Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Brazil’s Year of Living Dangerously

In May 2016, the Brazilian Senate impeached President Dilma Rousseff in the middle of her second term, amid economic recession, corruption scandals and street protests. She was replaced by her vice president, Michel Temer. One year later, Brazilians are discussing Temer’s impeachment, amid economic recession, corruption scandals, taped recordings that could incriminate the chief of … Read more


Why Brazilian Politics Needs a Radical Makeover

Brazil is one of the top 10 economies globally, but it fails to meet too many of its population’s basic needs. It is one of the OECD countries with the highest public spending on education – yet Brazilian students perform worse on international tests than those in other OECD countries. Half of all Brazilians still lack access to basic sanitation and 35 million lack … Read more


Conoce a 5 de los jueces más valientes de Latinoamérica

Read in English Odilon de Oliveira tiene 68 años y está preocupado por su jubilación– pero no por las razones que uno se imaginaría. Siendo uno de los jueces brasilerosmás vocales, de Oliveira ha mandado a docenas de narcotraficantes conocidos a prisión por largos períodos. Pero su trabajo ha venido con costos— él y su … Read more


Brazil’s ‘Car Wash’ Probe: Tell Me How This Ends

During their first year in the spotlight, the young federal prosecutors leading the “Operation Car Wash” corruption probe seemed to handle themselves with an eerie, almost cinematic grace. From the case’s obscure roots of money laundering at a gas station, to its eruption into an unprecedented scandal that helped bring down Dilma Rousseff’s presidency, the … Read more

Pesos Argentina

Argentina’s Quiet (Giant) Step Against Corruption

With anti-corruption efforts making noise throughout the hemisphere, Argentina is quietly on the brink of a major victory. A draft bill that would change the way the country prosecutes malfeasance seems like a simple fix. But if passed, the legislation could have a major effect on the way businesses treat – and crackdown on – … Read more

brazil protest

How to Get Brazil (And Latin America) Completely Wrong

It’s been yet another rough week for Brazil’s international image, with an Olympic mascot shot dead in an absurd accident and another national political figure dragged into scandal. But the biggest blow of all came from Declan Ryan, co-founder of the Irish budget airline Ryanair, who told an Argentine newspaper that he was considering expansion … Read more

Sergio Moro

Judge Moro: Systemic Corruption Can Become a ‘Sad Memory’ of Brazil’s Past

Editor’s note: Moro is the federal judge overseeing “Operation Car Wash,” the historic investigation of corruption at Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras. This piece first appeared in Portuguese in Exame magazine, and can be seen here. The English translation has been lightly edited for clarity, context and length. More than two years after the start … Read more


Argentina to Expand Use of Plea Bargaining, Inspired by Brazil

With the use of plea bargaining, a Brazilian legal team has recovered $785 million stolen in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal, and they’re hunting down another $5.9 billion. You can’t blame Argentina for wanting to use the controversial legal tool to see what it can recoup, too. Inspired by Brazil, Argentine President Mauricio Macri is laying … Read more

Policia Federal

The Brilliant Names of Brazil’s Anti-Corruption Operations: A Guide

This piece was updated on March 7. Operação Lava Jato, or “Operation Car Wash,” isn’t the only odd-sounding police sting to make waves in Brazil in recent years. Here are some of the names and stories behind the country’s most scintillating anti-corruption busts: Operação Lava JatoIn March 2014, a Brazilian currency exchanger named Alberto Youssef was caught … Read more

Protests in Brazil

Janio Is Coming: The Return of the Old, Unstable Brazil

Over the last two decades, it seemed like a new Brazil had taken root. A stable, democratic Brazil, one where presidents finished their terms, a vibrant economy lifted all boats, and money more or less retained its value. But now – meu Deus. With every cry for impeachment, with every revelation of the rot at … Read more


Learning the Ropes

In the past decade, China’s expanding engagement with Latin America has captivated the attention of the region and the United States. Most of the focus, however, has been on whether the new trade and investment is good for the region’s long-term development, and whether particular Chinese activities, such as military sales and loans to Venezuela … Read more


Exporting Corruption

In 2008, when I was a Fulbright professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, the international school my children attended hired a local contractor to build a new classroom wing. As the building reached completion, the relationship went sour: the construction did not meet the criteria originally agreed upon. As the parties began to fight … Read more


High Inequality

Latin America suffers from both the world’s highest rate of income inequality and from a lackluster economic performance that puts it well behind the growth levels of other emerging regions such as Asia. Could there be a connection? Recent research suggests that high inequality and low social mobility are more than just poor people’s problems: … Read more

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