Peru's presidential election remains on a knife-edge: conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori had an initial slight lead over union-leader rival Pedro Castillo, but the remaining votes are expected to come from rural areas, favoring the leftist candidate. (Official ONPE results.)
- The U.S. Biden administration has quietly tasked six humanitarian groups with recommending which migrants should be allowed to stay in the country, instead of being rapidly expelled under federal pandemic-related powers that block people from seeking asylum, reports the Associated Press. The groups will determine who is most vulnerable, on the Mexican side of the border, and their criteria has not been made public.
- U.S. President Joe Biden must immediately eliminate Title 42, which allows the U.S. to immediately deport migrants without permitting them to apply for asylum, argues Jorge Ramos in a New York Times Español guest essay.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to make an announcement regarding the preliminary examination into reported crimes against humanity committed by the Venezuelan government, reports the Venezuela Weekly. The announcement comes over two years after the preliminary examination was launched, and will determine whether the ICC's prosecutor will open a formal investigation into the Maduro government.
- The Caracas Campus of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) is literally falling apart -- the agony is not casual, but rather a response to the university's steadfast opposition to authoritarianism, writes Federico Vegas in a New York Times Español guest essay.
- Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced he is trying to make bitcoin legal tender in his country. El Salvador would be the first country in the world to take such a step, reports the Washington Post. Bukele spoke in a prerecorded address to Bitcoin 2021, a convention in Miami, where he elicited a raucous standing ovation that nearly drowned out the rest of his remarks. Critics have said his embrace of bitcoin is a political stunt meant to burnish his reputation, increasingly tarnished by his government's authoritarian slide.
- The disruption of women’s health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic could “obliterate” more than 20 years of progress in reducing maternal mortality and increasing access to family planning in the region, according to PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. (Aviso LatAm)
- Respect for the United Nations in Haiti was “forever destroyed” by the cholera epidemic that ravaged the impoverished country after the 2010 earthquake, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a new memoir. He said that the U.N. should have done far more to arrest the cholera scourge, but also expressed disdain for Haiti’s leaders and criticized aggrieved cholera victims and their lawyers who unsuccessfully sued the United Nations for compensation in the American court system. (New York Times)
- In the Brazilian city of Olinda, a group of thrill seekers has taken up an illegal and death-defying hobby: "surfing" on the outside of public buses -- New York Times.
- An island near Rio de Janeiro where people abandon unwanted cats is almost the stuff of urban legend, but far from paradise, it's a Cat Alcatraz, reports the Washington Post. And with the pandemic it has gotten worst: reports of cat cannibalism started to circulate.