The Latin American Report # 124

in Deep Dives3 months ago

Daniel Noboa takes office in Ecuador

This November 23, the young Daniel Noboa received the presidential sash, taking the baton from the erratic and unsuccessful Guillermo Lasso, who leaves through the back door after a very controversial administration, interrupted with about 17 months left to close the current term of office. This short time is what Noboa has to defend a potential reelection, in a scenario marked—as is now sadly natural in Latin America—by corruption, poverty, but above all by a huge wave of violence that came to claim the life of a presidential candidate and also that of the seven hitmen who were directly related to his merciless murder. Noboa, who slipped by surprise into the runoff, asserts his youth—he is 35 years old—, and a pragmatic vein to make "the decisions that the country needs" beyond ideological labels.

Daniel Noboa (source).

In a socio-electoral dynamic that was later reproduced in Argentina, Ecuadorians decided on a man with little political trajectory, although I remember that yes, Noboa is young, but he accompanied his father—one of the richest Ecuadorians, if not the richest—in his frustrated assaults to the presidency of the country. So Noboa does not fit much in the category of outsider, because his family has been deeply involved in Ecuadorian politics, and, more importantly, has been part of the central nervous system of the national economy for a very long time. But in any case, Daniel Roy Gilchrist Noboa Azín, who was born in Miami, has the benefit of the doubt, as does Milei in Argentina. Lasso hands him a country where criminal organizations murder the rule of law every day, especially in cities of the coastal region such as Guayaquil, strategic for drug trafficking. The penitentiary system is also a victim of the cancer of ungovernability, commanded in practice by the same violent groups outside the law.


In the Aztec nation, corn industry businessmen are trying to force the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to change or even repeal a regulation from the beginning of the year, which prohibits the use of glyphosate in agriculture within government entities, while, at the same time, it bans genetically modified corn in the elaboration of dough and tortillas, the latter a classic food for Mexicans. The government's intention goes hand in hand with "protecting" consumers from the potentially harmful effects of glyphosate, identified in the regulation—based on certain scientific research—as a "probable carcinogen". But independent consultants have pointed out that "(the) potential effect of consuming GM corn (must be) assessed on a case-by-case basis". It depends, they say, on the specific genetic construction of each batch.


"Nearshoring" could affect access to water

I recently read from Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena that the country is not taking advantage of the full potential of nearshoring, although it is one of the most advantageous recipient markets in this dynamic, with 33 billion dollars raised in foreign direct investment up to September of this year, largely driven by it. However, environmentalists warn that it should be taken into account how something positive such as nearshoring, if poorly planned, could threaten efficient access to water where it is advancing most strongly, such as Monterrey, Nuevo León state. In a meeting held yesterday by civil society actors, there was a specific reference to Tesla for its project to build a mega electric vehicle factory, which could hurt the availability of water in Nuevo León, where already in 2022 people experienced significant cuts in the supply of the vital liquid. However, according to AMLO, once Musk decided on Monterrey to build his "gigafactory" he also committed to being more of a solution than a problem in this regard.

Mundo de Piedra // Stone world

Yesterday, Thursday, was exhumed in Venezuela the corpse of who was a successful rapper in the region, Canserbero—his stage name—, who died in January 2015 in circumstances still not clarified. The Attorney General himself has become involved in the case, given the notoriety achieved by this icon, who gave life to a philosophical musical work, loaded with social criticism, which has transcended in time. The authorities aspire to obtain "relevant criminalistic data for the clarification of (his death)", through different procedures such as a post-mortem psychiatric autopsy.

Canserbero fertilized a unique style, which connected with the masses (source of the image).

Tyrone González, Canserbero, allegedly fell from an apartment located on the tenth floor of a building complex in Maracay, Aragua state. From the beginning, the Public Prosecutor's Office believed that the declarations of the witnesses—which pointed to a suicide—and the findings at the place where he was found had contradictory points, and now, attending to the social pressure, has ended up advancing in the reopening of the case with exhumation included. The section's headline comes from one of Canserbero's anthological songs, recently recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best rappers in the history of the Hispanic music market.

Poverty reaches nearly 30% of Latin America's population

More than 180 million poor people live in Latin America, an ECLAC figure that reflects a slight reduction in this statistic compared to the benchmark set by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extreme variant of this scourge was reduced even more, by more than 11 percentage points, but it is shocking to know that there are anyway 70 million people in this condition right now. Yesterday I was discussing with a friend the scandalous fact that the countries included in Mercosur are critical suppliers of meat, corn, and soybean to markets as far away as China or the United States itself, while so many Latin American people are starving. Of more than 290 million people employed, half of them work in the informal market, close to 60 million qualify as poor, 40% earn below the minimum wage, while one out of two is not associated with a retirement plan. According to the ECLAC report, two years ago, the wealth of a little more than 100 people represented nearly 9% of the GDP of all Latin America.

And this is all for our report today. 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.

Edited with Canva.



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