Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

[i]AQ[/i] Videos: Natural Resource Extraction in Chile, Colombia and Peru

AQ traveled to Colombia, Chile and Peru in 2012 to study natural resource extraction and its effect on social inclusion, made possible with the generous support of the Ford Foundation. On each trip, the team met with mining officials, local government representatives, community leaders, and environmental activists to gain a broad, nuanced and diverse understanding … Read more

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Chile’s Municipal Elections: Everyone Loses, but the Ruling Coalition Loses More

The center-right ruling Alianza coalition led by President Sebastián Piñera suffered a setback in the municipal elections held on October 28. A year before the presidential election, prospects for the Alianza look grimmer. The Piñera administration—inaugurated two weeks after the devastating February 2010 earthquake—is now confronting the political aftershocks of his coalition’s losses and hoping … Read more


Same-Sex Marriage in Chile

Marriage equality for same-sex couples is gaining new momentum in the United States. One month ago, President Obama announced that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”  Meanwhile, major multinational corporations and top consumer brands are also coming out in favor of marriage equality. In February, Proposition 8, a voter referendum that reversed marriage … Read more


Chile’s Tsunami and the Courtroom Battle

On the morning of February 27, 2010, Interior Minister Patricio Rosende dismissed on national television “absolutely, the possibility of a tsunami,” asking the nation to remain calm only one hour after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck south-central Chile. Meanwhile, a series of waves were heading toward Chile’s shore. Eventually, the all-powerful water would engulf a 375 … Read more


Lessons for Regionwide Engagement from Obama’s Latin America Trip

President Obama’s trip to Latin America can be broken down as an essentially successful visit to Brazil and an uneventful trip to Chile and El Salvador. Unfortunately, the disappointing visit to Spanish-speaking Latin America has cast a shadow on the accomplishments achieved in Brazil. The main oversight of the trip is that Latin America should … Read more


Obama’s Moment to Get It Right in Latin America

Amidst nuclear meltdown in Japan, growing pressures to respond to the carnage in Libya and the specter of a possible U.S. government shutdown, flitting rumors have circulated that the visit of President Barack Obama to three Latin American countries may be cancelled or postponed.  This would be a major setback in U.S. relations with the … Read more

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Rebuilding Business after the Chilean Earthquake

The 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Chile on February 27, 2010, left local micro-enterprises in a dire situation. In the southern coast, where the effects were most severe, entire fishing villages and towns were wiped out. Small entrepreneurs saw their businesses literally crumble to the ground. In the most affected areas, 98 percent … Read more


What Role for Foreigners?

U.S. sporting-goods entrepreneur Douglas Tompkins first fell in love with Patagonia as a teenager on backpacking trips. Today, he is one of Latin America’s largest private landowners, controlling an estimated 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) straddling Argentina and Chile at the tip of the continent. However, the 66-year-old New York native, who founded the North … Read more


Dispatches: Observing the U.S. Elections

It is difficult to find an American over 50 who does not remember what he or she was doing the day John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Those moments are as vivid as photographs. For a new generation of Americans (not to mention millions of people worldwide), Barack Obama’s election and … Read more


POLITICAL INNOVATOR: Claudio Orrego, Chile

Affluence isn’t a prerequisite for being at the cutting-edge of connectivity. The proof is Peñalolén, a working-class municipality on the outskirts of Santiago, which was named this year as one of the most-connected municipalities in Chile by the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, and declared the most digital medium-sized city in Latin America by the Ibero-American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Enterprises in Madrid.

The reason for Peñalolén’s stature is not hard to find: smart political leadership.

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Expand Trade—Even with Cuba

Congratulations, Mr. President-elect. Amidst the celebratory post-election fervor of the past few weeks I hope you have caught glimpses of the transcendent significance of your victory, and the powerful inspiration that it provides to the citizens of the U.S. and, indeed, the world. In fact, there can be little doubt that your ascension to the presidential office validates and illuminates many of the core tenets of your nation.

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