05/24  Closing Prices / revised 05/24/2024 21:59 GMT 05/23    OPEC Basket  $82.41  -$0.86 cents     | 05/24    Mexico Basket (MME) $73.35  +$0.89 cents   | 04/30 Venezuela Basket (Merey)   $74.91   +$3.93 cents | 05/24   NYMEX WTI Texas Intermediate June CLM24   $77.72   +$0.85 cents  | 05/24    ICE Brent July  BRNN24     $82.1     +$0.76 cents    | 05/24    NYMEX Gasoline June RBM24     $2.48  +0.6%    |  05/24   NYMEX  Heating Oil June  HOM 24     $2.41   +0.1% | 05/24     Natural Gas June NGM24  $2.52     -5.2%   | 05/24    Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)    600  -4  | 05/24   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  16.6948  (data live)  | 05/24   EUR/USD    1.0847 (data live)  | 05/27   US/Bs. (Bolivar)   $36.51290000 ( data BCV)  

Latam Brief: Glas hospitalized

A man displays a flag at an armored vehicle carrying former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas.  (Jose Jacome/EFE)
A man displays a flag at an armored vehicle carrying former Ecuadorian vice president Jorge Glas. (Photo: Jose Jacome/EFE)

Latin America Daily Briefing

Former Ecuadorean vice-president Jorge Glas was taken to a hospital yesterday from the maximum security jail where he has been held since being captured in last week’s embassy raid, reports the Guardian. He had apparently refused to eat since being transferred to “La Roca” in Guayaquil on Friday night. (See yesterday’s post.)

Glas was in stable condition last night, reports the New York Times, and had apparently ingested anti-depressants and sedatives, according to a police report.

Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa’s controversial raid on Mexico’s Quito embassy received near universal international condemnation. But it was carried out with local politics in mind — particularly relevant ahead of a referendum later this month on controversial security and economic policies: “it’s exactly the sort of no-holds-barred crimefighting” citizens expect and voted for, reports the Associated Press.

“However, even if the public supports the arrest at the embassy or is neutral about it, the move complicates Noboa’s domestic political situation in the legislature,” writes James Bosworth in World Politics Review.

“The political fallout could end up hampering the president’s economic and security agenda, and chip away at his public support. Noboa, however, is willing to gamble that the Ecuadorian public sees his move against a corrupt and criminal politician as part of his broader anti-crime agenda.” (World Politics Review)

While the raid played well to an Ecuadorean public concerned with crime, “such a bold move is prompting renewed comparisons between Noboa and Salvadoran authoritarian president Nayib Bukele,” writes Sebastián Hurtado in Americas Quarterly. “Noboa has disregarded such comparisons in the past, arguing that he is a democrat and that the “Bukele model” won’t work in Ecuador. But he looks increasingly prone to making use of more radical gestures—like launching an unprecedented internal “war” against criminal organizations—for political leverage.”

Brazil

  • Almost all the members of a small Indigenous community in Brazil’s Javari valley have flu-like symptoms, raising fears that the situation could escalate into an epidemic among Indigenous people in voluntary isolation, reports the Guardian.

Regional Relations

  • The success of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s third-way diplomacy hinges on his ability to convince the skeptical major players that the global south’s interests can legitimately diverge from those of the developed world, and that effective global governance must reflect the geopolitical clout of emerging powers, I write in a Guardian op-ed.

  • But nonalignment is more difficult these days, as competing superpowers have hyper-polarised perspectives. “What I see is a more complicated world, with more closed spaces. As if it were a game, a jigsaw puzzle in which the pieces are very close, not fitted together, but very close, and where the space to act is less,” Celso Amorim, a special adviser to Brazil’s president and a former foreign minister, told me. (Guardian)

  • Brazilian political scientist Matias Spektor explains why many in the “Global South” reject the U.S. “democracy versus autocracy” agenda. Instead they see tensions “not so much between a world safe for democracy versus a world safe for autocracy, but a world where the strong are unconstrained by the global legal order versus a world where the strong have to go through the motions of international law because there are checks on their power,” he said at a Brookings Institution presentation. (Summarized by Ishaan Tharoor in the Washington Post’s Worldview.)

  • Germany denied accusations that it was aiding genocide in Gaza by selling Israel arms, today in the International Court of Justice, in a suit brought by Nicaragua, reports Reuters.

  • Nicaragua is no human rights posterchild, but the case reflects mounting legal challenges against Israel. The court cases “are a reminder that the rules of geopolitics have changed,” writes Steve Cranshaw in the Guardian.

  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro will meet today with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, smoothing over tensions regarding Petro’s criticisms of Venezuela’s banning of an opposition presidential candidate. (El País, EFE)

Colombia

  • Colombia’s Petro administration will implement portions of health reform by decree after Congress scuttled a bill last week. Already the government intervened in two of the country’s largest health insurance providers, and would now take steps to finance clinics directly, reports El País.

El Salvador

  • Two years into El Salvador’s constantly renewed state of exception, the government’s policy of restricting basic freedoms follows a classic authoritarian playbook: “They rationalize restricting fundamental human rights under the idea that “the bad guys” deserved it, and losing rights is their punishment, but Latin American history has demonstrated that when that door is open, it affects not only those who commit crimes. Without due process rights, tomorrow anybody —their child or friend— could face the unchecked power of the state,” Human Rights Watch Americas Director Juanita Goebertus tells El Faro English.

Migration

  • An increase in migrants from countries without diplomatic ties to the United States has aggravated an already difficult challenge at the U.S. southern border, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the Miami Herald.

  • The Biden administration has quietly rebuilt the US refugee resettlement program—previously gutted by the Trump administration—with more than 40,000 refugees entering the US in the first five months of the fiscal year, reports New York Times. (Via Americas Migration Brief.)

Regional

  • InSight Crime debunks claims that Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua has extended to the US and taken part in high-profile killings in the country that have been politicized and used to spread discriminatory, xenophobic rhetoric. (Via Americas Migration Brief.)

  • Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province’s ban on industrial salmon farming has been a boon to ecological preservation, in marked contrast with waters on Chile’s side of the Beagle Channel, reports the Guardian.

Urbanismos

  • Quiet! Some Colombians are pushing back against the “the abuse of decibels” that has become a daily reality in Bogotá, reports El País.

Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing
latinamericadailybriefing.blogspot 04 09 2024

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