US to Send Delegation to Uruguayan Presidential Inaguation

President Donald Trump announced on Friday, February 21, that a delegation of United States officials will attend the inauguration of Uruguay’s next president, Luis Lacalle Pou.

Pou is a longtime politician having served in the Chamber of Representatives from 2000 to 2015 and the Senate from 2105 to 2019.

Pou won a runoff election in November. He narrowly defeated Daniel Martinez with 50.8% of the popular vote.

The United States will send Environmental Protection Agency Administer Andrew Wheeler, Ambassador Kenneth George, National Security Council Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mauricio Claver-Carone, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State Michael Kozak.

Evo Morales Prevented from Running for Senate

The Tribunal Supremo Electoral, the country’s highest electoral court, announced on Thursday, February 20, that former President Evo Morales is not qualified to run for the Senate in the upcoming elections.

In their official statement, the court ruled that Morales and two other candidates did not meet the residency requirements.

According to Reuters, Morales is currently residing in Argentina.

Morales fled Bolivia in November after massive protests following the October presidential elections, which many claimed were tainted by fraud.

Mexican Corn Farmers Threatened by Climate Change

Photo: AGMEfoto / Flickr / February 5, 2011 / Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Although climate change is a global phenomenon, the severity of its effects will vary across the globe. In Tehuacán, a municipality in the Mexican state of Puebla, the effects of climate change are visible in the fields.

According to Reuters, the total area used to grow corn has dropped by almost a fifth since 2015. Lack of rain in the summer months appears to be the primary cause of this decline.

Some villagers see a conspiracy in  the lack of rain. They claim that planes drop silver iodide to disperse storm clouds in order to support egg laying at nearby poultry farms.

However, climate change is not the only threat to the farmers in Tehuacán.

Effects of free trade

The effects of climate change on Mexico’s corn farmers exacerbates an already established downward trend in the industry. Since the passage of NAFTA in the 1990s, Mexican farmers have had to compete directly with American farmers, who employ greater mechanization and improved seeds.

Currently, Mexico produces 3.8 tons of corn per hectare compared to 9.8 tons per hectare in the US.

Trade data from the United Nations International Trade Statistics Database show the effects over the last two decades.

In 2018, Mexico imported $3.25 billion in corn (commodity code 1005) from the United States and an additional $1.05 million from all other countries.

However, in the same year, corn exports from Mexico were a mere $18.9 million to the United States and $236 million to all other countries.

The effects of climate change are expected to worsen unless drastic changes are put in place to cap global greenhouse gas emissions. However, conspiracy theories like those held by some villagers in Tehuacán and sceptical world leaders like US President Donald Trump, conditions are expected to get much worse for the corn farmers in central Mexico before sufficient actions against climate change are made.