Mixed news from Latin America

In the “truth is stranger than fiction” department, Venezuela (a perennial contender) wins hands down:  “Venezuela’s National Assembly has backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage.”  I’m not sure if this qualifies as good news or bad news. I guess good news that the shortage is over, bad news that the government has so screwed up macro and exchange rate policies that such a phenomena could even happen in the first place.  It’s never a good thing when your economic problems sound similar to the ones created by Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

In the “mean reversion” department, there are two contenders.  First, in Guatemala, the country’s top court overturned the previous week’s conviction of former President Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Second, in Mexico, it looks like much needed energy reform has stalled.

And finally, in the “questionable causality but hopefully still true” department, there seems to be evidence that economic stability in the region has reduced inequality.