April 24, 2007
The political war in Ecuador has shifted back in favor of the opposition, to the consternation of President Rafael Correa. The constitutional court has ruled that 57 members of congress should be reinstated, holding that their removal by a lower court last month was unconstitutional. (Wasn't that obvious?) The referendum on Correa's proposed constitutional assembly passed by a large margin, and he thought he would be running the political scene, like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Correa's argument that the 57 legislators were "incompetent" shows what little respect he has for opposing points of view; he his pushing the country in a very dangerous direction, and anything is possible. The political establishment (and the country's legal institutions) are not dead yet. See BBC.
Lawmakers in Mexico City have voted to legalize abortion, after a very emotional debate. See BBC. A week ago, the Washington Post had an in-depth story about the proposed law that would make abortion freely available. Since Mexico has a more secular tradition than most other Latin American countries, this wasn't a huge surprise, but it sparked a sharp controversy, nonetheless. As used to be the case in the United States, many poor women resort to amateur hack "doctors" to get cheap abortions, and often the procedures are botched.
I recently learned that there is a new Web page for Bolita Ecolodge, run by Ron and Val Engel, a nice couple Jacqueline and I met in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica, back in 2005. Their little resort for nature lovers is situated at the edge of Corcovado National Park, where we saw Scarlet macaws, Spider monkeys, Anteaters, and other exotic creatures.