Americas This Week: March 20, 2021

March 20, 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.

A protest in Lima, Peru on November 12, 2020 calling for the removal of Manuel Merino from the presidency. Merino was in office for only five days. Peru heads to the polls on April 11 amid a turbulent political climate. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Johnattan Rupire (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

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

Holly K. Sonneland, AS/COA (March 18, 2021): Explainer: Peru’s 2021 General Elections

Reuters (March 18, 2021): Celibacy, sackcloths: Could Peru soon have an Opus Dei, ultra-conservative president?

Reuters (March 16, 2021): In Peru, populist front-runner Yonhy Lescano wants to spread mining wealth

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

Nick Giurleo, Foreign Brief (March 21, 2021): Ecuador presidential candidates to face off in debate

Vincent Ricci, Al Jazeera (March 16, 2021): How youth, women could decide Ecuador’s next president

Reuters (March 16, 2021): Ecuador presidential candidates launch campaign for April 11 runoff

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

Christopher Torchia, AP (March 17, 2021): The End Approaches for Chile’s Military-Era Constitution

IANS (March 15, 2021): Chile extends April elections

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

Enrique Krauze, New York Times (March 15, 2021): Mexico’s president may be just months away from gaining total control

Paraguay Municipal Elections: October 2021

Paraguay is due to hold local elections in October 2021.

Pedro Servín, AP (March 17, 2021): Paraguay’s president survives impeachment bid over pandemic

Guyana Local Elections: Due in 2021

Guyana is on the cusp of potentially seismic economic changes due to the discovery of oil, which is creating political turmoil. The country held snap legislative elections in 2020, and local elections are due in 2021.

Denis Chabrol, Demerara Waves (March 19, 2021): EU election observers: “What happened last year should not happen again”; “one clear complete electoral law” needed

Starbroek News (March 17, 2021): GECOM still deliberating on list for local gov’t elections

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

AP (March 17, 2021): Disgruntled Haiti police raid stations, free jailed comrades

Sandra Lemaire, VOA (March 15, 2021): Biden administration under pressure to drop support for Haiti elections

Andre Paultre, Reuters (March 15, 2021): Haitians barricade streets to protest insecurity after gang murders of police

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald (March 15, 2021): As Haiti plunges deeper into turmoil, a social media rallying cry emerges: #FreeHaiti

Brazil Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022

Brazil holds general elections in October 2022. Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist firebrand president, is up for re-election. The country remains deeply polarized between right and left. More

Ana Ionova, Christian Science Monitor (March 19, 2021): Brazil’s Lula cleared to run again: Can he write a new chapter?

CNN (March 17, 2021 – video): Former Brazilian President on whether he’ll run for election

Past Americas Elections

Curaçao Parliamentary Elections: March 19, 2021

Curaçao held parliamentary elections on March 19, 2021. Curaçao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has full autonomy over internal affairs, while the Dutch government handles foreign and defense policy, although the Netherlands periodically intervenes in Curaçao’s politics. More

Curacao Chronicle (March 20, 2021): A major shift in Curaçao politics: MFK biggest party

Nick Ottens, Atlantic Sentinel (March 20, 2021): Curaçao Election Result Will Set Off Alarm Bells in Netherlands

Sebastiaan Vranken, Foreign Brief (March 19, 2021): Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao to begin parliamentary elections

Honduras Primaries: March 14, 2021, followed by General Elections: November 2021

Honduras holds presidential and legislative elections in November, following the March 14 primaries. These elections are taking place in the context of polarization and a crisis of legitimacy sparked in part by increasing authoritarianism. The 2017 elections were turbulent, with at least 30 people dying in protests over allegations of fraud, and many believe that there is potential for fraud in the upcoming elections. More

The Economist (March 20, 2021): A court case rocks the president of Honduras

James Fredrick, NPR (March 18, 2021): With Honduras’ Narco Allegations, Pressure Rises To Sanction Its Leader

Gustavo Palencia, Reuters (March 14, 2021): Hondurans Vote in Primary Elections Clouded by Corruption Allegations

Marlon González and Christopher Sherman, AP (March 14, 2021): Hondurans await results in primary elections

Bolivia Local Elections: March 7, 2021

Bolivia held regional and municipal elections on March 7, 2021. 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 him. Opposition candidates won the mayoral elections in 8 out of 10 of Bolivia’s biggest cities. More

Editorial Board, Washington Post (March 18, 2021): Opinion: The Bolivian government is on a lawless course. Its democracy must be preserved.

Frida Ghitis, World Politics Review (March 18, 2021): Arce’s promise of ‘unity’ rings hollow in Bolivia

Raúl Peñaranda U., Americas Quarterly (March 16, 2021): Luis Arce’s broken promise in bolivia

Danny Ramos, Monica Machicao, Reuters (March 14, 2021): Bolivian ex-president Anez begins jail term as rights groups slam ‘coup’ probe

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

Al Jazeera (March 20, 2021): Allies of El Salvador’s Bukele win absolute majority in Congress

José Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch (March 17, 2021): Bukele’s legislative victory threatens press freedom in El Salvador

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

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (March 18, 2021): The EU and Venezuela: More Bad Advice: The “European Democracy Hub” urges “sidelining” democracy in Venezuela

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