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Campaigning for Argentina midterms ends in atmosphere of uncertainty

On 19 October, the formal campaigning period ahead of Argentina’s 22 October midterm federal legislative elections came to an end with no political party choosing to hold closing campaign rallies.

Venezuela’s MUD outfoxed and out of ideas

The blistering victory of the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) in regional elections on 15 October came as little surprise to most – with the exception of the stunned opposition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) coalition, which took a full day to respond, and then only feebly. The MUD in its current form looks to be in its final throes. Its refusal to accept the election results and acknowledge the all-powerful new constituent assembly means it has been completely marginalised from domestic politics as currently constituted. It has also effectively ruled itself out of any further participation in externally mediated dialogue efforts.

Drenched and shaken

The last six weeks have seen an unusually severe combination of natural disasters sweeping across Mexico, the United States, and large sections of the Caribbean. What are the economic implications, and the lessons for the future?

No simple route to pacification in Colombia

For optimists, the recent news from Colombia is excellent. The FARC have signed a peace settlement and are launching their political party. At the beginning of September ELN, the country’s second-largest rebel group, announced a cease-fire. Even the leader of the Urabeños, one of Colombia’s top criminal groups, wants to jump on the bandwagon and talk peace. Pope Francis has visited the country and called for reconciliation. But despite all these good indicators, there are many reasons why levels of violence could remain high. Here we explain why.

Mapuche issue dominates final stages of electoral contest

With weeks to go until Chile’s 19 November general election, the final stages of the electoral contest have been overshadowed by renewed focus on the long-running conflict involving the indigenous Mapuche and the response to it by the leftist Nueva Mayoría coalition government led by President Michelle Bachelet. This stems from various factors: mounting health concerns regarding four Mapuche activists, who have been imprisoned since June 2016 under the country’s anti-terrorism legislation and staged a hunger strike for over 100 days; and the authorities’ response to new arson attacks linked to the Mapuche conflict in Southern Chile in recent weeks.

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