The Latin American Report # 15

Hello, hivers. Here you have the fifteenth delivery of my #latamreports series, where I review the last trends in Latin America's political and economic landscape. Today we go through a lot of news, so let me ride on it ya.

The Latin American Report | Deep Dream Generator

28th Ibero-American Summit

Finally, last Saturday, the curtain came down on the 28th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, with more consensus than dissent. Among the latter was the strong political clash between Gabrel Boric and the representative of Nicaragua, and Cuba's opposition to the approval of an agreement on the restructuring of the international financial architecture, although we must go into the reasons why. There was also no explicit mention of the role of Russia in Ukraine, with only a call for peace and respect for international law.

The following agreements were signed: 1) Ibero-American Environmental Charter; 2) Critical Path to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Food Security in Ibero-America; and 3) Ibero-American Charter of Principles and Rights in Digital Environments. However, I agree with the criticisms that this type of forum and in general many bilateral or multilateral agreements tend to generate due to the limited real impact they have on the lives of the common people of each country represented. Let us place an alert, for example, in the second agreement that we have related (on the food crisis), and compare the picture that this area will have in the region (especially in the Latin American part) in the next Ibero-American summit agreed for Ecuador (2024) with the current one. I don't expect many positive changes, if any, but I hope I am wrong.


The electoral campaign for the elections in Guatemala started this Monday, after the end of the registration stage of candidates on Sunday, where the performance of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal was highly controversial, both for registering figures with charges of corruption, drug trafficking, or contract killings and for denying this opportunity to left and right-wing parties, appealing to minor or at least dubious charges. 23 registered couples will compete for the presidency next June 25th.

In principle, the almost always flawed polls point out that there will be a runoff since none of the candidates could rise with a sufficient majority to win in the first round. Let us remember from previous reports that Zury Ríos, a 55-year-old former congresswoman and daughter of a very sad and discussed figure in the history of that country, Efraín Ríos Montt, accused of genocide during the 1982-1983 biennium, is one of the options on which the Guatemalan deep state, which we have already seen how strong it is, is betting on. His running mate, Héctor Cifuentes, was briefly imprisoned in 2019 for a probable corruption case. She would be running neck and neck for the country's top political position with another woman, Sandra Torres, former first lady in the government of Álvaro Colón (2008-2012) and who has already stormed the presidency in the last two elections. Interesting that in her case she also has a dirty record of having been accused of corruption and being acquitted for not being "enough" evidence. Yes, this is a showcase country apparently to study "high-end" corruption.

El Salvador

A total of 111 people have died in the custody of the Salvadoran government, amid a regime of suspension of constitutional guarantees and rights that Nayib Bukele imposed exactly one year ago, as part of an offensive to put an end to criminal gangs there. A laudable objective in principle but with development as part of its possible achievement highly criticized. The above data according to the account of several humanitarian organizations that issued a worrying statement yesterday, Monday:

"A total of 111 deaths of persons deprived of their liberty have been recorded, and to date, there have been no independent investigations to determine the criminal responsibilities of those responsible for these deaths".

The victims "show signs of violent deaths", warned Verónica Reyna of the Passionist Social Service (SSPAS in Spanish), while the Government is ignoring requests for further clarification of the causes. Reyna added that the deaths are being linked to chronic, cardiac, or respiratory illnesses, but there is no independent investigation, or one that is free of any flaw, into the probable occurrence of acts of violence inside the prisons, especially when the signs are evident (strangulation or fractures, for example). Read the warnings that, according to Reyna, are given to the relatives of the victims, who are doubly so here:

"The families are threatened or warned not to open the coffin or ask for a review of the bodies. These bodies have not had an autopsy either, so there is no way to prove the cause of death".


The region's currencies and markets in general terms appreciated against the dollar as a balance of the session that starts the week, in correspondence with a lower aversion to risk on a global scale anchored to a group of guarantees that hopefully will not break. The Colombian peso, which has been positive for four consecutive market days, had the best performance, advancing 1%; the MSCI COLCAP rose 1.08%, reversing its negative close on Friday.

CountriesLocal currency balanceLocal stock index balance
Colombia+1%+1.08% (MSCI COLCAP)
México+0.41%+0.15% (S&P/BMV IPC)
Perú+0.08%+0.76% (S&P/BVL General)
Argentina-0.80%+6.6% (S&P Merval)
Chile+0.71%+0.2% (IPSA)
Brazil+0.92%+0.35% (Bovespa)

Daily balance of main currencies and stock indexes in Latin America ( Source).

Regional quicks

  • A group of 93 migrants, mostly from Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala), as well as Ecuador and India, were found in the box of a cargo truck in overcrowded, hungry, and tired conditions in the municipality of Juarez, which is part of a Mexican border state with the United States. The parking of the means of transport on the road summoned the police, who managed to hear "noises and murmurs" that led them to the migrants. Only in February, there was a tragedy related to this type of human trafficking or smuggling, with 14 deaths of which, sadly, no one remembers anymore.

  • Peruvian anti-drug police thwarted the departure of 2.3 tons of cocaine camouflaged in 337 "export majolicas" destined for Turkey, a route that drug traffickers intend to place "at the height" of others more established in this major business such as Belgium, France, or Holland. The minimum price of the cargo in Europe oscillates around US$ 20 million, according to officials.

  • A student as young as 13 years old stormed into his classroom and stabbed a 71-year-old woman teacher to death, injuring three other teachers and two classmates, state officials cited by the Associated Press. The motive, based on a simple fight that the victim teacher tried to quell, is as regrettable as it is irrational.

  • This Sunday, the people ratified all the candidates to the highest representative body of power in Cuba, the National Assembly of People's Power, which is equivalent to the Congress or Parliament as it is called in other countries. With an attendance rate close to 76 %, according to the figures released by the Government, it can be concluded that the day was positive for the latter since there was a very strong campaign from abroad and also from within, betting and calling for abstention in response to the economic and even general crisis the country is going through.

This is all for our fifteenth report. I have referenced the sources dynamically in the text, and remember you can learn how and where to follow the LATAM trail news by reading my work here. Have a nice day.

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