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EL ESPECTADOR

When A Writer Meets His Fictional Character In Real Life

Colombian novelist Héctor Abad Faciolince recounts how a man in Denmark claimed to have lived exactly as one of the writer's characters. Eventually, the two would meet.

Hector Abad Faciolince
Hector Abad Faciolince
Héctor Abad Faciolince

BOGOTÁ — You tended to change your email account over the years. Hotmail, Yahoo, or Une here in Colombia ... until Gmail absorbed it all and you forget some of the stories left behind in the old addresses. They become like the locations of former homes, falling into decay over the years or decades before they disappear. Indeed, they become inaccessible and prevented reconstruction with bits of the past that exist either exactly in the correspondence, or vaguely and transformed, in one's memory.

It is for these email changes that I cannot precisely rebuild the start of my story with a compatriot who has been living in Copenhagen for nearly 50 years now, without ever returning home to Colombia, and who sent me an email at the start of the millennium to state something like, "You do not know it, but Davanzati exists: I am Bernardo Davanzati."

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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