Dispatches: Ecuador Should Drop Terrorism Charges Against Activists

Dispatches: Ecuador Should Drop Terrorism Charges Against Activists

On January 25, an Ecuadorean court could convict Manuela Pacheco and Manuel Trujillo, activists who oppose a hydroelectric project in Bolivar province, of terrorism. If convicted, they face up to 8 years in prison.

Pacheco and Trujillo are accused of participating in violent incidents during a protest in August 2012 against the project, which they believe would severely limit their community’s access to water. The accusation is based on medical records of injured policemen, and police reports and officials’ testimony that ...  

15 countries in arrears to UN including Venezuela lose vote

15 countries in arrears to UN including Venezuela lose vote

UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the General Assembly that 15 countries including oil producer Venezuela are in arrears in paying their annual contribution to the U.N. regular budget, which means they can’t vote in the 193-member world body unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Ban’s letter dated Monday and circulated Friday also included Iran, another major oil producer, which was under U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program until last Saturday, when they were lifted. But Assembly spokesman Daniel Thomas ...  

Argentina Eyes $20 Billion in Investment in 2016, Macri Says

Argentina Eyes $20 Billion in Investment in 2016, Macri Says

Argentine President Mauricio Macri swept through the halls of Davos claiming a potential windfall of $20 billion in foreign investment this year from energy to infrastructure as he tries to persuade global investors that this time is different for Latin America’s third-largest economy.

“Argentina has decided to take its place in the global landscape,” Macri said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need important companies of the world to finance ...  

Political Risk Outlook: Is The Security Crisis In El Salvador Getting Worse?

Political Risk Outlook: Is The Security Crisis In El Salvador Getting Worse?

El Salvador is one of Latin America’s most complicated and problematic economies. A geographically tiny country that is smaller than the U.S. state of Vermont, El Salvador is home to more than six million people, more than ten times Vermont’s population. El Salvador’s economy is dollarized, a fact that should make it easier to do business with U.S. companies but the current left-of-centre government of Salvador Sánchez Ceren hasn’t been able to encourage enough investment to spur much economic growth. ...  

Mexico’s Murder Rate Climbs for the First Time in Four Years

Mexico’s Murder Rate Climbs for the First Time in Four Years

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Murders in Mexico jumped nearly 9 percent last year, their first increase in four years, as President Enrique Pena Nieto struggles to make good on his election pledge to end the country’s drug violence. But other crimes like kidnapping and extortion have fallen, according to government data released late on Wednesday, perhaps pointing to a shift toward more brutal tactics by some of the country’s dozens of drug cartels.

Prosecutors from Mexico’s 31 states and Mexico City ...  

Marco Rubio: Obama not doing enough to stop Cuba migrant crisis

Marco Rubio: Obama not doing enough to stop Cuba migrant crisis

Washington (CNN) Sen. Marco Rubio used the Cuban migrant crisis approaching U.S. borders on Thursday to lambast President Barack Obama’s policies toward Cuba as laughable. The Cuban-American Republican senator from Florida was asked what he would do about Cuba as president on Thursday at an Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security forum in New Hampshire.

He attacked Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba, saying the U.S. made “major concessions” and Cuba changed “nothing” in how they behave in return, including ...  

Venezuela Default Imminent, Chavez Legacy Rests In Pieces

Venezuela Default Imminent, Chavez Legacy Rests In Pieces

Venezuela has been on default watch for months. Its credit rating is already in the gutter, at CCC at Standard & Poor’s. With oil now $20 lower thant it was when the S&P made that call, a default is no longer a question of if, but when.

A recent emergency economic decree is likely too late to save anyone but president Nicolas Maduro. After two years of inaction and the recent decline in oil prices, Barclays Capital analyst Alejandro Arreazaa said ...  

U.S. renews travel warning to Mexico as killings of Americans climb

U.S. renews travel warning to Mexico as killings of Americans climb

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning to all Americans planning on going to Mexico – renewing an expired travel ban issued in May of last year – as the latest figures show the number of murdered U.S. citizens south of the border has gone up.

The number of American citizens murdered in Mexico rose from 81 in 2013 to 100 in 2014, according to the U.S. government. Meantime, the FBI tells Fox News Latino, 241 Americans have been ...  

Cruz Seeks to Block Joint U.S.-Cuba Security Exercises

Cruz Seeks to Block Joint U.S.-Cuba Security Exercises

Congress may consider blocking the United States and Cuba from conducting joint security exercises until the Obama administration can prove the communist regime has dialed back its anti-American efforts, according to a letter sent to the Pentagon and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a leading critic of the administration’s detente with Cuba, petitioned Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Wednesday, demanding that he disinvite Cuba from the upcoming Caribbean Nations Security Conference, which will be ...  

Transcript: Jeb Bush talks Latin America at the CFR

Transcript: Jeb Bush talks Latin America at the CFR

Partial Transcript of Council on Foreign Relations event with Jeb Bush

01/19/2016

Q: Jeff Laurenti.

Governor, you exhorted us this afternoon to pay more attention to our neighborhood, and you’ve provided distinguished leadership to the state more than any other faces, not only Cuba but all of Latin America.

With the spread of democracy throughout that region you’ve had a number of left-wing governments coming to power, some of which have caused a certain ácido, stomach acid, in Washington, even leading to some efforts ...  

Central America’s Gangs Are All Grown Up and more dangerous than ever

Central America’s Gangs Are All Grown Up and more dangerous than ever

The possible arrival of a few thousand Syrian refugees in the United States has caused a political firestorm, but there is a much more serious humanitarian crisis brewing on America’s southern border. The growing wave of unaccompanied children flowing from the northern tier of Central America across the U.S.-Mexico border could very well turn into a long-lasting tsunami due to the horrific violence and gang warfare wracking the region.

Despite the announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry last week that ...  

Venezuela: a nation in a state in Charts, maps and infographics

Venezuela: a nation in a state in Charts, maps and infographics

OF ALL the unflattering words used to describe the state of the country he governs, “disaster” is the one Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, dislikes the most. Perhaps that is because it is so apt. Under his watch, the nation has entered a steep decline. Mr Maduro has restricted the publication of official economic figures. Those that have been divulged confirm that 2015 was a very bad year. And 2016 is going to be worse.

A global oil boom, which provided Hugo ...  

Political Risk Outlook: How Will Peru’s Economy Perform In 2016?

Political Risk Outlook: How Will Peru’s Economy Perform In 2016?

Thanks to booming commodity prices and rising levels of natural resource exports to China, Peru’s economy has delivered impressive growth over the past decade. Companies such as Newmont Mining, Southern Copper, Freeport McMoRan, Glencore and BHP Billiton have all made big investments in Peru’s mining sector.

Economic growth in the Andean nation, however, has been impacted by China’s slowdown and the drop in the prices for the metals that Peru exports. During 2015, for instance, an increase in copper production was ...  

Colombia closes in on peace agreement, but at what price?

Colombia closes in on peace agreement, but at what price?

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—By any yardstick, Colombia is poised for a stellar year. It’s expected to sign a peace deal that will end the hemisphere’s oldest civil conflict, have the region’s strongest economy, and play host to high-profile visits from both Pope Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama. To top it off, it’s even in the running for an Oscar.

But talk to people on the street and the mood is decidedly sour. Pocketbooks have been strained by the twin woes of a ...  

Brazil’s bust is worse than we thought

Brazil’s bust is worse than we thought

The International Monetary Fund sharply downgraded its economic forecast for Brazil Tuesday. It was by far the largest revision of all major countries, according to its World Economic Outlook. Brazil fell deep into a self-inflicted recession last year — the longest downturn for the country since the 1930s. The IMF and other forecasters thought Brazil would still be in a recession this year, but it wouldn’t be as bad as 2015.

Nope.

“The recession caused by political uncertainty amid continued fallout from ...  

Venezuela Congress plans to investigate PDVSA, China loans

Venezuela Congress plans to investigate PDVSA, China loans

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s new opposition-led Congress plans to investigate state-run oil company PDVSA’s [PDVSA.UL] financial health and hefty Chinese loans, a lawmaker said on Tuesday. The OPEC member country depends on oil for nearly all of its export revenue. With the political opposition in control of the National Assembly since this month, rivals of leftist President Nicolas Maduro want to use their new perch to push for greater transparency and accountability at PDVSA.

“We want to know the real state ...  

Here Are Five Articles About Mexico’s Drug War That Are Actually Worth Reading

Here Are Five Articles About Mexico’s Drug War That Are Actually Worth Reading

Sean Penn has admitted that his article about Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman for Rolling Stone fell short of his expectations. “Let me be clear: my article has failed,” he allowed. The piece, a strange sort of longwinded gonzo journalism, has been widely condemned for the concessions the author and magazine allowed the subject prior to publication. My preoccupations are less pedantic. I think Penn’s article is terribly written, but that’s not my main criticism. I think the ...  

US should help Argentina solve terrorism case

US should help Argentina solve terrorism case

Will the presidential victory of Mauricio Macri in Argentina finally bring justice to the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? Will it solve the murder of the AMIA investigation’s special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, one year ago? Or will Nisman’s revelations of Iran’s role in terrorism in the Western Hemisphere die as he did?

To be sure, the defeat of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s preferred candidate, Daniel Scioli, was met with a global sigh ...  

Argentina’s New President Lays the Groundwork for a Better Economy

Argentina’s New President Lays the Groundwork for a Better Economy

After only a month in power, Argentina’s new government has already taken significant steps to address the country’s economic problems. Since December, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has managed to remove export taxes for agricultural products, slow the printing of pesos, abolish most currency controls and take steps to remove subsidies on electricity, food and natural gas. Each of these practices, while they were in place, increased Argentina’s reliance on deficit spending over the past few years, contributing to high inflation ...  

Brazil Recession Deepening With Three Lost Years, IMF Says

Brazil Recession Deepening With Three Lost Years, IMF Says

Brazil won’t return to growth until at least 2018 after two years of recession and one of stagnation, marking the first time in over a century that Latin America’s largest economy fails to expand for that long, the International Monetary Fund said.

The IMF cut Brazil’s 2017 economic forecast to stagnation from 2.3 percent growth as it updated its World Economic Outlook, last published in October. Gross domestic product will shrink 3.5 percent this year after contracting 3.8 percent in 2015, ...  

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Videos Featuring Our Experts

Testimony by Ambassador Roger Noriega before House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Latin America in 2015: A Year in Review

Jose Cardenas discusses Cuba's problematic ties abroad at the Center for Security Policy’s 4th Annual Latin America Symposium

Roger Noriega discute las elecciones en Venezuela con Andrés Oppenheimer

Felipe Trigos participa en un debate sobre la posible extradición de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Felipe Trigos habla sobre la fuga de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

U.S. & Cuba reach historic deal: Noriega on Fox News’ ‘Happening Now’

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Opening Statement at Hearing on Colombia and FARC

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Colombia and FARC

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Future of Property Rights in Cuba

Rosa María Payá encara al Secretario General de la OEA

Roger Noriega: "EE.UU. tiene "pruebas" contra funcionarios venezolanos por lavado de dinero y narcotráfico"

Senator Menendez Asks Administration Witness Questions About Cuba Policy

The Future of US Defense Cooperation in Latin America

Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Central America Migration Crisis

Felipe Trigos participa en un debate sobre los 2 años de gobierno de Nicolás Maduro

UNDERSTANDING AND ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSES OF CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES

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.