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President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Image:

Runners on base. Fall brought big shifts in two critical areas for Mexico: security and energy. At an October 8 summit, U.S. and Mexican cabinet members replaced the 13-year-old Merida Initiative and discussed bilateral woes like arms smuggling and fentanyl.

There’s still a long way to go,” UC San Diego’s Cecilia Farfán-Méndez says. “But…after going through innings with no real play, now we're at least on base.”

Security may be an area of agreement, but energy is a source of discord. President López Obrador kicked off the month by pitching a far-reaching constitutional reform that cements the state electricity firm’s control over power generation.

Montserrat Ramiro, former commissioner of the Mexican energy regulatory agency known as the CRE, explains that though Congress, the USMCA, and international environmental standards are all roadblocks for the reform, we shouldn’t expect López Obrador to give up on fulfilling his statist energy vision.

Hear the two experts on the latest episode of Latin America in Focus.

Five things to know about securing a fifth-term win. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has stacked the deck to make winning the next presidential vote a foregone conclusion. Read how his regime pulled it off and what else you need to know about the November 7 elections.

See AS/COA’s coverage of regional votes in our 2021 Election Guide.


— Colombian President Iván Duque upon receiving the Americas Society Gold Insigne for his humanitarian step of giving legal status to 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees

Paraguay’s October 10 municipal elections saw the ruling Colorado Party win control of 160 out of 261 municipalities, including Asunción, while the main opposition party lost 15 of 75 seats it held. The vote is seen as a prequel to the 2023 presidential round, per La Politica Online analysis.
Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 1.5 million Covid deaths, per an AFP count.
  • The United States announced plans to ease land border crossings with Canada and Mexico after 17 months of pandemic restrictions. (The Washington Post)
  • Costa Rica instituted a vaccine mandate for public workers. (The Tico Times)
  • The WHO recommends a third dose of Sinopharm and Sinovac, two shots available in Latin America, for those over 60. (UN)

Portion of Latin Americans who favor democracy over any other form of government, down from 63% in 2010, per the latest Latinobarometro survey. Uruguay (74%) had the highest level and Honduras (30%) the lowest.


Share who would reject a military government under any circumstances, with Costa Rica (88%) showing the highest rate of rejection and Paraguay (44%) the lowest.


Percent who believe their leaders govern for the benefit of all rather than for a few select groups. El Salvador (50%) had the highest rate and Paraguay (5%) the lowest.

ICYMI from Americas Quarterly: A look at Xiomara Castro and whether Honduras could shift left. The ups and downs of Guillermo Lasso. AQ Podcast: Argentina’s frenzied election.
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