Uruguay

While there have been some major legislative advances for LGBTI rights in Latin America, there is still much to be done, writes Erin Fiorini.

The renowned artist has died aged 78. A beloved singer-songwriter, Viglietti led a generation of great Uruguayan musicians and performers who emerged in the 1960s in creating a unique sound for the era. 

Along with musicians such as Alfredo Zitarrosa and Los Olimarenos, he introduced what became known as the “popular Uruguayan song”. This was linked to the widely popular “Nueva Cancion” — both a genre and a movement. 

Throughout his life, Viglietti remained committed to several causes. In 1972, the singer was jailed for opposing military rule in Uruguay.

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Environmentalists from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay marched on August 5 in the department of Paysandu, Uruguay, to protest against oil and gas exploration being carried out by Australian company Petrel Energy. The company’s exploratory works, and potential exploitation, threaten the integrity of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest deposits of groundwater.

Since 2013, Petrel Energy has been the majority shareholder in the US company, Shues

Internationally awarded Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano died on April 13 of lung cancer at age 75 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

Born September 3, 1940, Galeano was author of about 35 books, including 1971’s Open Veins of Latin America, which details how Western powers have exploited Latin America and its resources for centuries. It became a bestseller overnight after the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez handed the book a Barack Obama during the fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.

Since the start of the year, many newspapers have dedicated article after article to predictions of a looming demise of South America's so-called “Pink Tide”

The term “Pink Tide” is used to refer to the wave of left-of-centre governments elected in South America in recent years.

Several such governments have recently been up for re-election. Pollsters and commentators alike argued that for many, their time in government was up.

Instead, on October 26, Brazilians re-elected Dilma Rousseff as president, ushering in a fourth consecutive Workers’ Party administration.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has decided to cancel his visit to Israel, where he had planned meetings with government officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, teleSUR English said on August 6.

Correa cancelled the visit in protest against the atrocities being committed by Israeli forces against the people of Gaza.

Uruguay took a major step on July 31 towards becoming the first country in the world to put its government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry.

President Jose Mujica's Broad Front coalition narrowly squeezed the measure through the lower house of Congress after 13 hours of debate, with all 50 government deputies overriding the 46 opposition MPs present. The measure will now go to the senate, where it is expected to pass.

With a vote of 71-21, the Uruguayan House of Representatives approved same-sex marriage on April 10. With the Senate’s approval and the president’s promise to sign it, Uruguay became the 12th country to legalise same-sex marriage. Seven days later, on April 17, New Zealand became the 13th when its parliament voted 77-44 to legalise same-sex marriage.

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