LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Colombia’s Petro proposes big spending plan for farmers


Brazilian Marina Silva, former PT rival, goes all-in with Lula


Cuba Demands ‘Yes’ Vote to New LGBT-Friendly Laws


Mexican and Russian diplomats discuss Mexican peace plan


Mexican companies pledge to maintain prices on staple foods

Sep 23 (Reuters) – The latest from Latin American politics today:

Colombia’s Petro allocates $13.5 billion of land to farmers

BOGOTA — Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro on Friday proposed amending the country’s medium-term fiscal framework to take on about 60 trillion pesos ($13.54 billion) of internal debt to buy land and sell it at prices below the market price to sell to farmers.

Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president, announced the plan amid a spate of land invasions by indigenous people and peasants who had misread his campaign promises on agrarian reform and taken it upon themselves to occupy land.

“Three million hectares,” Petro said in an interview with Caracol Television. “We have to buy them at commercial prices to avoid fighting the big landowners, or they will call it expropriation.”

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Environmentalist Silva, former PT rival, goes all-in with Lula

SAO PAULO – Marina Silva, a former environment minister under ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and once his rival, told Reuters that she has her full support behind his campaign and does not rule out an eventual role in his government if he wins third tenure.

Silva resigned from Lula’s government in 2008, angered by his government’s support for major infrastructure projects in the Amazon, and their reconciliation is a high-profile endorsement to shore up his centre-left coalition ahead of an Oct. 2 vote.

Cuba Demands ‘Yes’ Vote to New LGBT-Friendly Laws

HAVANA – The Cuban government is urging citizens to vote “yes” on Sunday to a new progressive code that would cement laws on gay marriage, same-sex couple adoption and women’s rights.

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However, some analysts argue that many would vote in protest or out of loyalty to the government, which, weighed down by US sanctions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is struggling to provide its population with enough food, medicine, fuel and electricity take care of.

Although referenda have passed with large majorities in the past, Sunday’s vote will be the first of its kind since mobile internet was legalized in 2018, allowing dissent to spread further.

Mexican and Russian diplomats discuss AMLO’s peace plan for Ukraine

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday he met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss a Mexican peace plan for the Ukraine conflict, which he presented to the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Ebrard said on Twitter they had a “warm conversation” and also shared Mexico’s ideas for the future of the UN Security Council.

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Earlier this month, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, said the plan includes creating a “conciliation committee” that includes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis.

Mexican companies pledge to maintain prices on staple foods

MEXICO CITY — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he has reached an agreement with companies to keep prices of basic necessities unchanged as annual inflation in Latin America’s second largest economy is near 9%.

Lopez Obrador said it was a unanimous decision with producers and traders of corn, chicken, eggs and beef, without confirming the final number of companies.

He said he would announce new measures to fight inflation on October 3 but ruled out unilateral price controls on food. (Compiled by Sarah Morland and Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Diane Craft and Alistair Bell)

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