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Protests in Guatemala mark President Morales’ second year balance sheet

On 14 January, security officials from Guatemala’s military, the national police (PNC), and state security service (SAAS) fired tear gas at demonstrators in the capital, Guatemala City, who were calling for President Jimmy Morales to resign.

Peru’s Kuczynski faces backlash over Fujimori pardon

Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s momentous decision to pardon former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) will not just define his political legacy but also impact the country’s international image. The pardon, announced by Kuczynski on Christmas Eve, was ostensibly for humanitarian reasons. But its timing pointed to an ulterior motive. Just three days earlier Kuczynski had narrowly survived an impeachment motion in congress. Decisive in this favourable outcome was the abstention of 10 deputies from the main opposition Fuerza Popular (FP) aligned with Fujimori’s son Kenji. Kuczynski now faces an uphill task recovering his credibility and international confidence in Peru.

Moderate improvement in the pace of regional growth

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) published its updated estimates and forecasts for the regional economies in 2017 and 2018 on 14 December. In the same month it also published an analysis of the ‘social panorama’ in 2017 which highlighted that overall poverty levels remained broadly unchanged last year, after having notched up a fraction in 2016.

US, Colombia, Mexico pledge security cooperation

There is a perceived and ongoing risk that US President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric and policies on trade, immigration and crime could undermine existing levels of security cooperation in Latin America. For the moment, a number of key players are avoiding that negative ‘spill-over effect’. In December, the attorney generals of the US, Colombia, and Mexico met in Cartagena, Colombia and pledged to work together against organised crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, and corruption.

Introduction

This edition of the Latin American Report: Mexico & Nafta looks at some novel issues that have emerged in Mexico and could become more relevant as 2018 progresses. It also looks at some long-running issues which have never been resolved and are re-surfacing, and could also become more significant in the coming year.

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