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Latin America Politics

Peru: Voters take to the polls amid a political and public-health crisis

On April 11th, Peru held the first round of its presidential elections, after which candidates Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo emerged in the lead. The second and final round of Peru’s presidential election will take place this Sunday. Whoever is ultimately successful at becoming Peru’s new President will face institutional challenges exacerbated by a public-health crisis.

Latin America Security

Mexican Marijuana: The Effects of Legalization on the Economy and the War on Drugs

Following in the footsteps of countries including Canada and Uruguay, Mexico’s lower house passed a bill on 10th March for the purpose of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, has cited undermining drug cartels as one of the key reasons behind his support for the proposal. Nevertheless, though legalization is likely to prove an economic boon, its impact on crime is likely to be less substantial.

Environment Latin America

An Ecosystem in Crisis: Environmental Degradation in Venezuela

Venezuela’s biodiverse environment, from its share of the Amazon rainforest to its lakes and coastline, has suffered increasing levels of pollution and degradation in recent years. Venezuela’s reliance on extractive practices including mining and its ageing oil industry is one of the main drivers of the degradation of its environment. Given the attitude of the Maduro regime, the situation is set to worsen.

Covid-19 Latin America

Brazil’s Attitude Towards the Pandemic Poses a Serious Threat to the Region

Since the start of the pandemic, Brazil has become an epicenter for the spread of coronavirus in the region. Jair Bolsonaro has opposed lockdowns, supported unreliable medical treatments, and downplayed the impact of COVID-19 in the country. The eruption of the new Brazilian variant (known as P1) is dominating the country. This scenario has alerted leaders, who have taken measures to prevent this new and highly contagious variant from proliferating freely. The situation is becoming a threat to the region. The lack of policies can lead to the outbreak of new coronavirus variants that can alter vaccination plans in the rest of the continent.

Economics Latin America

Mercosur’s Birthday Celebration Reveals a Path towards Irrelevancy

The risk of Mercosur becoming another failed attempt of regional integration in Latin America has been rising steadily in the last two decades and is likely to increase even more in the current scenario. The tension between leaders on Mercosur’s last summit demonstrates a lack of internal cohesion that will lead the bloc towards failure and irrelevancy.

Latin America The Energy Briefing

The Struggle over Mexico’s Energy Sector: What’s At Stake?

Recently, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stepped up his administration’s efforts to reform the country’s Electricity Industry Law. However, these attempts have received criticism from the private sector and lawmakers. The dispute has the potential to affect Mexico’s relations with regional partners like the USA and Canada and, depending on the outcome of legislative elections in June, may even cause constitutional changes.

Latin America Politics

Cuba: Will Political Change follow Economic Liberalisation?

In response to crippling economic stagnation, Cuba has passed regulations which hint at a turn towards a more market-driven economy. However, political control over key sectors including education and the media still lies heavily with the state. The most striking policy, which allows thousands of professions to run outside the remit of the state, will change the character of business within Cuba and may lead to increased innovation and interaction with international markets. Could Cuba’s economic liberalisation lead to further political freedoms?

Latin America Risk Pulse

The Implications of Colombia’s Decision to Grant Temporary Residence to Venezuelan Refugees

On 8th February, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that Colombia would grant temporary residence to over 950,000 undocumented Venezuelan migrants in the country. This announcement constitutes a significant humanitarian measure, with the potential to have a regional and international impact. What is the situation of Venezuelan migrants in Latin America and what impact might Duque’s decision have both domestically and in broader terms?

Latin America Politics

Alex Saab and the State of Corruption in Venezeula

The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro has been accused of turning a blind eye to or engaging actively in corruption for both the personal enrichment of state officials and as part of sanction-dodging efforts. Among other individuals linked to corruption by the Maduro government, in June 2020 Colombian national Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in connection with an Interpol Red Notice concerning money laundering. Now, 6 months after his arrest, it seems likely that he will be extradited to the US. How significant is Saab to the Maduro government and what impact might his extradition have?

Covid-19 Latin America

Cry for me, Argentina: COVID-19 and Economic Woe

2020 cannot be described as a good year for Argentina. Already struggling with high inflation and a sovereign debt of over $300 billion, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic confronted the Argentine government with new financial drains and economic hurdles. Faced with this crisis, Argentina’s economy has undergone a severe contraction. Though Argentina’s economic situation is, along with that of many other countries affected by the pandemic, expected to rebound in 2021, indications are not positive for a long-term indication in the country’s economic situation.