Networked Notes - 12 April 2016

By Southern Pulse Staff & Network

Keiko Fujimori’s campaign was prepared and eager to take on Veronica Mendoza in a second round battle. Mendoza’s candidacy would have allowed Fujimori to use the same playbook that helped Garcia to defeat Humala in 2006, with a network of activists both in Peru and abroad already starting to link her to Venezuela’s PSUV and Hugo Chavez. Whether true or not, Mendoza’s candidacy in the second round would have shifted the narrative of the election.

Instead, with Pedro Pablo Kuczynski coming in second place, Fujimori now faces the campaign that she least wants, a referendum on her last name. Kuczynski is a boring candidate who inspires little enthusiasm either for or against.

Mendoza and her supporters, however, still play an important role. Most of Mendoza's voters are not going to actively want to vote for Kuczynski and may very well spoil their ballots. Mendoza will have at least some influence in their choice to vote against Fujimori or vote against the whole system.

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Officials from Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia held a conversation about coordinating oil production to reestablish stability in global prices. However, while they participated in the conversation, neither of the Pacific Alliance countries were particularly interested in offering to cut production or coordinating with OPEC.

Venezuela’s biggest opponent in their effort to find someone willing to cut isn’t Mexico or Colombia, it’s Iran. With sanctions on Iran removed, the country hopes to ramp up production to four million barrels per day and is unwilling to talk about coordinated cuts until it has brought more production online. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia isn’t eager to cut production as long as its regional antagonist is increasing production.

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Brazil votes on opening impeachment this week. While the Lower house commission votes on the impeachment report today, the floor will vote by Sunday 17 April. If passed, it will be up to the Senate to decide to suspend Dilma from office and begin trial for 180 days. The Senate is unlikely to vote against the Lower House's decision.