Like all public health crises, Peru’s worst-ever dengue fever outbreak has political roots and implications. The ongoing crisis following former President Pedro Castillo’s ouster last year is affecting the government’s and region’s responses to the outbreak. And the outcome could determine the fate of current President Dina Boluarte.
In the faceoff between liberal democracies and autocracies, the competing camps are enlisting backers across the globe, and Latin America has become an important battleground. Venezuela has emerged as the epicenter of activity for the anti-Western front, as highlighted by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Caracas last week.
Ecuador might be caught up in a political crisis, with President Guillermo Lasso having dissolved the National Assembly and called snap elections for later this year. But if you ask most Ecuadorians what they are worried about, they won’t tell you politics. They will say crime and public authorities’ inability to stop it.
It’s no secret that Colombian President Gustavo Petro has been struggling. His ambitious domestic agenda has stalled, and his approval ratings have plummeted. But no one could have anticipated the wild new series of scandals that emerged in the past week to threaten his presidency in such spectacular fashion.
The “pink tide” that swept across Latin America in the early 2000s is making a comeback, after having been overtaken by a wave of conservative governments. Major advances in the region are also in danger, and Russia and China are deepening trade ties across the region. What’s next for South America?
At a meeting of South America’s presidents last week, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for regional financial integration and some sort of mechanism to conduct trade without U.S. dollars. Judging by the number of times in recent months he has suggested something along these lines, it’s a topic on Lula’s mind.
Nearing the end of his first year in office, and facing local elections just around the corner, Colombian President Gustavo Petro can boast of few major political victories. His “Total Peace” plan for a country long wracked by conflict has suffered serious setbacks, and his most ambitious political reforms have been stymied.