Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

How Latin America’s Next Oil Power Can Avoid the Resource Curse

It’s an oft-stated parallel that is worth repeating: A big oil discovery in a country is like winning the lottery. And what happens to lottery winners? Almost 70 percent of them declare bankruptcy within seven years. Something similar happens to some countries after they strike it rich with natural resources. Massive inflows of money combined … Read more


Petrobras dá a volta por cima

Este artigo foi adaptado da edição impresa de AQ sobre Colômbia | Leer en español | Read in English  Todos acompanhamos as machetes. A Petrobras, a estatal de petróleo brasileira, tornou-se, nos últimos anos, uma síntese de disfunção e corrupção, o epicentro do escândalo conhecido como Operação Lava-Jato, que resultou em pelo menos US$ 5 bilhões … Read more


Petrobras: De vuelta a la cima

Este artículo está adaptado de la edición impresa de AQ sobre Colombia | Read in English | Ler em português Todos hemos leído los titulares: Petrobras, la empresa estatal de petróleos de Brasil, se ha convertido en los últimos años en un sinónimo de disfunción y corrupción, el epicentro del llamado escándalo de Lava Jato en el que por … Read more


Foreign Firms Show Renewed Interest in Bolivia’s Gas Fields

On his 100th day as president, Evo Morales sent the military to occupy Bolivia’s oil and gas fields in a bid to nationalize reserves of its most important resource. It was a dramatic statement that captured attention in Bolivia and beyond. A decade later, Morales is adopting a more pragmatic approach. There’s little fanfare this time, … Read more


Green Envy: What Argentina Is Learning from Chile’s Renewable Energy Boom

Argentines don’t like it when their neighbors across the Andes get the better of them. But few will deny that when it comes to green energy, Chile has the upper hand. Over the past three years, Chile has turned itself into the continent’s renewable energy powerhouse, while Argentina’s green promise has remained unfulfilled.  That may … Read more


The Amazon’s Greatest Generation? A Forgotten History of World War II

Lourenço Canário da Silva never fought in World War II, but he was one of the unsung footsoldiers who contributed to the Allied victory. A poor laborer from the northeastern state of Ceará, Da Silva and some 34,000 other Brazilians were recruited to tap rubber in the Amazon forest between 1943 and 1945. The bounty … Read more


Mexico’s Energy Opening Looks Like a Success. Will It Last?

In Nov. 2013, just weeks before Mexico’s historic energy opening was signed into law, two-time presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent an open letter to the CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson “informing” the executive that Mexico’s oil belonged to its people. López Obrador urged Tillerson to measure the costs of investing in Mexico should the reform … Read more


Brazil’s Farmers Are Ready for a Boom. Will the Government Let It Happen?

This article is adapted from AQ’s most recent issue, “Fixing Brazil.” To receive the print edition at home, subscribe here. In 1979, Brazilian rancher Flavio Turquino purchased 54,000 acres deep inside Mato Grosso, a landlocked state whose name means “thick forest,” for about $1 an acre. He had already scouted the land in his single-prop … Read more

Wind farm in Chile

Chile’s Unlikely Energy Success Story

Just five years ago, Chile was in the midst of an energy crisis. Argentina had stopped sending natural gas across the Andes, and the threat of blackouts and energy rationing was real. Energy prices were among the highest in the region, the sector was dominated by a handful of monopolistic utility companies, and the private … Read more

Oil Change

Petrobras and Similar Oil Companies Are Struggling. Now What?

Calling it a “crisis” would be an understatement. Across Latin America, several state-run oil companies that thrived during last decade’s commodities boom are now hemorrhaging billions of dollars a month, seeking emergency funds, laying off workers — and facing fundamental questions about what their future should look like. Following the sustained plunge in global oil … Read more


Deploy U.S. Energy Resources for Regional Growth

In the new issue of Americas Quarterly, we asked people, “What would you tell the next U.S. president about Latin America?” To see other authors’ responses, click here. Dear Mister / Madam President, It is often said that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. However, with respect to energy policy and Latin … Read more

Oil Rig

Uruguay Oil Investment Bucks Global Pullback

After decades of standing by as neighbors Brazil and Argentina struck it rich in oil, Uruguay is getting into the action. Oil majors Total, ExxonMobil and Statoil are all making big investments in the tiny South American country, attracted by new projections that Uruguay may hold an “elephant” of an oil field. Problem is, with oil … Read more

Photo Credit: Day Donaldson / Flickr

This Week in Latin America: Obama in Havana, Venezuela in Crisis

Sign up here to get This Week in Latin America delivered straight to your inbox every Monday. Cuba, Argentina Host Obama: Cuba and Argentina each play host to U.S. President Barack Obama this week, with human rights issues shading both visits. Today, Obama will hold a working meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro, who will then host a state dinner … Read more

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