Ecuador’s interrupted revolution
After Rafael Correa became president of Ecuador in 2007, he used windfall profits from petroleum revenue to drive economic growth with aggressive public-sector spending on huge infrastructure projects, much-needed social assistance and ballooning government bureaucracy. The 2014-2015 global downturn in oil prices made that strategy unsustainable. Since May 2017, the country’s newly elected President Lenin Moreno faces an anemic economy, unchecked corruption, pent-up opposition demands and tensions inside the ruling party. Shadowing him is Mr. Correa, who is plotting a return to the presidency.
Opinion: Corruption scandals in Latin America can be good news
Large-scale bribery, graft and political corruption plague many countries in South America, but the region’s rising middle class and its renewed democratic institutions give reasons to expect that the problem will result in strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law.
Ecuador: Political instability makes a comeback
Ecuador is in a holding pattern ahead of the February 2017 general election. President Rafael Correa has decided to sit this one out, leaving his office up for grabs and the ruling Alianza PAIS party vulnerable. Already saddled with a stagnant economy and a crushing debt burden, Ecuador may revert to the political instability that plagued it for much of the past half century.
Beyond hegemony: the next U.S. president and Latin America
Whatever Donald Trump might think, the U.S. can no longer throw its weight around in Latin America. One by-product of the region’s democratic transformation and economic boom of the early 2000s is a new sense of self-assertiveness. Barack Obama and George W. Bush recognized this fact, and the next U.S. president will have to accept it, too.
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.
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...