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The U.S. dollar is stronger than it’s been in decades against currencies around the world. But that’s not true across Latin America where, in some cases, smart policies by governments and central banks have helped keep domestic currencies steady. XP Investment’s Alberto Bernal tells AS/COA Vice President Randy Melzi which countries have been succes…
 
In January, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will start a third term as Brazil’s president two decades after he began his first—and in a remarkably changed world. In this episode, former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon tells Executive Producer Luisa Leme what Lula’s comeback means for Latin America, U.S. relations, China, and the world.To learn m…
 
In September, a group of hacktivists known as Guacamaya sparked reverberations across much of Latin America when it released millions of documents and emails from the military and police forces of Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru. In this episode, UC San Diego’s Cecilia Farfán Mendez explains the impact of the leaks in Mexico, which a…
 
On October 2nd, Brazilians split the ballots—and the country—between former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Quaest pollster Felipe Nunes talks about whether the polls got the first round wrong, how Lula and Bolsonaro are now dueling for the battleground state of Minas Gerais, and why Lula needs to fight against vot…
 
Every election cycle, both Democrats and Republicans are reminded of the power of the Latino voter—who are now the second largest demographic group in the electorate. However, is either party’s approach to this group effective? And are Latinos really a cogent voting bloc? Two experts, Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro of UnidosUS and Sabrina Rodríguez of…
 
From the presidential state of the union to Independence Day, September in Mexico is a politically momentous time. This year, it saw President Andrés Manuel López Obrador usher through a deepening military control over public security just in time for independence celebrations. In this episode, political analyst Carlos Bravo Regidor talks with AS/C…
 
Pollster Felipe Nunes talks with AS/COA Online about swing votes, electoral issues, and what’s at stake for the Lula and Bolsonaro presidential campaigns ahead of the October 2 presidential election. In addition, John Hopkins University’s Beatriz Rey explains why Congress matters more than ever to the next president of Brazil. Access polls and lear…
 
Latin America in Focus is taking a break to recharge and we’re reissuing one of our favorite episodes this year. We hope you get a chance to take time off and that you can join us for new episodes soon about Brazil’s elections, Chile’s constitutional vote, and more.Demand for lithium is expected to keep growing exponentially in the race to ensure w…
 
Starting in April, Costa Rica experienced a debilitating cyberattack that crippled the government and the private sector’s ability to operate. It also served as a warning to countries across Latin America about how high the stakes are on digital crimes. On the podcast, AS/COA Online’s Chase Harrison talks to Belisario Contreras, the former head of …
 
As economies around the world face inflationary pressures, they may want to check the Latin American playbook. Otaviano Canuto, fellow at the Policy Center for the New South and former World Bank president, talks about why the region is positioned to avoid the runaway inflation woes of the past. But he also warns of social unrest on the horizon ami…
 
Colombians dealt a blow to the political status quo by picking two anti-establishment candidates to face off in the second round of their 2022 presidential election. The Washington Post’s Bogotá Bureau Chief, Samantha Schmidt, tells AS/COA Online’s Jon Orbach who they are, what they’re proposing, and tales from a recent trip to one of their hometow…
 
It’s been a bumpy road to the June 2022 Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, which comes as the hemisphere faces challenges like pandemic recovery, spiking inflation, and waning support for democracy. In this episode, AS/COA Senior Director Steve Liston, former U.S. deputy national coordinator for the Summits of the Americas, compares this round …
 
In her first 100 days, Honduran President Xiomara Castro has taken some steps forward on campaign pledges, but her leadership has been overshadowed by two former presidents: her outspoken husband and Juan Orlando Hernández, who was extradited the United States on charges of narcotrafficking. Can she take control of the reins? AS/COA Online’s Chase …
 
The choice of a running mate gives a presidential hopeful a chance to widen the net, solidify a profile, or win over a rival’s supporters. What can we glean from vice-presidential choices in Brazil and Colombia, both of which hold game-changing elections in the coming months? In this episode, we hear from Colombia Risk Analysis’ Sergio Guzman on VP…
 
One year ago, Guillermo Lasso beat the odds to capture Ecuador’s presidency. After some early successes, Lasso finds himself struggling to work with a fragmented Congress, as security problems mount. What’s the path forward for the business-friendly leader? Paolo Moncagatta of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito explains Lasso’s options. See AS/…
 
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has long pledged that voters would get to decide whether he should finish his six-year term. One constitutional reform and millions of signatures later, they’ll get to do just that in a recall vote on April 10. But, given that all signs point to voters of all stripes agreeing he should finish his time i…
 
Jair Bolsonaro drew criticism for meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. Why would the Brazilian president take such a questionable step? One big reason was fertilizer imports that power his country's agricultural sector, but it looks like the trip did little to stem rising food prices. In this episode, Samantha…
 
In the pandemic, Latin American countries used every bit of fiscal space to stimulate their economies and aid their populations. Now, says Ilan Goldfajn, the director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, they face the reality of ensuring fiscal responsibility while also increasing the region’s growth potential and balancing social demands. I…
 
Colombians could get three chances to cast ballots for the next president this year: in March’s interparty consultations, May’s first round, and a June runoff. A crowded candidate field ahead of the March elections—which coincide with legislative elections—is indicative of widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo, says Muni Jensen, a former C…
 
Demand for lithium is expected to keep growing exponentially in the race to ensure we can power our smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. That could be a boon for Latin American economies, home to the lithium triangle countries of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. But of course, things aren’t always that simple. Luna Lithium’s Emily Hersh talks…
 
We dive into the under-covered but crucial issues facing the region this year. In this episode: AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth gets into how the high number of U.S. ambassador vacancies can upend Washington's Latin America policy, U.S.-Mexico Foundation's Axel Cabrera and Pedro Casas Alatriste cover why a surge in migration to Mexico could prompt a chang…
 
The presidential runoff between the right’s José Antonio Kast and the left’s Gabriel Boric leaves many voters feeling like “orphans” with no political home, raising a fundamental question about what type of democracy Chile wants, says CNN Chile host and La Tercera columnist Paula Escobar Chavarría. In this interview, she talks about what makes a ca…
 
At November’s COP26 climate conference, countries met to generate stronger action on climate change. In attendance was Institute Talanoa’s Natalie Unterstell, a former Brazilian negotiator at climate summits. Unterstell talks to AS/COA Online’s Luisa Leme about what happened at COP26, what it means for Latin America, and what more Brazil—the region…
 
November brings with it two tricky electoral tests in Central America—Nicaragua on November 7 and Honduras on November 28. Both will be major tests for the countries democratic systems and for the ability of citizens to make their voices heard. In conversations with AS/COA Online, International Crisis Group’s Tiziano Breda explains the electoral sc…
 
October 2021 opened with big shifts in areas high on Mexico’s agenda: security and energy. Both issues are, arguably, the most crucial to the country’s future course. In conversations with AS/COA’s Carin Zissis, UC San Diego’s Cecilia Farfán-Méndez covers what’s new—and not so new—in an updated U.S.-Mexico security accord while Montserrat Ramiro, f…
 
We're one year out from Brazil's October 2022 presidential vote, but there are a lot of clues about the shape of the race already. IDEIA Big Data’s Mauricio Moura tells AS/COA Online's Luisa Leme how Jair Bolsonaro’s approval ratings, the pandemic, technology, and Brazilians' lack of interest in politics could make—or break—the incumbent’s reelecti…
 
On September 7, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt a cryptocurrency as official legal tender. But while President Nayib Bukele has grown accustomed to high levels of popularity, citizens marked the country’s September 15 bicentennial by protesting his Bitcoin decision. The National Association of Private Enterprise’s Leonor …
 
Acquiring hundreds of millions of vaccines is one thing. Getting them in the arms of hundreds of millions of Latin Americans is another. But partnerships with the private sector, existing vaccination networks, and the potential for boosted domestic production could upgrade the pandemic outlook for a region that could use some bullish pandemic proje…
 
In recent years, Latin America’s political pendulum has swung from building strong institutions toward electing strong leaders. The shift weakened the region’s nascent anti-corruption movement, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bright spots. AS/COA Vice President and Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief Brian Winter talks with Luisa Leme about the f…
 
The 2021 Copa America kicks off June 13 in an almost empty stadium in Brasília. The tournament was slated to take place in Argentina and Colombia, but a combination of Covid-19 and social unrest forced them to give it up. Still, with Brazil struggling to overcome the pandemic, politicians, players, and fans alike are asking: Is now the time to be h…
 
With Mexicans casting ballots for roughly 21,000 seats nationwide, the June 6 elections give voters a chance to assess President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s political movement nearly halfway through his presidency. El Financiero pollster and ITAM political scientist Alejandro Moreno tells AS/COA’s Carin Zissis covers what polls show about shifts …
 
The transition to a fully digital world for many Brazilians reaffirmed data protection as a fundamental right. Still, concerns over both data privacy and protection loom large for the country after the recent implementation of a new data protection law and ahead of next year’s general elections. Rafael Zanatta of the Data Privacy Brasil Research As…
 
Sonarimba, imbaluna, sinusoido, ululante. Joaquín Orellana’s musical sculptures have unusual names, formed by mixing words to describe the sounds they create. Co-curators Sebastian Zubieta and Diana Flatto tell us about the career of Guatemalan composer and artist featured in The Spine of Music. Learn more about the exhibition: https://www.as-coa.o…
 
Ecuadorans were hoping for something new. Peruvians simply want a government that will work. In both countries, which hold elections on April 11, voters are largely unenthused by traditional politics—but have few viable alternative options. We preview both countries’ April 11 elections in conversations with Professors Alonso Gurmendi and Grace Jara…
 
There may be few silver linings to the pandemic, but accelerated financial inclusion in Latin America is one of them. In this episode, Luz Gomez and Arturo Franco of Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth tell AS/COA Online’s Carin Zissis how COVID-19 compressed a decade’s worth of financial inclusion achievements into one year, and why the progr…
 
“I hate to say this, but democracy is not in good shape at the moment,” says former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in conversation with ex-White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty. In light of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the two discuss their thoughts on how the United States can repair its leadership image in the Western …
 
Joe Biden pledged a shift from Donald Trump’s policies when it comes to Central America, particularly on issues like migration, democracy promotion, and corruption. In this episode, we speak to Salvadoran journalist Nelson Rauda of El Faro about the differences between the two presidents' approaches to the region and how that will impact domestic p…
 
February marks a year since the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Latin America. Now the pandemic has entered a new phase, one in which countries are trying to roll out vaccines as quickly as they can even as variants threaten to undermine the protection those vaccines offer. In this episode, COVID-19 researcher Dr. Roselyn Lemus-Martin cov…
 
From tensions over the U.S. investigation against a Mexican general to reversing the Trump administration's immigration policy, there are plenty of pressing topics on the U.S.-Mexico agenda. COMEXI President and Mexico’s ex-Deputy Minister for North America Sergio Alcocer tells AS/COA’s Carin Zissis how bilateral relations could shake out in 2021 a…
 
From an absent president to illegal fishing to agro-tech, AS/COA Online dives into under-covered—but important—issues facing Latin America in a year of competing headlines. In this episode: AEI’s Ryan Berg talks about the deepening crackdown on Nicaragua’s opposition, Pew’s Dawn Borg Costanzi covers what the region can do to slow illegal fishing, a…
 
Latin America should use the current crisis to “push for a greener, digital, and more inclusive future for the region,” said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. In this conversation with AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal, the economist outlined the structural reforms the region must undertake to avoid stagnation.…
 
With growing climate change concerns and the rising cost of oil extraction and production, governments around the world are considering reactivating their economies with more sustainable and less fossil fuel-reliant investments. IHS Markit’s Steven Knell and Escopo Energia’s Lavinia Hollanda explain what it takes to spur the development of renewabl…
 
If there isn’t quality, factual content on a topic, trolls and bots will be there to fill the gap with disinformation on online platforms. Claudia Flores-Saviaga, a Facebook fellow and PHD candidate at West Virginia University, tells AS/COA’s Carin Zissis what that meant for Latino voters in the 2020 U.S. election and for Spanish speakers overall, …
 
Unrest, a pandemic, polarization, and an election. In 2020, we could be referring to a number of countries. But in this episode, we’re talking about Chile’s transformational year, beginning with an October 2019 protest against a transit-fare hike that sparked a movement to rewrite the country’s dictatorship-era constitution. Santiago-based journali…
 
Most Latin American countries have yet to reopen schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What does it mean for Latin America’s present and future human capital development? Brookings Institution’s Emiliana Vegas and Tinker Foundation’s Caroline Kronley cover the problems, but also the silver linings, of the disruption in schooling.…
 
Remittances help pay medical bills and keep people fed in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In Latin America, where many work informally and don’t have access to government assistance, the cash migrants send to their loved ones can even boost political stability and provide a buffer for national economies. In this episode, we hear abo…
 
The pandemic is upending education as we know it. But even before COVID-19 hit, political unrest sparked by economic and social inequality proved the desire for a conscientious approach to business. In this episode, Joanne Li of FIU Business and Ignacio de la Vega of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s EGADE tell AS/COA Online’s Carin Zissis how their progr…
 
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