Javier Milei won the presidential election with 56% of the vote, making him the most popular president since Argentina's return to democracy. Milei describes himself as a far-right libertarian and built his political platform on blaming 'socialism' for the country's critical situation. Milei challenges the national consensus that Argentina's dictatorship committed genocide, and opposes the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion. He describes climate change as a 'socialist lie' and claims he can solve Argentina's main problem, rising inflation, by dollarising the country's economy.
Since 2010, Venezuelans have been suffering under hyperinflation, hunger, and unprecedented levels of crime and disease. The social and economic disaster has led to massive emigration from the country. Learn more here about the protests, U.S. interference, various coup attempts, and international solidarity for the seemingly never-ending humanitarian catastrophe.
An incredibly tight race gives Lula the reigns to a divided Brazil. After becoming Brazil's first working-class president over 20 years ago, many are hoping that his incredible political comeback will see the return of environmental protections, and improved conditions for the 100 million Brazilians living in poverty. Bolsonaro's catastrophic environmental record turned Brazil into a pariah, with COP 27 around the corner, we wait anxiously to see Lula’s stance.
With a vision of a greener, fairer, and more equal Chile, sparks of optimism are flying high not only in Chile but in the whole of Latin America who are hoping for a huge political shift, and looking to Boric to provide the positive example. As a leading figure in the Chilean student protests, and a key figure in the referendum to change the Constitution, he is the youngest President in Chile’s history, and the second youngest leader in the world. Hoping to bury Pinochet’s dictatorship once and for all, we eagerly await reforms on social justice, welfare, public spending, and inclusion.
Since 7 December 2022, Peru has been in chaos. Following an attempt by the now former president Pedro Castillo to suspend Congress and set up a "government of exception", which many Peruvians considered a coup attempt. Castillo was arrested and imprisoned. The new political turmoil triggered strikes and demonstrations across the country, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 55 people. Growing inequality, poverty, and inflation have exacerbated the situation, and calls for an early resignation of Dina Boluarte and an early election are the focus of protestors.
The first round of the election was surprisingly close, with former president Lula da Silva receiving 48.4% of the vote, versus 43.2% for incumbent Bolsonaro, prompting a run-off election on 30 October. Although the outcome of the presidential race was not what the Brazilian left had hoped for, victories were achieved, such as the election of transgender candidates to congress for the first time in the countries history.
Colombia has elected former guerrilla Gustavo Petro as president, along with Francia Márquez, making them the first left-wing government in the country's history and making Márquez the first black female vice-president. Petro's victory is seen as a break with the country's status quo and evidence of Colombians' strong desire for a new political path.
In 2019, Chile erupted in mass protests following an increase in the price of the metro, the demonstrations, eventually turned into a fight against widespread inequality among the population, and to demand a new constitution to replace the one instituted during the Pinochet dictatorship. In October 2020, Chileans voted to rewrite this constitution in a referendum, and now in 2021 they elected the 155 new members who will rewrite it. With a surprising result, the majority of elected members are independent and from the opposition. Many Chileans are hopeful that this process will address the main problems plaguing Chilean society, and the eyes of Latin Americans are on this country in the hope that real change will begin here.
Undoubtedly, the 38th Brazilian president has been the centre of many contentious headlines. He has been described as far-right and populist, and uncertainty about his decisions is growing. His management of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his relaxation of several environmental protection policies is of particular concern to watching eyes around the globe.
In a shocking event, one of Latin America's longest leaders, Evo Morales, has resigned after nearly 14 years in power and announced new elections. For weeks Bolivia faced anti-government protests led by opposition leaders on OAS backed allegations of electoral fraud. The leader denounced a coup d'état after the military and police withdrew their support, leading him to announce his resignation to protect the Bolivarian people.