“The impeachment of Peru’s populist president has set off a political and constitutional firestorm, prompting nationwide protests against the government and creating a diplomatic rift with Mexico. Peru’s Congress has preliminarily backed a proposal that will allow for presidential and legislative elections in April 2024, two years ahead of schedule, according to the Associated Press.
Popular protests against the government have raged in Peru since lawmakers voted to remove President Pedro Castillo from office…Castillo, who emerged as the surprise winner of a heavily contested presidential election in July 2021, had already been the subject of two separate impeachment inquiries led by the opposition-controlled Congress over corruption allegations. After announcing he would dissolve the Congress and rule by decree, a move many observers decried as a “self-coup,” Congress moved expeditiously to remove Castillo from office, arrest him on corruption and treason charges, and install his vice president, Dina Boluarte, as president. The removal of Castillo immediately sparked nationwide protests, especially in the country’s interior and southern Andean regions where large sections of Peru’s indigenous and mixed-ancestry communities live.
Peru’s indigenous communities, which have largely felt neglected and dismissed by the political elite in the capital of Lima, have been at the forefront of these protests. To them, Castillo, who drew much of his electoral support from the interior and the Andean south, was a champion of indigenous interests, alleged corruption notwithstanding.”
“With Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s narrow victory over president Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil—the two-time former president defeated the incumbent by a 1.8 percent margin (50.9 to 49.1)—the Latin American left has completed its strategic dominance over the region’s seven largest countries.
In the 2000s, much was made of Latin America’s so-called “Pink Tide,” which began with Hugo Chávez’s first electoral victory in Venezuela (1998) and da Silva’s first term in Brazil (2002–2006). There followed an unprecedented rise of left-wing governments across the region. However, there were still important holdouts at the time; Mexico and Colombia didn’t veer left at all; Chile maintained its post-Pinochet social democracy; Peru’s original “Pink Tider,” Ollanta Humala, initially scared the markets in 2011 but proved to be mostly moderate in power.
By late 2022, however, hard leftists—often in cahoots with local communist parties—had handily won the last elections in each of these countries and in Argentina, which returned to Peronist Kirchnerism in 2019. Bolsonaro was the last right-winger standing”
“In a speech delivered last Wednesday at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, President Joe Biden made a passionate plea for renewed purpose and partnership between the United States and its Latin American and Caribbean neighbors.
But it was some conspicuously empty seats in the audience that grabbed the attention. Out of the 35 countries in the Americas, only 23 sent heads of state, one of the lowest attendance rates since the first summit almost 30 years ago.
Most of these absences stem from Biden’s decision to not invite Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to the summit over their human rights records, a move driven in part by pressure from Cuban-American exile groups. “There can’t be a Summit of the Americas if all the countries of the continent don’t participate,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated at a press conference on June 6. The presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, major sources of migration to the United States, also announced they would not attend in protest.
In 2001, the Organization of American States passed the Inter-American Democratic Charter, officially barring nondemocratic states from participating in successive summits at the behest of the United States. However, this rule was seemingly annulled when the U.S. and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations under former President Barack Obama.
Cuba attended the 2015 summit in Panama, where Obama’s meeting with former Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first time Cuban and American heads of state had met since the Cuban Revolution.”
“”There is no way President Biden can make progress on addressing the migrant crisis since the Presidents of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador chose not to attend””
“The summit’s perceived disconnects have confirmed what some in the region have feared: The U.S. is failing to reset or even update its Latin America policy after years of neglect under former President Donald Trump.”
“”Washington seems to have prepared this summit as if it was 1994,” said Rivero Santos, referring back to the first Summit of the Americas held in Miami. Rivero Santos believes the Biden administration still sees the Americas through the prism of the 1990s neoliberal political wave that swept south, but socialist and populist governments have been making inroads in the region for years. “Washington has not been able to keep up with the changes in the region. The Latin America of 1994 is very different than the Latin America of 2022.””