Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Bachelet to Launch Second Presidential Bid

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is expected to announce her candidacy for president in the November election when she returns from the United States this morning, Chilean newspaper La Tercera reported on Tuesday. Bachelet, who served as president from 2006 to 2010, resigned from her position as under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women last … Read more


Challenges for the New Brazilian Middle Class

Last September, the Brazilian government released a study, Vozes da Classe Média (Voices of the Middle Class), noting that 53 percent of Brazilians are currently in the middle class. Of these, 80 percent are Afro-Brazilian. The data was covered extensively in the Brazilian press and sparked a debate about the extent to which Brazil’s recent … Read more


This Pope Doesn’t Wear Prada

Everyone who is anyone from the political and religious world arrived in Rome this week to take part in a mass to coronate the Catholic Church’s newest leader, Pope Francis.  At its pinnacle, cardinals and bishops in full regalia prayed in Latin while bells rang over St. Peter’s Basilica.  It was one of the world’s … Read more


Brazilian Doctors Urge Senate to Relax Abortion Restrictions

Doctors in Brazil sparked debate yesterday when the Conselho Federal de Medicina (Federal Council of Medicine) published a petition endorsing the legalization of first-trimester abortions. The council, which represents approximately 400,000 doctors throughout the country, will submit the petition to a Senate commission that is reviewing several amendments to the country’s penal code.  The document … Read more

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The New Pope and Gay Rights

While naysayers joke that the Cardinals may as well have elected another Italian Pope in choosing a porteño, the move to elect Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, is of undeniable significance for the global south. This is particularly true for Latin Americans, who—while accounting for 40 percent of all Catholics—often complain of … Read more


Hope and Change from the Americas

Like most observers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, I was surprised to see Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina chosen as the new Pope. He was nowhere to be seen in the pre-conclave media hype. We in Canada saw Cardinal Quellet from La Motte, Quebec as a serious frontrunner. Yet we are observing since Bergoglio’s election … Read more

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Michelle Bachelet’s Next Move

Michelle Bachelet surprised no one last week when she announced she was leaving her post as head of UN Women. While she did not say so explicitly, it is widely expected that Bachelet will run for president again. Though her victory in Chile’s November presidential election is far from a sure thing, public opinion polls … Read more


Francisco, el político

En total, 31 jefes de Estado, 11 jefes de gobierno, 132 delegaciones de todo el mundo y de diferentes congregaciones religiosas, asistieron este martes al comienzo oficial del pontificado del papa Francisco, el primer latinoamericano en llegar a la cabeza de la Iglesia Católica que congrega a 1.200 millones de fieles, la mitad de ellos … Read more


What Greece Can Learn from Argentina

Given the similarities between millennium-era Argentina and today’s Greece, some wonder if a Greek default and currency exit might not be the worst option for Athens.  However, Argentina’s “recovery” would not easily be replicated and the Argentine model should not be considered a blueprint for Greece. Europe has much to learn from the Argentine default … Read more


The New Argentine Pope

News that Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope yesterday set off wild celebrations in Argentina and give further support to the oft-cited sentiment that God is Argentine.  How could He be otherwise?  Having come from seemingly out of the mix, new Pope Francis was not unknown but neither was he apparently a front-runner in the … Read more


A Historic Vote in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands

Far south of the South American continent and east of Argentina and Chile is an archipelago known as the Falkland Islands, or Islas Malvinas in Spanish. With a thriving economy and unparalleled natural views and sea life, what some consider inhospitable land is actually home to hundreds of families who live in one of the … Read more


Argentine Bergoglio will be the Next Pope

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio will be the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church after the 115 cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel elected him in a fourth round of voting on Wednesday. He is the first-ever Latin American pope. Bergoglio, 76, who will take the name Francis I, was the second most-voted papal … Read more


By an Overwhelming Vote, Falklands/Malvinas Choose to Remain British

As widely anticipated, 99.8 percent of the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands’ population voted “Yes” in a referendum on March 10 and 11, expressing their willingness to maintain the current political status as a British Overseas Territory. Of the 1,517 votes cast in the two-day electoral process, only three “No” votes were cast. The results were announced … Read more

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