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Latam Brief: Bolsonaro holds super big rally in Sao Paulo

Brazil's former president, Jair Bolsonaro, rallies with his supporters on Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday. [Carla Carniel/Reuters]
Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, rallies with his supporters on Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday. [Carla Carniel/Reuters]

Latin America Daily Briefing

Thousands of supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rallied in São Paulo yesterday, a show of political strength for the far-right leader who could face jail time in a series of criminal investigations. (Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press)

One of the investigations involves his alleged role in the 2023 January attacks on government buildings by his supporters over his election loss. He called for an amnesty for the dozens of people still in jail for those incidents. (Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press)

Bolsonaro was accompanied by four state governors and dozens of lawmakers, notes El País.

Bolsonaro arrived waving the Israeli flag — a response to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s remarks last week comparing Israel’s offensive in Gaza to the Holocaust – and number of Israeli flags could be seen among the rally attendants. (Times of Israel)


  • Efforts to deploy an armed multi-national mission to aid Haiti’s embattled police force combat criminal organizations garnered an additional $120 million in commitments at last week’s G20 ministerial meeting in Brasilia, but the project’s implementation remains mired in complications, reports the Miami Herald. (See Friday’s briefs.)

  • “It’s hard to find volunteers for a mission that does not have clear support from a legitimate local government, which in the case of Haiti is impossible to secure because no legitimate local government exists,” notes James Bosworth in World Politics Review. “The goal for the international community should be to hold an election. Not an instant sham election, but a real one organized over the course of at least a year in which Haitians can express their true political preferences.”


  • “Venezuela’s recent abrupt reversal in its nascent rapprochement with the United States and domestic opponents is likely a response to declining support among its traditional base,” according to Reuters.

  • Some Venezuela observers “fear the government is contemplating measures that would bring conditions in the country closer to those in Nicaragua, where civil society has been all but suppressed,” reports Tony Frangie-Mawad in Americas Quarterly.

Regional Relations

  • Juan Elman contrasts Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s and Argentine President Javier Milei’s appearances at the U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference last week — while the millennial leader of El Salvador, who just won reelection by a landslide 85%, rallied the crowd with a tirade against international elites delivered in perfect English, Milei’s dry speech in Spanish, focused on obscure economic theory fell flat, he writes in Cenital. Nonetheless, the two were stars of the event, and Milei’s popularity within the group does not hinge on the immediate results of his presidency, writes Elman.

  • CPAC’s organizers had hoped some of the shine of the two Latin American leaders’ recent electoral victories over their countries’ established political elites would rub off on the U.S. Trump campaign, I wrote in Cohete a la Luna. Nonetheless, ideologically, there is a chasm between the two.

  • Milei spoke after Donald Trump at CPAC, and greeted the former U.S. president with an ecstatic hug a day after meeting with Biden administration officials in Buenos Aires, reports the Associated Press.

  • Milei “ is trying to navigate the politically turbulent waters of the United States in an election year, knowing that the next administration could be crucial to his own success,” according to the New York Times.


  • Guatemalan Indigenous groups marched yesterday to commemorate the victims of the country’s internal armed conflict, and called on President Bernardo Arévalo to resume reparatory policies established in the country’s peace accords and to search for thousands of disappeared. (EFE)


  • The eldest son of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the governing MORENA party presidential candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, said over the weekend that their telephone numbers were published on social media and that they have received threats and insults. The episode comes on the heels of AMLO’s revelation in a press conference of the personal contact details of a New York Times journalist. (Miami Herald, see Friday’s post.)

  • AMLO criticized YouTube yesterday after the tech company removed the video of a news conference in which the leader revealed the private telephone number of a journalist. (Reuters)

  • In Mexico’s Guerrero state “the local clergy are making efforts to stop the drug wars, which are responsible for so much death in the region,” reports El País.


  • More than 68,400 migrants have crossed the Darién gap so far this year — about 22.673 more than in the same period in 2023, according to Panamanian authorities. (EFE)

  • Last year Chinese migrants were the fourth largest overall nationality and the largest outside of the Americas to make the treacherous trek across the Darién, reports Al Jazeera.

  • Migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean face unique challenges in achieving financial inclusion, including “restrictions on access to bank accounts and credit services, vulnerability to predatory practices, and challenges specific to refugees and newcomers, such as lack of credit history,” explains CAF, breaking down data from financial inclusion surveys in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. (Americas Migration Brief)


  • Cuba’s government warned that flour shortages will affect the subsidized rations received by the country’s residents, next month. (EFE)


  • A new project identified the wrecks of 14 ships used for transatlantic trafficking of enslaved people in the 18 and 19 in the northern Bahamas, “marking what has been described by a British marine archaeologist as a previously unknown ‘highway to horror,’” reports the Guardian.

Critter Corner

  • Ronald Pizzoferrato’s “Mi Perro” is a photo project that examines how prison inmates develop bonds with pets in Venezuelan jails. “By exploring the relationship between prisoners and dogs, Mi Perro offers a broader and more nuanced look at prison life. It shows how bonds and the need for connection overcome the barriers imposed by incarceration.” — Guardian
Rafael Briceño, a prisoner serving a five-year sentence on shoplifting charges, carries his Chihuahua dog, which he shares with his cellmate. Tocuyito, Valencia 2022. — Ronald Pizzoferrato

Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing
http://latinamericadailybriefing.blogspot 02 26 2024

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