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Chile’s run-off candidates close campaigns

On 14 December, former president Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014), the presidential candidate of Chile's centre-right opposition coalition Chile Vamos, and Senator Alejandro Guillier, the presidential canddiate of the centre-left ruling Nueva Mayoría coalition, closed their campaigns ahead of the 17 December presidential run-off.

Mexico’s presidential line-up complete

Barring a major surprise the main contenders in Mexico’s presidential elections on 1 July next year have now been decided. After months of ducking the central issue of how it was going to select its presidential candidate, the electoral coalition formed between the right-wing opposition Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), the left-wing Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), and leftist Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) agreed that as the largest party it should be in the gift of the PAN. The PAN party president Ricardo Anaya promptly resigned his position and, to all intents and purposes, anointed himself as the coalition’s presidential candidate.

Markets react to Chile cliff hanger

Chile is widely seen as one of the more stable and predictable Latin American democracies, which in recent times has seen peaceful alternations in power between broadly business-friendly governments of the centre-left and of the centre-right. But after the first round of this year’s presidential election on 19 November, there is greater than usual uncertainly over who will win on the second round on 17 December. Immediately after the poll, share prices and the Chilean peso weakened.

The exodus from Venezuela intensifies, creating a regional migrant crisis

Almost 50,000 Venezuelans sought asylum in third countries in 2017, the UN estimates, as many as in the previous three years combined. Venezuelans now top the list of asylum seekers in the US, accounting for one in every five applicants. Venezuela’s nearest neighbours, however, are bearing the largest brunt of this desperate exodus from the country. The economic, social and security implications are serious, most especially for Colombia’s fragile peace process.

Introduction

There has been a flurry of political activity across the Southern Cone before everything winds down for Christmas. Our December edition of Latin American Regional Report: Brazil & Southern Cone provides the latest updates on the sub-regional elections and asks what is going on with Argentina’s judiciary.

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