Over the next 12 months, almost two in three Latin Americans will go to the polls to choose a new president. National elections will take place in Latin America’s heavyweights, Brazil and Mexico, and also in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay – not counting Venezuela’s apparent electoral fraud-in-waiting.
This electoral supercycle comes amid a significant – and historically unusual – leadership vacuum in the region. The United States is increasingly unpopular in its erstwhile sphere of influence, its comparatively weak footing in the Americas attributable to long-term trends as well as the Trump Administration’s missteps, from trade to immigration to loose threats of military intervention.
What’s surprising, though, is that no other country is even attempting to fill the void.