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Pressure mounts on Nicaragua’s Ortega following deadly crackdown

On 24 April, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that it will formally request the consent of the Nicaraguan government to carry out a working visit to the country.

Region unites against corruption and on Venezuela

The two-day Summit of the Americas (SOA), hosted by Peru on 13 and 14 April, resulted in the ‘Lima Commitment’, a 57-point statement on combating corruption and strengthening democracy. But it was a seven-point statement on Venezuela, signed by all of the hemisphere’s heavyweights, that captured most attention.

Stronger fiscal policies needed

Fiscal policy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is sub-optimal. Tax administration and design is weak and tax evasion is costing governments over US$340bn, or 6.7% of regional GDP. These are some of the conclusions of a report published in late March, the ‘Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2018 – Public Policy Challenges in the Framework of the 2030 Agenda’. The report is a regular annual publication by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The bad city ranking

The Mexican human rights lobby Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal (CCSPJP) has launched another edition of what can be described as its dark best-seller – the annual ranking of the world’s 50 most murderous cities. This year there is a new contender at the top: the Mexican city of Los Cabos, which has pushed past Caracas as the place with the highest homicide rate.

Introduction

A regional policymaking institution, the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (Icefi), last year warned that, with huge development challenges such as poverty, income inequality and high violence and crime rates, it will be extremely difficult for Central American countries to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 without addressing its chronic fiscal problems and increasing public spending. In the first of our focus pieces in this April edition of Latin American Regional Report: Caribbean & Central America, we consider the mixed efforts on the part of various Central American governments to implement fiscal reform.

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