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The Colombian elections have spurred significant interest in Venezuela, as evidenced by the social media activity of accounts based in the country or managed by Venezuelans.

#ElectionWatch researchers looked into this activity. There is more evidence of coordinated social media efforts between Venezuelan opposition supporters and Colombian right-wing groups, than between the Colombian left wing and Chavista supporters.

The most successful tweet from Venezuela to Colombia, however, was a false story, which once again highlights our concerns about the misinformation flows in these elections and their political use.

Read the full analysis on Medium.
A week before the election, people attending a campaign rally for presidential candidate Iván Duque were attacked by a swarm bees. A number of high-profile Uribe sympathizers blamed supporters of Colombia Humana’s Gustavo Petro for the attack. The Cesar department police chief quickly debunked the accusations. 

The Atlantic Council's #ElectionWatch team analyzed the case and the flows of information online. Like the case with the #FraudeElectoral hashtag, partisan users were willing to push deceptive narratives, without regard for the availability of verified versions of them. What is even more worrying, is that the work of fact-checkers and journalists is not being shared widely enough for debunking lies on social media.

Read the rest on Medium.
In a little less than a month, Mexico will elect not only a new President, but also 128 members of the Senate and 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies. Ahead of the elections, researchers have observed the use of bots, both commercial and political, deployed for the purpose of promoting candidates, campaign materials, and opposition research on social networks. This is not the first election in Mexico shrouded in social media manipulation and likely not the last.

The use of bots in Mexico is not limited to one political party and seems a more general practice. The majority of research on social media manipulation in Mexico ahead of elections focused on the Presidential race, but much less attention was paid to automatization in senatorial campaigns.

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After the first round of voting in Colombia’s presidential election on May 27, citizens took to social media to share claims of ballot tampering in favor of leading candidate Iván Duque.

The conservative Duque won the first round with 39 percent of the vote, comfortably ahead of progressive rival Gustavo Petro, who garnered 25 percent. The two rivals are to face one another in a runoff on June 17.

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In the buildup to Mexico’s presidential election on July 1, reports have been circulating of “Russian bots” amplifying political messaging in Mexico, raising fears of Russian state-backed interference, such as was seen in the United States in 2016.

@DFRLab has investigated these reports. We have been unable to verify claims of large-scale bot activity emanating from Russia. We have found one apparently Russian botnet boosting Mexican political messages, but this botnet appears to be commercially-run, boosting posts from a wide range of countries and on a wide range of subjects.

Read the rest on Medium
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Over the past decade, Latin America has vastly expanded its exports to China, which are now approximately $100 billion annually. These exports are primarily focused on raw goods and unprocessed goods, mainly: soybeans, iron ore, crude oil, and copper. Many natural resource-rich countries aim to move from exporting raw goods to higher value-added goods, but factors on both sides are preventing some Latin America countries from doing so. For example, export taxes in Brazil on processed soybeans, or tariff escalation in China, which increases tariffs for higher value-added goods. China’s exports to Latin America, on the other hand, are increasingly higher value-added goods like electronic consumer goods and capital goods like machines.

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Results from latest national door-to-door poll reveals deepening humanitarian and economic anxieties and widespread political mistrust ahead of upcoming presidential elections.

Atlantic Council Findings Reveal Staggering Discontent Amid Democratic Rupture


National poll reveals collapsing levels of trust in institutions and profound concerns over the economic crisis and food shortages.
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On November 30, 2016, the Colombian Congress ratified the peace accords signed by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), setting in motion a series of reforms stipulated in the accords. One year later, how much has implementation of the accords advanced and what are the top issues that will influence the success of the post-accord transition in 2018? The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s latest Spotlight publication, co-authored by Andrea Saldarriaga Jiménez and Juan Felipe Celia, analyzes these key issues and the road ahead for Colombia in 2018.

 
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France played a significant role in the negotiations that led to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The French never believed in the “transformational” value of the JCPOA. They did not think the agreement would lead Iran to take on more of a moderate role in the region. On the contrary, they feared that in order to get the support of the security wing of the regime, the moderate elements would be forced to give up more freedom to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their epigones.

 

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