<a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/07/29/mexico-faces-cartel-security-risks-in-opening-energy-sector">Will There Be Blood?</a>

Will There Be Blood?

Mexico’s move to open its energy sector to foreign companies faces threats from the ruthless drug cartels already ravaging the country. …  

 

<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-brazil-raises-key-interest-rate-to-1425-to-curb-inflation-2015-7">Brazil raises a key interest rate as it teeters on the brink of recession</a>

Brazil raises a key interest rate as it teeters on the brink of recession

Brasilia (Brazil) (AFP) – Brazil’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a point to 14.25 percent, seeking to fight inflation during a major slump in the local currency. …

 

<a href="http://news.yahoo.com/colombia-venezuela-border-closed-deadly-clash-233750064.html">Colombia-Venezuela border closed after deadly clash</a>

Colombia-Venezuela border closed after deadly clash

A man was shot and killed during clashes between the Venezuelan national guard and merchants moving goods into Colombia, prompting authorities to shutter the main border crossing between the two countries. ….

 

<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-28/venezuela-s-president-signals-he-won-t-allow-election-monitoring">Venezuela’s President Signals He Won’t Allow Election Monitoring</a>

Venezuela’s President Signals He Won’t Allow Election Monitoring

By Anatoly Kurmanaev

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro indicated he won’t allow international observers to monitor December’s congressional elections, as opinion polls show the ruling party losing its majority. …

 

<a href="http://theconversation.com/how-perus-drug-trade-is-threatening-its-economic-growth-45018">How Peru’s drug trade is threatening its economic growth</a>

How Peru’s drug trade is threatening its economic growth

Peru has been hailed an emerging market success story, with more than a decade of GDP growth in excess of 6%. While booming mining exports have been the overwhelming driver of this, the shopping malls and SUVs in Lima and other major cities are evidence that domestic demand has also been buoyant. …

 

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/world/americas/brazil-arrests-nuclear-chief-in-widening-of-graft-case.html?_r=1">Brazil Arrests Nuclear Chief in Widening of Graft Case</a>

Brazil Arrests Nuclear Chief in Widening of Graft Case

By Simon Romero

RIO DE JANEIRO — The sweeping corruption scandal shaking Brazil’s establishment intensified on Tuesday after the police arrested the mastermind of the military’s secret nuclear program during the 1970s and ’80s. …

 

<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/s-p-lowers-brazils-credit-outlook-to-negative-1438103226">S&P Lowers Brazil’s Credit Outlook to Negative</a>

S&P Lowers Brazil’s Credit Outlook to Negative

By PAULO TREVISANI

BRASÍLIA—Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for Brazil’s sovereign debt, saying the government will have to show firmer resolve to tackle the country’s fiscal woes if it hopes to maintain the nation’s investment-grade credit rating. …

 

<a href="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/07/28/at-un-venezuelas-maduro-accuses-guyana-of-provocations-in-border-dispute/">Venezuelan president Maduro accuses Guyana of ‘provocations’ in border dispute</a>

Venezuelan president Maduro accuses Guyana of ‘provocations’ in border dispute

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained here Tuesday about “provocations” by Guyana and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, and asked that a commission be created as soon as possible to mediate the bilateral conflict over the Essequibo region. …

 

<a href="http://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2015/07/28/1037096">Artífices de la caída de Pablo Escobar se unen a la ‘cacería’ de ‘El Chapo’</a>

Artífices de la caída de Pablo Escobar se unen a la ‘cacería’ de ‘El Chapo’

Colombia se unió a México con un grupo élite para buscar al narcotraficante Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, en el marco de los acuerdos de cooperación en asuntos de seguridad, reveló este martes el diario local El Tiempo. …

 

<a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eadfd44e-3348-11e5-b05b-b01debd57852.html#axzz3h6GlSXO5">Brazilian prosecutors take step closer to political elite</a>

Brazilian prosecutors take step closer to political elite

By Joe Leahy and Aline Rocha

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s firebrand former president, told a weekend meeting of trade unionists that the country’s political left was suffering from “persecution”. …

 

<a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/secretive-white-house-meeting-reveals-obamas-plan-to-visit-cuba-in-2016/article/2569085">Secretive White House meeting reveals Obama’s plan to visit Cuba in 2016</a>

Secretive White House meeting reveals Obama’s plan to visit Cuba in 2016

By Susan Crabtree

A secretive White House meeting on Cuba last week revealed that President Obama plans to visit the island nation early next year, and also discussed the controversial idea of the Cuban government opening consular offices in Miami. …

 

<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-27/harvard-professor-now-says-venezuela-won-t-escape-default-in-16">Harvard Professor Now Says Venezuela Won’t Escape Default in ’16</a>

Harvard Professor Now Says Venezuela Won’t Escape Default in ’16

Harvard University Professor Ricardo Hausmann last year questioned Venezuela’s decision to keep paying bondholders as the country sank deeper into crisis and suggested it stop honoring the debt. …

 

<a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/fastft/366271/venezuela-bolivar">Venezuelan currency enters free fall mode</a>

Venezuelan currency enters free fall mode

Having tumbled beyond the 500 per dollar mark in the black market at the start of the month, and then the 600 mark just eight days later, the bolivar is now within sight of crashing through the 700 barrier. …

 

Can Mexico’s President Recover?

Can Mexico’s President Recover?

By Roger Noriega and Felipe Trigos

Two weeks after the escape of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from a maximum-security prison, the political, security, and economic problems for President Enrique Pena Nieto have yet to bottom out. An administration that has shied away from confronting narcotrafficking, public corruption, and violent unions now finds itself struggling to implement its laudable agenda of national modernization because of a lack of public confidence in all levels of the Mexican government.

Now the first round of ...  

Has Obama Forgotten About Human Rights in Cuba?

Has Obama Forgotten About Human Rights in Cuba?

By José R. Cárdenas

Seven months after President Obama announced his intention to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations, dissidents and human rights activists on the island are already saying they’ve been abandoned. Last week, the Associated Press ran a story headlined “Cuban Dissidents Feel Sidelined as U.S. Focuses on State Ties,” which reported that “more than 20 U.S. lawmakers have come to Cuba since February without meeting with opposition groups that once were an obligatory stop for congressional delegations.”

Indeed, it is not hard ...  

<a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1cfc7dcc-334b-11e5-bdbb-35e55cbae175.html#axzz3h6GlSXO5">Colombia to ease bombing raids against Farc rebels</a>

Colombia to ease bombing raids against Farc rebels

Colombia is to ease bombing raids against Farc guerrillas, cooling down one of the world’s longest-running armed conflicts that has claimed more than 220,000 lives. …

 

<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tricky-negotiations-in-the-wake-of-the-cuba-thaw/2015/07/26/5e210aea-1e9a-11e5-bf41-c23f5d3face1_story.html">Tricky negotiations in the wake of the Cuba thaw</a>

Tricky negotiations in the wake of the Cuba thaw

From The Washington Post‘s Editorial Board

As the Obama administration has pursued normalization with Cuba, it has been drawn into lower-profile but thorny dialogues with two of Havana’s long-standing clients: the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). The diplomacy has reinforced President Obama’s doctrine of engagement with U.S. adversaries; the Maduro government has repeatedly claimed that the United States is plotting its overthrow, while the FARC has been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department. As in the ...  

<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/guatemalan-leader-of-zetas-drug-cartel-extradited-to-washington-to-face-trial/2015/07/24/f80fa204-3247-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html">Guatemalan leader of Zetas drug cartel extradited to Washington to face trial</a>

Guatemalan leader of Zetas drug cartel extradited to Washington to face trial

By Spencer S. Hsu

An alleged violent drug trafficker linked to a Guatemalan crime family and the powerful Mexican Los Zetas drug cartel was extradited to the United States and arraigned in federal court in Washington on drug and gun charges late Friday. …

 

<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/brazil-struggles-with-inflation-and-expectations-1437964295">Brazil Struggles With Inflation, and Expectations</a>

Brazil Struggles With Inflation, and Expectations

By PAULO TRAVISANI BRASÍLIA—Brazil’s version of the Federal Reserve will almost certainly raise its benchmark Selic interest rate next week for the 16th time in just over two years in a bid to fight escalating inflation. …  

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/business/international/chinas-global-ambitions-with-loans-and-strings-attached.html?_r=1">China’s Global Ambitions, With Loans and Strings Attached</a>

China’s Global Ambitions, With Loans and Strings Attached

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and KEITH BRADSHER

EL CHACO, Ecuador — Where the Andean foothills dip into the Amazon jungle, nearly 1,000 Chinese engineers and workers have been pouring concrete for a dam and a 15-mile underground tunnel. The $2.2 billion project will feed river water to eight giant Chinese turbines designed to produce enough electricity to light more than a third of Ecuador. …

 

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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.