People take part in a new protest against the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque, in Cali, Colombia, on May 19, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

By Mauricio Cárdenas

Colombians need political leadership that responds to the current anger in the streets with effective strategies to tackle the country’s social and fiscal crises, while relying on increased vaccination to defeat the pandemic. But with the radical right and populist left on the rise, expecting this anytime soon is wishful thinking.

While the United States and other advanced economies are returning to normalcy, Colombia reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths to date during the last week of June. Since early May, the country has been recording one COVID-19 death per 100,000 people per day – three times India’s rate.

By Erika Quinteros

Pedro Castillo has defeated Keiko Fujimori by 44,058 votes. That doesn’t mean the electoral battle is over.

With 100% of Peru’s votes counted, the country has a new president-elect. But will Pedro Castillo have a chance to govern?

On June 6th, Peruvians went to the polls to elect a president in a runoff election between right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori and left-wing contender Pedro Castillo. The night of the elections, the pollster Ipsos gave the first quick count – a method that consists of counting a representative sample of the country’s votes in the presence of the electoral authorities – which showed Castillo ahead with 50.2% of the votes.

Por Nicole Tirado, Paula Gamboa, Tatiana Valenzuela, Yuliana Aborda, Roxanna Barrera y Diana Carolina Ortiz

Nuestra profesor de historia dice que los ciudadanos del siglo XXI ya no se mueven por partidos políticos; ahora los mueve la reflexión de conceptos y narraciones que los constituyen como sujetos políticos, ciudadanos con voz y derecho. En este orden de ideas, hablar de reflexión implica hacer conciencia y esta permite no olvidar que en la historia colombiana el miedo ha habitado el territorio como un ciudadano más. Parte del origen colombiano ha sido la violencia y con esta el miedo; lo sabemos los que reflexionamos y también los que gobiernan. Por eso actualmente vivimos un Paro Nacional con el lema del miedo. La historia que se está entretejiendo de este hecho no es otro que la repetición de la historia colombiana: miedo a la muerte; los desaparecidos cuyas madres lloran su ausencia; cadáveres sin responsable; y discursos que aprueban la violencia por parte de la fuerza pública que defiende el bien público, pero no al público, el cual es su mismo pueblo.

By Nicole Tirado, Paula Gamboa, Tatiana Valenzuela, Yuliana Aborda, Roxanna Barrera and Diana Carolina Ortiz

Our history teacher says that, in the twenty-first century, citizens do not engage with political parties because what moves them now is the analysis of concepts and narratives that shape them as political subjects—as citizens with voices and rights. This implies awareness and the memory that, in Colombian history, fear has lived with us as another citizen. Part of Colombia’s origin has been violence, and with it comes fear; we know this, as do those who govern us. For this reason, nowadays we’re going through a national strike whose main slogan is fear. Current events are nothing other than the repetition of Colombian history: fear of death, missing people whose mothers mourn their absence, corpses that cannot be identified, and speeches that endorse violence by armed forces, who profess to defend the public good but not the public, not the people of their own country.

Escrito por Alexia Rauen

Traducido por Pilar Espitia

Como en gran parte del mundo, la pandemia de la violencia contra la mujer también ha azotado a Puerto Rico. En enero de 2021, el gobernador de Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, declaró un estado de emergencia para responder. En mayo de 2021, los puertorriqueños se tomaron las calles para protestar después de que dos feminicidios ocurrieran. Andrea Ruiz fue asesinada por su ex-novio, Miguel Ocasio, después de que no pudo obtener una medida cautelar, y Keishla Rodriguez fue asesinada por el boxeador Felix Verdejo después de confesarle que estaba embarazada de él. La indignación frente a la violencia de género ha llegado incluso hasta Bad Bunny, el artista puertorriqueño de música trap, y cuyo video musical “Solo de mi” muestra a una mujer cada vez más llena de moretones y sangre a punto de salir del escenario, lo que hace presumir al espectador representa el abandono de su agresor. Pero para muchas mujeres en Puerto Rico, hay pocas opciones o protecciones para aquellas que desesperadamente tratan de escapar. De acuerdo con NBC News, las cortes de Puerto Rico han negado el 68% de las medidas cautelares requeridas en los últimos nueve meses.

Puerto Rican flag in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

By Alexia Rauen

Like much of the world, Puerto Rico has been plagued by the epidemic of violence against women, and in January 2021, Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi issued a State of Emergency in response. In May 2021, Puerto Ricans took to the streets in protest after two femicides occurred. Andrea Ruiz was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Miguel Ocasio after being unable to obtain a protective order, and Keishla Rodriguez was murdered by boxer Felix Verdejo after confessing to him she was pregnant with his child. The outrage over gender violence has reached even Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican trap artist, whose video for “Solo De Mi” shows a woman growing progressively bruised and bloody before leaving the stage in what the viewer assumes is her leaving her abuser. But for many women in Puerto Rico, there are few options or protections for those desperately trying to leave. According to NBC News, the courts in Puerto Rico denied 68% of protective orders requested in the last nine months. 

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By Alexia Rauen and Alexandra Snodgrass

Bolivia will hold presidential elections on October 18, 2020, after numerous delays and an interim unelected presidency after the October 2019 elections. The nation’s former president, Evo Morales, who ruled land-locked Bolivia from 2006 to 2019, will not be running after a dramatic resignation. Instead, the election pits Luis Arce, the candidate of Morales’s party, against the ex-president Carlos Mesa. 

Bolivia had previously limited presidents to two consecutive terms. However, in 2013, Morales was able to run for a third term after it was found that the introduction of a new constitution in 2009 made his first term moot for counting purposes. In 2016, a referendum on whether or not to change the constitution to allow Morales to run again failed to yield results in his favor. This was reversed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal, who ruled that term limits no longer existed for any elected official. Morales announced his candidacy for the 2019 Bolivian presidential elections in May of 2019. Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States (OAS), stated that given the tribunal’s ruling, Morales should be allowed to run. The election was held in October of 2019, and Morales needed a 10-point lead in order to prevent a runoff election. When Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal released results with 83% of the vote counted, Morales was in the lead – but not enough to prevent a runoff.  Then, the website went dark, and when it returned, Morales had won by just over 10 points. The OAS released a report on November 10, 2019 that found the election’s “process was contrary to best practices and failed to abide by security standards … Given the irregularities observed, it is impossible to guarantee the integrity of the data and certify the accuracy of the results.” The post-election public outrage led to weeks of protests and Morales’s resignation.