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  • Author: Juanita León
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: After three years of negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (Revloutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has decided to go all-in on securing peace for his country. His political and personal commitment became clear earlier this year when he staked his entire campaign for his second term in office on being the candidate of peace. His inauguration, and inaugural speech, drew heavily on the rhetoric and symbols of peace, with multiple images of white doves, including dove lapel pins for the guests.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Nelson Camilo Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Ultimately, the success of any peace agreement between the Colombian government and the country's largest guerrilla group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC), will hinge on reconciliation. A successful process of reconciliation requires finding the balance between defending the rights of victims and gaining the trust of former combatants—members of the armed forces and the FARC—that they are not being unfairly punished.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Jenny Manrique
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In August, the 27th round of negotiations between the Colombian government and delegates from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) took place in Havana. Since November 2012, both sides have been negotiating behind closed doors to search for ways to end the 50-year-old civil war that has killed more than 200,000 and displaced almost 6 million Colombians.
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Ramon Campos Iriarte
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The recent 50th anniversary of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN) led journalist Ramón Campos Iriarte to the jungles of Colombia's western Chocó province, where open war between guerrillas, government forces and paramilitary groups has been escalating. The ELN—self-defined as a Marxist-Leninist organization influenced by liberation theology—was created on July 4, 1964, in the mountains of central Colombia by a group of students and clerics inspired by the Cuban Revolution.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Cuba
  • Author: Alejandro Eder Garcés
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Colombia finds itself at a watershed in the country's history. With the possible end to over half a century of violence, a new peaceful future beckons. But Colombia's much-desired peace will not just fall from the sky. It will have to be built by all Colombians through an arduous, perhaps decades-long process.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Ricardo Argüello
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Armed conflict and the presence of non-state armed actors harm both agricultural production and rural households' well-being, for at least two broad reasons. First, conflict disrupts economic activities by hampering access to critical inputs and markets. As a result, producers may reduce or curtail planting or harvesting. Second, rural producers face an unpredictable environment for making economic decisions. Armed actors may “tax” producers, coerce them into growing particular crops (licit and illicit) or require them to follow their rules regarding production and land use. In these cases, farmers grow what will produce the least risk to their quality of life and safety.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Marcela Prieto
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: From its very beginning, Colombia's peace process has aroused enormous expectations, not only within Colombian borders, but also in the international community. The negotiation is, in good measure, the result of the “Policy of Democratic Security” adopted by President Álvaro Uribe Vélez during his two terms (2002 to 2010), which helped limit the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC), weakened the group structurally and turned the dynamic of the armed confrontation back in the state's favor.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Susan Segal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For almost two decades, I have watched entrepreneurship explode across Latin America and the Caribbean, empowering citizens, transforming economies and changing lives. In sectors ranging from restaurants and small manufacturing to high tech, entrepreneurs are changing the economic and social landscape of the region. Perhaps most important, they are also generating jobs. Across the region, 60 percent of employees work for businesses with five or fewer employees. In Mexico, 72 percent of employment comes from micro-, small- and medium-size businesses. In Brazil, small enterprises create two out of every three jobs.
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, Mexico
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg, Michael Voss, Collin Laverty, Fernando Sáez, Inés Aslan, Margaret Crahan, Maria Hinojosa
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: When Cuban President Raúl Castro appointed Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as first vice president last year, little was known about the man who looks set to become the first Cuban leader in more than half a century who is not a Castro. He still maintains a low profile and is generally cautious in public pronouncements on domestic issues and foreign affairs.
  • Author: Yaima Doimeadios, Vilma Hidalgo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: After nearly 20 years, the dual currency system enacted by Cuba to help mitigate the economic shock from the collapse of the Soviet Union is set to be retired. As part of the government's efforts to develop the country's socialist economy, the Cuban government recently announced that it would unify its complicated currency system.
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Cuba
  • Author: Alana Tummino, Allie Fleder
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A palpable energy is reinvigorating the once-stagnant Cuban economy. Entrepreneurial businesses—spanning all sectors and industries—are springing up across the island. Walking through the streets of Havana, Santa Clara or Camagüey, it's hard not to trip over construction sites for private restaurants, or see the storefronts offering manicures, haircuts, cell phone repairs, or colorful artwork.
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Island, Havana
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In the coming months, the United States is going to face a tough choice: either alter its policy toward Cuba or face the virtual collapse of its diplomacy in Latin America. The upcoming Summit of the Americas, the seventh meeting of democratically elected heads of state throughout the Americas, due to convene in April 2015 in Panama, will force the Barack Obama administration to choose between its instincts to reset Cuba policy to coincide more closely with hemispheric opinion and its fears of a domestic political backlash.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Cuba, Latin America, Panama
  • Author: Joydeep Mukherji
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Colombia has already had the foresight and wisdom to analyze the experience of other countries in bringing internal conflicts to an end—including South Africa, the Philippines and Northern Ireland. As I write, representatives of the conflicting parties in Northern Ireland have just finished meeting Colombian government and FARC negotiators.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Philippines, Colombia, North Ireland
  • Author: Daniel H. Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis aroused enthusiasm—and expectations—in Latin America. As the first pope of non-European origin in nearly 1,300 years, and the first ever from Latin America, he embodies both hopes and concerns for the future of the Catholic Church in this part of the world.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Sam Quiñones
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In 2014, a rumor spread through Central America that anyone who hoped to reunify with family members in the United States should leave immediately. The rumor, apparently picked up and relayed by one or more television reporters in Honduras, was unequivocal: it was now or never.
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America
  • Author: Eduardo Guerrero, Alejandro Hope
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Just look at the numbers; violence and murder are decreasing. When Mexican President Felipe Calderón left office in 2012, the nation's war on the drug cartels had already claimed 60,000 lives. Now, two years into the presidency of his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, security conditions are still far from praiseworthy, but have improved in several key areas.
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Kate Brick, Mari Hayman, Rebecca Bintrim
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Some of our hemisphere's emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Katerina Valdivieso
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: As host of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, Peru has assumed a challenging burden. Ministers and high representatives of 195 countries and international organizations, along with roughly 15,000 visitors, will gather in Lima to mark the 20th annual session of the Conference of the Parties (known as COP 20)—the governing body of the international convention. The work plan is as challenging as the conference logistics: delegates are expected to draft a document that will serve as the basis of a multinational agreement on reducing global warming, to be signed in Paris in 2015.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Paris, Peru
  • Author: Richard André
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico, Arizona
  • Author: Timothy J. Power, Marcos Troyjo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Fresh, unique perspectives on recent books from across the hemisphere originally published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Resilience of the Latin American Right Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Wilda Escarfuller
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Our hemisphere produces some of the best (and best paid) athletes in the world. Unfortunately, many of our soccer (futbol) players go on to play in Europe, where the contracts and endorsements are better. For the same reason, two of those who top the list of baseball player salaries from Venezuela—Cabrera and Santana—playing in U.S. instead of their home country.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Venezuela
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The representation of women on corporate executive boards has grown in the past two years, particularly in developed economies. But things could be better, both in terms of absolute numbers and their influence. The issue goes beyond gender balance and equity. The representation of women on corporate boards means higher profits.
  • Author: Michelle Bachelet
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Women's political and economic participation strengthens democracy, equality and the economy. And while women's empowerment and full participation in society are important goals in themselves, they are also vital for reducing poverty, achieving universal education, improving maternal and child health, and fulfilling other development goals. Increasing the presence of women in politics not only responds to their rights as citizens; it enriches political discourse, decision-making and inclusiveness, and improves social conditions through the passage of equitable laws and policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Melanne Verveer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: When I attended the first Summit of the Americas in Miami in 1994, only two female heads of state represented their countries: Dominica and Nicaragua. This past April at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, five of the presidents and prime ministers representing the 33 participating countries were women: from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Their presence was an important example of the progress the hemisphere—and its women—have made. In fact, the region continues to make progress in a variety of areas. Latin America and the Caribbean are tackling ongoing challenges head-on, including promoting girls' education, improving women's and girls' health, facilitating women's political participation, and expanding women's economic opportunities. Governments throughout the hemisphere are increasingly recognizing that no country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Brazil, Caribbean
  • Author: Jonathan Weigel, Paul Farmer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Haiti is currently battling the world's largest cholera epidemic in half a century. An integrated, comprehensive response—including case-finding and rapid treatment, water and sanitation efforts, and vaccination—could bring cholera to heel on Hispaniola and help prevent its spread elsewhere in the region.1 But the local and international response has, to date, fallen short. Tens of thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths were reported in May and June of this year.2 If the disease had appeared in the United States or elsewhere in the developed world, all available control tools would have been deployed. But the safe, effective and inexpensive cholera vaccine has only recently become available in Haiti. In April, the Haitian Ministry of Health and two healthcare nonprofits began delivering vaccines to about 91,000 people in rural and urban Haiti.
  • Topic: Development, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Hugo Nopo
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Women's socioeconomic and political progress advanced dramatically across the globe in the last half of the twentieth century, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. Yet gender disparities remain high, and bridging those gaps has been a slow process. This is partly explained by negative stereotypes and misguided perceptions of gender roles—both still prevalent in Latin America. Such stereotypes not only distort many social interactions at home and in the workplace; they act as disincentives for girls to apply themselves in advanced study—particularly in mathematics. Just as significantly, they affect the overall labor supply. In both formal and informal labor markets, where Latin American families get 80 percent of their total income, gender gaps remain. Although the level of women's participation in the workforce has markedly increased over the past two decades across the region, three out of every five workers are male.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Matias Spektor
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Brazilian attitudes toward national sovereignty and non-intervention are in a state of flux. Leaders in Brasília are seeking to actively take part in the current global rethink about the future of humanitarian intervention, and are increasingly willing to deploy men in uniform to distant lands when the lives of civilians are at stake. The change is significant because Brazil has historically championed national sovereignty. Many in Washington DC and in European capitals, however, view this as problematic. The skeptics dismiss Brazil's newly professed commitment to humanitarian intervention as an effort to complicate the ability of the United States and its allies to intervene worldwide on behalf of democracy and human rights. As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in reaction to the attitudes of Brazil and other developing countries to policy toward Libya, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, and Syria: “Let me just say, we've learned a lot and, frankly, not all of it encouraging.”
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Syria
  • Author: Magda Hinojosa
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Dilma Rousseff. Laura Chinchilla. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Michelle Bachelet. The political successes of these women should not divert our attention from the sizeable gender imbalance in politics that exists across the region. Slightly more than half of all Latin American citizens are female, but women occupy only one of every seven seats in legislatures—and only one of every 20 mayoral posts in the region. In fact, the existence of a presidenta appears to tell us little about how women fare politically in her country. Although Dilma Rouseff holds Brazil's highest office, only 8.8 percent of federal deputies in Brazil are women and only 14.3 percent of ministers are women. This is far behind the rest of the region. And despite Michelle Bachelet's success in Chile, women's representation in Chile's national legislature is below the regional average. [See Table 1] Women have made tremendous gains since the 1970s, when women's representation in Costa Rica's national assembly (at a mere 7 percent) was the highest in the region, and when five countries filled less than 1 percent of their legislative seats with women. The most striking changes in women's legislative representation have come since 2000—not coincidentally, after the majority of Latin American countries adopted gender quotas during the late 1990s.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Lourdes Melgar
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The time is ripe for a historic transformation of Mexico's energy sector. The 2008 Reforma Energética (Energy Reform)—a congressionally-approved presidential initiative that established or modified seven laws—highlighted the significant challenges facing the Mexican oil industry and the economic implications of a decline in oil production. The problem: it didn't resolve them. With the exception of Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution—PRD), for the first time in Mexican politics the presidential candidates this year set out a series of bold institutional reforms. These included what was unthinkable years ago: turning the state-owned enterprise, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), into an autonomous firm that could issue stock shares—a model similar to the one adopted by Brazil's Petrobras in the 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Sital Kalantry
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For the first time in United States history, three of the nine justices sitting on the Supreme Court are women. About 33 percent of state and federal court judges in the U.S. are women, slightly higher than the global average of 27 percent. Why does this matter? Scores of empirical studies have attempted to determine whether the gender of a judge makes a difference to his or her decisions. But regardless of whether it does, equal representation for women in the judiciary strengthens the rule of law and should be a goal across the Americas. Increasingly, women in the region have overcome stiff challenges to becoming judges. Although the statistics for Latin American countries are slightly lower overall than in the U.S., they signal impressive progress. [See Table 1] For example, in 2010 18 percent of judges in Brazil's highest court were women, compared to 0 percent in 1998. In Peru, the figure was 23 percent in 2010 versus 6 percent in 1998.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Cedric Herring
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For many people, gender diversity is important because it removes barriers that have historically prevented women from taking their rightful places in the corridors of power. But there's also a specific business case to be made: including more women in the corporate setting will help meet customers' needs, enrich understanding of the pulse of the marketplace and improve the quality of products and services. The business case rests on what should be an obvious point: companies cannot effectively sell to women if they do not understand and value women, whether as customers or as employees. Therefore, increasing gender diversity in Latin American companies, especially in mass consumer-oriented sectors where women form large portions of the actual or potential customer base, will help boost their bottom line. In the United States, proponents of diversity commonly make the claim that diversity pays. The greater the diversity among employees, the broader their perspectives, resulting in an ability to marshal a wider array of intellectual and cultural resources to solve problems. Diversity also is a source of creative conflict that can lead to a re-examination of assumptions that would otherwise be dominated by male points of view. The putative competitive advantages—fresh ideas, positive outreach and communication with customers, more qualified workers— have persuaded many companies that diversity can produce greater profit.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: At first glance, perhaps the most notable feature of Plan Colombia has been its longevity. Given the current divisiveness in Washington, the bipartisan support it has received across three administrations now seems remarkable. After 12 years, the plan is gradually winding down, but the U.S. allocated more than $300 million under the program in 2012 alone. Although the Plan has evolved considerably since it was approved by the U.S. Congress in July 2000, it has become shorthand for wide-ranging U.S. cooperation with Colombia to assist that country in combating drugs, guerrilla violence, and related institutional and social problems. All told, the U.S. has spent nearly $8 billion on the initiative—more than anywhere outside of the Middle East, and Iraq and Afghanistan since the end of the Cold War. Although the effort gave priority to counter-narcotics operations—and specifically the eradication of coca in southern Colombia—from the outset it also encompassed assistance for the judiciary and economic development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Development, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Joan Caivano, Jane Marcus-Delgado
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Every day, women across Latin America are terminating their pregnancies under illegal and unsafe circumstances. The number of unsafe abortions—which represent about 95 percent of the total—grew from 3.9 million in 2003 to 4.2 million in 2008, with the annual abortion rate holding steady during that period, at about 32 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages 15 to 44. That's more than double the rate in Western Europe (12 per 1,000)—where abortion is generally permitted without exception. The high rate of unsafe abortions, which is defined by the World Health Organization as a termination of pregnancy performed by individuals without necessary skills, or under conditions that are below minimum medical standards (or both), underlines the dismal state of reproductive rights in the region. And it has had chilling consequences for poor and rural women in particular.
  • Topic: World Health Organization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Renata Avelar Giannini
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has promoted a gender focus in peacekeeping operations, including the protection of civilians, since the adoption of Resolution 1325 (RES1325) in 2000. The logic is simple: involving women in peace negotiations and reconstruction efforts helps ensure a more equitable and stable society following conflict. Since December 2000, Latin American participation in peacekeeping operations has increased by nearly 1,000 percent.1 Of 7,140 military troops deployed in peacekeeping operations worldwide, female personnel participating in those missions total 238, or 3.3 percent. In the two missions with the most Latin American personnel, the region's female representation is higher than that of many other countries, but still lower than the target of 10 percent laid out in UN RES1325. For example, female personnel make up only 2 percent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), but they make up 2.5 percent of all troops deployed from Latin America.2 Likewise, in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, overall female participation is 2.2 percent, but women make up 6.4 percent of Latin American personnel deployed.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Stephanie George, Susan Silbermann, Elisa Garcia C.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: When I started my career over 30 years ago, there was strong resistance among companies to take a chance on a young woman whose nurturing and collaborative style seemed foreign to the traditional corporate culture. But I was lucky enough to work at two trendsetting companies, Disney/ABC and Time Warner, both of which recognized the importance of having women in the C-suite and championed sponsorship strategies and programs for women's advancement. The programs I participated in gave me access to top executives, prepared me to move forward in my career, and provided the necessary skills and acumen to better serve on corporate boards. While I learned a lot about business from these initiatives, I've also always stayed true to my own corporate style and I encourage other women to do the same. I'm more likely to start a business meeting with a hug than with a handshake. I manage my direct reports through motivation, not intimidation. I see colleagues as teammates, not adversaries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Maria Garcia Andia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The strength and quality of democracy depend on how well judiciaries perform and function. In Latin America, after more than 20 years of judicial reforms, there have been some notable achievements. But there is a long way to go before judiciaries can adequately carry out their responsibilities to resolve conflicts, define and interpret rights and laws, and provide the framework for accessible, impartial systems of justice. The judicial reform movement that began in the 1980s—an effort that accompanied the rebuilding of democratic systems—sought to overhaul existing penal codes and procedures to respond to citizens' claims of human rights violations, and to pursue truth, justice and accountability for abuses committed during the dictatorships. Reforms were later expanded and deepened, while others did not take effect until the late 2000s.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Peter Klingstone, Lisa Schineller
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Is Brazil's economy too commodity-dependent? Yes: Peter Kingstone; No: Lisa Schineller In this issue: Brazil's reliance on commodity exports threatens its medium- and long-term growth prospects. Brazil's economic success is based on more than the demand for natural resources.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Brazil
  • Author: David Tebaldi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: One hot afternoon during a visit to Cuba in March 2000, a traveling companion and I hopped into a tricycle cab for a ride from the Hotel Nacional to Old Havana. The young man pedaling the cab overheard us talking and turned his head to ask, “Canadian?” “No, somos Americanos,” I responded. His face lit up. “Every day when I wake up,” he blurted out, “I dream of going to America.” Orlando, whose name has been changed for this article, was in his early 30s. An ophthalmologist by training, he was pedaling a cab because he could not support his wife and three-year-old daughter on his government salary of $20 a month. We hadn't gotten very far when we were pulled over by a policeman. He walked Orlando some distance away from us and after several minutes of what looked like tense conversation, Orlando returned to inform us that he had broken the law by taking foreigners in his pedal cab, which was only for Cuban nationals. Only government-owned taxis were allowed to pick up tourists.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine, Havana
  • Author: Matthew Aho
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: It took courage and a splash of audacity for Argentine Congresswoman Laura Alonso to oppose the nationalization of Spanish oil giant Repsol's stake in Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), her country's largest energy company. Her remarks in the Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) earlier this year earned her taunts even from fellow deputies from the ruling Peronist coalition of being “traitorous” and an “española” (Spaniard). Alonso gave as good as she got, calling officials in President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's government who orchestrated the takeover mistaken, corrupt and contaminated. “You can't just wave a national flag and evoke patriotism, while at the same time you're signing corrupt deals contrary to the rights of the people behind their backs,” she said in interviews after the speech.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Olivia Ruggles-Brise
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America's travel and tourism industry took a hit during the 2008–2009 recession. International arrivals slowed and tourists had less money to spend. But over the longer term, tourism has been a success story—and forecasts suggest continued growth. That should surprise no one. Latin America's sheer diversity in scenic beauty, cuisine and cultures has combined with an increasingly sophisticated domestic industry to cater to every kind of traveler. Since 2006, tourism's direct contribution to GDP in Latin America has grown by 7 percent in real terms—more than double the world average—to reach an estimated $134 billion in 2011. This figure, which is projected to rise to $224 billion in 2022, includes revenue generated by tourism-oriented services such as hotels and airlines, as well as restaurant and leisure industries that cater to tourists. Forecasts for this year suggest tourism's direct contributions will grow by 6.5 percent, behind only Northeast and South Asia (6.7 percent).
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Art of Peruvian Cooking Now that Peruvian cuisine has become a worldwide rage, it's hard to believe there was ever a time when people didn't know about Peru's culinary treasures. In 2000, Peruvian businessman and president of Lima's Fundación Custer Tony Custer helped introduce Peruvian cooking to the world with the publication of his best-selling The Art of Peruvian Cuisine. At the time, Custer says, “when people thought of Peru, it was always Cuzco and Machu Picchu, but there's a whole other world people miss out on. I wanted the world to see how rich and fascinating our food was; and there was no other book in English with quality photography.”
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Canada, Brazil
  • Author: Maria de los Angeles Fernandez, Peter M. Siavelis
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Commentary on Chilean democracy has evolved from praise to concern since conservative President Sebastián Piñera moved into La Moneda Palace in 2010, bringing the Right to power for the first time in over 50 years. The praise was well-earned. Piñera's victory not only showed the Right's vote-getting ability; the peaceful alternation of power in Chile offered conclusive demonstration of one of the continent's most successful democratic transitions. Nevertheless, the Right's victory, which ended 20 years of government by the center-left Concertación, also coincided with a challenge to perceptions about Chile as a paragon of fiscal discipline and political stability. Contemporary Chile is convulsed by social mobilization, and by demands for redistribution and deep reforms to the economic and social model that was once heralded across the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, Laura Sellers, Mitchell A. Seligson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Ever since Aristotle, conventional wisdom has been that a robust middle class is a sine qua non for stable democracy. Put simply: no middle class, no democracy.
  • Author: Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During the first decade of the twenty-first century, Latin America's increasing prosperity and social progress have led analysts to conclude that historic change is taking place. Indeed, poverty in Latin America fell from 41.4 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2010, even at a time of global distress1—a result, in part, of both sustained economic growth and reductions in inequality. As a result, the focus in policy circles has switched to the role an emerging middle class can play in the region, both as an engine of growth and as the foundation for social cohesion and better governance. The key to understanding this shift is accurately defining the middle class in economic terms.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jamele Rigolini
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America and the Caribbean is experiencing a dramatic surge of its middle class. In just a decade, the proportion of people in Latin America and the Caribbean with a daily per capita income (in purchasing power parity) between $10 and $50 a day went from around one-fifth to one-third. For the first time in history, there are as many people in the middle class as there are in moderate poverty (i.e., per capita earnings below $4 per day). This socioeconomic shift stems largely from the sustained rates of economic growth in the 2000s that in most—though not all— countries trickled down and generated higher incomes. But growth in the 2000s was not exclusive to Latin America and the Caribbean. While the industrialized world was facing a challenging decade, many emerging economies surfed past the global turbulences and continued to grow, lifting people out of poverty and feeding the ranks of their middle classes.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Thomas Shannon Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During their meeting in Brazil in March last year, U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff discussed a plan to send 101,000 Brazilian students overseas to study science, engineering, mathematics, and technology-based disciplines. Announced soon after, the initiative, Science Without Borders, has signaled President Rousseff's interest in marking her tenure by building a gateway for her country to the twenty-first century. Just before their tête-à-tête, Obama had announced his own plans to send 100,000 American students to Asia and promised to unveil a similar initiative for Latin America in Santiago, Chile—the next stop on his 2011 Latin America tour. During their Brasília meeting, both leaders talked about the importance of using education to improve national science and engineering capacity to drive economic development, promote social mobility and enhance innovation.
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Brazil
  • Author: R. Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In the past decade, China's expanding engagement with Latin America has captivated the attention of the region and the United States. Most of the focus, however, has been on whether the new trade and investment is good for the region's long-term development, and whether particular Chinese activities, such as military sales and loans to Venezuela and Ecuador, threaten U.S. interests in the region. Lost are the details and dynamics of how Chinese companies and the Chinese government have adapted to doing business in the region. China's new physical presence in Latin America is the product of a fast-growing commercial and investment presence. But as a consequence of that deepening relationship, Chinese companies and China's diplomatic apparatus have become increasingly immersed in the business, social and political conditions in those countries—and in some cases are even shaping those conditions to suit their interests.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Maria-Eugenia Boza
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: There's been an amazing revolution in the global commercial landscape. The developing world has emerged as one of the most promising wholesale and retail markets. Many of these regions in the past were valued primarily as a source of cheap labor—often in maquilas and sweatshops. Today they are seen as a source of new consumers.
  • Political Geography: China, India, Latin America
  • Author: Alicia Barcena, Franciso Rivera-Batiz, Georges Haddad, Rebeca Grynspan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Educational achievement has always marked and defined the middle class. Public policies that have led to mass access to education have led to a broad-based improvement in educational accomplishments, among them higher completion rates in secondary and tertiary education. This has led to more upward mobility in terms of earnings and types of occupation. Still, there has been an education depreciation effect. The higher the average years of schooling, the more demanding the labor market becomes in rewarding those educational achievements. Many non-manual jobs that require more schooling often see their rate of return to education deteriorate. As those non-manual jobs pay less for schooled employees, their workers fall below the income threshold characteristic of the middle class.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg, Carlued Leon
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has expropriated some 1,000 firms of all sizes, both foreign-owned and domestically held. Yet one very large and highly visible Venezuelan company remains standing: Empresas Polar. The family-owned Venezuelan food and beverage sector–focused company survived by drawing on the support of workers, consumers and communities, managing to withstand the insults and pressures emanating from the presidential palace.
  • Political Geography: Venezuela