Americas This Week: March 6, 2021

March 6, 2021

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in the Americas, usually posted on Saturdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

El Alto, Bolivia’s second-largest city and the site of a showdown between former president Evo Morales and his former ally, Eva Copa, who is running for mayor against a candidate personally chosen by Morales. UPDATE: Eva won. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Aurimaz (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Bolivia Local Elections: March 7, 2021

Bolivia holds regional and municipal elections on March 7, 2021. A total of more than 2,600 positions will be on the ballot. These follow a rerun of the 2019 annulled general elections that took place on October 18, 2020 in which socialist Luis Arce won the presidency. Leftist firebrand Evo Morales has returned to the country to lead his party, although apparently not every member of his party loves himMore

Reuters (March 7, 2021): Bolivian left faces setback in local elections: exit polls

Al Jazeera (March 7, 2021): Bolivians vote in local, regional polls amid COVID-19 concerns

Monica Machicao and Daniel Ramos, Reuters (March 4, 2021): Evo vs Eva: In Bolivian highlands, a new political generation emerges

Merritt Samuel, International Republican Institute (March 3, 2021): Bolivia’s Subnational Elections: Three Things to Watch

Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Elections: March 12, 2021 and Possible Snap Federal Elections

Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories all hold provincial and municipal elections at different times. Newfoundland and Labrador’s embattled former Liberal leader and premier Dwight Ball announced his resignation as premier in February 2020, sparking a need for new elections. Given the cancellation of in-person voting due to COVID and a delay, and controversy over the current caretaker premier’s economic recovery plan, the whole thing has been described as strange

Meanwhile, because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leads a minority government, snap federal elections are always a possibility. More


Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press/Global News Canada (March 2, 2021): House of Commons committee urges Trudeau not to call election amid COVID-19

Tom Blackwell, Windsor Star (March 2, 2021): Elections Canada orders 240,000 see-through masks in preparation for possible pandemic vote

J.J. McCullough, Washington Post (March 2, 2021): Opinion: Here’s the simple way Canada could work without a governor general

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Canadian Press (March 6, 2021): Ballot counting has begun in Newfoundland and Labrador’s chaotic pandemic election

CBC News (March 1, 2021): Breaking down ballot-counting: Why it could be April before we know N.L.’s election results

Peru General Elections: April 11, 2021

Peru has scheduled general elections for April 11, 2021. These elections are coming on the heels of snap legislative elections that took place on January 26, 2020, and in the context of political turmoil – including the impeachment of President Martín Vizcarra and the subsequent “week of three presidents” – and an economic crisis brought on by COVID-19. More

Lucien Chauvin, Catholic News Service (March 2, 2021): Debate on euthanasia makes its way into Peru’s presidential campaign

Ecuador Presidential Runoff: April 11, 2021

Ecuador holds a presidential runoff on April 11, 2021. Left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, a protege of former president Rafael Correa (himself barred from running after being convicted of corruption) will face conservative Guillermo Lasso, who edged out indigenous activist Yaku Pérez for a spot in the runoff. More

Daniel Raisbeck, Reason (March 8, 2021): How a Socialist Candidate Plans To Destroy Ecuador’s Currency

Gideon Long, Financial Times (March 7, 2021): Ecuador’s Yaku Pérez: ‘A triumph even if we don’t get to the second round’

Chile Local and Regional Elections: April 11, 2021 and Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 21, 2021

Chile has scheduled local and regional elections for April 11, 2021. Voters will elect governors as well as mayors and local councils throughout the country. After that, presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for November 21, 2021. The upcoming elections in Chile are taking place in the context of a year of protests and riots, including violent looting, arson, and vandalism. Furthermore, an intense debate over a constitutional referendum continues, following a referendum in which Chileans voted to write a new constitution. More

The Economist (March 6, 2021): A new constitution could give indigenous Chileans more say

Karina Nohales and Alondra Carrillo, Jacobin (March 3, 2021): The Tide of Feminist Organizing Is Rising in Chile

Valentina Fuentes and Matthew Malinowski, Bloomberg (March 2, 2021): Chile’s New Constitution Likely to Be Agreed Upon by Moderates

Evan Ellis, Global Americans (March 2, 2021): Chinese advances in Chile

Mexico Legislative Elections: June 6, 2021

Mexico plans to hold midterm legislative elections on June 6, 2021. These elections will be a key test for left-wing populist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador (frequently called AMLO) ahead of the 2024 presidential election. More

Lizbeth Diaz, Reuters (March 6, 2021): Uptick in crimes against Mexican politicians points toward violent midterm election

María Verza, AP (March 5, 2021): Mexico president’s support of tarnished pol tears at party

AP (March 4, 2021): Mexico to raise security for candidates ahead of elections

Carmen Morán Breña, El País (March 4, 2021): In Mexico, feminism knocks furiously at the doors of the presidential palace

Maria Abi-Habib and Natalie Kitroeff, New York Times (March 2, 2021): Rape Allegations Divide Mexico’s Governing Party

Nicaragua General Elections: November 7, 2021

Nicaragua holds general elections on November 7, 2021. President Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 20 years, will seek another term, and under his rule, Nicaragua has become increasingly authoritarian, with rule of law and fundamental freedoms under assault.

Americas Quarterly (March 4, 2021): Another 5 Years for Daniel Ortega?

Haiti Legislative Elections (long overdue) and Presidential Election: Due in November 2021 (delays possible)

Haiti is long overdue to hold legislative elections, and also has a presidential election due later this year. However, the country is currently in a political crisis related to allegations of fraud followed Haiti’s presidential 2015 election. The international community, including the United States government, has called on Haiti’s officials to set a date for elections and end the crisis. More

Sandra Lemaire, Renan Toussaint, and Matiado Vilme, VOA (March 8, 2021): Haiti’s Doctors, Lawyers Join Pro-Democracy, Anti-Kidnapping Protest

Amelia Cheatham and Sabine Baumgartner, Council on Foreign Relations (March 3, 2021): Haiti’s Protests: Images Reflect Latest Power Struggle

Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph, Miami Herald (March 2, 2021): Haiti’s President Moïse is working to leave the country stronger, more stable | Opinion

Tim Padgett, WLRN Miami (March 2, 2021 – audio): Moïse Refusal to Exit Locks Haiti – And Haiti’s Diaspora – In Constitutional Crisis

Past Americas Elections

Belize Municipal Elections: March 3, 2021

Belize held municipal elections on March 3. The center-left PUP was the biggest winner of yesterday’s municipal elections, following victory in last November’s parliamentary polls after three terms in opposition. Also, Sharon Palacio will be the first female mayor of the capital, Belmopan. More

Aaron Humes, Breaking Belize News (March 4, 2021): People’s United Party gain wide majority in municipal elections, win by-election

El Salvador Legislative and Local Elections: February 28, 2021

El Salvador held legislative and local elections on February 28, 2021. Allies of populist president Nayib Bukele won in a landslide, allowing him to consolidate his hold on the country with a legislative majority. Critics note growing authoritarianism. More

Frida Ghitis, World Politics Review (March 4, 2021): El Salvador’s Election Just Complicated Biden’s Migrant Plan

Will Freeman and Lucas Perelló, Foreign Policy (March 2, 2021): In El Salvador, Broken Promises Have Forced the Establishment Out

Venezuela Legislative Elections: December 6, 2020

Venezuela held legislative elections on December 6, 2020, despite members of the opposition and international community calling for a delay in order to ensure credible, fair elections. These elections took place in the context of ongoing politicalconstitutional, and humanitarian crises have been going on for years. More

Ricardo Hausmann and José Ramon Morales-Arilla, Project Syndicate (March 4, 2021): What Should Biden Do About Venezuela?

Al Jazeera (March 3, 2021): Venezuela’s Guaido, US top diplomat discuss ‘return to democracy’

Reuters (March 3, 2021): Venezuela’s Guaido calls for opposition input into new electoral body

Region-Wide News and Analysis

Patricio Navia and Lucas Perelló, Americas Quarterly (March 1, 2021): It’s Not Just El Salvador. Democracies Are Weakening Across Central America.

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