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Viewpoint: Macri's Visit to Washington Signals Thaw in U.S.-Argentina Ties Is Still On

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:31

Viewpoint: Macri's Visit to Washington Signals Thaw in U.S.-Argentina Ties Is Still On

Viewpoints AmericasJuan Cruz DíazMegan CookWednesday, April 26, 2017

Photos of then-U.S. President Barack Obama and his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri laughing and joking together with spouses in the resort town of Bariloche last year sent a clear message: the frosty relationship between their two nations was warming up.

Macri’s April 27 visit to Washington—the first by an Argentine president to the White House in more than a decade—seeks to consolidate the sense of “coming in from the cold” by strengthening both the relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and cooperation mechanisms.

Mending fences

The Argentine president meets with Donald Trump on April 27.

Venezuela Update: 3 Things to Know about Maduro's Remaining 2 Years in Office

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 17:46

Venezuela Update: 3 Things to Know about Maduro's Remaining 2 Years in Office

Hemispheric UpdatesHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19 marks four years since Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s six-year term began—an anniversary thousands of Venezuelans are marking with massive protests throughout the country. Two people have died in Wednesday’s protests, according to early reports, with another five fatalities in protests the week prior.

Venezuelans are marking April 19, their president’s fourth anniversary in office, with mass protests. Here are issues to keep in mind for the rest of his six-year term.

Weekly Chart: Latin America's 2017 Economic Outlook Gets a Revision

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 17:46

Weekly Chart: Latin America's 2017 Economic Outlook Gets a Revision

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezTuesday, April 18, 2017

The International Monetary Fund's April World Economic Outlook report has good news for the world, but not so much for Latin America. While the Fund boosted its estimate for global GDP growth by 0.1 percent, it cut projections for Latin America and the Caribbean by 0.5 percent. Now the world is expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2017, while the region’s total GDP will expand just 1.1 percent.

The IMF’s April World Economic Outlook report has better news for global growth than for the region.

Weekly Chart: Where Does Latin America Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 14:02

Weekly Chart: Where Does Latin America Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezThursday, April 13, 2017

Uruguay is about to take the lead with over-the-counter sales of marijuana in pharmacies. In 2013, it became the first country in the world to legalize consumption, along with marijuana’s sale and cultivation. Come July 2017, Uruguay’s recreational users and medical patients alike will be able to visit their local pharmacies for up to 40 grams of cannabis a month, or they can opt to grow it at home.

As Uruguay prepares to sell the drug in local pharmacies, here’s where the rest of the region stands.

Brazil's Never-Ending Corruption Crisis

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:41

Brazil's Never-Ending Corruption Crisis

Articles & Op-EdsBrian WinterThursday, April 13, 2017

Six decades ago, long before the Brazilian Senate’s August 2016 vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff and remove her from office, one of the most beloved leaders in the country’s history was besieged by scandals of his own. President Getúlio Vargas, a stocky, gravelly voiced gaucho from Brazil’s deep south, had granted new rights, including paid vacation, to a generation of workers in the 1930s and 1940s.

It’s time for Brazil to take a radically new approach to prevent corruption, writes AS/COA’s Brian Winter for Foreign Affairs.

LatAm in Focus: What's Happening with Colombia's FARC Peace Process?

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:28

LatAm in Focus: What's Happening with Colombia's FARC Peace Process?

PodcastsHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, April 12, 2017

Virginia Bouvier of the U.S. Institute of Peace talks about how everything from elections to the weather is affecting Colombia’s landmark deal with the guerrillas.

Is There Hope for Change in Venezuela?

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:36

Is There Hope for Change in Venezuela?

Articles & Op-EdsEric FarnsworthSaturday, April 8, 2017

Venezuela is in free fall, and it’s already presenting an early foreign-policy challenge for the new Trump administration. Once Latin America’s wealthiest nation and a tourist destination touted in airline ads from the 1950s, Venezuela now faces shortages of food and basic medicines, galloping inflation, a multi-year recession, and a massive drain of human capital as the professional class abandons a sinking ship.

Without economic reform, there’s no immediate way for the government to address Venezuela’s troubles, writes AS/COA’s Eric Farnsworth for Barron’s.

U.S. Risks Alienating Mexico

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:09

U.S. Risks Alienating Mexico

Articles & Op-EdsFriday, March 31, 2017

There are two conflicting narratives emerging from Washington on U.S. relations with Mexico. One calls for a hard line that risks alienating Mexico; the other is a more constructive effort involving detailed negotiations on the troika of security, trade and migration.

The Trump administration must pursue negotiations that yield benefits for both sides, writes AS/COA’s Chairman Emeritus William R. Rhodes for Financial Times.

Weekly Chart: Latin Americans and H-1B Visas

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 13:35

Weekly Chart: Latin Americans and H-1B Visas

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezWednesday, April 5, 2017

It’s H-1B visa application season and, if the last four years are any indicator, that means the 85,000-visa quota allotted by the United States to these foreign professional temporary workers will be reached within about five days.

U.S. visas for foreign professionals are on the rise worldwide, but not when it comes to the Americas.

Update: Five Things to Know about Ecuador's Runoff Election

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 14:09

Update: Five Things to Know about Ecuador's Runoff Election

Hemispheric UpdatesHolly K. SonnelandMonday, April 3, 2017

Ecuador’s presidential race was a dead heat leading right up to the April 2 runoff between former Vice President Lenín Moreno and ex-banker Guillermo Lasso. The outcome is also proving to be a close call, with Moreno, who served under President Rafael Correa, claiming a narrow win.

Here’s what you need to know about Ecuador’s second-round presidential vote. 

1. Moreno’s win is all but official.

Although Lenín Moreno's win is all but official, his rival Guillermo Lasso is crying foul. 

Venezuela Update: Political and Economic Crises Converge with Supreme Court Decision

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 18:01

Venezuela Update: Political and Economic Crises Converge with Supreme Court Decision

Hemispheric UpdatesHolly K. SonnelandThursday, March 30, 2017

In what opposition leaders and some constitutional experts are calling a coup, Venezuela’s Supreme Court voted on March 29 to remove all of the powers assigned to the opposition-controlled Congress and assume those duties itself. The move came a day after members of the Organization of American States

On March 29, the Supreme Court voted to remove Congress’ ability to approve payments and loans, freeing up the government to get its hands on much-needed cash.

Peru Update: The Economic and Political Costs of Mother Nature and Poor Planning

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:23

Peru Update: The Economic and Political Costs of Mother Nature and Poor Planning

Hemispheric UpdatesHolly K. SonnelandThursday, March 30, 2017

The 2017 rainy season hit Peru hard this year, with resulting floods causing 95 deaths and leaving nearly 700,000 people homeless in half of the territory. The floods not only washed away at least 175 bridges and countless roads, but eroded economic growth and political support, laying bare the consequences of insufficient investment in infrastructure.

Floods are expected to cost the country 1.6 percent of GDP in 2017, but with low debt and high reserves, Peru’s in better shape than most to up its infrastructure spending.

LatAm in Focus: Políticos latinoamericanos deben entender que la agenda LGBT es "mainstream"

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 14:31

LatAm in Focus: Políticos latinoamericanos deben entender que la agenda LGBT es "mainstream"

PodcastsElizabeth GonzalezWednesday, March 29, 2017

El primer político abiertamente gay elegido en Chile, Jaime Parada Hoyl, habla sobre los desafíos que enfrenta la comunidad en su país y al nivel regional.

Weekly Chart: Spending Time on Social Media in the Americas

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 14:03

Weekly Chart: Spending Time on Social Media in the Americas

InfographicsGabrielle Rocha RiosTuesday, March 28, 2017

Just over half of the world’s 7.5 billion population is online. Of those, 2.8 billion use social media, and 90 percent do so on their mobile phones—and no one more than Latin Americans—according to a January report from Hootsuite and We Are Social. Argentines, Brazilians, and Mexicans spend not just the most amount of time on social media in the region, but they’re among the top five in the world.

People in the Western Hemisphere use social media more than in any other region, and they’re likely doing so on mobile devices.

Update: EU and Mercosur's Window of Opportunity to Finalize Trade Deal

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 16:21

Update: EU and Mercosur's Window of Opportunity to Finalize Trade Deal

Hemispheric UpdatesRodrigo RiazaThursday, March 23, 2017

The European Union and the Mercosur trade bloc are in the middle of a renewed a push to hammer out a trade deal 18 years in the making. Delegations from both sides met in Buenos Aires from March 20 to 24 to advance talks toward an agreement that covers both trade and political cooperation.

Negotiators are in Buenos Aires through March 24 to advance a deal 18 years in the making.

Energy Update: A Look at the Books of Latin America's Big State Oil Firms

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 17:41

Energy Update: A Look at the Books of Latin America's Big State Oil Firms

Hemispheric UpdatesNaki MendozaWednesday, March 22, 2017

Latin America’s large state-backed oil companies reported their full-year earnings—and with modest results to show. Ecopetrol, Pemex, Petrobras, and YPF all posted either flat or declining figures in their finances and production for 2016. The results stem from an unfavorable combination of persistent low oil prices, adverse economic conditions, and domestic events that took a toll on operations and investments. Earnings from these companies represent a significant source of government revenue and their performance can have a strong ripple effect throughout the broader economy.

2016 was a difficult year for national oil companies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, proving the need for the energy sector reforms in each case.

#CouncilBR Recap: Brazilian Government Signals Plan to Stay the Course

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 15:01

#CouncilBR Recap: Brazilian Government Signals Plan to Stay the Course

Program SummariesLuisa LemeWednesday, March 22, 2017

Speakers:

The federal government met with the private sector in Brasilia to talk about investment and the country’s economic recovery.

A Seat at the Table: Five Steps to Making Latin American Politics More Diverse

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:27

A Seat at the Table: Five Steps to Making Latin American Politics More Diverse

Papers & ReportsWednesday, March 22, 2017

This new report from Americas Society, with support from the Ford Foundation, looks at strategies for electing and supporting minority lawmakers in Latin American politics. (También disponible en español.)

Resumo #CouncilBR: Temer diz que "o Brasil não desviará de seu rumo"

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 23:06
2017 Latin American Cities Conferences: Brasilia

Resumo #CouncilBR: Temer diz que "o Brasil não desviará de seu rumo"

Program SummariesLuisa LemeWednesday, March 22, 2017

Oradores:

O governo federal brasileiro encontrou com o setor privado em Brasília para falar de investimento e recuperação econômica.

Weekly Chart: Tracking Traffic and Transportation in Latin America

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:05

Weekly Chart: Tracking Traffic and Transportation in Latin America

InfographicsHolly K. SonnelandThursday, March 16, 2017

It’s no breaking news that Mexico City regularly ranks as one of the most congested cities in the world. But that alone wouldn’t capture a related, commendable title: it also has the most high-performing metro system in Latin America, with both the largest volume of daily riders and highest usage rate.

Lima and Bogotá are the two largest cities in the region without metro systems.

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