In the wee hours of one morning in early November, Ernesto, 50, swallowed several glasses of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in the apartment where he lived alone in the Venezuelan capital, ending a life tormented by declining health and lack of resources to cope as he would have liked.
Hemmed in by poverty, with barely two days of school a week, and often at risk of unwanted pregnancy or the uncertain prospect of emigration, young women and adolescents are among the main victims of the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
Diego has just enrolled to study journalism at a university in the Venezuelan capital and, with 2,000 dollars that his family members managed to gather, has bought his first car, a small 2007 Ford that can take him to class from his home in the neighboring Caribbean port city of La Guaira.
Gladys swore she would not cry in front of her small children, but she still had to wipe away a couple of tears when she turned her head and looked, perhaps for the last time, at her dream house on Margarita Island in Venezuela, from where she migrated, driven by a lack of income and by fear.
The Latin American and Caribbean region is arriving at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit on the right track but far behind in terms of progress, at the halfway point to achieve the SDGs, which aim to overcome poverty and create a cleaner and healthier environment.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress towards partial regulations to reduce plastic pollution, but the problem is serious and environmental activists are calling for regulations in the entire chain of production, consumption and disposal of plastic waste.
Hundreds of thousands of children and young people, and thousands of their teachers, drop out of regular schooling in Venezuela year after year, and most of those who remain go to the classroom only two or three days a week, highlighting the abysmal backwardness of education in the country.
Without the means to receive information about what is happening around them, millions of Latin Americans who live in poor remote rural or impoverished urban areas inhabit veritable news deserts, according to an increasing number of studies conducted by journalistic organizations in the region.
Menstrual hygiene management is elusive for millions of poor women and girls in Latin America, who suffer because their living conditions make it difficult or impossible for them to access resources and services that could make menstruation a simple normal part of life.
The reduction in the workweek recently approved by the Chilean Congress forms part of a trend of working fewer hours and days that is spreading in today’s modern economies, but also highlights how far behind other countries in Latin America are in this regard.
The vulnerability and struggles of the LGBTIQ+ community in Venezuela were once again highlighted when the Supreme Court finally annulled the military code statute that punished, with one to three years in prison, members of the military who committed " acts against nature.”
The installation of solar panels in a remote village in the Andes highlands in late February marked a second incursion by the Venezuelan government into the field of solar energy, previously uncharted territory in this country that for a century was a leading global oil producer.
The Venezuelan parliament, in the hands of the ruling party, is moving towards passing a law to control non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that, in practice, they could not exist independently.
The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.
More than 100 radio stations were shut down by the Venezuelan government this year, accentuating the collapse of the media and further undermining the already meager capacity of citizens to stay informed.
The social crisis and humanitarian emergency in Venezuela became international headline news again once the government and the opposition, bitter adversaries for two decades, agreed to direct three billion dollars in state funds held abroad to social programs.
The decision to cut oil production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies as of Nov. 1 comes in response to the need to face a shrinking market, although it also forms part of the current clash between Russia and the West.
Thousands of Venezuelans who have crossed the treacherous Darien jungle between Colombia and Panama, or who have made the perilous journey through Central America and Mexico to reach the United States, have found themselves stranded in countries that do not want them, unable to continue their journey or to afford to return to their country.
Venezuela is preparing to replicate the experience of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a mechanism with which more than 60 countries have tried to draw investment and accelerate economic growth, while under its avowedly socialist government a "silent neoliberalism" is gaining ground.
Illegal and excessive fishing, mainly attributed to Chinese fleets, remains a threat to marine resources in the eastern Pacific and southwest Atlantic, as well as to that sector of the economy in Latin American countries bathed by either ocean.
Economic sanctions against countries whose behavior is reproached by the West operate as punishment although they fail in their declared political objectives, and in cases such as Venezuela the contrast is clearly on display in the windows of high-end stores that sell imported goods.