Argentina has drawn widespread attention in the past couple of weeks as the Argentinian Congress took it’s first step towards legalizing abortion for women up to 14 weeks. On June 14th, the bill officially passed the House by 129 to 125 votes after a 23-hour strenuous debate (Politi and Ellis). If the Senate approves the abortion bill in the next hurdle for women’s rights, then President Macri has agreed to sign the law into effect.
News and Politics
Brazil is one of the countries with the lowest rates of female representation in political power. The report of the International Union of Parliaments (IPU) shows Brazil in 151th position (in 193 countries). The representation in the Chamber of Deputies meets only 10%. The proportions are also low in municipalities and state level governments. Currently, there is just one women as a governor (among 27) and, in 2016 elections, women were just 12.57% of the candidates for mayors.
On May 21st, truck drivers in Brazil began a nation-wide strike that lasted for ten days. The interruption in shipping routes devastated major industries such as agriculture, healthcare, education, and oil, resulting in a government declared state of emergency at the height of the protests. Brazil, a country slightly larger than the continental United States, relies heavily on road transportation. During the strike period, many major cities experienced food shortages, gas shortages, and even medical supply shortages.
January of this year, President Trump enacted a new policy that ended the Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 Salvadorans and 88,000 Hondurans that had been living in the United States for almost twenty years. Both countries originally received TPS following natural disasters at the start of the twenty-first century. Honduras was hit by a devastating hurricane in 1999 and El Salvador suffered from several major earthquakes in 2001.
Last weekend, Venezuelans headed to the polls for the 2018 presidential election. Nicolas Maduro, the socialist successor of Hugo Chavez, took home 5.8 million votes, according to election officials, easily winning reelection with almost 68 percent of the overall votes (Neuman & Casey 2018). Henri Falcon, the leading opposition, fell more than 40 points behind to take second (Smith and Goodman 2018).