A new leader in Colombia
Ivan Duque, Colombia’s newly elected president, takes office with a clear mandate from his supporters. President Duque will likely try to slow the controversial peace accord reached with FARC guerrillas and address widespread public concerns over crime and corruption. But a factional political balance, and major challenges both at home and abroad, is already giving Colombia’s new leader a full plate of problems.
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.
Global Outlook 2017: Latin America’s Trump problem
Geography will have a big impact on Latin America in the coming year: the closer a country is to the United States, the worse off it will be. What President Donald Trump does will shape developments in the region, as will the prices of key commodities. If Mr. Trump decides on collaboration instead of unilateral demands, however, the region could see positive developments.
Restarting the peace process in Colombia
Many of those who voted to reject Colombia’s peace deal with FARC in the October referendum did so because of the level of impunity the agreement gave guerilla fighters. If this provision can be changed, hope remains that a revised deal could win popular approval.
In defense of referenda
Many have been shocked by the outcomes of referenda in the UK, Colombia and Hungary. Some critics now question direct democracy, and whether the people can be trusted with making decisions on major issues. They are forgetting that citizens, not governments, should initiate such votes. When they do, the results are usually very sensible.
Global trends: Latin America seeks growth as leaders straggle
Latin America has reached an inflection point. Recent developments suggest that parts of the region will make significant economic strides over the next few years. However, its two biggest economies – Brazil and Mexico – are stuck in the doldrums, and their politics may be in even worse shape. <i>This report is par...
Special Report on Colombia: a country on the mend
Over the past few years, Colombia has been one of Latin America’s economic success stories. Now, as the civil war that ravaged it for 50 years finally approaches a negotiated end, the country is looking forward to collecting a vast peace dividend. Projections for 2015 and 2016 place Colombia among the fastest growing nat...
Oil price crash will challenge Latin America’s major producers
Plunging oil prices will affect Latin America’s major producers – including Mexico, Colombia, and OPEC members Ecuador and Venezuela – in different ways. There is no sign of a permanent drop in demand; prices will probably remain low for a year or two, and the first three of those countries should be able to cope. But Venezuela is in no position to weather the cras...
Latin American energy reform hampered by politics
Latin America has vast energy reserves, but exploiting these riches is a slow process. Governments face a host of problems, ranging from deep-water drilling to crime syndicates, nationalisation, lack of infrastructure and the vagaries of world oil prices. In Brazil and Venezuela in particular, political difficulties are holding back progress, writes GIS guest expe...