Americas This Week: April 17, 2021

April 17, 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.

The main plaza in Zihuatanejo, in Mexico’s Guerero state. Guerero one of the Mexican states due to hold a gubernatorial election in June alongside legislative elections. Photo credit: Wikimedia/AlejandroLinaresGarcia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Peru Presidential Runoff: June 6, 2021

Peru held 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.

The presidential runoff will pit socialist Pedro Castillo against right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in prison for various crimes (Keiko is also currently facing criminal charges). Castillo came out of nowhere to win the first round. However, none of the 18 candidates received more votes than the number of blank ballots cast – a sign of voters’ deep frustration.  More

Washington Post (April 18, 2021): Opinion: Thanks to covid and corruption, Peru’s voters face a no-win situation

Sam Jones, The Guardian (April 18, 2021): Keiko Fujimori would be ‘lesser of two evils’ as Peru president, says Nobel prize author

Global Americans (April 16, 2021): Lasso triumphs in Ecuador; Peru prepares for a left-right showdown

Michael Stott, Financial Times (April 15, 2021): Populism’s ride to victory in Peru spells trouble for Latin America

Jennifer Ann Thomas, Reuters (April 15, 2021): Peru’s first lesbian lawmaker vows ‘strong battle’ to boost LGBT+ rights

Kejal Vyas and Ryan Dube, Wall Street Journal (April 13, 2021): Peru Election Pits Fan of Castro Against Authoritarian Ex-Leader’s Daughter

Reuters (April 12, 2021): Socialist surge in election unsettles Peru’s financial markets

Mexico Legislative and Gubernatorial 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. In addition, 15 of Mexico’s 31 states will hold gubernatorial elections. More

Jacqueline Peschard, Americas Quarterly (April 14, 2021): AMLO and Mexico’s Most Important Electoral Body Are on a Collision Course

Reuters (April 14, 2021): Mexican Netflix star, street vendor ‘Lady Tacos’ turns to politics for LGBT, workers’ rights

Niki Blanck, World Politics Review (April 13, 2021): AMLO’s Young Supporters Are Having Buyer’s Remorse

Mexico News Daily (April 12, 2021): Disqualified candidate threatens to prevent elections from taking place in Guerrero

Saint Lucia Parliamentary Elections: By June 2021

Saint Lucia, a democracy with competitive elections and regular transfers of power, is due to hold parliamentary elections by June 2021. More

Earl Bousquet, The Voice Saint Lucia (April 17, 2021): Election Horses Off! — Ready, Set, Budget…

Haiti Parliamentary Elections: September 19, 2021 and Presidential Election: Due in November 2021 (delays possible)

Haiti plans to hold long-overdue legislative elections on September 19, 2021, 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

Evens Sanon, AP (April 14, 2021): Haiti prime minister resigns amid violence, political strife

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald (April 14, 2021): Haiti’s prime minister resigns as crime wave rocks country amid deepening turmoil

Sandra Lemaire, VOA (April 14, 2021): US Looks Forward to Cooperating With Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister

Argentina Midterm Legislative Elections: October 24, 2021

Argentina is due to hold midterm legislative elections on October 24, 2021. Furthermore, although most of Argentina’s 23 provinces hold elections at the same time as the presidential election, a few are due to hold elections in 2021. These elections are happening in the context of an economic crisis, which the leftist government and COVID-19 have exacerbated. More

Rosario Ayerdi, Buenos Aires Times (April 17, 2021): Kirchnerite leaders escalate rhetoric against ‘opposition directed by Macri’

Brendan O’Boyle, Americas Quarterly (April 15, 2021): The Neuroscientist Offering a Fresh Diagnosis for Argentina

Jorgelina Do Rosario, Bloomberg (April 15, 2021): Argentina’s Schools Turn Into Political Battleground After Curbs

AFP (April 14, 2021): Argentine VP cleared in one of eight fraud cases

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. Former president Lula da Silva, a left-wing firebrand, was recently cleared of corruption charges, and could challenge Bolsonaro. The country remains deeply polarized between right and left, but some Brazilians are searching for an alternative candidate who could turn the political temperature down. More

The Rio Times (April 16, 2021): Lula willing to run against Bolsonaro in 2022 presidential election

AFP (April 15, 2021): Brazil’s supreme court upholds decision annulling Lula conviction

Past Americas Elections

Canada, Yukon Territorial Election: April 12, 2021 and Possible Snap Federal Elections

Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories all hold provincial and municipal elections at different times. Yukon held territorial elections on April 12, following a rather turbulent Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election in March. Moreover, snap federal elections are possible if the opposition manages to oust PM Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government in a vote of no confidence.


Sean Boynton, Global News Canada (April 18, 2021): Majority of Canadians say election during COVID-19 would be unsafe, unfair: poll

Lee Berthiaume, The Globe and Mail (April 18, 2021): Federal budget likely to trigger political battles, but not an election


The Canadian Press (April 15, 2021): Official count confirms tie in Yukon election, application filed for judicial recount

Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press (April 13, 2021): What next after Yukon election ends in tie? It could come down to drawing lots

Paul Tukker, CBC News (April 12, 2021): CBC projects minority government in Yukon election, winner too close to call

Newfoundland and Labrador

Greg Mercer, The Globe and Mail (April 12, 2021): NDP launches legal challenge over Newfoundland election

Ecuador Presidential Runoff: April 11, 2021

Ecuador held a presidential runoff on April 11, 2021. Conservative Guillermo Lasso, who edged out indigenous activist Yaku Pérez for a spot in the runoff, surprised many by decisively defeating left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, a protege of former president Rafael Correa (himself barred from running after being convicted of corruption). More

Simeon Tegel, World Politics Review (April 16, 2021): With a New President, Ecuador Has a Chance to Heal

Will Freeman, Foreign Policy (April 15, 2021): Ecuador Just Voted Against Populism, but Its Democracy Is Far from Healthy 

Oliver Stuenkel, Carnegie Endowment (April 15, 2021): Five Things Ecuador’s Election Shows About Latin American Politics

Bolivia Local Election Runoffs: April 11, 2021

Bolivia held regional and municipal elections on March 7, 2021, and some races, including four gubernatorial races, held runoffs on April 11. 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. These elections happened amid political tension over the arrest of former interim president Jeanine Anez. More

MercoPress (April 13, 2021): Major setback for Evo’s party: none of its candidates win governors’ elections in Bolivia

The Rio Times (April 14, 2021): Jeanine Áñez completes one month in prison; prosecutors announce further proceedings against her

Region-wide Analysis

Richard E. Feinberg and Benjamin N. Gedan, World Politics Review (April 12, 2021): Latin America’s Surprisingly Resilient Democracies

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