LatinNews Consulting

Political assassination attempt fans Haiti security concerns ahead of vote

On 23 September Gracia Delva, a national deputy and senatorial candidate for Haiti’s opposition Ayiti An Aksyon (AAA) party, was the victim of an assassination attempt.

Venezuela faces major diplomatic setback

The prize for which Venezuela’s late former president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) strove so hard could soon be taken away from the country. Chávez made it a personal mission to see Venezuela accepted as a full member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which he described as “Bolívar’s machinery”. When Venezuela finally achieved this objective in 2012, the first full member to be admitted to the bloc since its formation in 1991, Chávez declared emphatically that it constituted “a major defeat for US foreign policy in South America”, arguing that Washington had “always wanted to isolate Venezuela”. But now the prospect of that isolation looms large: Venezuela faces being suspended from Mercosur this December, barely four years after joining.

Investment needed for recovery

In July the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published its latest regional economic assessment. With countries behaving quite heterogeneously, it calculates that regional GDP will contract by 0.8% year-on-year in 2016, steeper than the 0.5% fall registered in 2015. Once again, the commission recommends that governments need to do more to promote both public and private sector investment to aid the recovery.

Helicopter down in Michoacán

A police helicopter crashed after coming under fire in Michoacán on 6 September, further raising concerns over rising drug cartel violence in the state.

PMDB takes centre stage: A new era or continuation of the status quo?

Brazil’s federal senate finally voted to impeach the suspended president, Dilma Rousseff, on 31 August, on the grounds of a breach of constitutional fiscal rules. The decisive ballot left no room for argument, with 61 of the 81 federal senators voting in favour of removing Rousseff of the left-wing Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) from office. Shortly after the vote, the interim president, Michel Temer, was formally sworn-in to oversee the rest of the current government term, which runs to December 2018. Temer, a veteran of the Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (PMDB), delivered a televised address to the nation in which he declared “a new era” for Brazil. Prospects for real reform, especially those necessary to tackle corruption, however, do not look promising under the new PMDB-led administration.

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