Noboa to swear in
Nov. 23, 2023
Daniel Noboa will assume Ecuador’s presidency today, in the midst of a heavy security operative in a country besieged by gang violence that spilled over into politics during this year’s electoral campaign.
At 35, Noboa will be Ecuador’s youngest president yet. He will have a short 17 month term, finishing off the mandate of outgoing President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved Congress ahead of a potential impeachment this year, invoking for the first time a constitutional clause dubbed “mutual death.” (See post for May 18.)
It will be difficult for Noboa to effectively tackle Ecuador's significant challenges during such a short period, though he is eligible for re-election in 2025, reports Reuters.
“The populace is polarized, and divisions based on economic and social status, geography, and race are stark. These issues are years in the making and cannot be resolved in a matter of months. But conditions can improve during that time, and must, if the country is to pull out of its recent dive,” argues Eric Farnsworth in Americas Quarterly.
Noboa’s National Democratic Action (ADN) made a governability deal with former President Rafael Correa’s leftist Citizens' Revolution movement and the conservative Social Christian Party (PSC). Last week Noboa said the deal is part of "a great union to move the country forward," and that he will have zero tolerance for corruption or anyone blocking the government's projects. (Reuters)
Ecuador’s economic woes and violence indicators put the country at risk of becoming a failed state, according to Bloomberg. Ecuador has “turned into a skeleton” under Lasso’s truncated presidency, according to El País.
Violent deaths in Ecuador could exceed 7,000 this year, a homicide rate of 35 per 100,000 people, according to a recent report from the Ecuadorean Organized Crime Observatory.
UN votes to Create International Tax Convention
The U.N. General Assembly approved a proposal for organization to develop a global tax framework, yesterday. “In what advocates hailed as a “historic victory,” countries voted 125 to 48 to adopt a resolution tabled by Nigeria last month on behalf of African member states, calling for a U.N. tax convention that could drastically change how global tax rules are set,” reports the ICIJ.
The resolution was approved despite Western efforts to derail the plan. (See yesterday’s post.)
Earlier this year, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report that enhancing the U.N’s role in shaping policy was “the most viable path for making international tax cooperation fully inclusive and more effective.” That language was echoed in the newly adopted resolution. (ICIJ)
Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) has approved $65 million from the $1.3 billion Amazon Fund to set up a security project fighting deforestation and other environmental crimes in the rainforest, reports Reuters.
Brazil's environment protection agency Ibama is expected to decide by early next year if state-run oil company Petrobras can drill near the mouth of the Amazon River, reports Reuters.
Brazil’s Senate passed a constitutional amendment that limits the ability of Supreme Court justices to rule on issues individually, a moved aimed at curbing what lawmakers see as judicial overreach, reports Reuters.
São Paulo’s First Capital Command gang (PCC) is Latin America’s biggest gang, with estimates suggesting it has 40,000 lifetime members and another 60,000 “contractors”. That would make it one of the world’s largest crime groups, and new reports suggest it is going global, reports the Economist.
Some residents of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas say they see their struggles reflected in Israel’s treatment of Gaza — and the parallels they perceive are motivating them to protest in favor of Palestinians, reports Al Jazeera.
Mexican journalist Adolfo Enríquez, who documented murders in the city of León, in north-central Guanajuato state, was killed this week. Enríquez described himself on his social media profiles as an “activist, demanding a country with the rule of law,” reports the Associated Press.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro “promised “total peace” when he was sworn in last year. So far, the result has been a surge of violence from the armed groups that wield outsize power in the South American nation,” reports the Financial Times.
Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei should learn from the mistakes of neighbors Gabriel Boric and Gustavo Petro in Chile and Colombia, argues Patricio Navia in Americas Quarterly. “Both presidents misunderstood the true reason for their victories. In retrospect, it is clear Boric and Petro won primarily because voters were intent on punishing the incumbent administration, not because electorates fully embraced their agendas for a radical transformation.”
Milei “is a doctrinaire Hayekian seemingly grown in a secret laboratory funded by the Koch brothers, with the editorial staff of Reason, the extremist libertarian magazine based in Washington, serving as the scientists,” writes Sohrab Ahmari in New Statesman, arguing that that the international far-right’s embrace of Argentina’s president-elect undermines the coherency of right-wing populism as a project.
Haitian leaders must find a way to work together to dig the country out of its protracted crisis, said Dennis Francis, the Trinidadian diplomat who currently serves as the UN General Assembly president, after a visit this week. (Miami Herald)
The National Security Archive published several detailed reports on the criminality of Chile’s intelligence agency under Pinochet. The documents were written by DINA agent Michael Townley 45 years ago “as a calculated and desperate effort to deter his DINA superiors from attempting to permanently silence him rather than turn him over to U.S. authorities.”
Romeo and Julieta are two blue-and-yellow macaws in love in Rio de Janeiro — they’ve been faithful to each other for 23 years, despite the netting that keeps one in the zoo and the other out. — Washington Post