Paraguayan Attorney General Sandra Quinonez holds an image of the late anti-drug prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, Asuncion, Paraguay, May 13, 2022 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).
Two weeks ago, on May 10, Paraguayan prosecutor Mario Pecci and his wife of 10 days, the TV journalist Claudia Aguilera, were lying on a beach at an exclusive resort on the Colombian island of Baru, where they were spending their honeymoon. Suddenly, two men on jet skis approached the shore. One walked over to them, aimed a gun and shot Pecci once in the face and then, as he lay dying, in the back. The killing, as Mathew Charles noted in WPR last week, demonstrated “the strength and influence of organized criminal groups” in Paraguay. And indeed, from the [...]
A demonstrator wearing a mask of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and brandishing a fake chainsaw marches in defense of the Amazon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 5, 2019 (AP photo by Silvia Izquierdo).
For everything else that makes Jair Bolsonaro unique as a Brazilian president, he is also the first in the country’s recent history to pursue an explicitly anti-environmental agenda. Since taking office in January 2019, he has promoted deforestation in the Amazon for the sake of economic development, criticized the Paris Agreement and used nationalist rhetoric to vehemently reject European criticism of his handling of the massive Amazon wildfires in 2019. Since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, Bolsonaro has slightly moderated his discourse, but has changed little in terms of his policies. Moreover, in what could be [...]
A woman holds a sign with the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the word “Genocida,” or committer of genocide, during a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 6, 2022 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).
Lately, elections in Latin America are making people squirm in Washington. For foreign policy old-timers, victories by leftist candidates have conjured images of Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Others are haunted by memories of more recent bogeymen, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepened these anxieties, fueling fears that the region’s ideological pendulum is swinging in President Vladimir Putin’s direction. But more than a month into the war, those fears have proven to be unfounded. Indeed, if anything, Latin America’s response to Putin’s brutality reinforced shared hemispheric values with the United States, suggesting that [...]
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