With Central America facing numerous crises, it could be easy to overlook a small legislative scuffle in Honduras. However, the institutional maneuverings there in recent weeks are a great example of the sorts of questionable power grabs that degrade democracy and undermine anti-corruption efforts around the region.
Fears of a commodities trap are once again inflaming politics across Latin America. The latest illustration of the tensions and tradeoffs at the heart of these confrontations comes from Panama, where recent protests have forced the country to restrict new mining projects and may shut down a globally significant copper mine.
Most international coverage of Panama’s drought focuses on shipping delays through the Panama Canal. Locals are more worried about its impact on potable water. More worrying is the fact that Panama is not the only Latin American country currently facing water scarcity. To the contrary, the entire region is in the grips of a dry spell.
In Nicaragua, the steady dismantling of democracy by President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, has been advancing for many years. But in the past couple of weeks, the Ortega-Murillo regime took control of the country’s Supreme Court, a dramatic move that arguably crossed the line into dictatorship.