<a href="https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/bolivia-will-president-serve-another-term">Bolivia: Will the President Serve Another Term?</a>

Bolivia: Will the President Serve Another Term?

Bolivian President Evo Morales is not even a year into his third term but already appears to be considering a fourth. The government plans to convene a Cabinet meeting in December to discuss whether Morales should try to change the constitution to allow him to run again in 2019. Meanwhile, some of his supporters have begun calling for a national referendum that would pave the way for those changes. With the economy growing and the political opposition weak, it is ...  

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/08/world/americas/vice-president-of-brazil-emerges-from-shadows-as-scandal-engulfs-dilma-rousseff.html?ref=americas">Brazil’s Vice President Sees Influence Grow as Scandal Engulfs Dilma Rousseff</a>

Brazil’s Vice President Sees Influence Grow as Scandal Engulfs Dilma Rousseff

RIO DE JANEIRO — Few Brazilians gave much thought until recently to their vice president, a 74-year-old scholar of constitutional law with a bearing so formal that a political rival once compared him to “a butler from a horror movie.” …

 

<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexicos-economy-was-supposed-to-soar-its-starting-to-flop/2015/08/07/ecbf00dc-3ab4-11e5-b759-e3c43f009486_story.html">Mexico’s economy was supposed to soar. It’s starting to flop.</a>

Mexico’s economy was supposed to soar. It’s starting to flop.

Largely lost amid the frantic scramble after drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s dramatic prison escape, one of the biggest leaps of faith for the Mexican economy landed with a flop. …

 

<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-wants-to-dig-the-nicaragua-canal-1439159390">China Wants to Dig the Nicaragua Canal</a>

China Wants to Dig the Nicaragua Canal

Like a lot of Chinese economic decisions these days, the proposal by Hong Kong development company HKND to build an artificial waterway across Nicaragua is beginning to look like all hat, and no canal. Yet economics aside, China may still see the ditch as part of a military strategy, and President Daniel Ortega may see it as a way to expand his business empire. …

 

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/08/10/world/americas/10reuters-argentina-election-primary.html?ref=americas">Ruling Party Candidate Scioli Leads Argentine Presidential Primary</a>

Ruling Party Candidate Scioli Leads Argentine Presidential Primary

BUENOS AIRES — Ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli was ahead in Argentina’s presidential primary on Sunday with 36.8 percent, early results showed, with voters favoring the Buenos Aires governor’s policy of gradual change after eight years of leftist government. …

 

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/08/09/world/americas/ap-cb-haiti-elections.html?ref=americas&_r=1">Disorder as Haitians Vote in Long-Delayed Elections</a>

Disorder as Haitians Vote in Long-Delayed Elections

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Delays, disorder and sporadic violence troubled Haitian legislative elections on Sunday as voters chose lawmakers for the next Parliament after a yearslong wait. …

 

<a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c9c4b05c-0b81-11e5-994d-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3iPmsAvJX">Venezuela: ‘Terrorised by oil price drop’</a>

Venezuela: ‘Terrorised by oil price drop’

When a frustrated mother threw a mango at Nicolás Maduro in April, hitting him on the head, she could never have guessed the outcome: the Venezuelan president promised his homeless attacker a new apartment. …

 

<a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article30440097.html">Report: Even low-profile critics in Venezuela being muzzled by courts</a>

Report: Even low-profile critics in Venezuela being muzzled by courts

BOGOTA It’s no secret that Venezuela has used its courts to sideline and silence prominent foes. But a new report by Human Rights Watch suggests the practice is more widespread and being used against even low-profile dissenters, from businessmen and doctors to Twitter-using fortune tellers. …

 

 

<a href="LINK">Economists Think Brazil Will Get Downgraded to Junk in the Next Few Years</a>

Economists Think Brazil Will Get Downgraded to Junk in the Next Few Years

From another economic recession to a juicy corruption scandal embroiling President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil has had a tough 2015. It’s now looking down the barrel of another likely event: a junk rating of its government bonds. …

 

<a href="http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21660569-south-american-union-faces-test-venezuela-edifice-search-function">An edifice in search of a function: The South American Union faces a test in Venezuela</a>

An edifice in search of a function: The South American Union faces a test in Venezuela

AT MITAD DEL MUNDO (“Middle of the World”), a park in an Andean valley outside Quito, Ecuador’s capital, a stone monument marks the line of the equator. Just a couple of hundred metres to the south rises a striking new building clad in silver and black glass, its two cantilevered wings describing a U. It is the headquarters of the South American Union, or Unasur, opened last year. …

 

<a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33813695">Peru admits Shining Path rebels have not been ‘exterminated’</a>

Peru admits Shining Path rebels have not been ‘exterminated’

The Peruvian government has admitted that the Shining Path Maoist rebel group is still in existence. “We cannot say this terrorist group has been exterminated,” said Defence Minister Jakke Valakivi. “It is much weakened, of course, but it continues to operate.” …

 

<a href="http://colombiareports.com/farc-truce-fails-to-curb-colombias-pessimism-over-peace-talks/">FARC truce fails to curb Colombia’s pessimism over peace talks</a>

FARC truce fails to curb Colombia’s pessimism over peace talks

Colombia’s urban dwellers continue to be highly pessimistic about the outcome of ongoing peace talks with FARC rebels despite concrete steps to deescalate the conflict, according to a recent poll. …

 

<a href="LINK">‘Cártel de Sinaloa’ creció, incluso con ‘El Chapo’ preso</a>

‘Cártel de Sinaloa’ creció, incluso con ‘El Chapo’ preso

Por Zorayda Gallegos y Silber Meza

Antes de su segunda fuga de un penal de máxima seguridad realizada el 11 de julio pasado, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán pasó un año, cuatro meses y 17 días internado en el Centro Federal de Readaptación Social de El Altiplano, en el Estado de México, y en ese lapso su cártel creció su presencia de seis a siete estados, y aumentó de ocho a 10 el número de grupos criminales a su servicio. …

 

<a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/08/06/former-argentinian-president-goes-to-trial-over-14-bombing-jewish-center/?intcmp=hplnws">Former Argentinian president goes to trial over 1994 bombing of Jewish center</a>

Former Argentinian president goes to trial over 1994 bombing of Jewish center

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (AP) –  On the home page of Argentina’s largest Jewish community center is a counter that keeps track of the “days of impunity” since a bomb ripped through the organization’s central building, causing it to collapse and leaving 85 dead amid the rubble. …

 

<a href="http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2015/08/06/john-kerry-george-shultz-and-the-kerry-visit-to-cuba/">Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’</a>

Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’

Since the opening of diplomatic relations and of the Cuban embassy in Washington, what’s been going on in Cuba? More repression. There were 630 political arrests in June, according to the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights. …

 

<a href="http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-officials-state-depts-politicized-trafficking-report-could-kill-credibility/">Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’</a>

Former Officials: State Dept’s Politicized Trafficking Report Could ‘Kill Credibility’

Accusations that the State Department watered down its report on human trafficking for political reasons threaten to undermine the agency’s credibility and promotion of human rights, according to former department officials. …

 

Hablemos claro sobre Venezuela

Hablemos claro sobre Venezuela

Por Roger F. Noriega

Durante años, el presidente Obama hizo caso omiso mientras el gobierno de Venezuela destruía la economía y democracia de ese país. Ahora que el régimen está en una espiral de muerte, Obama podría empeorar la situación al darle oxígeno a líderes corruptos en Caracas que han dilapidado al país y lo han transformado de ser un viejo aliado en una nueva amenaza.

La administración “está trabajando para mejorar las relaciones [con Venezuela], impulsados ​​por la preocupación de que ...  

Obama’s failed ‘charm offensive’ in Venezuela

Obama’s failed ‘charm offensive’ in Venezuela

By Roger F. Noriega

For years, President Obama stood by and did nothing as Venezuela’s leaders wrecked that country’s economy and democracy. Now that the regime is in a death spiral, Obama may actually make things worse by buying time for the corrupt leaders in Caracas who have looted the country and transformed an old ally into a new threat.

The administration “is working to improve relations [with Venezuela], driven by concern that upheaval ...  

<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6f41d49888174b45857d34511fda1caf/apnewsbreak-email-leak-suggests-ecuador-spied-opposition">APNewsBreak: Email leak suggests Ecuador spied on opposition</a>

APNewsBreak: Email leak suggests Ecuador spied on opposition

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Ecuadorean opposition activist Dr. Carlos Figueroa was being pursued by the state when his email and Facebook accounts were hacked. Several dozen of his colleagues have similarly had their digital lives violated. All blamed President Rafael Correa’s government, but no one had proof.

 

<a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/08/06/venezuela-critics-under-threat">Venezuela: Critics Under Threat</a>

Venezuela: Critics Under Threat

(New York) – The government of President Nicolás Maduro and its political supporters in parliament are misusing the criminal justice system to punish people for criticizing its policies, Human Rights Watch said today. In addition to the well-publicized arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of opposition politicians, Venezuelan authorities have brought criminal charges or threatened to open criminal investigations against dozens of lesser-known critics over the past year. … 

 

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About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.