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Latin America is in the midst of an energy revolution, Brazil's legislative and judiciary branches clash, and Venezuela mirrors the situation of pre-war Syria.

The decision of Carstens

Despite rumors that Agustín Carstens' resignation as head of Banco de México was tinged with internal conflict, his departure was actually as smooth and straightforward as it can be, Enrique Quintana said in an opinion piece for El Financiero. Carstens will leave the Mexican central bank to lead the Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements, becoming the institution's first leader from an emerging country. Quintana noted that Carstens informed President Enrique Peña Nieto about his BIS application in advance and also told the president that he's positive that the central bank will remain stable despite him leaving. The writer also noted that Carstens' decision is grounded on the belief that Mexico will be able to weather the current financial storm, saying that it does not remotely approach the crises experienced by the country in the past.

Venezuela: Time to prevent another Syria

Venezuela could be on the cusp of becoming the next Syria, with the South American country's multitude of problems mirroring those of the Middle Eastern nation before it fell into civil war, Cynthia Lardner writes for the International Policy Digest. Similarities between Syria and Venezuela are plentiful — both of them are oil exporters, have politically and socially unstable neighbors, and must contend with severe food shortages. However, there is one key difference that could allow for a successful peace building effort in Venezuela: the country, unlike Syria, does not have the backing of either China or Russia, and an opposition government stands ready to step in. "Humanity cannot allow Venezuela to devolve into another Syria," Lardner says. "Institutional peace building must occur before an armed conflict erupts."

Latin America is set to become a leader in alternative energy

The Economist takes a look at an ongoing energy revolution in Latin America, which is paving the way for the use of green energy in large-scale projects across the region. A highlight is Chile's El Romero, the largest solar-energy plant in the region and one of the biggest in the world, which generates enough electricity to power a city of a million people. As much of Latin America is well-suited to solar and wind power, with geothermal potential in Central America and the Caribbean, the region has been able to quickly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. In 2014, for example, Latin America generated 53% of its electricity from renewable sources, dwarfing the world average of 22%. "El Romero is a symbol that alternative energy is no longer alternative," an industry executive said. "It's the most commercial now."

Brazil's political crisis is so intense that nobody knew who was running the Senate this week

A new political drama in Brazil is threatening to further destabilize a country already struggling with a severe economic recession, Marina Lopes of The Washington Post reports. For more than 24 hours this week, Brazilians were at a loss as to who runs their senate, as the body's president, Renan Calheiros, rejected a Supreme Court order for him to step down on fraud charges and the chamber's vice president refused to take his place. "Although Brazilian politics have always been messy, this week's showdown has taken the chaos to a new and dangerous level," Lopes wrote. The last time a confrontation of this magnitude occurred between Brazil's legislative and judicial branches, it culminated in two decades of military rule. The stakes are high this time around, too, as the senate is expected to vote on key spending proposals in the coming weeks. Although a subsequent Supreme Court ruling defused the tension by allowing Calheiros to remain in his position, the entire episode created "even more uncertainty, and investors hate uncertainty."