Pope Francis and Nicolas Maduro

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Latin American News: Divine Intervention and Ex-President Corruption Probes

Brazil border town feels strain of Venezuela crisis. | Al Jazeera English

Venezuela Agrees to Divine Intervention

Following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s meeting with Pope Francis, the governing party and its opposition have agreed to mediation from the Vatican.

This agreement resulted in the National Assembly postponing a debate and trial over whether Maduro could be impeached. Opposition leaders also called off a nationwide march that was planned.

“President Nicolas Maduro is operating outside of the constitution and the National Assembly needs to charge him and preserve our country,” said Freddy Guevara, one of the opposition leaders in the Assembly prior to the agreement. “We should convoke a nationwide protest and march on the national palace.”

Maduro cancelled efforts for a recall vote, after millions of Venezuelans signed petitions to have him removed from office. The president has ordered that this recall is not allowed, against constitutional law. 

Venezuela is experiencing an economic depression, as it navigates through hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.

 

Wave of Corruption Prosecutions

Argentinean Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Salvadoran Antonio Saca are the latest former presidents to make headlines in a wave for former presidents who are facing prosecution on corruption charges throughout Latin America.

Prosecutors say Fernandez laundered money for at least one influential business leader who supported her party. A judge froze her assets this summer to block her from hiding these financial dealings and to keep her from shipping funds out of the country.
Hundreds of Fernandez supporters clashed with police outside of the courthouse in a bout of support for the former president. Fernandez has asked for the charges to be dismissed.

President Saca of El Salvador taped during a meeting with President Bush in 2007. | The Book Archive

Prosecutors in El Salvador arrested former president Antonio Saca this week, after searching through his home and businesses. Saca, whose term ended seven years ago, is accused of embezzling more than $240 million when he ran the country.

Former president Mauricio Funes fled the country this summer after facing a corruption probe as well. He was granted asylum in Nicaragua.

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