South and Central America

South and Central America achieved independence

from Spain and Portugal in the 19th century, during and after the Napoleonic wars. A large number of new countries emerged, their creation engendered by local interests and “oligarchs” of the day. All European powers had claims on the islands of the Caribbean. Some of them remain domains of European countries or the United States.

Like North America and Africa, the region is richly endowed in natural resources, water and agricultural land.

Inefficient governance systems and a lack of fiscal discipline are problems haunting most countries in the region. These weaknesses lead to political instability, abrupt regime changes and corruption.

Aside from natural resources, the region’s chief assets include its climatic variety and easy access to the oceans. The area has avoided participation in major wars due to its geographic distance from the world’s hot spots.

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  • Report
  • Scenarios

Shadow over Brazil’s oil production outlook

Experts forecast a considerable growth of oil supply in Brazil, but similar predictions turned out to be overly optimistic in the past. For such predictions to become a reality, the Brazilian government would need to remove the regulations that discouraged large and private oil companies from investing during the latest licensing rounds.

Dr. Carole Nakhle
  • Report
  • Analysis

Opinion: Honduras pays the price for being a captured state

Homicide levels in Honduras are some of the highest in the world. The country is also one of the poorest in the region. Solving these problems seems a distant prospect, however, as the current president and his coterie are enmeshed in the corruption and drug-trafficking that cause them. With the Trump administration counting the Honduran government as an ally in its fight against illegal immigration, there is little prospect for change.

Dr. Joseph S. Tulchin
  • Report
  • Dossier

GIS Dossier: The seemingly intractable drama of the Northern Triangle states

Central America is a region with autocratic states spanning generations, stunted economic growth and violence hounding its societies. As if these challenges were not enough, the last two decades have witnessed the entry of another dreadful actor in the region. Pressed hard over the Caribbean Sea by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration and its allies, Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have shifted their trafficking operations into Central America’s isthmus, capturing and turning the most affected countries into nearly failed or captured states. 

GIS Feature
  • Report
  • Scenarios

Argentina: Again on the brink of default

Under President Mauricio Macri, Argentina has fallen into economic crisis once again. Last month, Argentines elected a new president, Alberto Fernandez, with former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate. To end the downward spiral, Mr. Fernandez will have to deftly navigate a complicated political scene and overcome stubborn economic challenges.

Dr. Joseph S. Tulchin