Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tight Election Expected in El Salvador; Zapatista Uprising 20 Years Later; Paraguayans Protest Corruption

(Subscription required to read full articles. Click here for subscription information)

Articles in SourceMex, NotiCen and NotiSur for January 15-17

Accusations Fly in Final Stretch of Tight Salvadoran Presidential Race
Less than three weeks before voters head to the polls to select a replacement for outgoing leader Mauricio Funes, El Salvador’s marathon presidential race remains too close to call. Norman Quijano of the far-right Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) and Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) are expected to finish first and second in the Feb. 2 election, though not necessarily in that order. Neither, though, is likely to earn the 50% plus one valid votes needed to win the five-candidate contest outright, meaning the two top vote getters will have to square off in a runoff. The second-round election, should it be necessary, will take place March 9. -Benjamin Witte-Lebhar   Read More

Ousting Of Bogotá Mayor Presents New Challenge To Colombia Peace Talks
As Colombia’s next presidential election approaches, the far right has yet to come up with a candidate who appears capable of giving the incumbent, President Juan Manuel Santos, a run for his money. Barring a major turn of political events, there is no reason to believe Santos won’t win the May 25 contest. The one thing that could derail his chances would be a collapse of the peace talks with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) . The far right is bent on dashing the Colombian public’s dreams of peace. Last November, the sector falsely accused the FARC of planning to assassinate former President Álvaro Uribe, A month later, the uribistas again tried to put an end to the peace talks by employing the services of Procurador General (Inspector General) Alejando Ordóñez, a government official who owes his post to backroom political dealings. On Dec. 9, Ordóñez sacked the country’s second-most-important elected official, Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro. -Andrés Gaudín   Read More

Zapatista Uprising 20 Years Ago Left Lasting Impression on Mexico
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) share one important date, Jan. 1, 1994. That is the date when both the agreement and the Zapatista movement officially became part of the Mexican reality. NAFTA and other efforts to open Mexico to foreign investment were part of the neoliberal economic policies promoted by ex-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, which critics said would increase the gap between the wealthy and the poor. The EZLN used the launch of the agreement to push for greater economic and cultural rights for indigenous communities and to bring attention to the economic disparities in Mexico. Opinions are mixed on whether NAFTA has been good for Mexico, but most observers suggest that the Zapatista uprising had positive consequences for Mexico. -Carlos Navarro   Read More

Paraguayans Protest Corruption
No Paraguayan living today can remember playing a significant role in an important political decision. Since the time of their grandparents, no generation until now had changed the course of history. As 2013 drew to a close, young Paraguayans made an unprecedented protest against political corruption. Disgusted by legislators’ efforts to withhold information from the public, citizens took to the streets on Oct. 22. Two weeks earlier, Congress had voted to criminalize any attempt to look into the background and/or assets of public officials. After the first protest--an unusual event in Paraguay--things moved quickly. Forced by popular protests to take action, Paraguay’s Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ) ruled the same day that information about officials, their activities, and their salaries are in the public domain. It also ruled the right of privacy cannot be used to block a person or news media representative from getting that information. -Andrés Gaudín  Read More

Former Haitian Dictator "Bébé Doc" Duvalier Fights for Funds Frozen in Switzerland
Jean-Bertrand "Bébé Doc" Duvalier (1971-1986), who at the age of 19 inherited the ruthless and corrupt dictatorship of his father François (1957-1971, president for life since 1964) and retained his grip on power for the next fifteen years, is in Haiti facing charges of corruption and seeing about US$5 million of his ill-gotten fortune frozen in Switzerland and about to be turned over to the Haitian government. -George Rodríguez   Read More

Federal Government Proposes Expanding Mexico City Airport; Environmental Groups Oppose Plan
The federal government has proposed expanding the Mexico City airport in an easterly direction, constructing new facilities on land that the federal government has acquired near Lago de Texcoco in México state. The proposal has met with resistance from environmental groups and from the former director of the Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), who fear that authorities will move forward without considering the consequences for the environment. Environmental advocates warn that the expansion could disrupt the migratory patterns of birds and threaten the water-distribution system for Mexico City and parts of México state.   -Carlos Navarro   Read More

No comments:

Post a Comment