Stories by Diego Rodriguez

Bloodshed and gold in the frontier between Venezuela and Colombia

An ELN flag in the Colombian jungle. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela says it's sending more troops to its border with Colombia after an attack over the weekend left 3 Venezuelan soldiers dead and 10 wounded.

The big picture: The recent incident highlights the instability in the frontier between the two countries, where Colombian guerrilla groups like the ELN — which Colombia says was responsible for the attack — have long operated. Sebastiana Barraez, a Venezuelan journalist who has reported on the situation for nearly two decades, says Venezuela's socialist government has had a mutually beneficial relationship with the rebel groups dating back to Hugo Chavez's time in office — but things are now getting tense.

The path toward legal pot in Mexico

Two men at a pro-marijuana rally in Guadalajara. Photo: Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty

Another U.S. neighbor is moving closer to approving the recreational use of marijuana after a ruling from Mexico's Supreme Court last week that establishes a precedent for courts across the country.

Why it matters: Fernando Belaunzarán, a former Mexican congressman and drug legalization activist, told Axios that the court's ruling that three plaintiffs must be allowed to use marijuana recreationally provides a "legal path" to legalization. While not everyone can produce, transport or consume marijuana, anyone who requests a permit to do so before the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks must receive it. The ruling puts pressure on the Mexican legislature to take action.

Bolsonaro could ramp up deforestation, environmentalists warn

A Bolsonaro supporter on election day. Photo: Phil Clarke Hill/In Pictures for Getty Images

The environmental platform put forward by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's right-wing president-elect, could cause a rise in greenhouse gas emissions and a 268% spike in deforestation, according to a simulation from the National Institute of Space Studies in Brazil.

Why it matters: The simulation took into account policies like increased deforestation in Amazonian territory, non-protection of indigenous territory and an eventual exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, among others. Those scenarios worry environmental groups, with Greenpeace Brazil saying Bolsonaro could be "one of the last presidents of Brazil who can act in time to avoid irreversible damage to the planet."