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Latam Brief: Argentina’s presidential candidate Javier Milei has a slight edge (November 7, 2023)

November 4, 2023/@cigp.com.ar
November 4, 2023/@cigp.com.ar


  • Libertarian presidential candidate Javier Milei has a slight edge — nearly four points — over the ruling party candidate, Sergio Massa, ahead of Argentina’s Nov. 19 runoff election, according to an Atlas Intelligence poll from last week. (Bloomberg)

  • “A crucial question hangs over the upcoming vote: Would either of them be able to solve the country’s worst crisis in more than two decades? While there’s no easy answer, a painful adjustment is unavoidable,” writes Arturo C. Porzecanski in Americas Quarterly.

  • Taylor Swift is launching the South American leg of her Eras tour in Buenos Aires next week — fans have been camping outside of River Plate stadium for five months to ensure prime locations at the venue, reports the Guardian.

  • The concerts come just before the country’s runoff presidential election. A group of Argentine Swifties have called on fans to vote against Milei, taking inspiration from the pop star’s past efforts to confront right-wing politicians in the United States and equating Milei with Donald Trump, reports the New York Times. And fans of K-pop band BTS sparred online with Milei’s running-mate Victoria Villarruel.



  • “An unusually fierce dry season has taken a horrific toll on the Amazonian landscape, swathes of which are already denuded by cattle ranches. Together, they threaten the integrity of the world’s biggest tropical forest,” writes Jonathan Watts in the Guardian. “By now, the dry season would normally have peaked, and rivers and aquifers would start to replenish. But the rains refuse to come. And with every day that passes, the sense of foreboding grows stronger.”

  • A new exhibition at Rio’s Museum of Art celebrates the funk movement and its role in Brazilian society, culture and politics. The show – which features some of Brazil’s most acclaimed young artists – is reputedly the first time a leading museum has devoted an entire exhibition to the genre, reports the Guardian.

  • Thousands have been displaced as “heavy rains, floods and river flooding in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil have caused deaths, missing people and thousands of evacuees in recent days, in what authorities attribute to the El Niño phenomenon and affirm could extend to the first months of 2024,” reports AFP. (Via Americas Migration Brief.)

  • Argentina and Bolivia hope to surpass Chile as a long-awaited lithium boom gains speed, reports Americas Quarterly. “With Chile’s lithium sector stalling and Bolivia’s prospects uncertain, all eyes are on Argentina—and whether its boom brings prosperity and international relevance or social upheaval that derails the industry.”


  • Uruguay’s foreign minister, interior minister and two other members of the government resigned in relation to a scandal involving a passport issued to an internationally wanted drug-trafficking suspect. (Reuters)

  • In audios published last week the former foreign minister appears to ask a former official to not hand over evidence in an investigation over a passport issued to an accused drug trafficker, reports the Associated Press.


  • “Only 8% of the more than 60,000 people who have registered at the safe mobility centers in Colombia, Guatemala and Costa Rica, an initiative promoted by the US government, have been referred to the refugee program of the North American country,” reports EFE. (Via Americas Migration Brief.)

  • A twelve-foot tall puppet dubbed “Little Amal” is the “central figure of an international theater arts project called The Walk, designed to project hope, encouragement and solidarity to those fleeing war, violence, poverty and persecution” that reached the U.S.-Mexico border last week, reports the Guardian.


  • “Hurricane Otis was the strongest storm ever to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast, damaging more than 200,000 homes and killing at least 45 people, with dozens reported missing. The failure to warn of its intensity is widely accepted as one of the biggest shortcomings in recent meteorological prediction,” reports the Guardian.

  • “But the Category 5 hurricane was only the latest calamity to hit Acapulco,” according to the Washington Post. “The coronavirus pandemic kept visitors away. And organized criminal groups have made the city a battleground.”

  • And the devastation in Acapulco “has opened the door for criminal groups to increase their control over a crucial cocaine trafficking hub,” warns InSight Crime.


  • The arrest of a fugitive former military officer implicated in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse provoked astonishment in a country accustomed to impunity, but also raised questions regarding how hard authorities sought Joseph Félix Badio, who was detained after being recognized at a Port-au-Prince supermarket, reports the New York Times.


  • “A cyber breach at Colombia’s prosecutor’s office has exposed the identities of more than 100 agents of the U.S. DEA and other federal law enforcement entities, along with scores of their Colombian and global counterparts,” reports the Miami Herald. Though “journalists are not publishing the names or any identifying information about the agents, the leak demonstrates a lack of safeguards on the part of Colombia, a strategic U.S. ally in its efforts to counter drug cartels.”

  • The Chana Research Station in Peru’s Yarinacocha district will study and preserve the region’s Indigenous languages. Of the 48 Indigenous languages in Peru, eight are in danger of extinction, reports El País.

    Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing
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