Thursday, July 1, 2021

Super request for Bolsonaro impeachment (July 1, 2021)

Brazilian leftist political parties and organizations of civil society joined forces with some conservative leaders in a fresh call for President Jair Bolsonaro's impeachment. The so-called "super request" submitted yesterday to Brazil's Chamber of deputies collated 123 earlier impeachment filings, and accused the president of 23 crimes, including "negligence" in handling the country's response to Covid-19. 

The "super request's" 46 signatories include dozens of leftwing political parties, trade unions and civic organizations, as well as a few former Bolsonaro allies, such as conservative legislators Alexandre Frota, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, and Joice Hasselmann, from the Social Liberal Party. (GloboAFP, Brazilian Report)

Former Bolsonaro allies appear to be angling to avoid an electoral faceoff against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by sidelining the president, which could create space for a third candidate.

However, it is not clear impeachment efforts will advance in Congress. Previous impeachment filings against Bolsonaro have been blocked by the president of the chamber of deputies, Arthur Lira. He is not expected to change his stance, and Bolsonaro retains a solid backing within Congress, reports AFP.

The move comes as the president is increasingly mired in scandal over alleged corruption related to vaccine purchases. Yesterday a health ministry official who allegedly asked for a bribe in an AstraZeneca vaccine purchase deal resigned. And earlier this week the government suspended the $324 million Indian Covid-19 vaccine contract that allegedly inflated jab prices by 1000 percent. (Reuters, see yesterday's briefs)


15 killed in Port-au-Prince

At least 15 people were killed in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, apparently in retaliation for the murder of the spokesman of  group of disgruntled police officers known as Fantom 509, said Leon Charles, director general of the national police force, at a news conference. Among those killed were two journalists and a political activist. They were killed execution style using heavy automatic rifles in the Christ-Roi area of Petion-Ville. Police said the attack is still under investigation and gave no details on whether it was staged by a single person or multiple shooters. Charles blamed allies of Fantom 509 for the mass killing but did not provide any evidence. (Reuters, Al Jazeera, Associated Press)

The United States condemned what it described as a systematic violation of human rights, fundamental freedoms and attacks on the press in Haiti, urging the government to counter a proliferation of gangs and violence, yesterday.

A political mission from the Organization of American States presented its findings yesterday, and is recommending that Haitian President Jovenel Moïse promptly appoint a new prime minister and cabinet, urgently take steps to establish a climate of security and appoint a new elections body so that Haiti can hold legislative, local and presidential elections before the end of the year. 

But the delegations of St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS raised concerns that the mission’s failure to facilitate dialogue as spelled out in its marching orders meant that the visit could not be seen as a success, reports the Miami Herald.

Earlier this week Haitian authorities announced that a postponed (and controversial) constitutional referendum will be held on Sept. 26, the same date as presidential and legislative elections. (Reuters)

In a statement yesterday, members of a newly formed Haiti Caucus in the U.S. Congress blasted the referendum decision and the OAS report, which they said “deeply troubled” them.

News Briefs

  • Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be hammered by increased coronavirus infections and deaths, highlighting the stark inequalities in access to vaccines around the world, according to the WHO. Economic inequality, the huge informal economy and the difficulty of implementing public health measures in Latin America and the Caribbean have all been major obstacles to containing the Covid-19 there, reports the New York Times.
  • In the absence of an adequate COVID-19 vaccination plan, criminal networks in Venezuela have seized upon ongoing mismanagement to steal and resell doses or sell fake vaccines on the black market, reports InSight Crime.
  • Indigenous delegates to Chile's Constitutional Convention, which will start work next week, denounced that the government is not collaborating with their cultural requirements -- space for ceremonial companions and rituals. The promise of a truly inclusive charter will only be fulfilled with an intercultural approach, writes Yasna Mussa in the Post Opinión.
Regional Relations
  • Growing tensions with Washington, and the post-COVID landscape, seem to provide an open door for Beijing in Central  America, argues Luis Guillermo Solís in Americas Quarterly. Central American countries’ acute need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some governments’ growing desire for a “more accommodating” alternate partner to the United States, may constitute a favorable context that pushes the isthmus even further into Beijing’s embrace in coming years.
  • The International Boundary and Water Commission's able management has kept water relations between Mexico and the U.S. conflict free for decades. But it masked some well-known underlying stresses: a population boom on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, climate change and aging waterworks -- The Conversation.
  • The Mexican state of Hidalgo legalized at-will abortion until week 12 of gestation. (Jornada)
  • Mexican construction magnate Carlos Slim pledged to rebuild and pay for a segment of a Mexico City subway line that collapsed in May, killing 26 people, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. One of Slim's companies had originally built much of the section where the collapse occurred, reports the Associated Press. A study by an outside certification company cited poor welds in studs that joined steel support beams to a concrete layer supporting the track bed.
  • Small island nations on the climate crisis frontlines have been overlooked in overseas aid, according to advocates of the universal vulnerability index (UVI). Researchers from the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (Ferdi) say the new index should be an alternative to GDP as a measure for aid allocation. (Guardian)
  • Caribbean islands like Curaçao and the Cayman Islands, as well as Aruba, have become convenient transit points for illicitly sourced gold, bound for the United States and elsewhere, reports InSight Crime.
  • Argentina 's Tierra del Fuego province prohibited salmon farming. (Página 12)

No comments:

Post a Comment