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July 31, 2012: Does El Salvador's Judicial Crisis Bode Ill for Democracy?
By Francisco Altschul, Mirte Postema, and Michael Shifter and Rachel Schwartz
Source: Latin America Advisor
A dispute between El Salvador's legislative and judicial branches escalated to a constitutional crisis this month, with two separate groups of judges claiming to be the country's legitimate Supreme Court. After a stalemate and pressures both domestically and internationally to resolve the dispute, the two main political parties agreed to hold talks on July 24. What is behind the conflict? Does the conflict have implications for the state of the country's democracy or is it fundamentally a political issue? How should it be settled?

July 24, 2012: What Does the Future Hold for India-Latin America Relations?
By Jorge Heine, Margaret Myers, Jahangir Aziz
Source: Latin America Advisor
India plans to host the first India-CELAC Foreign Ministers' Dialogue on Aug. 7 in New Delhi, the Press Trust of India reported. While India's economic engagement with the region has been far overshadowed by China's, bilateral trade has grown from $2 billion in 2000 to more than $25 billion, with state-controlled Indian oil companies recently announcing almost $3 billion in investments in Venezuela's oil sector. Where are political and economic relations between India and Latin America headed? What constraints are there to improving trade and how can they be remedied? Which countries and sectors present the best opportunities for growth?

July 23, 2012: Obama Gets Boost From Hispanic Voters in Wake of Policy Shift
By Rachel Sadon
Source: Latin America Advisor
New polling data suggests a measurable increase in support from Latinos for U.S. President Barack Obama after he announced an executive order to cease deportation of many immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children and the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law.

July 19, 2012: Are Central America Education Reforms Making the Grade?
By José Luis Guzmán, Roberto Moreno Godoy, Tamara Ortega Goodspeed, and Alexandra Solano
Source: Latin America Advisor
Dozens of people, including two cabinet ministers, were injured earlier this month in Guatemala as students and police clashed during a protest against education reforms. The reforms include lengthening the amount of time students must study to become primary school teachers from three years to five. What is the state of education reform in Guatemala and the rest of Central America? Are teaching reforms needed in the region? If so, what changes are most critical? What other types of reforms should governments undertake?

March 22, 2012: Special China Edition of the Latin America Advisor (PDF)
By the Inter-American Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor
A special China edition of the Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor.

January 25, 2012: A Discussion on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and its Implications for Latin America
By Rachel Sadon
A discussion of the implications for Latin America of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

September 21, 2011: How Big of an Economic Threat Does China Pose to Brazil?
By David Kupfer, Gary Hufbauer, Margaret Myers, John Williamson
Brazil's government on Sept. 6 slapped tariffs on some imports of Chinese steel, saying it would defend domestic producers against unfair competition, Reuters reported. The action is part of President Dilma Rousseff's effort to protect the country's economy and industrial sector in the face of a surging local currency and low-priced Chinese goods. How big of a threat does China pose to Brazil's industrialization and competitiveness? What other factors are at work? Will the anti-dumping measures, border controls and tax breaks associated with Rousseff's industrial plan, 'Plano Brasil Maior,' slow the onslaught of cheap imports? What are the risks and benefits to this approach?

September 8, 2011: How Is the Immigration Debate Changing in the United States?
By Dan Stein, Doris Meissner, and Louis DeSipio
Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new immigration policy that allows authorities to use prosecutorial discretion in determining deportations, allowing "many undocumented immigrants without criminal records to stay in the United States." The announcement comes on the heels of protests targeting the Secure Communities program, which activists argue was being used improperly to deport minor offenders. Meanwhile, new reports indicate that illegal immigration has declined significantly over the past several years. How is the immigration debate changing in the United States and what does the new policy mean for that debate? How is it likely to play out in the presidential race? What will be the economic consequences of a decline in immigration?

July 22, 2011: How Is China Changing Latin America's Energy Sector?
By Margaret Myers, Kirk Sherr and Roger Tissot
China recently announced several loans worth billions of dollars to Ecuador and Venezuela-to be paid back largely in the form of oil-for public works, energy and infrastructure projects. These investments and others have made China the biggest credit source for the two governments, often on terms that other financial institutions would spurn, analysts have pointed out. Are China's big loans going to be good deals for the Latin American countries? Will the money come through, and will it be used effectively for the intended purposes? Is China's increased investment in Ecuador, Venezuela and other countries in the region playing out as expected several years ago? What unexpected or new economic and political twists are on the horizon resulting from evolving China-Latin America relations?

July 18, 2011: How Important Are the United States and Peru to Each Other?
By Julio Carrión, Coletta A. Youngers, and David Scott Palmer
Source: Latin America Advisor
What does the meeting between President Obama and Peruvian president-elect Ollanta Humala, occurring even before Humala takes office, say about the importance the United States places on its relationship with Peru and its incoming president? From Peru's perspective, how important is the United States? Will the two countries be good partners after Humala is sworn in?

July 11, 2011: What Lessons Can Europe Learn From Latin America?
By Kevin P. Gallagher, Daniel Marx, Desmond Lachman, and Mark Weisbrot
Source: Latin America Advisor
Since the global economic recession in 2008-09, several European countries have struggled with debt crises that many analysts have likened to Latin America's struggles in past decades. What lessons can Europe learn from Latin America and how should Europe handle its ongoing financial crisis?

May 25, 2011: Is Ecuador On the Brink of a 'Perfect Dictatorship?
By Gustavo Jalkh, Osvaldo Hurtado, Adrián Bonilla, Christopher Sabatini, Marc Becker
Source: Latin America Advisor
Ecuadoreans cast their votes May 7 in a referendum that many observers considered a gauge of President Rafael Correa's popularity. The 10 questions included issues that would give the president increased control over the media and judiciary, leading former President Osvaldo Hurtado to say the country was on the brink of a 'perfect dictatorship.' Results from the polls indicate that Correa received a 'yes' vote on all 10 questions but with a more narrow victory than expected. Is Ecuador on the 'brink of a perfect dictatorship' or are the reforms necessary? What does the close margin of victory indicate about Correa's leadership? What does the outcome mean for the political landscape of the country?

March 2, 2011: El Tratado de Libre Comercio entre EE-UU y Colombia, Camino de su Aprobación
By Peter Hakim
Source: InfoLatam
Lejos aún de ser un hecho, la situación favorece ahora la ratificación por parte del Congreso de los acuerdos de libre comercio de Estados Unidos con Colombia y Panamá este año. Lo que más alentó las perspectivas de los tratados de comercio con América Latina fue la gran victoria republicana en las elecciones del pasado mes de Noviembre en el Congreso, que dio lugar a una considerable mayoría republicana en la Cámara de Representantes con un nuevo presidente

March 2, 2011: US-Colombian Free Trade on Track to Approval
By Peter Hakim
Source: InfoLatam
Although far from a done deal, the odds now favor congressional ratification of the US’s free trade accords with Colombia and Panama this year. What most lifted the prospects of the Latin America trade treaties was the huge Republican victory in last November’s mid-term elections for Congress, which produced a sizable Republican majority in the House of Representatives along with a new Speaker.

March 2, 2011: Has the United States Failed to Adequately Fight Illegal Drugs?
By Barry R. McCaffrey, Andrés Rozental, Sanho Tree
Source: Latin America Advisor
A new Inter-American Dialogue report says U.S. drug policies, which are mostly focused on prohibiting the production, distribution and consumption of narcotics, 'have done little to diminish the problems they were designed to address' and are costly in both financial and human terms. The report calls for a broad national debate on U.S. drug strategies and an intense review of international policies. Is growing violence in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America a sign of failures in drug policy? Has the Obama administration made any significant change in anti-drug efforts? What policies should it be pursuing? What anti-drug programs in the United States and in Latin America have been particularly successful and should be replicated?

February 8, 2011: Insulza Not Forceful Enough in Promoting Democracy: U.S. Envoy
By Gene Kuleta
Source: Latin America Advisor
The chief of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, is not firm enough in promoting democracy in the hemisphere, though he is constrained by the organization's structure, the permanent U.S. representative to the OAS, Carmen Lomellin, told the Latin America Advisor in an exclusive interview.

November 23, 2010: What Roles Did Latin American Countries Play at the G-20 Summit?
By Sergio Bitar, Craig Kelly, Rogelio Ramirez de la O

November 16, 2010: What Are the Prospects for Costa Rica-Nicaragua Relations?
By Kevin Casas-Zamora, Mario Arana, Patricio Grané, Mitchell Seligson

November 8, 2010: What Do the U.S. Election Results Mean for Latin America?
By Jim Kolbe, Andres Rozental, James R. Jones, Jason Hafemeister
In the U.S. midterm elections Nov. 2, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives and picked up seats in the Democrat-controlled Senate, which President Barack Obama called a 'shellacking' for Democrats. What do the election results mean for hemispheric policy and foreign relations? How will the Republican victories affect immigration, trade, and other issues that are relevant to Latin America?

October 6, 2010: In Danger of Derailing a Sector with Great Potential
By Claudio Loser
Source: Latin Amerca Advisor
In my Sept. 7 column, I discussed the effect of the Russian drought and fires on world food production, and suggested that the consequences for Latin America would be favorable, if managed well. Unfortunately, there are other examples of potential gains for the region being curtailed by actions in the developed world, with a specific involvement of the World Bank. Palm oil is a case in point.