Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
 

New Study Ranks Democracy in Latin America

Only two countries in Latin America—Costa Rica and Uruguay—can be considered “full democracies,” according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by BBC for Democracy Day on January 20. The report says that a majority of Latin American countries hold “free and fair” elections and are better ranked than their counterparts in the Middle … Read more

 

Behind the Numbers: Insecurity and Marginalization in Central America

With 11 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, Nicaragua stands out as a relatively fortunate exception in a region whose homicide rates rank among the world’s highest. Its northern neighbors all recorded rates at least three times greater: with Guatemala at 34.3 murders per 100,000 citizens; El Salvador at 41.5; and—at the top of this … Read more

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Behind the Numbers: Women’s Rights

The gender-based data on social inclusion clearly indicate the opportunities and obstacles facing women in Latin America—as well as numerous contradictions and complexities. An examination of new trends, laws and policies brings to mind the Spanish expression, “Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho.” In other words, even in many areas where there appears to … Read more

 

In World Cup, on to Round Three…

With the second round of the World Cup soccer tournament concluded the main storylines have been the success of teams from the Americas, the early exit of previous stalwarts England, Italy and Spain, the relatively high number of goals, and—at least in the United States—the sudden realization that soccer actually has a strong and passionate … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Varela in Panama – Argentine debt – ELN attack – Costa Rica and Colombia World Cup Firsts – Amado Boudou

This week’s likely top stories: Juan Carlos Varela takes office as Panama’s new president; Argentina negotiates a settlement with holdout creditors; the ELN attacks in Arauca; Costa Rica and Colombia advance to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time; Argentine Vice President Boudou faces charges. Juan Carlos Varela inaugurated in Panama: Panamanian President-elect Juan … Read more

 

World Cup 2014: The “Zebras” of the Americas

When a soccer match ends in a surprising or unpredictable way, Brazilians often use the popular expression “deu zebra” (“it was a zebra”). The term applies to games where supposedly weaker teams beat stronger ones, or when key players are outperformed on the field.  Like the animal, “zebras” are fairly rare. But in this World Cup, … Read more

 

Solís Inaugurated as Costa Rican President

Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera became the forty-seventh president of Costa Rica yesterday. Solís, 56, appeared alongside First Lady Mercedes Peñas Domingo at the National Stadium in San José for the inauguration ceremony, saying, “We want to effectively combat poverty, not just administer it.” In addition to its plan to reduce poverty, Solís’ administration will face … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Costa Rican Elections – U.S. Deportations – Venezuela-Spain Spat – FIFA Delays

Unchallenged Costa Rican Candidate Wins Presidency: Luis Guillermo Solís of the Partido Acción Ciudadana (Citizen Action Party—PAC) won Sunday’s presidential election in Costa Rica, claiming 78 percent of the vote. The challenging candidate, Johnny Araya of the Partido Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Party—PLN), dropped out of the running after a March 5 opinion poll ranked … Read more

 

Monday Memo: Costa Rican and Salvadoran Elections – Peru-Chile Border – Colombia and Drummond – Uruguayan Floods

Likely top stories this week: presidential candidates in Costa Rica and El Salvador will advance to runoff elections; the dispute over the Chile-Peru border continues; Colombia brings charges against the U.S.-based coal company Drummond; heavy rains in Uruguay lead to flood warnings in most of the country. Costa Rican Presidential Elections: Costan Rican voters on … Read more

 

Zone of Peace Announced at CELAC Summit

The thirty-three countries that make up the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Community (CELAC), wrapped up their second summit by declaring the region a “zone of peace,” on Wednesday. Heads of state including Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, and recently elected Michelle Bachelet of Chile signed … Read more

 

Former San José Mayor Leads Presidential Poll in Costa Rica

Only six months away from the February 4, 2014, presidential election in Costa Rica, the former mayor of San José and official candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Party—PLN), Johnny Araya, holds a significant lead over his rivals in the most recent poll. According to a local Borge y Asociados poll released on … Read more

 

In Costa Rica, the United States is Eclipsed by its own Shadow

Today, U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Costa Rica as part of a trip to promote trade and business ties, discuss the implications of U.S. immigration reform for the region, and address security issues in Central America and Mexico. Compared with past visits of U.S. presidents to the country, which were major events, Obama’s trip … Read more

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