The latest in Latin American politics today: Lula’s lead over Bolsonaro narrows slightly ahead of Brazil election -poll
SAO PAULO – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains the front-runner to win Brazil’s presidential election in October, a poll of voter support showed on Thursday, although incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro is gaining ground. Lula, a leftist candidate and former president, received 47% voter support versus Bolsonaro’s 32% in the latest survey by pollster Datafolha, compared with 47% and 29% respectively in July.
In a potential second-round runoff between the two candidates, Lula would return to office with 54% of the votes against Bolsonaro’s 37%, the poll showed. Lula has seen his advantage in the runoff shrink each month from the 29-point lead he had in December.
Paraguay VP backtracks on resignation, awaiting details on U.S. corruption allegation ASUNCION – Paraguayan Vice President Hugo Velazquez has reversed a decision announced last Friday to quit, saying he was waiting for the United States to give more details about its allegation of “significant corruption” against him.
Velazquez, who was also a presidential candidate, was cited by the U.S. State Department on Aug. 12. An associate of Velazquez’s had offered a public official a $1 million bribe to “obstruct an investigation that threatened the Vice President and his financial interests,” the department said. Velazquez denied the accusation.
Colombian guerilla group frees six soldiers ahead of planned peace talks Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) has freed six captive soldiers as a “unilateral humanitarian gesture” of goodwill, it said in a statement widely cited in local media, ahead of planned peace talks with the new government.
The leftist guerrilla group, which had reportedly held the prisoners for several days, hailed efforts by President Gustavo Petro to resume the dialogue, which had been suspended by former President Ivan Duque in 2019. Argentina’s new economy chief to visit Washington for talks
BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s new economy minister, Sergio Massa, will travel to the United States next month to meet with finance leaders at the International Monetary Fund as he attempts to address a severe economic slump fueled by sky-high inflation. Massa, who took the helm as economy chief two weeks ago, will also meet with officials at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the White House, and private banks.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro chases YouTuber who called him a ‘coward’ Brazil’s Bolsonaro chased a critic who was filming and taunting him outside the presidential residency and tried to snatch his phone off him, as shown in a video published by Brazilian news portal G1.
The video shows Bolsonaro getting out of his car and chasing YouTuber Wilker Leãoas, who called him a “bastard” and a “coward” before bodyguards intervened. Bolsonaro, who is lagging in opinion polls for an election in October, was previously accused by police of COVID-linked scaremongering, including falsely suggesting people who got vaccinated risked contracting AIDS.
Years of political crises in Peru finally hitting economy LIMA – Peruvians have seen seven presidents since 2011, as well as four former leaders detained or wanted on corruption allegations. Yet, in the same period Peru has held onto the unlikely title of the fastest growing major economy in Latin America.
That period of standout growth is set to end this year, an analysis of World Bank data and International Monetary Fund forecasts shows, with Colombia claiming the top spot, as a decade of increasingly disruptive political finally hits Peru. Peru walks back decision to recognize Western Sahara
Peru has reversed its decision to recognize the independence of Western Sahara following a phone call with the foreign minister of Morocco, which claims the territory, Peru’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The Andean country had first recognized the disputed North African territory, dubbed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, in September last year. (Compiled by Steven Grattan, Isabel Woodford and Sarah Morland Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Grant McCool and Sam Holmes)
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