Protests against President Mauricio Macri’s macroeconomic readjustment policies in Mar del Plata, July 2016. (Photo by EMans via Wikimedia Commons).
Today in Latin America

Trade Union Calls For National Strike In Argentina

May 29, 2019 By Staff

TODAY IN LATIN AMERICA

ARGENTINA: A national strike is on effect today in Argentina. The General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the largest trade union in the country, called for a 24-hour strike to demand that President Mauricio Macri “shifts its economic policy after a year of recession, devaluation and high inflation.” This is the sixth national strike during Macri’s administration.

The country’s public transportation system will be affected nationwide. Subways will not run, buses will have limited service, and air traffic will be decreased to a minimum. Banks, public schools and hospitals will also be closed.

Headlines from the western hemisphere

NORTH AMERICA

MEXICO: The government has frozen the assets of former oil and steel executives as part of an ongoing corruption probe. The former CEO of state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Emilio Lozoya, is under investigation for allegedly carrying out “illegal payments with unlawful earnings” to his clients. Alonso Ancira Elizondo, who directed Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA), one of Mexico’s largest steelmakers, was apprehended by Spanish authorities yesterday in connection to a similar scheme involving payments through shell companies. The case is President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s first high-profile corruption investigation after campaigning on ending graft at the highest echelons of government.

MEXICO: Yesterday, Mexican authorities intercepted a caravan with 281 Central American migrants in Chiapas. An anonymous caller tipped the Public Ministry’s office in Comitán, Chiapas, which lead to the security operative being successfully executed yesterday in the morning. Seven men in charge of the nine-vehicle convoy were apprehended. It has been confirmed that 161 migrants are Guatemalan.

BORDER: Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the case of a cross-border shooting in Texas to determine whether a border agent is liable for the death of a 15-year-old Mexican boy. In 2010, Border Patrol agent Jesús Mesa Jr. fired from El Paso, Texas, and killed Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca, who stood on the Mexican side of the border in Ciudad Juárez. The Supreme Court failed to settle the issue once before in February 2017, when the case was sent to a lower court.

CARIBBEAN

JAMAICA: Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga passed away yesterday at age 89. The leader of the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP), Seaga served as the island’s fifth Prime Minister between 1980 and 1989. Seaga served as a Member of Parliament representing Western Kingston for a record of 43 years. A Harvard-trained anthropologist who would work as a record label manager before entering politics at age 29, Seaga’s administration represented U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s closest ally in the Caribbean during the 1980s.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: The Ministry of Tourism announced a partnership with Major League Baseball teams to celebrate Dominican baseball players playing in teams in the United States. Denominated Dominican Day, the first event will take place in Pittsburgh’s PNC Park on June 5. Celebrations will include tributes to past and current Dominican players will be shown at ballparks in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago.  

CENTRAL AMERICA

GUATEMALA: A mayoral candidate was murdered yesterday in San José Pinula, a municipality near Guatemala City. Óscar de la Cruz, running with the Fuerza party, was ambushed near his residence as he returned from a campaign rally. De la Cruz is the fifth Fuerza party candidate to be killed during this elections. Mauricio Radford, the presidential candidate with Fuerza, said that he would “seek an audience with the Attorney General” to investigate the incidents.

ANDES

VENEZUELA: The European Union has appointed Enrique Iglesias, former Uruguayan foreign minister, as a special envoy for Venezuela. An economist who also served as the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Iglesias is seen by the EU as “having contacts” in the region’s diplomatic circles and “knowing how to talk to both” President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Iglesias will represent the International Contact Group on Venezuela, which includes eight European countries (Spain, Italy, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany) and four Latin American nations (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay).

SOUTHERN CONE

ARGENTINA: Pro-choice activists took the streets of Buenos Aires to demand that lawmakers pass legislation that would make abortion legal. The bill, called Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption (IVE) Law, represents the eighth attempt at legalizing abortion in Argentina. The IVE Law is similar to a bill proposed last year, which Congress approved but did not pass in the Senate. Demonstrators wore green handkerchiefs, a symbol of the movement that has recently garnered international support.

PARAGUAY: Over seventy thousand families have been displaced following torrential rains that have caused floods in central Paraguay, according to the country’s weather bureau. The Paraguay River floodwaters have pushed many urban residents of Asunción to seek refuge in shelters set up around the capital. A state of emergency was declared in May 10 after six people reportedly died.

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