Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

El Salvador’s (Close) Presidential Election: What’s Next?

El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced a winner of the March 9 presidential runoff a week after the election, leaving half of the country overjoyed and the other half in despair. Salvador Sánchez Cerén, of the governing Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (Farabundo Marti Liberation Front—FMLN), won by a mere 0.22 percent of … Read more


Monday Memo: El Salvador’s Next President – Venezuela – Peace in Colombia – Protesters Cross U.S.-Mexico Border – Bogotá and Petro

Likely top stories this week: election results are sustained in El Salvador; Venezuelan protests continue; Santos is optimistic about peace with FARC; young immigrant protesters cross back into the U.S.; Gustavo Petro’s future as mayor is uncertain in Bogotá. Cerén Declared Next President of El Salvador: El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal officially rejected presidential candidate … Read more


Salvadoran Presidential Candidate Demands Recount

Salvadoran presidential candidate Norman Quijano demanded  a recount of individual votes on Wednesday after preliminary results from Sunday’s elections showed that Quijano lost to former rebel and current Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén by fewer than 7,000 votes. “We are not going to permit fraud of the chavista or Maduro type in Venezuela. This is … 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


Safe Streets, Safe Cities

Discussions of sustainable cities tend to focus on environmental goals such as developing eco-friendly architecture, recycling, and improving the resiliency of urban infrastructure systems. But public or citizen security is an equally important aspect of building a sustainable city. Often, it is the issue that tops the list of citizens’ concerns—and with good reason. Violent … Read more


Negotiations with the FARC and other Regional Efforts to Achieve Peace

The peace negotiations in Cuba between the Fuerzas Armada Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) and the Colombian government, set to reconvene today, are not the only peace agreements being conducted in Latin America.  One year ago, the two main drug gangs in El Salvador, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, agreed a … Read more


El Salvador’s New Push to Reduce Extortion

In the first days of his last year as president, El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes was forced to make some changes in the country’s security cabinet. Following a ruling by the Supreme Court declaring the former security and justice minister’s term unconstitutional, Funes selected Ricardo Perdomo as the new security and justice minister. Perdomo, a … Read more


Apuestas Estratégicas para el 2014 en El Salvador

En el año 2000 la mayoría de los salvadoreños teníamos una idea, al menos vaga, sobre cual debería de ser la apuesta estratégica del país. El entonces presidente Francisco Flores y su gabinete nos hablaban sobre la viabilidad de convertir a El Salvador en un centro financiero y en un centro logístico de calidad mundial. … Read more


El huevo de la seguridad pública salvadoreña

Las cifras policiales oficiales indican que durante los últimos meses la cantidad de asesinatos registrados en El Salvador ha disminuido en aproximadamente 50 por ciento. Esto es especialmente significativo considerando que un informe elaborado por Naciones Unidas, publicado el año pasado, ubica a dicho país como el segundo más violento del mundo.  No obstante, atrás … Read more


El Salvador’s Prison System Needs Reform

Latin America’s prison system is in crisis. Human Rights Watch has called the Latin American penitentiary system “underfunded, overcrowded and often controlled by criminals inside their walls.” In March 2012, a prison fire killed over 350 inmates in Honduras. The same week, a series of prison riots in three Mexican penitentiaries resulted in 48 fatalities. … Read more


El Salvador: May Moderation Win as FMLN and ARENA Prepare for 2014 Election

El Salvador is facing multiple threats to democracy. High crime, a slow economy and persistent poverty join more modern issues such as urban governance, reduced competitiveness and stagnant productivity. While these challenges disappoint members of the electorate, consistent political bickering is also a turn-off to a base of voters that desperately cries for moderation. Political … Read more

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