LatinNews Consulting

Macri urges Argentina to face reality

On 28 September Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri said that the new poverty figures released by the national statistics institute (Indec) are “painful but true” and called on all Argentines to support his government’s economic policies designed to tackle inequality and the current lack of jobs.

Venezuela faces major diplomatic setback

The prize for which Venezuela’s late former president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) strove so hard could soon be taken away from the country. Chávez made it a personal mission to see Venezuela accepted as a full member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which he described as “Bolívar’s machinery”. When Venezuela finally achieved this objective in 2012, the first full member to be admitted to the bloc since its formation in 1991, Chávez declared emphatically that it constituted “a major defeat for US foreign policy in South America”, arguing that Washington had “always wanted to isolate Venezuela”. But now the prospect of that isolation looms large: Venezuela faces being suspended from Mercosur this December, barely four years after joining.

Investment needed for recovery

In July the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published its latest regional economic assessment. With countries behaving quite heterogeneously, it calculates that regional GDP will contract by 0.8% year-on-year in 2016, steeper than the 0.5% fall registered in 2015. Once again, the commission recommends that governments need to do more to promote both public and private sector investment to aid the recovery.

Helicopter down in Michoacán

A police helicopter crashed after coming under fire in Michoacán on 6 September, further raising concerns over rising drug cartel violence in the state.

Peace deal with the Farc secured; Colombia prepares for political battle for peace

After almost four years of difficult negotiations in Havana, Cuba, the negotiating teams representing the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc), the country’s largest leftist guerrilla group, announced on 24 August that they had reached a definitive bilateral peace deal. The deal, which would put an end to Colombia’s 52-year internal armed conflict, was formally signed by President Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc’s main leader, ‘Timochenko’ (Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri), in Cartagena de Indias on 26 September. With the accord now set to be subjected to approval by the public in a national referendum on 2 October, it is being analysed in detail to try to determine whether it is viable or unviable, as argued by its opponents.

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