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Week of tragedies in Colombia and Mexico

These are the most relevant political and economic news in Latin America and the world .

Marches in Colombia and accident in Mexico's metro

These are some of the most relevant news from Latin America and the world this week. Photos: TW-HeinerGaitan, EFE

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Semana de tragedias en Colombia y México

Colombia: 1 week of National Strike

After 7 days and more than 37 deaths (according to the NGO Temblores), Colombia continues on strike. President Iván Duque announced that he will meet with the social movements organizing the strike until Monday, May 10, but the positions are so far apart that long and difficult negotiations are expected.

The marches and mobilizations (mostly peaceful, but with looting and vandalism reported in several cities) began on April 28 as a rejection of the Tax reform promoted by the Duque government. However, despite the withdrawal of the initiative and the resignation of Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla, the deaths of the first days of the strike (which are increasing every night) have reoriented this movement against the police repression that has already been condemned by various international organizations.

Also read: Why are Colombians on strike on April 28?

Negligence kills in Mexico

On Monday, May 3, a beam of the elevated bridge that carries line 12 of the Mexico City subway gave way. This tragedy that left at least 25 people dead and 79 injured, shocked the entire North American nation in what was the worst event since that earthquake on September 19, 2017.

What has generated national outrage is that various problems presented by this line had been known for a long time. Users repeatedly complain and have warned of the precariousness of the facilities and problems that arise daily in this transport.

The right sweeps Madrid

The Popular Party, the traditional Spanish conservative party, won the local victory in the Spanish capital. Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the leader of the PP in Madrid, achieved the support of more than 1,600,000 people from Madrid, leaving her party as the main political force in the Assembly with 65 seats, 35 more than in the last elections. Additionally, the far-right VOX party achieved 13 seats (1 more than 2 years ago), which leaves the right with a simple majority and only one abstention from Rocío Monasterio's party (VOX) would be enough to form a government.

The big losers are all the other left movements. The PSOE, mainly, since it went from 37 seats (the highest vote of the past elections) to only 24, tying Mas Madrid for second place. Precisely, of the left-wing parties, the one led by Mónica García was the only one with good individual results (29% more votes and 4 more positions than before).

However, the biggest losers are Ciudadanos (center) and Unidos Podemos (socialist). The oranges went from being the third electoral force in the city and being part of the government coalition with the PP of Ayuso, to not getting even the 5% of the votes required to aspire to the seat. While Unidos Podemos achieved 10 positions, but its natural leader, Pablo Iglesias (who had resigned as vice-presidency of the Spanish Government to run as the mayor of Madrid) gained 3 seats but destroyed his party and his image. Precisely, Iglesias announced as soon as the scrutiny was known that he will withdraw from the party's guidelines at the national level and will withdraw from institutional politics to make way for new leaderships.

The United States gives a boost to the release of patents against Covid 19

For several days now, the possibility of the Biden administration declaring itself in favor of releasing the patents against the coronavirus had been discussed. Already the representative of US Foreign Trade, Katherine Tai, explained that for "these extraordinary times and circumstances need extraordinary measures."

All this occurs due to pressure from several countries that continue to fight against large numbers of infections against Covid, such as India. This measure (if carried out) is expected to increase the production of vaccines and their application in several countries of the world and this would only be valid while the state of pandemic is maintained.

The markets have been concerned with this news and the shares of pharmaceutical companies have had notable falls such as Moderna (-6.19%); BioNTech (-3.45%). The only one that remained stable was Pfizer.