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Latam Brief: Latin American leaders speak at UN General Assembly

The high-level General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) kicked off yesterday with speeches from leaders across the globe. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro delivered the day’s first speech, which he largely used for electioneering purposes directed at a domestic, not international, audience, seeking to boost his polling numbers ahead of the October 2 election (The Brazilian Report). During his speech, Bolsonaro criticized the left and Lula, made unsubstantiated claims in favor of environmentalism in the Amazon, and spoke of “the values… (of) the defense of the family, the right to life from conception, self-defense and the repudiation of gender ideology,” reports CNN. This comes after Bolsonaro was “accused of using the Queen’s funeral as a political soapbox after he flew into London to deliver a speech to supporters about the dangers of leftists, abortion and ‘gender ideology,’” reports The Guardian

Chile’s Gabriel Boric was UNGA’s third speaker yesterday, saying that the country would have a new constitution “shortly,” and urging other governments to pursue “greater social justice” in their own countries when citizens call for change (see LADB 9/5/22 on Chile’s rejected constitutional referendum). Boric also used his speech to discuss human rights issues in the region and across the globe, highlighting the cases of Venezuelan migrants, Nicaraguan political prisoners, and Palestinians. (MercoPressBloomberg)

Colombia’s Gustavo Petro’s speech marked a clear distinction from previous Colombian presidents’ addresses. Petro called on Latin America to unite against “the irrational war on drugs,” calling for global change on failed drug policies. The Colombian president additionally discussed climate change, “(criticizing) a global addiction to oil and coal,” reports Reuters.

Argentina’s Alberto Fernández “reiterated Argentina’s sovereign claim over the disputed Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, calling on Britain to return to the negotiating table,” reports BA Times.

The leaders of Paraguay, Honduras, Bolívia, Peru, Guatemala, and El Salvador also spoke yesterday. The leaders of Suriname, the United States, Ecuador, Guyana, Dominica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica are expected to speak today, according to the speaker schedule


  • Amidst a global food crisis, Argentina is hoping its genetically modified wheat – not yet being sold in the country – could provide a desperately-needed economic boost, reports Reuters.

  • Argentina’s Secretary of Commerce met with kiosko owners and Panini representatives following reports of distribution and price irregularities of the famous World Cup stickers, says Página 12


  • Over one million hectares of Bolivian forests have burned so far this year, leading the government to seek to prevent future fires, says Reuters.


  • “Ghost” candidates have received R$ 5.8 million in public campaign financing, reports Estadão.

  • Baptist pastor Henrique Vieira is running for federal deputy in Rio de Janeiro under the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL). “As the evangelical community continues to grow here and elsewhere around Latin America, Vieira’s campaign may help illustrate whether the region’s politics will inevitably become more socially conservative—or whether another, more progressive path is also possible,” writes Ana Ionova at Americas Quarterly

  • Investors are split between loving and hating Lula as he appears poised to win October’s presidential election, reports Bloomberg

El Salvador

  • In the Latin America Risk Report, James Bosworth analyzes the lack of a strong regional response to Bukele’s reelection announcement and the dangers this announcement poses to the future of democracy in El Salvador.
  • Bondholders showed little interest in selling their bonds back to the Salvadoran government, reports Diario de Hoy. Of the two bonds in consideration, one expiring in 2023 and the other in 2025, only the latter garnered interest.
  • Walter Cruz-Zavala, a former MS-13 member, had won two immigration cases where US courts ruled he had “faced torture or murder at the hands of gangs or the Salvadoran state,” says the Intercept. Cruz-Zavala was deported by ICE anyway. 


  • Despite a report by The Gleaner this past weekend that the president of the Haitian senate planned to announce “a new governance structure… within the next 48 hours,” no such announcement has been made, as of four days later. (See Monday’s LADB)

  • “Scores of prisoners in Haiti’s penitentiaries have died this year as the country’s penal institutions have been gutted by corruption, gang violence, and mismanagement,” reports InSight Crime.


  • Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel has found a new business opportunity in the control and distribution of water in Chihuahua, reports Vice.


  • WOLA’s Geoff Ramsey and Carolina Jiménez Sandoval write at El País in favor of renewing the mandate of the UN fact-finding mission on Venezuela. A report presented by the mission yesterday outlined grave human rights abuses conducted under the command of President Nicolás Maduro, as well as illegal gold mining threatening indigenous populations in the country, says DW.

  • A group of Venezuelan breakdancers seeks to compete in the 2024 olympic games, reports El País.

Arianna Kohan y Jordi Amaral / Latin America Daily Briefing

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