The wave of corruption that has spread throughout Latin America has shaken regional institutions, disillusioned populations and should define the electoral cycle that many Latin American nations are going through.
Protesters interrupted the start on Monday of an election campaign tour by former Brazilian president Lula da Silva, who leads opinion polls but faces a lengthy jail sentence for corruption. Police had to intervene to separate some 150 protesting farmers and Lula's supporters in Bage, where the populist leader was starting a bus tour of southern Brazil ahead of October 7 elections.
It has been a long standing consensus-secret in the Uruguayan political system that when you are elected or have been nominated to a political post, you must not forget the family or friends particularly if they are in distress. This means in practical terms that the generous Uruguayan state will incorporate you to the burgeoning bureaucracy be it at national or regional level.
Anywhere between 8.000 and 50.000 people are expected to convene on Tuesday to Durazno, central Uruguay, to protest and demand solutions to what is seen as an over bloated government, fiscal strangling, incompetent management of government companies and an overall dissatisfaction with the results of these policies and deaf political ears to the ongoing complaints.
Uruguayan farmers with their tractors, harvesters, trucks, vans and on horseback took to the roads to protest the cost of fuel, power, increased taxes and an over bloated national budget and bureaucracy which they blame for making several farm activities unprofitable, and have had an overall negative impact for the different camp activities.
Four South American ex-presidents are among more than 170,000 people who signed a petition supporting former president Lula da Silva bid for another term as Brazil's president, despite his corruption conviction. US film-maker Oliver Stone also signed the online petition supporting Lula, whose electoral aspirations are at risk of being blocked.
Soccer passionate Uruguay is again with no matches this weekend in the local major leagues and could be for several weeks, because of a conflict between professional players demanding to remove the authorities of their association and a call for fresh elections. A request supported by six hundred signatures, and until complied there will be no games. The measure has been supported by the referees association.
Uruguay has a new vice-president following the resignation of the questioned and discredited Raul Sendic. On Wednesday mid-morning, Lucia Topolansky, wife of ex president Jose Mujica received unanimous support from the General Assembly (123/123). Under the Uruguayan constitution the head of the most voted Senate group of the winning party in the last election, in this case the MPP (Popular Participation Movement), leads in the presidential succession line. She is the first woman to occupy such a post.
Uruguayan Vice president, and head of the Senate, Raul Sendic has stepped down after presenting his “indeclinable” resignation to the ruling coalition plenary and to president Tabare Vazquez, quelling what was becoming a major political and institutional situation given his long string of misconducts, some of them precisely questioned by an ethics tribunal from the coalition.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro seems to have blown up the last bridge to Mercosur when he launched a barrage of accusations against Uruguay's foreign minister which triggered an immediate reaction from president Tabare Vazquez, who demanded evidence of the charges or a public retraction from the embattled Maduro. But the conflict has also openly exposed the deep rift inside the Uruguayan ruling coalition regarding the Bolivarian revolution “anti imperialist” regime.