Scroll to the top

{{ subpage.title }}

Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa looks on as his wife Lavinia Valbonesi (not pictured) takes part in a referendum that asks voters to support mostly security-related questions to fight rising violence, in Guayaquil, Ecuador April 21, 2024.

REUTERS/Santiago Arcos

Ecuador votes to get tough on drugs

Ecuadorians showed overwhelming support for a government crackdown on drug-related violence in referendums this weekend in what could become a regional trend. Quito won support for joint police-military patrols, extradition of wanted criminals, tighter gun control, and tougher punishments for murder and drug trafficking, among other measures.

Read moreShow less

FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends to a military event in Caracas, Venezuela August 4, 2018.

Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Is Maduro behind a murder in Chile?

On Sunday, Chilean prosecutors said they had arrested a suspect in the murder of Ronald Ojeda, a 32-year-old Venezuelan ex-lieutenant and vocal critic of the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who was found dead in Santiago on Friday. Authorities said the lack of ransom demands and Ojeda's political history means he may have been abducted and killed by Venezuelan agents.

Ojeda had fled Caracas for Santiago in 2017, where he lived as a political refugee. He was charged with treason by the Venezuelan government in January, just weeks before he was abducted by four armed men on Feb. 21. His body was found encased in cement in a suitcase following a nine-day search. The detained suspect is a 17-year-old Venezuelan national.

Read moreShow less

FILE PHOTO: A volunteer stirring food to be distributed to people in Omdurman, Sudan, September 3, 2023.

REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo

Hard Numbers: Crisis deepens in Sudan, Infernos rage in Chile, Moon is shrinking, Japan welcomes digital nomads, NJ scores World Cup final, Swift's lucky numbers

8,000,000: The United Nations reported this week that 10 months of violent conflict in Sudan have displaced nearly 8 million people and caused at least 12,000 deaths. The war between the rebel Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Army has left nearly half of Sudan's population in need of aid and the International Criminal Court investigating allegations of war crimes.

112: At least 112 people are dead and 190 missing in wildfires consuming the central regions of Chile, including the historic port city of Valparaiso. Arson is suspected to have ignited the blaze that burned over 106,255 acres during the intense heatwave sweeping South America.

150: Over millions of years, the moon has shrunk by 150 feet in diameter – and now, scientists are growing concerned. The shrinking, caused by the cooling of the moon's molten core, has led to the formation of thrust faults and “moonquakes” that could pose risks to future lunar missions, notably at its south pole.

10,000,000: If you’ve got a yen to work in Japan, this is your lucky day. To boost tourism, the country will be offering a “specified activities” visa to digital nomads from 49 countries and territories, including the self-employed. This will allow them to work remotely and stay for up to six months as long as they earn an annual income of 10 million yen, or $68,300. The program is expected to start in late March.

39: FIFA World Cup released the schedule and locations of games for the 2026 tournament, which will be played in Mexico, the US, and Canada. At 39 days, it will be the longest World Cup in history, culminating with a final to be played in “New York/New Jersey” (which means MetLife stadium in … New Jersey). Among other curiosities, close observers noted that there’s a chance of a knockout round match between the US and England on July 4 in Philadelphia. Get your 1776 on …

4: Last night, Taylor Swift became the first artist to win four Grammy awards for album of the year with "Midnights." The pop star, who now has 14 statues on the mantle, thanked her fans by announcing that her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” will drop on April 19. And for those wondering where she will be on Feb. 11, the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, tweeted on Friday that the singing superstar can “comfortably” get from her concert in Tokyo on Saturday to Las Vegas on Sunday in time to see her “guy on the Chiefs” play in the Super Bowl.

A group of demonstrators burns an image of the Prime Minister of Israel, BENJAMÍN NETANYAHU, during a protest in front of the Israel Embassy in Santiago, Chile, for his military actions in Gaza.

Joshua Arguello/NurPhoto via Reuters

South American countries recall Israel envoys over Gaza

Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors to Israel, and Bolivia severed relations with the country entirely in reaction to the scorched-earth tactics used by Israeli forces in Gaza. All three governments fall under a left-wing tradition in Latin America that is heavily pro-Palestinian.

Read moreShow less

Men stand near bunches of bananas at Yopougon market


Hard Numbers: Britain’s bananas, Houthis' drones, Chile’s Constitution, Haitians’ exodus, Hong Kong’s democrats, Kenya’s visa-free approach

11.5: African plantations’ 11.5% share of the UK banana market could be in peril as London — freed from its former EU trade policy obligations — looks to lower tariffs even further on Latin American producers who already supply two-thirds of Britain’s bananas. The move, meant to contain banana costs amid high inflation, could put some 80,000 jobs in Africa at risk. Side note: A banana is actually a berry, and a raspberry is NOT actually a berry. We don’t make the rules, we just report them.

Read moreShow less

A demonstrator holds up a model depicting a Chilean constitution book that reads 'The new Kastitucion' in a play on the word 'Constitution' and the name of far right-wing politician Jose Antonio Kast, while protesting against ongoing Constitutional process lead by right-wing parties, in Santiago, Chile, October 3, 2023.

REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Chile’s constitutional efforts look doomed, again

Chile is in the tortuous process of drafting a new constitution to replace one drafted by its former military dictator. A new draft reads like a partisan wishlist – just like the left-leaning document voters rejected last year – but this time the far-right holds the pen.

Read moreShow less

Two Chilean men yell slogans against former leader Gen. Augusto Pinochet while holding onto pictures of people allegedly disappeared during the dictatorship.


Hard Numbers: Chile’s Pinochet reckoning, Japan’s beefed up defense budget, US’ Haiti evacuation warning, lemonade for Lahaina, US Capitol riot conviction

1,469: Chilean President Gabriel Boric has enacted a national search plan to find the remains of 1,469 people who disappeared (and became known as desaparecidos) during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. This comes as the country marks 50 years since the coup that led to Pinochet’s 16-year dictatorship. So far, the remains of just 307 bodies have been found.

Read moreShow less

A woman holds a sign with the phrase "Don't be afraid of change" following the constitutional referendum in Santiago de Chile.

Claudio Abarca Sandoval via Reuters Connect

Second time the charm for new Chilean constitution?

Chileans will try again this year to agree on a new constitution to replace the one drafted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. A substantial share of the population has long wanted to jettison the Pinochet-era charter – though it has undergone significant changes over the years – and the issue became a rallying cry for the massive demonstrations that rocked the country in 2019. Yet the first attempt to do so failed when voters decisively rejected in last September’s referendum a new draft that was seen by many as moving the country too far to the left.

As the Congress-appointed expert committee prepares to start work on a new version on March 6, we asked Eurasia Group expert Luciano Sigalov what to expect from Chile’s second attempt to rewrite its constitution.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily