A debate over gay marriage has upturned Costa Rica's presidential race, giving ammunition to conservative frontrunners ahead of Sunday's vote and challenging the Central American country's image as a progressive bastion. Evangelical Christian singer and congressman Fabricio Alvarado, who leads recent polls, has pitted himself against a January ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that urges Costa Rica to legalize same-sex marriage.
When Ecuadorians vote on Sunday barring former president Rafael Correa from re-election, they will also be choosing whether to buck a trend across South America in which overbearing former presidents just can’t let go of power.
UK expressed support for Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez who was re-elected in a controversial process, and calls on the new leader to make respect for human rights and the fight against corruption, the priorities of his administration. Fernandez took the oath of office on 27 January.
Brazil’s presidential election is up for grabs, according to the latest public opinion poll, with popular ex-president Lula da Silva likely to be barred because of his corruption conviction and half of the electorate responding they want to see him in jail.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s approval rating has fallen to 19% since he granted a pardon to authoritarian former President Alberto Fujimori, a decision that has deeply divided the country, a poll showed on Sunday.
A long-awaited major trade deal between the EU and Mercosur may this week take a key step towards realization with ministerial teams from both sides meeting in Brussels on Monday. They are expected to give negotiators a new, decisive political impulse to reach agreement in a matter of weeks, according to Irish sources.
Argentina will not recognize the results of upcoming elections in Venezuela, President Mauricio Macri has said accusing strongman Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro of running a dictatorship.
At least seven police officers were killed and 41 others wounded on Saturday when alleged drug traffickers detonated a bomb at a station in the Colombian city of Barranquilla. The attack comes as President Juan Manuel Santos seeks to end the armed conflict that has wracked Colombia for 50 years. Much of the violence has been linked to drug trafficking.
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Austin, Texas, and then to Mexico City, Mexico; Bariloche and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Perú; Bogotá, Colombia; and Kingston, Jamaica on February 1-7. According to a release from the State Department, Secretary Tillerson will engage with regional partners to promote a safe, prosperous, energy secure, and democratic hemisphere.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri ended on Friday his European tour in Paris, where he addressed the business community and potential investors, and later held a private meeting with president Emmanuel Macron. According to Argentine sources there is strong French investors' interest, but apparently Macron held his ground when regarding the EU/Mercosur overall trade agreement.