In this last issue before Christmas, Global is looking back at the news from South America in 2018.
Across the region, several general elections took place. A new President of Paraguay was elected, Mario Abdo Benítez, a former president of the Senate as the incumbent President was not eligible for re-election. Colombia also greeted a new President, Iván Duque Márquez, a former banker and lawyer. Meanwhile, Venezuela retained its incumbent President Nicolás Maduro for his second six-year term.
Finally, Brazil’s new President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is due to assume office early next year after the country’s incumbent President was barred from running. Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva, popularly known as Lula, was the 35th president of Brazil. Lula made a bid to run for the third presidency as the candidate of Workers’ Party, of which he was a founding member. However, in April, Lula was arrested and imprisoned for 12 years on corruption charges. After Lula’s official drop out from the election in September, he was replaced with the former Mayor of São, Paulo Fernando Haddad, who received Lula’s personal endorsement.
In Argentina, the Senate rejected a proposed bill which would decriminalise women seeking abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. At the moment, abortion in the country is only allowed in cases of rape and if the pregnancy poses danger to the woman’s life. The decision of the Senate is a major setback for the abortion-rights activists of the feminist grassroots movement ‘Ni Una Menos’ (‘Not One Less’) that aims to raise awareness about the number of female deaths from failed illegal abortions in Argentina.