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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
In brief
Latinamerica Press
9/30/2015
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Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela.

Polls released in Argentina in mid-September related to the general elections of Oct. 25 indicate that the presidential candidate Daniel Scioli, from the governing party Frente para la Victoria (Front for Victory), would win by a difference of 11 points to his opponent Mauricio Macri, from the movement Cambiemos (Let’s Change). Scioli has 41 percent of expected votes, while Macri has 30 percent. If this margin is reflected on voting day, Scioli would win the presidency in the first round. According to Argentina’s electoral law, there could be a second electoral round on Nov. 22 if neither candidate gets more than 45 percent of valid votes, or more than 40 percent of the valid votes with a difference of less than 10 percentage points with respect to the candidate in second place. In addition to voting for president and vice president, 130 of 257 representatives and 24 of 72 senators will be elected.
 
The International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) declared on Sept. 23 that it has jurisdiction to review the complaint Bolivia filed in 2013 against Chile to recover the access to the sea lost during the Pacific War in the late 19th century. According to Chile, the issue was resolved in 1904 with the peace treaty signed with Bolivia. However, the ICJ considered that the dispute has not been resolved and rejected by a vote of 14-2 the preliminary objection to its jurisdiction in this case that Chile presented. Bolivian President Evo Morales welcomed the decision of the ICJ saying “we knew that sooner or later justice would be done,” while Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said that “Bolivia has not won anything, and this declaration [of the ICJ] does not affect our territorial integrity. “
 
In Costa Rica in early September, hundreds of tourists prevented the Olive Ridley sea turtles from laying their eggs on the beach of Ostional, on the Pacific coast. Tourists scared off the turtles, who returned to the sea without nesting. Individuals in charge of the protection of this vulnerable species explained that the nesting season, between August and October, coincides with the rainy season in the country, when the beaches are empty. However, the lack of rainfall caused by El Niño attracted beachgoers. The turtles are expected to return on Oct. 4, and the authorities have planned to prevent people from entering nesting areas.
 
Sept. 23 marked two years since the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court’s ruling that arbitrarily and retroactively deprived thousands of people of Haitian descent of having Dominican citizenship. In May 2014, the Dominican Congress approved law 169-14 that allowed Haitian people who were stripped of their Dominican nationality to register as immigrant aliens in the process of nationalization by the June 17, 2015 deadline. Since then, about 80,000 people who did not fulfill the regularization plan have been repatriated to Haiti. Amnesty International called on the Dominican authorities to “sincerely assess the impact on the lives of countless people of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic”.
 
On Sept. 7, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court) ordered the government of Venezuela to restore the signal of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV). The station was closed in May 2007 when the government refused to renew its open-signal broadcasting license, accusing RCTV of inciting a failed coup in 2002 against then-President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013). Since then, RCTV aired through cable. However, new provisions in 2010 forced cable companies to remove the RCTV signal. On Sept. 10, the Venezuelan Supreme Court declared that the I/A Court’s ruling is “unenforceable”, adding that the I/A Court has no jurisdiction to rule on the renewal of the license, since any decision on the matter rests primarily on Venezuelan domestic law which in no case has been previously exhausted.”


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