Early on Dec. 30, Argentina became only the second democratic country in Latin America to legalize abortion. The Senate’s 38-to-29 vote on a bill passed by the legislature’s lower house was celebrated by masses of green-clad activists in the streets of Buenos Aires. In recent years, these activists have been mobilizing in larger and larger numbers for reproductive rights.
Abortion legalization failed in 2018. What changed?
In 2018, a similar bill was passed by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies but came up short in the Senate. By 2020, advocates for legalization had President Alberto Fernández on their side; Fernández had defeated antiabortion incumbent President Mauricio Macri in 2019.… Seguir leyendo »
The Catholic Church wrapped up its three-week Amazon Synod in Rome on Oct. 27. The pope convened the conference — officially, a “special assembly” of the Holy See’s deliberative council of bishops — to develop recommendations for church policy in the nine-country Amazon region. Most news media focused on a controversial proposal from the Working Document that summarizes the synod’s results: to allow married deacons in the region to become priests.
The media have paid less attention to the synod’s central theme: care for the Amazonian environment and its people. Environmental concerns have gained increasing relevance with a recent spate of devastating fires in the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazon forest.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sunday, Brazilians elected a far-right populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose charismatic campaign has dramatically reshaped the country’s political landscape. Ever linguistically playful, Brazilians invented a series of nicknames: On the right, “Bolsominions” (the president’s most fervent followers) sold T-shirts lauding their guy as “O Mito,” or “The Myth.” On the left, supporters of candidate Fernando Haddad adopted the hashtag “#Bolsoasno” (Bolso-donkey).
Bolsonaro’s supporters seemed to revel in his inflammatory rhetoric and disparaging comments toward women and minorities, in the mythos of his surviving an ill-conceived September assassination attempt, and in his messianic campaign promises.
What does Bolsonaro’s victory signal?
The rise of a candidate like Bolsonaro is surprising in a country that has long ranked near the top of the region on indicators of political tolerance.… Seguir leyendo »