In March, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited U.S President Donald Trump to discuss deepening relations between their countries. In their joint statement, the two presidents agreed to “catalyze investment in the Amazon region”.
More than twenty-five years since the femicides of Juarez came to light, today throughout Mexico women are disappeared and murdered on a daily basis. The government reports that there are currently more than 9,000 disappeared women on the national registry of missing persons and that figure is probably much higher due to underreporting.
From Anchorage to Acoma, all over the United States and Canada, native women have been mobilizing to procure justice for missing and murdered sisters. In recent years, the mounting grassroots efforts have made hard-won progress to counter gender-related violence in colonized communities.
There’s no doubt that after the blue skies and sunshine of December 1st, there are already clouds on the horizon. But the role of an engaged citizen cannot be to simply cross your arms and watch the storm roll in while saying “I told you so”. Giving President López Obrador the benefit of the doubt is to replicate the old styles of rulers who demanded unconditional support for their actions and cloaked themselves in authoritarian power and self-praise. Seeing treachery before it happens ignores the need for facts-based judgement and closes doors.
The victory of the extreme right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, in Brazil’s presidential elections and the fall of the Workers Party are having a profound impact on the rest of the countries of Latin America. These dramatic events require close analysis on the left to learn from what happened and avoid being shut out as an option for change, and to prevent further victories of the ultra-right.
This year the Caravan of Central American Mothers arrived in Mexico City to participate in the first World Summit of Mothers of the Disappeared with mothers, other relatives of the missing and allies from Mexico, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Mauritania, Spain, Italy and the United States to compare notes and gain a deeper understanding of the problem, across borders.
Former President Elías Antonio Saca was sentenced to ten years in prison. He thus became the first Salvadorian ex-president to be sent to prison for the crimes of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.