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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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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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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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Re-Elected in Denounced Election

Early results from the Nicaraguan general election on November 7 indicate that incumbent President Daniel Ortega has won by a landslide, BBC News reports. The result was unsurprising to many onlookers across the globe, as President Ortega secured nearly 76 percent of the vote, winning his fourth consecutive term in office. 

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FOCUS on Pariah Leaders: Nicolás Maduro

Nicolás Maduro, the simultaneously reviled and celebrated socialist President of Venezuela, is facing another contested vote in November’s upcoming regional elections, according to CNN. The rise and fall of Maduro’s political legitimacy parallel that of other populist leaders in Latin America, but recent events indicate that Maduro may finally achieve the legitimacy he desires. 

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Chile to Reinstate State of Emergency Midst of Mapuche Attacks

On September 27, the citizens of Chile believed that their way of life would soon return to normal when their government officials lifted the state of emergency that was imposed during the pandemic, according to Reuters. However, France24 explains that the state of emergency was reinstated after less than two weeks.

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Conservative Banker Wins Ecuadorian Election

Voters in Ecuador elected Guillermo Lasso, a conservative banker, to serve as president for the next four years. Lasso won the runoff election with just 52.5 percent of the votes, reports The Economist, after claiming a spot in the runoff with a lead of a half a percentage point. 

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Politicization of a Pandemic Costs Lives

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Governor of São Paulo João Doria clashed over the implementation of a mandatory coronavirus vaccination of the São Paulo region. Joao Doria is in favor of making CoronaVac, a COVID-19 immunization, mandatory alongside other non-coronavirus vaccines as Brazil requires. Sinovac is a China-based biopharmaceutical company developing the CoronaVac and would conduct phase three trials on the São Paulo citizens, which is favored by Governor Doria, according to the South China Morning Post.

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