Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

From the Think Tanks

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Protests in Caracas, Venezuela turn deadly on February 15, 2014. Photo: Andrés E. Azpúrua (flickr)

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Human Rights Watch, Brookings Institution, Corporación de Estudios para Latinoamerica

The Venezuelan government’s response to the protests that began on February 12, 2014, led to accusations of human rights abuses. In its report, “Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System,” Human Rights Watch analyzes 45 allegations of abuses perpetrated by security forces, including arbitrary arrests, abuse of journalists, collusion with pro-government gangs, and due process violations. The report makes several recommendations to the government, such as ordering security forces to end the use of unlawful force, ensuring freedom of expression and restoring judicial independence.

Brookings Institution

Under former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil emerged as a regional and global power, albeit one often critical of the United States. In “Brazil’s Rise: Seeking Influence on Global Governance,” the Brookings Institution examines Brazil’s use of soft power to assert itself regionally through unasur and Mercosur, and globally through cooperation on issues such as the environment with the other brics and G20 members. The report suggests Brazil can continue its current global trajectory through addressing its overvalued currency and slow economic growth, as well as increasing its contribution to international peacekeeping and international development. It also suggests that the U.S. could play a greater role in helping Brazil meet its goals.

Corporación de Estudios para Latinoamerica

Proposed as an alternative to the more protectionist Mercosur, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc—created in 2012 by Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru—emphasizes more open markets and free trade. In a collaboration between cieplan and the Inter-American Development Bank, the report Alianza del Pacífico: en el proceso de integración latinoamericana, draws on specialists from Latin America and Spain to analyze regional integration and the impact of the Pacific Alliance on Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. The common theme of the report is that the Pacific Alliance can become a key tool for improving intra-regional trade, and for expanding trade with Europe and Asia.

Tags: Brazil, Pacific Alliance, Venezuela
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