Thursday, November 28, 2019

Colombians stay on the streets (Nov. 28, 2019)

News Briefs

  • Thousands of Colombians took to the streets yesterday for the seventh straight day of anti-government protests -- fueled by the death of a teenager who died after a projectile fired by riot police hit his head. Talks between strike organizers and the government have stalled. (Al Jazeera, Reuters)
  • President Iván Duque attempted to blame opposition senator Gustavo Petro for the mobilizations, but there is no evidence that he has been part of the organization, reports La Silla Vacía.
  • Outside help may be needed to investigate a “massive” number of human rights violations amid post-election violence in Bolivia, said Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Paulo Abrão. For findings to be credible and help bridge national divisions, he suggested Bolivia coordinate with an international panel of experts similar to one formed to investigate the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico. (Reuters)
  • Earlier this week about 20 members of the former Morales administration took refuge in Mexico's La Paz embassy. Five former officials wanted for arrest were within the group, which included former top cabinet minister Juan Ramón Quintana, accused by the interim government of sedition and terrorism, reports AFP.
  • Bolivia's interim government continues to forge its own diplomatic path: this week it appointed an ambassador to the U.S. -- the first in 11 years. (Al Jazeera, BBC)
  • Bolivian police are demanding salaries and retirement plans equal to those of the armed forces -- Unidad Democrática lawmakers presented a bill that would do that. (La Razón)
  • The New York Times travels behind the barricades to Morales' stronghold in Bolivia's coca-growing region, where farmers are determined to keep fighting for the exiled leaders' return.
  • A disproportionate number of the 250,000 Guatemalans who migrated to the U.S. over the past two years come from indigenous communities. It is the result of a long history of assault against indigenous rights, as well as attempts to rectify inequalities, often with U.S. cooperation in both cases, reports the Washington Post.
  • Cibaque is a space for Guatemalan political activists to promote a community that seeks social transformation -- their national meeting will be held starting tomorrow. (Nómada)
  • There are a number of reasons Mexico objects to the U.S. potentially labeling its drug cartels as terrorist organizations. These include symbolic issues, like loss of face, but also fear of a potential U.S. military operation on Mexican soil and effects on trade, reports the Washington Post. (See yesterday's post.)
  • Mexico's economy is stalled, a potential sign that the AMLO administration's eclectic approach has not paid off. But a sector of business leaders have generally stayed positive about the leftist-president, writes Mario Maldonado in the Post Opinión.
  • Mexican feminists have pushed back against increasing gender violence in their country this year -- with activism aimed at showing the dangers they face in their every day lives, in subways and from police. Though their tactics have been criticized as vandalism by authorities, Lulú Barrera argues that they have also been effective in drawing official attention. (Post Opinión)
  • Violence against women is a warning against those who dare to defy traditional gender roles -- the advance of diversity has provoked increasingly virulent reactions, writes Gabriela Wiener in a New York Times op-ed that looks at how women have paid with their lives -- Marielle Franco and Berta Cáceres, for example -- but also how they are redefining political spaces.
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's PSL party failed to declare all the funds used in its electoral campaign last year, reports Folha de S. Paulo.
  • Uruguayan authorities expect to confirm Luis Lacalle Pou as the next president, later today, after finishing up a hand count of challenged votes. (El País)
  • Lacalle Pou will likely name a cabinet prominently featuring leaders from opposition parties that supported his bid against the ruling Broad Front party -- former presidential candidate Ernesto Talvi is a potential foreign minister, and Jorge Larrañaga could be interior minister. (El País)
  • Cacerolazos have featured heavily in the recent spate of anti-government protests in the region, but the tradition of banging pots -- a racket presidents ignore at their own peril -- has a strong history in Latin America, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • Violence flared up again in Chilean protests this week -- demonstrators' anger was exacerbated by reports of excessive police violence over the past month of protests, reports AFP.
  • Non-lethal weapons used by Chilean police have had very grave effects -- including 200 people who have been partially blinded by pellet guns. Human rights groups, including INCLO and Physicians for Human Rights, have found that around the world such weapons can be incredibly dangerous and have been used incorrectly by security forces, reports the Washington Post.
  • Volunteer paramedics in Chile play a critical role in keeping wounded protesters alive, report Al Jazeera.
  • The Mesa de Unidad Social proposed an inclusive model for a constituent assembly, reports El Mostrador.
  • Honduran journalist José Arita was assassinated shortly after leaving the Puerto Cortes television station where he worked, reports the Associated Press. The Inter American Press Association says that Arita was the fourth journalist killed in Honduras this year.
Climate Change
  • The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, say experts. (Guardian)
  • Argentine president-elect Alberto Fernández said he will renounce the remaining $11 billion tranche of the country's International Monetary Fund loan when he takes office on Dec. 10. He has promised to pay off the current debt with the IMF, but will seek to renegotiate the terms of the loan."It's like a guy who drinks a lot and is a little drunk. The solution is not to continue drinking. The solution is to stop drinking," he said. (AFP)
  • J Balvin became the fifth most streamed artist on the planet without using English -- and is an example of how embracing national pride can be a force for cultural good, according to the Guardian.

Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...


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