Paraguay: Awakening from a long slumber
Long known in Latin America as a backwater haven for criminal enterprises and eccentric dictators, Paraguay began to turn around over the past decade. Encouraged by growth from exports of soybeans and hydroelectricity, the country’s elite is taking cautious steps to strengthen state institutions and improve the rule of law. How far and deep this process goes, however, may depend on whether the export-led recovery holds up.
GIS Dossier: Corruption and political transformation
Graft has long been a feature of political systems where rewarding loyalty takes precedence over economic efficiency or the rule of law. But recent events in Latin America show that popular anger at corruption has become a force to be reckoned with – fueled by the power of global markets, the information revolution, and democratization movements. This report assesses the geopolitical implications.
Ecuador picks up the pieces
Ecuador is a small country that embodies many of Latin America’s problems in miniature. Overdependence on commodity exports and Chinese loans, unsustainable public finances, poverty, corruption, crime, refugees and tensions with the U.S. are just a few items on the list. Most of all, its minority government must clean up after former President Rafael Correa’s failed “Citizens’ Revolution,” trying to build sound institutions on a legacy of personalistic governance.
Opinion: Nicaragua’s sad and costly ‘stabilization’
Nine months since protests against worsening living conditions in Latin America’s second-poorest country began, the Nicaraguan opposition is being terrorized and is less able to stage anti-government rallies. However, President Daniel Ortega’s prospects for hanging on to power are also uncertain: his government has few friends and the country’s economic difficulties are mounting.
Opinion: The wrong response to the Caravan
United States President Donald Trump has insinuated the migrant caravan heading from Central America to the U.S. constitutes an invasion and has deployed some 5,000 troops at the border to stop it. Now, the president has threatened to rescind aid to the migrants’ countries of origin. American aid programs are built to address the region’s terrible crime and lack of employment opportunities – the very reasons so many people are leaving their homes and heading for the U.S. in the first place.