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Peruvian soccer fans. (Image: President of Peru)

Fútbol over all. It’s been a busy time in Peru. President Pedro Castillo dodged a second impeachment attempt. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights blocked a move to release ex-President Alberto Fujimori. But interest in both stories paled in comparison with the thrill over Peru’s win against Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier. 

"It’s a huge source of excitement, while everything related to politics seems to be stuck in a loop of dysfunction,” says Lima-based journalist Mitra Taj in a Q&A on Peru’s recent political twists.

Anyone’s race to win. Costa Rica’s April 3 presidential runoff pits former World Bank official Rodrigo Chaves against ex-President José María Figueres. The candidates, both tainted by scandals, will need to work with a divided legislature to take on mounting economic challenges. And they’re polling neck-and-neck. Check out our poll tracker for more


Visit AS/COA Online’s 2022 Election Guide.

What’s coming up in Latin America? 

  • April 6: Book launch of Things Are Never So Bad That They Can’t Get Worse: Inside the Collapse of Venezuela with author William Neuman, former New York Times Andes bureau chief.

  • April 10: Mexico’s presidential recall referendum. Hear more in our most recent episode of the Latin America in Focus podcast.

THEY SAID WHAT?

—Rodrigo Chaves, one of the candidates in Sunday’s Costa Rican presidential runoff, on the country’s business environment

DON'T MISS THIS
Sergio Moro, the prosecutor famed for his work on Lava Jato, dropped out of Brazil’s presidential race despite polling third. Eduardo Leite stepped down from his role as Rio Grande do Sul governor in a sign he’ll compete. Polls suggest the race remains between Lula da Silva and President Jair Bolsonaro. Check out our poll tracker. (Reuters, Bloomberg)
  • Mexico’s AMLO announced plans for a reform involving changes to electoral institutions and a reduction of legislative seats. (Expansión)
  • El Faro’s Óscar Martínez talks with El Hilo about El Salvador’s recent wave of violence and the Bukele government’s response. 
  • Gabriel Boric pledges loan forgiveness and less testing in proposed reforms of Chile's education system. (The Economist)
  • Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso vows to circumvent Congress after his reforms stall. (The Brazilian Report) 
  • Colombian real estate startups want to expand across Latin America. (Rest of World)
COVID-19 IN LATIN AMERICA

Vaccination campaigns continue across the hemisphere. Which country has had particular success in raising its vaccine rate? Peru. Since last month, it’s increased its rate of fully vaccinated citizens by 5 percent. Peru will become one of the first countries in the region to require booster shots for all citizens above 18, per Andina.

FAST STATS
2.6%

Rise of the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar this year
 

7.4%

Rise of the Uruguayan peso
 

17%

Rise of the Brazilian real

While the dollar has strengthened against most global currencies, Latin America’s currencies from Colombia to Chile are appreciating in value for reasons such as rising commodity prices. (The Wall Street Journal)

ICYMI from Americas Quarterly A music festival reveals the generation gap in Brazil’s politics. AMLO’s risky strategy of putting Mexico’s military everywhere. AQ podcast on if it’s Petro’s race to lose in Colombia. Will Russian influence in Latin America grow in 2022? The 76-year-old newcomer shaking up Colombia’s election.
ALGO HEROIC
Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican national team’s goalkeeper, is housing 30 Ukrainian refugees in his Paris apartment.
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