LatinNews Consulting

Chile’s Bachelet faces more protests

On 27 July hundreds of justice officials, backed by the public sector workers’ union (Anef), marched in Chile’s capital, Santiago, calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Javiera Blanco.

Brazil gets Zika fillip on eve of Olympics

Brazil received a belated boost ahead of the country’s staging of the Olympic Games with three separate developments in the space of two days reducing concern about the impact of the Zika virus on visitors and indeed participating athletes. Firstly, health authorities in Colombia announced the end of the Zika epidemic in the country: the number of people infected with the virus and the number of cases of congenital microcephaly, in which the foetal brain fails to develop normally, believed to be linked to Zika, were down significantly on original predictions, suggesting it is not as serious a global health threat as first thought. This announcement coincided with the release of two separate articles in prestigious international science journals, which found that the threat posed by Zika to visitors was very low and that the suspected link between Zika and microcephaly was far from clear-cut.

Looking at post-Brexit scenarios

In surprise result, on 23 June the British electorate voted to leave the European Union (EU). This decision, dubbed ‘Brexit’, triggered a political crisis in the UK (the prime minister, David Cameron, resigned and was replaced by Theresa May) and significant turbulence on global financial markets (in the immediate aftermath the British pound dropped 10% and global stock markets dipped, albeit later recovering). Initial assessments are that Brexit will have a relatively limited impact on Latin America. In this edition we look at two alternative ‘post-Brexit’ scenarios. In one of these, there could yet be a significant downside for the region.

State Department’s people trafficking ‘blacklist’

The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, published on 30 June, identified Belize, Haiti, Suriname and Venezuela as the four countries in the region that are doing the least to prevent people trafficking.

Santos and Uribe prepare to face off in peace referendum

The two men that have dominated Colombian politics since 2010 – President Juan Manuel Santos and former president and incumbent senator, Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) – look set for another major political showdown that could redefine their political careers. Colombia’s constitutional court (CC) has approved the Santos government’s plans to submit the peace deal that it has been negotiating with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrillas since 2012 to a public referendum once it is finalised. With this expected to happen before the end of the year, both Santos and Uribe, a staunch opponent of the negotiations, now appear to be in campaign mode, seeking to convince the Colombian public of their respective arguments.

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