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  • Author: Marcelo López de Aragón
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The name Odebrecht has become irremediably tied to one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin American history. In the midst of the ongoing scandal is the man bearing the company’s name, one of Brazil’s richest men, Marcelo Odebrecht; a 48-year- old executive, who went from managing one of the world's largest construction firms to having several high-ranking government officials in Latin America look on nervously as the Brazilian construction tycoon confesses and provides details on an unparalleled and sophisticated bribery and bid-rigging scheme to Brazilian judicial authorities and to US courts.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Eric Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: With a majority government and a different world view than his predecessor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is re-making Canada’s foreign policy priorities and approaches. This paper offers some suggested approaches for engagement with Latin America. In the area of trade, the paper recommends seeking associate membership in the Pacific Alliance while continuing to strengthen linkages with Mexico within the North American commercial policy framework. It also suggests exploring the scope of what is possible with countries with which Canada does not have free trade agreements, especially Brazil and Ecuador. On the security front, the paper suggests that Canada needs a strategy for the Colombian peace process and to step up support to Mexico in strengthening the integrity of the southern border of North America. With regards to foreign policy, Canada needs a serious strategy for the new Cuba and needs to expand its diplomatic representation, namely in Paraguay and Bolivia. Finally, on the institution-building front Canada needs to secure senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank and Organization of American States in order to help to drive institutional reform. Canada further needs a coherent strategy to attract in-bound foreign investment from Latin America. The region is rich with possibilities and a coherent engagement strategy can deliver much.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The second CIGI Graduate Fellows policy brief examines Brazil's success in ensuring access to essential pharmaceuticals for its citizens, and how this success can be leveraged for other developing countries in similar circumstances. Five unique factors underlie this success, including, among others, a sustained government commitment to public health systems and an indigenous capacity to produce pharmaceuticals domestically, the emergence of a civil society coalition built around the norm of health equity, and the international harmonization of quality assurance and clinical standards related to pharmaceutical research and development. While it is unlikely that other developing countries lacking indigenous manufacturing capacity can achieve similar results in the near to medium-term future, it is instead recommended that private foundations and large bilateral aid country providers invest in a global funding mechanism. This fund would use pre-existing, innovative financing mechanisms to scale up production in the handful of developing countries that have achieved near self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production, for the benefit of populations beyond their borders.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Jose De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin America's recent economic performance has been disappointing. After a very strong recovery from the Great Recession, growth has slowed considerably, and prospects for 2015 are dim. Among the seven largest economies in the region, output is expected to contract in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela, and Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru are projected to grow by only about 3 percent. The decline was not caused by external factors but was mostly cyclical in nature and a result of low productivity. Although monetary and fiscal policies may still have a role in supporting demand in some instances, the main problem in the region is not a lack of demand but low productivity growth. Efforts must be made to foster productivity. Institutional weakness must be addressed and inequality reduced if sustainable high growth is to resume.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Monica de Bolle
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Public lending by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) may have done more harm than good in Brazil, adversely affecting real interest rates and productivity growth. Specifically, BNDES's large amounts of subsidized lending are responsible for substantial credit market segmentation, choking off monetary policy transmission. As a result, to maintain price stability the Central Bank of Brazil is forced to raise interest rates more than it might do otherwise in the absence of BNDES lending. Restoring Brazil's capacity to grow in the medium term requires a thorough rethinking of the role of BNDES. In particular, the bank's lending rates should be aligned with market prices, term and risk premia, while taking into account that, with an adequate transparency framework, public development banks can increase private sector participation instead of crowding it out.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: René Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In 2014, world per capita greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent terms (CO2e), exceeded 7 tons. Per capita emissions for Latin America and the Caribbean were even higher, at 9 tons CO2e. To achieve international goals for the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for annual emissions to fall to 2 tons per capita by the year 2050 and 1 ton per capita by the year 2100. It is clear that we face a moral problem: everyone needs to, and can contribute to, the fight against climate change (Pope Francis, 2015). Improvements in eco-efficiency—defined as a combination of reducing waste and reducing the use of raw inputs—offer one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering production costs. In addition, changes in culture—at the level of individual businesses, countries, or both—can enhance the eco-competitive position of these businesses and countries. This paper describes three examples from Costa Rica and shows how the goal of achieving carbon neutrality can provide incentives for improving eco-efficiency and eco-competitiveness.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Industrial Policy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: El Salvador will choose a new president in a runoff election on March 9. The nation's decision may prove critical to Salvadoran democracy and regional security, in light of substantial evidence linking the ruling party candidate to narcotraffickers, terrorist groups, and violent street gangs. Moreover, foreign interference in the form of billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil revenues has given the ruling party an advantage, despite the fact that its economic policies have increased poverty and stunted economic growth.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Bianca Selway
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: With fifteen UN peacekeeping missions already in operation and another in the Central African Republic on the horizon, UN peacekeeping continues to be in high demand. Today, DPKO deploys more than 83,000 troops, 13,000 police, and 2,000 observers, contributed voluntarily by member states. A majority of these are provided by African and South Asian member states, which together provide 74 percent of the UN's uniformed personnel. Latin America has a longstanding history of participating in UN peacekeeping, stretching back more than fifty years to some of the earliest peacekeeping operations. At present, Latin America contributes almost 7 percent of all UN troops and nearly 2 percent of UN police. Two Latin American states occupy spots in the group of top twenty uniformed contributors: Uruguay with a total of 2,164 uniformed personnel and Brazil with 1,755. Latin American contributions are predominantly military contributions (as opposed to police) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with support to missions in sub-Saharan Africa amounting to less than 2 percent of the total uniformed deployments to the region.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Brazil, United Nations, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Greater investment in agriculture is needed to reduce rural poverty and improve food security. This means not simply increasing supply but ensuring that adequate, nutritious food is accessible to every person at all times. How investment is made, its context and conditions, is at least as important as how much is invested.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Pérez Ludeña
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Multinational enterprises (MNEs) multiplied their profits made in developing countries by four between 2002 and 2011 (at current prices). In Latin America and the Caribbean, they rose from US$20 billion in 2002 to US$113 billion in 2011. The growth rate has been even higher in Africa and China, but much lower in developed countries. This rise is explained by an increase in FDI stock in developing economies and the higher average profitability of MNEs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Latin America
  • Author: Itriago Déborah
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Despite economic growth and the reduction of both poverty and inequality that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has experienced during the last decade, it still remains the most unequal region in the world.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global financial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global financial crises and find that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also find that higher private credit, more financial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confirms that effective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Felipe Gómez Isa
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: One of the key indicators to determine the degree of success of any given peace process is the stable participation in national politics of former members of armed groups in rebellion against the state. In the case of Colombia, the traditionally exclusive nature of its political system explains why both the enlargement of spaces for democratic participation and the political participation itself of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army (FARC-EP) have become key issues to be discussed at the talks in Havana. It would be highly desirable for the obstacles and reticence evinced by specific political sectors to be overcome so that the current peace process can result in both the political participation of the demobilised members of the FARC-EP and greater democracy in Colombia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Danilo Marcondes de Souza Neto
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: For most of the twentieth century, the strategic importance of the North Atlantic outstripped that of the southern part of the ocean. However, the past decade has brought significant shifts in Atlantic dynamics, with regional and external actors developing new interests in the region. Brazil, in particular, has been working to reinforce its control and influence in the South Atlantic. To this end, over the last five years the Brazilian government has launched or intensified efforts meant to securitise the South Atlantic. This strategy combines unilateral initiatives – naval build-up, domestic military publicity efforts, and international legal moves – with a vastly expanded international defence cooperation programme that covers nearly the entire South Atlantic perimeter. This policy brief analyses key components of Brazil's strategy, situating them within the South Atlantic's changing ecology of actors and suggesting some of the potential tensions that may arise from Brazil's growing protagonism in the South Atlantic.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The lingering effects of the eurozone crisis have weakened the European project as a whole. As a result, stronger and more effective cooperation between enthusiastic EU countries such as Poland and Spain is very much needed. Besides cooperation within the EU in such fields as completing the single market and promoting a more holistic approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy, both countries should focus on improving their economic ties in bilateral relations and beyond. Through "smart" trade triangulation, Poland could open new markets in Eastern Europe for Spain, and Spain could reciprocate by doing the same for Poland in Latin America. This could help Poland make the economy more competitive and give Spain a lever for economic recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega, José Javier Lanza
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As stepped-up counternarcotics policies in Colombia and Mexico have increased pressure on regional drug trafficking networks, organized crime syndicates have relocated operations to Central America, where law enforcement agencies and institutions are ill-equipped to withstand the onslaught. These multibillion-dollar gangs are making common cause with some local politicians who are following a playbook honed by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. The result in Venezuela was the birth of a narcostate, and similar dramas are playing out in Central America. Like Chávez, caudillos are using the democratic process to seek power, weaken institutions, and undermine the rule of law—generating turmoil that accommodates narcotrafficking. Making matters worse for Honduras is that left-wing activists abroad, in support of ousted president and Chávez acolyte Manuel Zelaya, are waging a very public campaign of outlandish claims seeking to block any US assistance to help the Honduran government resist the drug cartels. It is imperative that US policymakers vigorously support democracy, the rule of law, and antidrug programs in Honduras.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: At the annual meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) held in Oslo, Norway on October 2-3, 2013, the forum reviewed and subsequently released its second report on members' experiences in the application of the Santiago Principles for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The Santiago Principles were adopted by a group of countries with such funds in September 2008 in response to concerns about threats to political, economic, and financial security in countries receiving SWF investments. The objective was to promote the transparency and accountability of SWFs for the countries of origin as well as the countries in which the funds were investing.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: Norway, Latin America, Santiago
  • Author: Kathryn Hochstetler
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Brazil has always focused on development strategies, but it has recently shifted more attention, on balance, from thinking of its own development to offering assistance to other countries in their national efforts. Former President Lula da Silva has argued that Brazil's own experience with solving problems in inauspicious conditions makes it a particularly good partner for other developing countries (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada [IPEA] and Agência Brasileira de Cooperação [ABC], 2010: 7). Brazil self-consciously approaches its external development assistance from the perspective of a recipient, endorsing an egalitarian “solidarity diplomacy” that stresses holistic development in its partners. The ultimate aim is “sustainable growth,” which includes “social inclusion and respect for the environment” (IPEA and ABC, 2010: 32-33).
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Environment, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Pérez Ludeña
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America is a recent phenomenon. Although the China National Petroleum Corporation and other companies have been present in Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela since the early 1990s, large projects have been pursued only since 2006, following an extended period of high commodity prices. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated that there were US$ 15 billion of Chinese FDI inflows into Latin America in 2010, 90% of which were in extractive industries. This further contributed to the already high percentage of Chinese FDI flows to the region that are in natural resources. At a time of high economic growth fueled by commodity exports and strong currency appreciation (particularly in Brazil), FDI into extractive industries strengthens the region's specialization in primary products at the expense of manufacturing and other activities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Brazil, Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Alex Evans, David Steven
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Recent months have seen increasing interest in the idea that Rio+20 could be the launch pad for a new set of 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs). But what would SDGs cover, what would a process to define and then implement them look like, and what would some of the key political challenges be? This short briefing sets out a short summary of current thinking the issue, followed by thoughts about the way forward.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Patrick D. Duddy
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the coming months, Venezuela could experience significant political unrest and violence that lead to the further curtailment of democracy in the country. Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on October 7, 2012. President Hugo Chavez is in the midst of a tough reelection campaign against Henrique Capriles Radonski—the young and energetic governor of the state of Miranda–– who enjoys multiparty support and appears to have a better chance of defeating the incumbent than earlier challengers.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Whitney Parker, Scott Worden, Shani Ross, Sahar Azar
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Post-conflict justice mechanisms such as truth commissions, war crimes tribunals and reparations programs have emerged as a fundamental building block of durable peace settlements in Latin America, Africa and Asia. They are relatively rare, however, in Muslim countries recovering from conflict-despite the fact that social and criminal justice is a fundamental principle of Islamic law.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Crime, Islam, War, Law Enforcement, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Arabia, Latin America
  • Author: Mauricio Cá¡rdenas, Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: A trio of trade agreements now pending before Congress would benefit the United States both economically and strategically. Carefully developed accords with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will boost U.S. exports significantly, especially in the key automotive, agricultural and commercial services sectors. Among the other benefits are: increased U.S. competitiveness enhancement of U.S. diplomatic and economic postures in East Asia and Latin America new investment opportunities better enforcement of labor regulation and improved transparency in these trading partners' regulatory systems.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Kenya, United States, Israel, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion in 2009. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America have asked to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a oncein- a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ethiopia
  • Author: Milburn Line
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Justice, University of San Diego
  • Abstract: It is time to reconsider U.S. policy in Colombia, including adding a peace agenda to our strategy. Following problematic and inconclusive results of more than a decade of support known as Plan Colombia, which is largely directed to the Colombian military, the Obama administration should retool U.S. policy. Adding support for a peace process offers specific policy benefits , including: protecting civilian populations by reducing violations of human rights and humanitarian law; strengthening democratic practice and creating consensus on a post-conflict Colombia; improving relations between Colombia and its neighbors; creating clearer policy channels for other U.S. priorities, including free trade and efforts to control the illicit narcotics trade; and renewing respect for American leadership in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Cold War, Armed Struggle, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Virginia M. Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the advent of Plan Colombia in 2000, U.S. policymakers have sought to help Colombian governments win their multiple wars against insurgents, drugs and terrorism. Conventional wisdom had suggested that pursuing these paths concurrently would lead to peace and security. Colombia today is farther from a peace settlement than it has been in years. With national elections scheduled for the first half of 2010 and presidential candidates yet to be defined, peace does not appear on the government's public policy agenda and it has yet to materialize as a campaign issue. Faith in a military victory appears deeply entrenched at a popular level. Illegal armed groups are retrenching and adapting to years of sustained military offensives and the increased capacity of Colombia's armed forces. While security indicators had largely improved, violence in major cities last year jumped sharply, and internal displacement has reached crisis proportions. Colombia's conflict is increasingly affecting the Andean neighborhood, sending hundreds of thousands of Colombians across the borders. Patterns of violence and intimidation are emerging as illegal armed groups increasingly settle into these border regions. Sporadic incursions and incidents at the border have ratcheted up rhetoric and sparked diplomatic standoffs and movement of troops. A recent bilateral military accord between Colombia and the United States has also exacerbated tensions in the hemisphere. Policymakers increasingly question whether staying the course in Colombia is in the U.S. best interests. Some are calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy. Peace and regional security are integral to the multitude of U.S. interests in Colombia, and they should no longer be subsumed to other strategic interests. It is time to seek peace as a priority. This approach should emphasize respect for human rights and the rule of law; support for truth, justice and reparations for the victims of armed conflict; and the facilitation of processes conducive to peace as a key policy objective.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The survivors of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile are still scrambling to deal with the damage. Here, however, pundits are still scrambling to explain the dramatic difference in impact. Haiti's quake on January 12 came in at 7.0 on the Richter scale, leveled the capital city, and left more than 200,000 dead. Chile's earthquake on February 27 registered a magnitude of 8.8, which means it was 500 times more powerful than the Haiti shock. But fewer than 1,000 Chileans died, and the damage to buildings was considerably less.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Patricia Vasquez
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Private oil companies invested $800 million in Peru in 2009 alone, and another $1 billion is planned for investments in natural gas developments between 2010-20131, as Peru is rapidly on its way to becoming Latin America's first exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Social Stratification, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion last year. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America are asking to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a once-in-a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Davin O'Regan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The dollar value of cocaine trafficked through West Africa has risen rapidly and surpassed all other illicit commodities smuggled in the subregion. Experience from Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrates that cocaine traffic contributes to dra¬matically higher levels of violence and instability. Co-opting key government officials is the preferred modus operandi of Latin American cocaine traf¬fickers. African governments need to act urgently to protect the integrity of their counternarcotics institutions to prevent this threat from developing deeper roots on the continent.
  • Topic: Crime, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: President Álvaro Uribe's eight-year military campaign against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has taken a heavy toll on Colombia's largest insurgent organisation. The government is now working to consolidate security gains by expanding state presence in several of the formerly most conflict-ridden regions. This strategy faces numerous challenges, not least because FARC's command and control structure has not collapsed. The insurgents are adapting to military pressure through guerrilla warfare tactics, aggressive recruitment among rural populations, broadened involvement in drug trafficking and alliances with other armed groups and drug trafficking organisations. Colombia's next president, Juan Manuel Santos, will take office on 7 August. As part of an integrated conflict resolution strategy, his government must increase the country's law enforcement and military capability against all illegal armed groups, including FARC. It also has to strengthen institutions, expand the rule of law, rigorously protect human rights, reduce poverty and design the political/negotiations component of a successful conflict resolution strategy. Security consolidation can only take root if Colombia tackles its pervasive problems of organised violence, criminality and illegality in an integrated manner.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Christina Lin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Starting in August, U.S. officials are visiting East Asia, Latin America, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to garner support for tightening Iran sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 1929. Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, and Daniel Glaser, deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing and financial crime, started with a trip to Japan and South Korea and are planning a trip to China in late August. On July 29, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing entitled "Implementation of Iran Sanctions" in which both Einhorn and Glaser expressed concern over China's compliance, with Einhorn emphasizing the "need for [China] not to 'backfill' when responsible countries have distanced themselves from Iran."
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Israel, Latin America, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Alexandre de Gramont
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In his recent article, “Thinking twice about a gold rush: Pacific Rim v. El Salvador” (Columbia FDI Perspectives, No. 23, May 24, 2010), Professor Gus Van Harten uses the PacRim v. El Salvador arbitration, pending at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), as the basis for asserting a number of criticisms against the overall system of arbitration under investment treaties.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Gus Van Harten
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Whether it concerns oil drilling or gold mining, sometimes a government, facing new circumstances, must change its mind.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Premila Nazareth Satyanand
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Hitherto, political risk has worried developed country multinational enterprises (MNEs) investing in developing country markets. But as more emerging market firms invest overseas, they too must grapple with this subject. World Investment and Political Risk 2009 looks at this issue for the first time and finds that Brazilian, Russian, Indian, and Chinese (BRIC) firms appear to worry more about political risk than global counterparts. Though these results are based on as mall sample of 90 of the largest BRIC investors, they are thought-provoking nonetheless.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Latin America
  • Author: Virginia M. Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The new Colombian administration that took office in early August faces a unique set of peacemaking challenges and opportunities related to the country's internal armed conflict. Following a spate of tensions with neighboring countries regarding the presence of illegal armed groups along Colombia's border areas, newly-inaugurated President Juan Manuel Santos moved quickly to create new mechanisms with his neighbors to ensure that contentious regional issues are addressed before they reach the boiling point. In a surprising video released just before the president-elect was inaugurated, the top leader of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces-People's Army (FARC-EP), called on Santos to enter a dialogue without preconditions, thereby opening a new window of opportunities to pursue peace. President Santos responded that “the door to dialogue is not locked,” insisting however that the guerrillas must lay down their weapons and meet a series of other pre-conditions before talks could occur. Former mediators differ over whether such preconditions will pose an obstacle to talks. In the final days of August, Brazil and Ecuador rejected a FARC-EP request for meeting with the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to discuss a political solution to Colombia's conflict. UNASUR leaders said they would not engage in mediating the conflict in the absence of an express invitation from the Colombian government. The Colombian government has rejected UNASUR mediation and underscored its preference to negotiate directly with the FARC-EP once the latter meets the government's preconditions. Concrete good faith efforts—both public and private—will be required from the government and the guerrillas to build confidence, address the legacy of distrust created by decades of violence and set the stage for future talks.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Paul Teng, Margarita Escaler
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last four decades, Brazil has transformed its agricultural sector to become the first tropical agricultural giant and the first to challenge the dominance of the world's major food exporters. This paper examines the secrets of Brazil's success and ponders whether Asia should try to emulate the Brazilian model to help achieve food security for its people and contribute to an increased level of selfsufficiency in the region.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Vera Eidelman
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Great Recession included five major surprises: (1) the severity of the global trade and output collapse, (2) the United States suffered a milder than expected recession, (3) Europe saw the onset of a severe sovereign debt crisis, (4) China grew at an extraordinary rate even though it's greatly dependent on exports, and (5) Latin America showed remarkable resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Khalid Koser
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Economic and financial crises have always impacted on international migration patterns, processes, and policies. The Great Depression (1929- 33) resulted in massive repatriations of Latin Americans from the United States and the introduction of highly restrictive immigration policies in a number of industrialized countries, including France and Canada. The Oil Crisis (1973) resulted in severe restrictions on labour migration, a concomitant growth in asylum applications and irregular migration in Europe, and the emergence of new flows of labour migration to emerging industrial centres in Asia and Latin America. As a result of the Asian financial crisis (1997-99) several South-East Asian countries introduced policies of national preference and sought to expel migrant workers. The Russian financial crisis (1998) accelerated rates of emigration from Russia, in particular of Russian Jews and the highly-skilled. The gravity of the Latin American financial crisis (1998- 2002) also resulted in a significant exodus, in particular from Argentina.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Nauja Kleist
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diaspora and migrant associations are often praised as new 'agents of change' for their contributions to development in their countries of origin. While much is known about Latin American hometown associations, there has been less focus on African diaspora associations. This DIIS Brief examines Somali and Ghanaian migrant associations in Denmark and their involvement in development. It shows how associations involve themselves on the basis of particular loyalties and emphasizes the importance of local partners and collaboration.
  • Topic: Migration, Poverty, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Denmark, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Over seven years, the government of President Álvaro Uribe has produced important security gains, but these have been accompanied by serious human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL). Colombia is still not close to the end of its armed conflict. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), paramilitary successors and new illegal armed groups (NIAGs) – all responsible for multiple atrocities against civilians – can survive with drug financing and, to a degree, due to the state's inability to extend its legitimate presence into many rural areas. To move toward lasting peace, the Uribe administration must not only maintain its security achievements but also urgently improve its security policy by addressing serious human rights issues and expanding the rule of law and national reach of the state's civilian institutions. Holding to account senior military involved in extrajudicial killings is a first step but insufficient to curb abuses. International cooperation should focus on supporting the fight to end impunity and protect basic rights.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Steve Jennings, John Magrath
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The timing of rain, and intra-seasonal rainfall patterns are critical to smallholder farmers in developing countries. Seasonality influences farmers' decisions about when to cultivate and sow and harvest. It ultimately contributes to the success or failure of their crops. Worryingly, therefore, farmers are reporting that both the timing of rainy seasons and the pattern of rains within seasons are changing. These perceptions of change are striking in that they are geographically widespread and because the changes are described in remarkably consistent terms. In this paper, we relate the perceptions of farmers from several regions(East Asia, South Asia, Southern and East Africa, and Latin America) of how seasons are changing, and in some cases, how once distinct seasons appear to be disappearing altogether, and the impacts that these changes are having. We then go on to ask two critical questions. Firstly, do meteorological observations support farmers' perceptions of changing seasonality? Secondly, to what extent are these changes consistent with predictions from climate models? We conclude that changing seasonality may be one of the major impacts of climate change faced by smallholder farmers in developing countries over the next few decades. Indeed, this may already be the case. Yet it is relatively unexplored in the literature. We also suggest some of the key adaptation responses that might help farmers cope with these changes.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Johanna Stratton, Kalle Huebner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A society emerging from war or authoritarianism seeks to reckon with past human rights atrocities that, if not addressed, can threaten the state's legitimacy and democratic foundations. It is in the interests of sustainable peacebuilding and democratic consolidation to promote reconciliation and healing, and foster human rights and the rule of law. In order to achieve such a transformation over the long term, the organizational strategies, political styles and mechanisms used to consolidate democracy are of critical importance and deserve closer comparative analysis with the aim to provide valuable lessons for newly democratizing societies.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Bolivia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for six basic reasons: It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and suffers from one of the worst patterns of inequality. Low-income groups in developing countries are the most exposed to climate change impacts. It is the country in South America with the highest percentage of indigenous people, where much of the poverty and inequality is concentrated. It is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, with a wide variety of ecosystems that are vulnerable to different impacts from climate change. More than half of the country is Amazonian, with high levels of deforestation which adds to the vulnerability to flooding. Located in a climatically volatile region, it is one of the countries in the world most affected by 'natural' disasters in recent years. It is home to about twenty per cent of the world's tropical glaciers, which are retreating more quickly than predicted by many experts.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Bolivia, Amazon Basin
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: La imagen común de un área protegida es un bosque denso, no intervenido, con una alta diversidad de plantas y animales, y donde el objetivo de la protección es proteger la naturaleza de la (posible) intervención de los seres humanos. Sin embargo, en la realidad las áreas protegidas representan situaciones muy lejanas de esta imagen. A nivel mundial, 12 por ciento de la superficie está declarada área protegida (lista de áreas protegidas de la ONU – 2003), mientras que en Nicaragua este porcentaje llega a 22 por ciento (WRI, 2003). Como observan Haller y Galvin (2008), las 'áreas protegidas' son de hecho la mayor categoría de uso de suelo a nivel mundial. También los objetivos de la protección varían mucho de la imagen común. En la mayoría de las áreas protegidas vive gente, tanto en el mundo como en Nicaragua, y muchas veces el objetivo de la protección es proteger ecosistemas y paisajes que a lo largo del tiempo han sido producidos a través de una interacción específica entre la naturaleza y el ser humano y que prestan valores importantes estéticos, ecológicos y culturales, y que a menudo albergan una rica diversidad biológica (UICN y PNUMA, 2006).
  • Topic: Environment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: President Hugo Chávez's victory in the 15 February 2009 referendum, permitting indefinite re-election of all elected officials, marked an acceleration of his “Bolivarian revolution” and “socialism of the 21st century”. Chávez has since moved further away from the 1999 constitution, and his government has progressively abandoned core liberal democracy principles guaranteed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The executive has increased its power and provoked unrest internally by further politicising the armed forces and the oil sector, as well as exercising mounting influence over the electoral authorities, the legislative organs, the judiciary and other state entities. At the same time, Chávez's attempts to play a political role in other states in the region are producing discomfort abroad. The September 2010 legislative elections promise to further polarise an already seriously divided country, while unresolved social and mounting economic problems generate tensions that exacerbate the risk of political violence.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Luís Afonso Lima, Octavio de Barros
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The internationalization of Brazilian companies is a relatively recent phenomenon. From 2000 to 2003, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) averaged USD 0.7 billion a year. Over the four-year period 2004−2008, this average jumped to nearly USD 14 billion. In 2008, when global FDI inflows were estimated to have fallen by 15%, OFDI from Brazil almost tripled, increasing from just over USD 7 billion in 2007 to nearly USD 21 billion in 2008 (annex figure 1 below). Central Bank data put the current stock of Brazilian OFDI at USD 104 billion, an increase of 89% over 2003. Caution is in order about these figures, however, as in Brazilian outflows it is difficult to separate authentic FDI from purely financial investment under the guise of FDI. According to the most recent data, 887 Brazilian companies have invested abroad.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Mortimore, Carlos Razo
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite the global crisis, outward FDI by Latin American firms grew by more than 40% in 2008. The picture for 2009 is less clear, due to the expected regional GDP contraction, falling commodity prices, and tightening credit markets. Nonetheless, the authors argue that many countervailing factors make Latin American investment more resilient in the crisis than other regions may be.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael Mortimore, Carlos Razo
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite the global crisis, outward FDI by Latin American firms grew by more than 40% in 2008. The picture for 2009 is less clear, due to the expected regional GDP contraction, falling commodity prices, and tightening credit markets. Nonetheless, the authors argue that many countervailing factors make Latin American investment more resilient in the crisis than other regions may be.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America