goods or services,” regardless of whether they take place in a public or private space. (Americas Quarterly)
Brazil’s Supreme Court blocked Telegram in the country on Friday because the company behind the app had been ignoring the court’s orders for months. The messaging app was reinstated yesterday afternoon, after the company worked quickly over the weekend to comply with the court’s orders, including by deleting classified information shared by the account of President Jair Bolsonaro and removing the accounts of a prominent supporter of Bolsonaro who has been accused of spreading misinformation, reports the New York Times. (See Nov. 9's briefs, among others.)
The app made several other changes in Brazil to combat misinformation on its app, which has worried Brazilian officials ahead of the presidential elections in October, reports the New York Times. Telegram said that among the changes, it would start promoting verified information in Brazil and marking false posts as inaccurate, while also having employees monitor the 100 most popular channels in Brazil, which account for 95 percent of the views of public posts in the country.
Bolsonaro has sought to leverage Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- and potential ensuing fertilizer shortages -- to push legislation permitting mining on Indigenous lands. The major pitfall in the plan is that most of the country’s potassium reserves are located outside of the Amazon rainforest, and inside the forest, only 11 percent of the reserves are on Indigenous land, reports the Washington Post.
An alleged gang rape of a young woman in broad daylight in Buenos Aires on a holiday afternoon last month has sparked a national debate with intense discussion of the way rape is habitually described as an isolated act rather than a reflection of broader society, reports the Guardian.
An Argentine tribunal absolved Analía De Jesús, who in 2016 killed a man while defending herself from a gang who attacked and attempted to rape her as a "corrective" to her sexual orientation. Known as "Higui," her case became an emblem for Argentine activists, who emphasize she was accused of homicide despite being found unconscious by police, beaten and with torn clothing. (El País)
Jamaican campaigners have accused British Queen Elizabeth of perpetuating slavery, in a letter urging the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to atone for colonialism during their ongoing Caribbean tour, reports the Guardian. Prince William and Kate’s visit is seen as a charm offensive to persuade other Caribbean nations not to follow Barbados in removing the Queen as head of state this year. (See Friday's briefs.)
The British royals started their week-long tour in Belize, where they cancelled a planned visit to a village after residents protested against it. (Reuters, Guardian)
Russians trying to enter the United States at the Mexican border are frustrated they are not getting in like Ukrainians are, despite leaving their homeland over the invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters.
About 189 Haitians were rescued Saturday from bad weather and a sail freighter too small for such a large human load, the U.S. Coast Guard announced via Twitter. They form part of a wave of Haitian migrants attempting to reach the U.S. in unseaworthy vessels in recent weeks, reports the Miami Herald.
Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in Latin America -- particularly among migrants sending home remittances or residents of volatile-currency countries -- despite concerns over their stability, reports Americas Quarterly.
From Brazil and Argentina to Mexico and Colombia, volunteer fighters have voiced interest in joining – or already joined – Ukraine’s international legion for what they describe as a mix of ideological, humanitarian and financial reasons, reports the Guardian.
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