News from Latin America

Mexico 2-24-2021 wife of El Chapo is arrested

The infamous drug lord El Chapo was arrested in Mexico. He was extradited to the US in front of television crews. His arrival in New York City was headline news. He was tried and convicted of various charges related to running a drug cartel. Every day of the trial his wife, Emma Coronal Aispuro, was in attendance. Many journalists and legal pundits questioned what her involvement might have been with her husband’s drug empire. She has been charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Prosecutors have charged her with being an active participant in her husband’s drug-related activities. It also alleged that she was behind her husband’s escapes from prison. Asipuro is a dual citizen and met El Chapo when she was only 17 years old and he was 47. US law enforcement detained her at Dulles Airport. She has not commented on her arrest or the pending charges.

Ecuador 2-21-2021 the runoff election is set

After days of bickering and uncertainty, the runoff election is set. Andres Arauz will face Guillermo Lasso in the April 11 election. The country’s Electoral Commission confirmed their participation. Arauz won the first round of voting with about 37% of the vote. The results were approved by four of the five members of the electoral body. It appears that the recount had been permanently suspended. Thus, the Commission could move on certifying the election results. The OAS advised the country to stick to its election calendar. This adherence would ensure that the runoff would take place a determined by law.  Incumbent President Lenin Moreno’s term in office ends on May 24. It is not clear who has a clear lead in the polls. The election will probably be determined by the candidate who can garner the majority of the voters who voted for candidates no longer in the running.

Argentina 2-20-21 health minister resigns amid vaccine scandal

The Covid-19 vaccine is slowly reaching developing countries. They, like their wealthier counterparts, have set up categories that prioritize who will receive the vaccine first. In this South America county, some wealthier and better connected individuals have been able to receive the vaccine out of turn. This is significate because the doses are in limited supply. The line jumping has caused an uproar among the people. Health Minister Garcia resigned due to the evolving scandal. In resigning, the former minister, did not deny or refute the allegations of “line-jumping” Instead he tacitly admitted that it had occurred due to confusion in his office while he was away. Most commentators discount Garcia’s explanation as being purely self-serving. In a tweet Garcia said: “I express my gratitude to the vast majority of the Argentine people for their commitment and support for the policies we implement to rebuild our federal health system, with greater equity, access and quality,”