LatinNews Consulting

Venezuela takes another step away from democracy

On 20 October Venezuela’s national electoral council (CNE) ordered the suspension of the recall referendum campaign against President Nicolás Maduro that is being promoted by the political opposition.

Peru’s Kuczynski seeks to overcome corruption setback

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has suffered a political setback as a corruption scandal has forced him to sack Carlos Moreno, his healthcare adviser, and dented his popularity ratings. But Kuczynski is trying to turn the situation to his advantage, announcing a major new crackdown on corruption with eye-catching measures including the concept of punishment by “civic death”.

Temer’s message: privatise and grow

On 21 September Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer, addressed US business leaders and investors at the Council of the Americas in New York with a simple message. Brazil, he said, is offering privatisations and concessions to attract the international private sector back into the country and to stimulate economic growth.

Security issues after Colombia’s referendum

A rapid series of events has left Colombia’s security outlook finely balanced. On 26 September the government signed a 295-page peace agreement with the country’s oldest and most powerful rebel group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc). On 2 October that agreement was unexpectedly and narrowly rejected in a national referendum vote: 50.21% said ‘no’ to the peace terms, against 49.78% who voted ‘yes’. On 7 October President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on a settlement the viability of which now appeared to hang in doubt. It is not yet clear how the crisis will play out. Here we look at the security implications and the role that could be played in a volatile situation by the Farc, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), and the drug-trafficking and criminal organisations such as the bacrims (‘bandas criminales’).

Unfettered Uruguay to seek bilateral trade deals?

Uruguay will pursue bilateral trade deals with China and the United Kingdom (UK), President Tabaré Vázquez announced almost casually on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City in late September. The announcement by Vázquez, who embarked on a 12-day visit to China on 10 October, grabbed attention back home because Uruguay has for years sought to conduct bilateral free trade talks but to no avail because of constraints imposed by its membership of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). Pressure for relaxing Mercosur’s internal rules has grown ever more intense in recent months as the Uruguayan economy has almost ground to a halt.

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