Ecuador Requests Extradition of Former President Rafael Correa

On April 22, an Ecuadorian high court requested the extradition of former leftist President Rafael Correa from his current residence in Belgium. Correa, who has lived in Belgium since the end of his presidency in 2017, was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for the alleged acceptance of bribes to finance his political endeavors between 2012 and 2016 in exchange for state contracts worth around $7 million.

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Anti-Abortion, Anti-Homosexual Legislation Blocked in Guatemala

On March 15, Guatemala’s Congress reversed the decision to pass the controversial “Protection of Life and Family” law (Law 5272), which aimed to strengthen penalties for abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage, and ban discussions of sexual diversity in schools, according to The Washington Post. The decision to indefinitely table the bill came just a week after it first passed with an overwhelming majority of 101-8, with 51 legislators absent.

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Ex-Honduran President Could Face Extradition to U.S.

A Honduran judge authorized the extradition of ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez,  a month after police arrested him at his house per the request of the United States government, reports The Washington Post. The Associated Press notes that allegations against Hernandez were revealed in the trials of both Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman, and the president’s brother, and Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez. Hernandez will face charges of manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of drugs and firearms in southern New York. 

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Colombia Decriminalizes Abortion, Highlighting a Departure from Stigma

On February 21, 2022, Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled 5-4 to decriminalize abortions, making the procedure legal up to 24 weeks of gestation, reports The Guardian. The historic ruling will change the lives of women and young girls who often resorted to clandestine abortions and were penalized under the healthcare system, says Al Jazeera. Many pro-choice individuals and feminists in Colombia welcomed the decision as a reaffirmation of women’s bodily autonomy, hoping the ruling will inspire other countries to push for legislation protecting women’s rights. 

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Brazil Devastated by Mudslides and Floods

Brazil has suffered from numerous devasting mudslides and flash flooding this month, as the death toll rises to 217. Climate experts and meteorologists believe that the source of this influx of flash flooding and landslides has to do with the rapid urbanization in the Rio De Janeiro state, especially areas like the city of Petrópolis, where summer rains are not usually severe, as Al Jazeera reports.

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‘Freedom Convoy’ Protests COVID Restrictions in France

On February 12, protesters in the “Freedom Convoy” in France clashed against the pandemic restrictions with the French police. These clashes are the latest in a series of protests that have been spreading around the world in response to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. Protesters were trying to enter the “Arc de Triomphe,” which is the entrance in central Paris to the famous Champs-Elysees Avenue.

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Canadian truckers shut down Ottawa with vaccine protests

A convoy of big rigs protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates arrived in Ottawa, on January 29 after a weeklong drive across Canada. Called the Freedom Convoy, the group of truckers is protesting measures recently announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requiring vaccines for Canadian truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border and mandatory quarantine periods for unvaccinated truckers returning to Canada, reports BBC News.

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Honduras Swears in First Female President

After losing elections in 2013 and 2017, Xiomara Castro has officially been inaugurated as Honduras’s first female president, reports CNN. Castro first rose to political prominence in 2009, when she led a march through the nation’s capital demanding that her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, be reinstated as president following a military coup. Castro, a  self-proclaimed democratic socialist brings an end to 12 years of right-wing leadership, BBC News adds. At her inauguration, she emphasized that she seeks to “refound” the nation on “citizen values, ”The New York Times reports. 

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Four Mexican Journalists Killed in First Four Weeks of 2022

A recent uptick of violence against journalists in Mexico has helped solidify its status as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, reports The Guardian. The January 31 murder of Roberto Toledo, a videographer for the news website Monitor Michoacan, was the final straw that sparked protests across the country from journalists, advocating for more protection, adds The New York Times.

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