Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Colombia: Gustavo Petro leaves a void in the Colombian Left

Monday, March 24th, 2014

FARC warns that Santos’ ruling may affect peace process

[Translation of an article from El Telégrafo of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for March 21, 2014.  See original here and related article here.]

Political leaders and analysts believe that the removal of the mayor of Bogotá will have repercussions in the presidential elections next May. The former official has announced that he will promote voting for “none of the above.”

The former mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, a one-time militant with the M-19 guerrilla movement, is the only local official on the left who has managed to hold a high political office in Colombia. His removal from office is without doubt a blow to the left, which saw in him the possibility of governing [the country], analysts stress.

President Juan Manuel Santos removed Petro in compliance with a request by the attorney general, who held that the mayor committed serious errors in the course of transferring the Bogota garbage collection system from the private sector to the public in 2012, and after denying a petition for a preliminary injunction in the case made on Tuesday by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. (more…)

El Salvador: The crisis on the Right

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for February 11, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – The Salvadoran Right, joined together as the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), is in a crisis following its disastrous electoral failure in the first round of the presidential election of February 2.

This does not come as a surprise; their arch-enemy since the civil war (1980-1992), the governing leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), won by ten percentage points, an advantage hard to overcome in the contest scheduled for next March 9.

As of a year ago, the outlook was different for ARENA and its presidential candidate, the current mayor of San Salvador, Norman Quijano, a staunch anti-communist in the McCarthyite tradition. The polls and the analyses were then giving Quijano the leading position as the sure winner in the first or second round over the FMLN, whose candidate was professor and former rebel commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén. (more…)

Venezuela: What is the opposition’s game?

Saturday, April 20th, 2013


((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for April 19, 2013. See original here.]

by Breno Altman

The script being followed by Henrique Capriles, the defeated candidate in Sunday’s elections, should be watched closely. Beyond revealing the nature of the local Right, the events taking place help to understand the package of efforts already being made against leftist governments in Latin America.

Taking advantage of the narrow margins by which Nicolás Maduro won the contest, the conservative camp yells “Fraud.” So far, no serious evidence of any kind that this actually took place has been offered. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of international observers attest to the integrity of the electoral process. But the relative weakening of the Chavista base is taken as an opportunity to escalate the confrontation. (more…)

Ecuador: Opposition leader Alberto Acosta interviewed

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 22, 2013. See original here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Quito, February 21 – Viewed from other latitudes in Latin America, dominated as they are by backwardness and conflicts, Ecuador these days is a model. And it is better than under any of its previous governments. Opposition leader Alberto Acosta recognizes that. “But if we make an objective review of what is being done and what we set out to do in the original project of the citizen revolution, and what the constitution requires us to do,” he warns, “we have gotten off track.”

This is the implacable criticism of Alberto Acosta, who was Rafael Correa’s mentor in his university days and the days of citizen activism. It was he who convinced him to run for the presidency in 2006. This is how he describes him now: “He is a driver who sets his turn signal for a left turn and then turns right.” (more…)

Ecuador: The parties of the bankers, the banana merchants and the generals are wiped off the electoral map

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 19, 2013. See original here.]

By Blanche Petrich

Quito, February 18 – The elections on Sunday buried the old political class that had governed Ecuador during the 20th century. As the official vote count by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) of the races for members of the national and provincial assemblies goes on, a new map is being drawn: the parties of the bankers, the banana merchants and the portions of the military that shaped the destiny of the country between coups d’état, conspiracies, uprisings and plunder have disappeared from the national geography.

Legislating during the new term of the [unicameral] Assembly, with a total of 137 members, will be the ruling party, the Alianza Patria Altiva y Soberana (PAIS), with between 91 and 94 seats. The exact count is not yet certain. As a very diminished second electoral power comes Creando Oportunidades (CREO) with between 20 and 25 seats.

PAIS was only formed as a party in 2006 for Rafael Correa’s first electoral campaign. CREO appeared last year to champion the conservative Guillermo Lasso. (more…)

Paraguay: Lugo declares that Paraguayan Left is more united than ever

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012


((Agencia Brasil photo by Antonio Cruz))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for August 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Tadeu Breda

“The parliamentary coup changed my life completely,” former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo acknowledged in an interview with Brazilian alternative communications media on Thursday, August 2. “I was thinking that once my term ended in August, 2013, I could surrender power and dedicate myself to other things. Now, however, more than ever, I have to be more politician than bishop.”

It was with these words that Fernando Lugo announced that he will continue his political activities after the lightning impeachment he underwent on June 22. This is also one of the reasons that will keep him in the capital city of São Paulo for the next few days; the other is to continue treatment of a lymphatic cancer that developed in 2010. At the time, the then president sought out the specialists at the Hospital Sírio Libanês and the tumor was removed. (more…)

El Salvador: Vice president accuses Funes of ignoring the interests of the FMLN

Friday, April 20th, 2012


((Muricio Funes, Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador for April 16, 2012. See original here.]

by Jimena Aguilar

Shortly before the third anniversary of the first Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional government, Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén on Monday made statements concerning the administration to which he was elected in 2009, admitting that the administration has failed to comply with what it offered the voters and holding President Mauricio Funes responsible for this. “The country still believes that change is not possible because it has not seen any,” he told journalists in an impromptu press conference in the Legislative Assembly.

Sánchez Cerén, one of the three top leaders of the leftist party, appeared as an opponent in his first public statements dissenting from Funes, declaring that the failure of the government to comply is because the president has not concerned himself with supporting what suits the party that put him in power. (more…)

Elections in El Salvador: Social aspirin

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

[Translation of a column from ContraPunto of San Salvador for March 8. See original here.]

By Armando Salazar

San Salvador – While capital looks upon the elections as the continuation of its hegemony and its business deals, resulting in the renewal of functionaries who would “improve and perfect” institutions, reality and history have demonstrated that, so far, elections have reproduced an establishment that generates opulence and impunity as well as extensive poverty, exclusion and institutional offense.

The left, inserted into electoral political life since 1992, has little by little taken more institutional positions in mayoralties (96), legislatures (41%) and a contentious presidential election won in alliance with other sectors, which has allowed it to control some government functions. (more…)

Elections in the Dominican Republic: Corruption closes in on President Fernández

Sunday, February 26th, 2012


((Leonel Fernández - Cambio16 photo))

[Translation of an article from the Spanish magazine Cambio16 for February 26. See original here.]

The Dominican electoral campaign, which began officially on February 15, moves along a furrow well sown, and thoroughly irrigated, with reports that affect the government and President Leonel Fernández’s immediate environment. While his wife, Margarita Cedeño, vice presidential candidate for the PLD [Partido de la Liberación Dominicana], has been accused of having bank accounts in Denmark and Switzerland, now the US State Department has revoked the visas of four presidential officials because of their alleged links with drug trafficking and organized crime, repeated human rights violations and illicit enrichment and influence peddling. Involved is Leonel Fernández’s bodyguard, Víctor Manuel Crispín Zorrilla; the chief of military aids, General Héctor Belisario Medina y Medina; police adviser and former chief of the National Police, Rafael Guillermo Guzmán Fermín; and the director of border development, General Manuel de Jesús Florentino y Florentino. (more…)

Dominican Republic: US meddling in 1966 elections documented

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012


((Juan Bosch and Joaquín Balaguer meet - Listín Diario photo))

US agencies spied on Bosch, supported Balaguer

[Translation of an article from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for February 17. See original here and related articles here and here. US troops landed in Santo Domingo on April 28, 1965, four days after an uprising against the coup government that had ruled the country since September, 1963, when Juan Bosch was deposed. The country was still under heavy military occupation in June, 1966, when presidential elections were held.]

By María Isabel Soldevila

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spied on and intercepted telephone calls of deposed Dominican President Juan Bosch between April and September of 1965, at a time when Bosch was in exile in Puerto Rico, and used its influence to put Joaquín Balaguer in office, according to revelations in a recently published book, Enemies: A History of the FBI, by Pulitzer-prize winner Tim Weiner, a 511-page account based, the author says, on more than 70,000 pages of declassified documents, with no anonymous sources. (more…)

Mexico: Human rights groups say 2011 was the worst year of the ‘sexenio’

Friday, December 30th, 2011

‘Nothing to celebrate’

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for December 29. See original here. With considerable power vested in the executive branch, politics in Mexico is often described as cyclical, with six-year cycles, or sexenios, corresponding to the six-year terms for which presidents are elected.]

By Fernando Camacho Servín

As assassinations and disappearances of activists continued, the year that is about to end may have been the worst in this sexenio in terms of human rights, which positions the country “in a serious democratic deficit” and with an exponential increase in the number of victims of violence, warned members of organizations that defend individual rights, as they assessed 2011.

Gloria Ramírez, president of the Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos, declared, “This has been the worst year of the sexenio because the serious conditions that we have been through are getting worse. There are still assassinations, femicides and forced disappearances. It has been a brutal year and there is nothing to celebrate.” (more…)

Nicaragua challenged, Guatemela approved

Friday, November 25th, 2011


((Daniel Ortega))

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Chile for November 22. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

Last November 6 Nicaragua and Guatemala both held presidential elections, but while the Nicaraguan elections have been subjected to a series of challenges, those in Guatemala seem to satisfy those who claim to be troubled about the reelection of President Daniel Ortega.

It is striking that nobody is troubled about the triumph of General Otto Pérez Molina, who had been a candidate several times without winning. He was probably helped this time by the judicial denial of permission for Sandra Torres, former wife of current president Álvaro Colom, to run. (more…)