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Controversy in Bolivia over new Morales re-election bid

On 21 September, a handful of prominent Bolivian political opposition figures, including former presidents Jorge Quiroga (2001-2002) and Carlos Mesa (2003-2005), filed a complaint before the constitutional court (TCP) calling for it to reject a request presented by members of the ruling Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) earlier this week asking the TCP to declare illegal the constitutional limits on presidential re-election.

Political brinkmanship in Peru backfires

After months of being browbeaten, the government led by Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stood up to the main opposition Fuerza Popular (FP). With yet another of his ministers facing censure by the FP-controlled congress, the prime minister, Fernando Zavala, decided to call a vote of confidence in the cabinet. Undeterred, the FP voted against Zavala’s cabinet, giving Kuczynski 72 hours to appoint a replacement. In accordance with the constitution, if congress rejects another cabinet in a vote of confidence, Kuczynski could dissolve it, forcing fresh congressional elections.

Will privatisation kick-start the Brazilian economy?

The politically embattled government of President Michel Temer is turning to large-scale privatisation of public sector assets as a way of stimulating investment and growth. On 21August, the federal government announced that it would sell its stake in the power giant Eletrobras; two days later it said a further 57 state companies would also be put up for sale. While many investors and analysts have responded enthusiastically, opinions remain divided as to whether this will unleash the hoped-for economic rebound in Brazil.

The importance of following the money trail

Most criminal or terrorist enterprises need money. Increasingly, law enforcement is relying on following the money trail to try and combat illicit activity. A report published in August by the US-based Mexico Institute (part of the Wilson Centre in Washington) tracks some of the ways this is being done, and how money laundering is developing in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Uruguay provides object lesson in dealing with political crisis

In the end, it was one scandal too many for Uruguay’s Vice-president Raúl Sendic. On 9 September Sendic resigned over the misuse of corporate credit cards from a state-owned firm to avoid being sanctioned by the ruling left-wing Frente Amplio (FA) coalition after months of being hounded for corruption, mismanagement, and misrepresentation. For the majority of countries in Latin America the sudden resignation of the vice-president for wrongdoing would have produced some serious shockwaves. But Uruguay preserved stability in the face of political crisis, following the letter of the constitution; days later, Lucía Topolansky, the wife of former president José Mujica (2010-2015), filled the vice-presidential void.

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