Venezuela’s MUD is stuck in a bind. The president and ruling party’s approval ratings are way down while the leading opposition leaders and parties to President Maduro are relatively popular. But popularity doesn’t mean there is a checkmate move in sight. While the MUD is not yet willing to admit defeat, Maduro appears to have successfully blocked the chances for a recall referendum this year. This removes a key path to a democratic transition prior to the scheduled 2019 elections. The hemisphere is debating the ongoing negotiations and Democratic Charter at the OAS this week, but whatever the outcome of that debate, it doesn’t change the fact that a peaceful and democratic transition is unlikely in the short term.
Mexico’s Congress failed to act on proposed anti-corruption legislation and Mexico’s President Peña Nieto has largely ignored the issue. Delays in anti-corruption initiatives pushed civil society to collect over a half million signatures in favor of the Ley 3x3, which would have legally obligated Mexican politicians to publicly disclose assets, possible conflicts of interest, and tax payments. The fact Mexico’s Congress isn’t acting on anti-corruption legislation, with the PRI refusing to even attend debates on the issue, shows the basic challenges confronting these sorts of laws.