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Brazil & Southern Cone

Hundreds of university students defied the authorities by staging an unauthorised march in Santiago on 5 July to protest against the long-awaited final instalment of the education reform designed by the government led by President Michelle Bachelet. Students accuse Bachelet of reneging on a campaign promise to introduce universal free university education, the principal cause of their protest actions since 2011. The draft proposal sent to congress by the Bachelet administration a day earlier contains an ambitious outline for how free education could be reached but it is predicated on economic growth figures which might not be obtained for many…
Argentina’s judiciary has continued to advance with the prosecution of the ever-growing battery of corruption cases implicating former government officials of the previous Frente para la Victoria (FPV, Kirchneristas) administration, a faction of the now-opposition Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists), including former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) herself, this week. Fernández appeared in a tribunal in the city of Buenos Aires to give evidence to a federal judge for the second time since the start of the year. While Fernández once again sought to take advantage of the opportunity to denounce political persecution by her detractors, the government led by President Mauricio…
‘Welcome to Hell’ read the banner unfurled by a few dozen police officers and firefighters at the arrivals gate of the new terminal 2 of Rio de Janeiro’s international Galeão airport: ‘Police and firefighters don’t get paid and whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe’. As protests go, it was clever and well-timed, prompting headlines around Brazil and the world. With one month to go until the Olympics, there are serious concerns about Rio’s state of preparedness. While this is nothing unusual ahead of any sporting mega-event, the scale of Rio’s particular problems appears unprecedented. Infrastructure Almost…

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