Latin America News Round Up – July 17, 2017

Former Brazilian president Lula convicted of corruption and money laundering

“Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted Wednesday of corruption and money laundering and sentenced to more than nine years in prison, a stunning blow to a man once hailed across the hemisphere as an innovative leftist leader.” …read more

Lula’s conviction has had various ramifications, including a re-examination of the power of the judiciary in Brazil and economic instability. Check out these sources for more perspectives on the conviction:

July 12 – Brazilian stocks jump after former president Lula is convicted of corruption

July 13 – In Brazil, Political Rivals Face a Common Threat: A Rising Judiciary

July 13 – Brazil’s Corruption Fallout

July 15 – The conviction of Lula and the future of Brazil’s political purge

July 16 – The Next Step For Brazil’s Lula


Millions take part in symbolic referendum rejecting plans to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution

July 16 – “Millions of government opponents dealt a symbolic blow Sunday to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, casting votes in an unofficial referendum rejecting his controversial plan for a constitutional overhaul.” …read more

To learn more about Venezuela’s ever-evolving crisis, check out these other articles:

July 11 – How Venezuelan Refugees Are Surviving in Brazil

July 13 – Green Cross Volunteer Medics, on the Frontline of Venezuela’s Protests

July 14 – In Venezuela, Some Government Loyalists Split With President Maduro


A Judge Has Ordered the Arrest of Peru’s Former President in Corruption Scandal

July 13 – “A judge ordered the arrest of former President Ollanta Humala and his wife Thursday night as they face money laundering and conspiracy accusations tied to a construction scandal involving Brazilian company Odebrecht. The preventative detention, which would keep Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia in jail for up to 18 months while they are investigated, came after prosecutors argued the couple could flee Peru to evade justice.” …read more


Former Inmate Empowers Transgender Women in Colombian Prisons

July 10 – “Katalina Ángel’s return to La Picota was, she said, a bittersweet experience. As a transgender woman and former inmate in one of Colombia’s toughest male prisons, located on the southernmost outskirts of capital city Bogotá, the hostility and brutality that had been her life for three years stirred painful memories.” …read more



In Chile, Many Regard Climate Change As The Greatest External Threat

July 16 – “Fernando Rojas is holding up a photograph of a pocket of countryside, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, that has been his home, his livelihood, and his passion for all of his 74 years. His picture shows a lake, brimming with water, in front of a range of hills that are silhouetted by the sun. In the foreground, by the water’s edge, there’s a small boat, ready to set sail. Next to that, there’s a wooden jetty, jutting out into the waves.” …read more



Life Where the Murder Rate Is Sky-High

July 15 – “In Latin America, we’re too used to death. But there’s a way to stop it. Sergio Vicente Goulard’s body lay naked on a hospital stretcher, waiting to be identified. A few hours earlier, paramilitaries had shot him in the head inside his home. Luiz Carlos Barbosa was found on the street in the middle of a favela controlled by two criminal gangs; he had been executed for switching his allegiance. Jorge Luiz Bento’s family found his corpse rotting near a stream in the municipality of Nova Iguaçu, headless and with his hands bound.” …read more


Colombia: President Santos grants Farc members amnesty

July 11 – “Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has signed a decree granting amnesty to another 3,600 members of the Farc rebel group, which last year reached a peace deal with the government. It is the third and final amnesty decree signed by Mr Santos.” …read more