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Mexico’s supreme court rejects popular consultation on energy reform

On 30 October Mexico’s supreme court (SJCN) ruled against two proposals presented by the Left seeking a referendum on the government’s new energy reform, saying the petitions were “inappropriate and unconstitutional”.

Short honeymoon awaits Brazil’s victorious Rousseff

Few of even President Dilma Rousseff’s most ardent supporters would claim charisma is one of her principal electoral assets. Still, even by those standards, her victory speech on the evening of 26 October, following the closest presidential election in Brazil since 1894, was remarkably graceless. After berating the malfunctioning microphone, and expressing irritation at her supporters’ wild enthusiasm, Rousseff gave a speech calling for “dialogue” which neglected to mention her opponent, Aécio Neves, or even acknowledge the 48.3% of the electorate who voted for him.

Peña Nieto at the two-year mark

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto will mark two years in office this December – that’s one third of his six-year term. The president’s most significant economic achievement so far has been to secure congressional support for 11 major structural reforms. While it will take a few years for the results to feed through, international markets have been deeply impressed with the scale of the economic changes. Unlike other big Latin American economies, Mexico is now on its way to recovery. But these gains may be at risk because of the government’s poor record on security.

Killings & mass abductions in Guerrero reveal web of organised crime influence

The abduction and suspected massacre of 43 students on 26 September in Iguala, Guerrero, in which the local authorities and municipal police were implicated, in collusion with the criminal gang Guerreros Unidos, has triggered a wave of protests — some violent — across much of Mexico. Outrage at the event has been aggravated by the perceived slow response of the federal government and the revelation of the extent of the influence that criminal organisations have over much of the state.

Haiti drifts again toward uncertainty

Hopes that the historic March ‘El Rancho’ accord between the executive, the legislature and political parties [RC-14-04] would pave the way for long overdue legislative and municipal elections to take place in Haiti this year have proven misplaced. Back in July [RC-14-08] the government led by President Michel Martelly set 26 October as the date for elections for 20 of the 30 seats in the senate (ten of which have been empty since May 2012) and the entire 99-seat chamber of deputies, while municipal elections were set for 28 December. However, the new provisional electoral court (CEP) has declared that it is impossible to hold the vote due to the senate’s failure to approve necessary legislation. This raises questions as to what will happen in January 2015, when more legislative seats will become vacant, rendering it inoperative.

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