GIS Dossier: Venezuela lives on the edge
The world's richest country in oil reserves is on the verge of becoming a failed state. After more than a half-century of social harmony funded by oil revenue, a socialist variant of caudillismo has run the country into the ground. Yet political changes are blocked by a determined military junta, awash in drug money and cemented by the threat of U.S. indictments. How long can Venezuela stay on the brink?
Colombia finds peace brings burdens
Fresh from winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos must find a way to implement the complicated peace agreement that ended a 40-year civil war. Battling criminal gangs, restoring land to displaced people, and absorbing tens of thousands of guerrilla fighters back into society will be a difficult task. Coca and corruption remain huge problems, and Mr. Santos’ ruling party must fend off a powerful adversary in Alvaro Uribe, an opponent of the peace deal who will challenge in next year’s elections.
GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
Central America under Trump’s shadow
The Trump administration’s policies will have a huge impact on Central America – even if they are not intended to. A trade dispute with Mexico could end up benefitting the region. But tighter border security measures or cutting of funding for improving democratic institutions will prove disastrous.
Endgame in Venezuela
A financial noose is tightening around Venezuela's ruling party. Sovereign default is now imminent and U.S. court judgments have exposed the country's international assets to seizure. Without international mediation, President Nicolas Maduro will have to turn to the military for a potentially bloody crackdown.
Colombia’s peace pact: now comes the hard part
The Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas have signed a long-awaited peace agreement. Now comes the hard part: making it work. There is no guarantee that Colombians will approve the deal in a referendum on October 2. If they do, there will be many other challenges ahead, including asserting state control over the entire country and reintegrating fighters into society. Though all of that will be difficult, the alternative is much worse.
Mexico: Pena Nieto papers over security crisis
In nearly four years, President Enrique Pena Nieto has been unable to tackle Mexico’s difficulties with organized and violent crime. His shift of focus to economic matters only papers over the problem, rather than addressing its root cause: institutional weakness. The country’s perpetual security crisis looks set to continue.
The Northern Triangle in Central America
Central America’s Northern Triangle states – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – have become a thoroughfare for illegal migration and drug smuggling to the United States. The U.S. is trying to stop this tide by funding police and judicial reform and setting up watchdog agencies. Progress in this diverse and poorly governed region has been mixed.
War on Drugs crippling Northern Triangle countries
The United States has been trying for decades to solve its drug problem with a failing War on Drugs. Washington has militarized its response in places like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The trouble is that these countries’ militaries are part of the problem: violence is not helping.