Coronavirus

The Inter-American Dialogue is working to provide relevant and informed analysis regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the Americas. Sign up here to receive our event invitations, reports and weekly newsletter. Our upcoming events on Covid-19, event summaries, articles and Op-Eds, and Q&As from our daily publication, the Latin America Advisor, are gathered below. 

Covid-19 in the Americas

 

Upcoming Events

*Upcoming events will be announced soon

 

Event Summaries

AArgentina: Between Covid-19 and Default

On June 1, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted “Argentina: Between Covid-19 and Default,” a webinar featuring Maria Victoria Murillo, Alfonso Prat-Gay, and Rodrigo Zarazaga. Michael Shifter moderated the event. The discussion focused on the political, economic, and social dimensions of the current situation in Argentina as the country has found itself in the middle of both a global pandemic and a massive debt negotiation.

 

Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of Covid-19 – A Conversation with OECD Secretary-General, Ángel Gurría

On May 22, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted “Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of Covid-19 – A Conversation with OECD Secretary-General, Ángel Gurría.” Before being appointed Secretary-General in 2006, Gurría served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and Public Credit for his home country of Mexico. He has been a member of the Dialogue since 2001.

 

Voices in the Pandemic – Covid-19 and Freedom of Expression in the America

On May 20, 2020, the Inter-American Dialogue, Global Affairs Canada and the Office of the Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hosted “Voices in the Pandemic – Covid-19 and Freedom of Expression in the Americas.”

 

Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery

On May 13, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the online webinar “Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery” with the participation of Carmen Pagés-Serra, Andrés Cadena, Ángel Melguizo, and Victor Muñoz.

 

Covid-19 and Human Rights in Latin America – A Conversation with Michelle Bachelet

On April 29, the Dialogue hosted an in-depth conversation with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state of human rights in Latin America. 

 

Early Childhood and Covid-19: Responses to the Emergency

What effect has the Covid-19 pandemic had on services for early childhood? This webinar explores how the responses in the region have responded to the crisis.

 

Pandemic Response and Executive Authority – The Case of El Salvador

On April 22, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted Pandemic Response and Executive Authority – The Case of El Salvador, an online event featuring Leonor Arteaga, senior program officer for the Due Process of Law Foundation and member of the El Salvador National Commission for the Search of Disappeared Persons (CONABÚSQUEDA), Carlos Dada, founder of El Faro, and José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch.

 

congressional briefing, Dialogue staff

Congressional Staff Briefing: Covid-19 & Latin America and the Caribbean

On April 16, Dialogue experts briefed key congressional staff in both the House and Senate on Covid-19 and its impact on Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

What Role for China in LAC’s Covid-19 Recovery?

On April 9, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted “What Role for China in LAC’s Covid-19 Recovery?”, a conference call with Joyce Chang, Dialogue member and managing director and chair of Global Research at JP Morgan, and Oliver Stuenkel, associate professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo.

 

Virtual Education in the Times of Covid-19: Seminar in Memory of José María Antón

On April 7, the Education Program hosted a webinar to reflect about the legacy of José María Antón and discuss the digital educational opportunities during the Covid-19 crisis.

 

Pandemic and Politics in Venezuela

On April 2, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted “Pandemic and Politics in Venezuela”, a conference call with Miguel Pizarro, Feliciano Reyna, and Daniella Liendo. The discussion was moderated by Michael Camilleri, Director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at The Dialogue.

 

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean

On April 2, Manuel Orozco, Mariellen Jewers, Piero Coen and Gene Nigro discussed the economic and health consequences caused by Covid-19 to migrants and how it impacts Latin America and the Caribbean. Estimates show that remittances to LAC countries will register at a negative seven percent decline in 2020.

 

Examining Implications of Covid-19 and Low Oil Prices for Latin American Energy

The recent oil price collapse, combined with the economic contraction resulting from measures to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic, will have extensive and largely unforetold impacts for Latin American energy markets and beyond. These implications include cuts to investment and delays to ongoing projects in both oil & gas and renewable energy, fiscal and broader economic constraints, and legal disputes, said panelists during a webinar held on April 1. 

 

US Regional Cooperation on Covid-19 with Congresswoman Donna Shalala

On March 26, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted a conference call with Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL, 27). The discussion centered around the spread of Covid-19 in Latin America & the Caribbean and how the United States can work with international partners to combat the pandemic.

 

Coronavirus and its Consequences for Latin American & Caribbean Economies

On March 19, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted a conference call with Alicia Bárcena and Santiago Levy. The discussion centered around the consequences of this pandemic for the global economy and the Latin American and Caribbean region in particular. 

 

 

Articles & Op-Eds

China Test Kits

China’s Medical Outreach in LAC: Facts and Features

May 22 | Margaret Myers & Ricardo Barrios | VOCES Blog

Tracking the nature and extent of China’s “mask diplomacy” in Latin America and the Caribbean

 

Caribbean Covid-19 power sector renewable energy

What Does Covid-19 Mean for Caribbean Energy?

May 22 | Jed Bailey & Nate Graham  | VOCES Blog

The economic adversity wrought by Covid-19 in the Caribbean will have numerous implications for the energy sector. In this Q&A, Jed Bailey, managing director of Energy Narrative, discusses impacts for renewables, resilience, utilities, and more.

 

Image of broadcast of a speech by Ortega

Covid-19 Pandemic and the Lack of Democracy in Nicaragua

May 19 | Manuel Orozco  | Confidencial

Daniel Ortega’s regime is using the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to ensure political survival. The consequences of the government’s inaction are deadly.

 

President Donald J. Trump points to a reporter with a question during the coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Trump Show

May 4 | Michael Shifter | El Faro

Against the backdrop of a devastating health and economic crisis, Trump is simply unable to show real leadership and has been unwilling to assume his share of responsibility for the calamity. As the US entered the worst phase of the crisis, his position on the pandemic has been notably incoherent and contradictory.

 

Marcelo Ebrard

Amid Covid-19, China Ups Its Game in Latin America

April 21 | Rebecca Bill Chavez & Paul Angelo | The New York Times

China has become an essential, reliable partner for Latin American nations, while the United States, under the Trump Adminstration, has alienated itself away from longtime regional partners.

 

Publio Gonzalez, a biologist with the Gorgas Institute, holds a bat June 6, 2018, in Meteti, Panama. Gonzalez and U.S. military doctors were participating in an Emerging Infectious Diseases Training Event, in which they received informational lectures from Panamanian infectious disease experts and field studies of possible virus-carrying wildlife and insects. The event took place during Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise where U.S. military members conduct training in civil engineer, medical, and support services while benefiting the local community

Latin America and Covid-19: Conditions for a Sustained Recovery

April 14 | Luis Miguel Castilla | Voces Blog

Latin America and the Caribbean is confronting a severe recession with uncertain prospects. Although the recovery will primarily depend on external factors, three key components will determine whether the region is capable of sustaining its path of economic prosperity and social cohesion: sound economic management, access to external finance and delivery of quality public goods and services to all its citizens. Covid-19 introduces the sense of urgency and opportunity to continue making real progress.

 

How to protect education outcomes in the face of the Covid-19 crisis?

April 10 | Ariel Fiszbein | PREAL Blog

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a crisis in the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean like never before. During the Covid-19 pandemic, what solutions can mitigate the negative impacts of school closures?

 

Maduro speaking in the Palacio Miraflores

Venezuela Can’t Confront Covid-19 Without a Political Truce. Will Washington Help?

Abril 9 | Feliciano Reyna, Temir Porras & Verónica Zubillaga | Voces Blog

Perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives—inside Venezuela and across its borders—now depend on whether our leaders can put aside their battle for control, engage politically in good faith, and momentarily put the wellbeing of citizens first by taking the urgent steps needed to combat the virus crisis and its consequences.

 

Nicolás Maduro

It’s Not the Time for War Games With Venezuela

Abril 8 | Michael Shifter & Michael Camilleri | The New York Times

The priority of the US in the country should be to avoid a humanitarian disaster, not sending naval destroyers.

 

View of Havana

Cuba 2020: ¿a las puertas de una crisis humanitaria?

April 2 | Lenier González | Voces Blog

Cuba vive el efecto acumulado de la crisis estructural de su modelo sociopolítico y económico –que no fue transformado y no es sostenible de cara al futuro–, más el impacto de nuevos factores externos. La combinación de todo ello acrecentará radicalmente la crisis que vive el país.

 

Covid-19 Pandemic Puts Populism Front and Center in Latin America

April 1 | Catharine Christie | Voces Blog

The actions, or lack thereof, of the presidents of the region’s two biggest countries, Mexico and Brazil, have drawn particular scrutiny, casting a fresh spotlight on populism in Latin America and its particular vulnerabilities in the face of a global pandemic.

 

latin america energy coronavirus oil price war

Pandemic and Price Collapse: Impacts for Energy in Latin America

March 27 | Lisa Viscidi & Nate Graham | Voces Blog

The perfect storm of the plummeting oil price and the Covid-19 pandemic could have dire consequences for oil-dependent Latin American economies, lead to a reduction in upstream investment, and damage the prospects for renewable energy projects.

 

Covid-19 response in Peru

Could China Be a White Knight Again for Latin America?

March 24 | Margaret Myers | Americas Quarterly

China came to the rescue in Latin America and the Caribbean after the Global Financial Crisis. Can it do so again?

 

Un hombre aborda un bus en Managua en medio de la epidemia del coronavirus

El impacto de la pandemia sobre las remesas en Nicaragua y América Latina

March 23 | Manuel Orozco | Confidencial

La pandemia causada por el Covid-19 está creando estragos y consecuencias económicas en todo el mundo. En 2020, se proyecta caída de -5 por ciento de las remesas en Nicaragua, recibiendo $75 millones menos, con una caída mayor del turismo, la economía caerá en -2 por ciento.

 

Black and white globe

Migrants and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Remittances

March 20 | Manuel Orozco | Analysis

Past events involving worldwide crises can offer insight as to how this pandemic will likely affect remittance transfers. Considering migrants’ financial and health vulnerabilities as well as the forecast recession, a conservative estimate shows that remittances will register a -3 percent decline in 2020 relative to 2019, from $77 billion to $75 billion.

 

 

From the Latin America Advisor

Governments in Latin America, including Chilean Education Ministry officials, pictured above, are working on plans that involve social distancing for when students return to schools. // File Photo: Chilean Government.

Will Latin America’s Schools Be Able to Reopen Safely?

May 18 | Ariel Fiszbein, Timothy Scully, Michael C. Lisman, Maria Soledad Bos

Do schools in Latin America and the Caribbean have enough government funding and resources to both educate students and protect their health amid Covid-19?

 

A photo of empty streets in Santiago, Chile. // Photo: Municipality of Santiago.

Has Covid Halted Momentum for Change in Chile?

May 8 | Patricio D. Navia, María Cristina Escudero, Claudia Heiss, Guillermo Holzmann

Has the coronavirus pandemic interrupted protesters’ momentum and hopes for social change in Chile?

 

Chile has recorded more than 20,000 cases, but only 270 deaths, one of the lowest rates in the world. // File Photo: Chilean Government.

Covid-19 in the Americas: A Case in Contrasts

May 5 | Julio Frenk, Felicia Marie Knaul, Michael Touchton

Some governments in Latin America imposed early preventive measures and mobilized health systems to meet the threat of Covid-19. Meanwhile, others with populist national leaders have done very little to prepare for or otherwise mitigate the epidemic.

 

Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno recently cited technology companies in Colombia among the innovators during the Covid-19 pandemic. // File Photo: Inter-American Development Bank.

Can Innovation and Tech Help Colombia Cope and Recover?

May 5 | Laura Gaviria Halaby, Maria Velez de Berliner, Felipe Colmenares, Kathleen McInerney

In what ways is the pandemic spurring innovation in Colombia, and how should the government of President Iván Duque seek to leverage new technologies for economic resilience and eventual recovery?

 

Image of Earth in outer space, taken by NASA.

Will the Pandemic Lead to a Less Globalized World?

Apr 24 | Rebecca Bill Chavez, Kenneth Maxwell, Isabel de Saint Malo, José Antonio Ocampo

Will the post-coronavirus world see a significant shift away from multilateralism, and which countries in Latin America and the Caribbean would stand to gain or lose the most in this context?

 

A vendor in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, is pictured above.

How Can Latin America Help Its Most Vulnerable?

Apr 13 | Santiago Levy, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Sebastián Acha, Lauren M. Allen, Audriana Rodriguez & Charles T. Call

In what ways is Covid-19 affecting informal workers in the Americas, and which governments have implemented the best measures to protect informal sectors, both in terms of health care services and economic relief?

 

Governments throughout Latin America have employed sweeping emergency measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In Peru, President Martín Vizcarra has ordered the military to enforce the country’s quarantine. // File Photo: Peruvian Government.

Will Emergency Measures Amid the Pandemic Threaten Democracies?

Apr 6 | Kevin Casas-Zamora, Shannon O’Neil, Sergio Bitar, Nicolás Marsical & Maria Velez de Berliner

Are emergency measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic putting Latin American and Caribbean democracies at risk?

 

How Much Damage Are Latin American Economies Facing?

March 27 | Alicia Bárcena, Shelly Shetty, Claudio Loser, Eric Parrado

What do the best-case and worst-case economic scenarios look like for Latin America and the Caribbean, and will the region suffer a U-shaped recession or a V-shaped one? How deep will the recession be, and which countries face the most economic pain? With already high debt-to-GDP ratios, who will countries borrow from to fund their deficit spending, and how can they target economic packages to most effectively preserve jobs?

 

Will Latin America See More Supply Chain Disruption?

March 25 | Tinglong Dai, Margaret Myers, Antonio Ortiz-Mena

To what extent has the Covid-19 outbreak in China interrupted global supply chains, and how much have countries in Latin America and the Caribbean been affected? What lessons can be drawn from the economic effects of the pandemic, and will they prompt long-term changes in the way businesses, supply chains and trade relations are modeled? 

 

How Can Ecuador Handle Both an Oil Shock & Pandemic?

March 24 | Daniela Chacón Arias, Vicente Albornoz, César Coronel Jones, Abelardo Pachano

How vulnerable is Ecuador to those two threats to its economy? Will Moreno face legislative pushback to his plan? Will social unrest flare up? Is Moreno taking the right actions in light of the developments, and what more should he be doing?

 

Can the Caribbean Tourism Industry Withstand Covid-19?

March 23 | Anton Edmunds, Vangie Bhagoo-Ramrattan, Andrea Ewart, Rogelio Douglas

How big of an impact will Covid-19 have on tourism in the Caribbean, and which countries face the most severe effects? What should government officials in the Caribbean do to prepare their countries and mitigate the consequences? How well are tourism-related businesses, such as cruise lines and hotels, handling the situation?

 

Around the world, including in Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of cases of the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, has grown exponentially. Governments have implemented increasingly tough restrictions to try to contain the spread.

How Well Are Latin American Nations Handling Covid-19?

March 17 | Andrés Rozental, María L. Ávila-Agüero, Katherine Bliss, Alejandro Chafuen, Adriano Massuda

How are Latin American and Caribbean nations coping with the spread of the new coronavirus? Which practices are working best, and where have gaps been identified? Are the region’s health care systems robust enough to effectively address the pandemic, and what steps should the region’s public and private health care providers be taking next?

 

How Is Metal Price Volatility Affecting Latin America?

March 11 | Jorge Heine, John Price, Mariano Machado

What have been the major consequences of coronavirus fears on the prices of metals, including copper and gold? Will such trends continue into the foreseeable future? What will be the economic fallout for Latin American metals exporters, such as Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia, and what can they do to prepare for potential losses?

 

The coronavirus outbreak poses a “very grave threat for the rest of the world,” the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a press briefing Monday. // Photo: WHO.

Is the Coronavirus a Major Threat to Latin America?

Feb 11 | Fiona Mackie, Margaret Myers, Peter Sand, Zhen Pan

How serious is the risk of the coronavirus spreading to Latin America and the Caribbean? What will be the disease’s global economic fallout, and how will such trends affect Latin American and Caribbean economies? Which sectors in the region could be hurt the most, and which industries might benefi t from the trade disruptions?

 

 

Video Interviews

 

 

 

 

Press & Media

América Latina tiene dos grandes problemas frente a la pandemia: son sistemas de salud muy deficientes, con poco presupuesto y poca presencia fuera de las grandes ciudades. Casi ningún país latinoamericano podría resistir un brote como los de Europa y EE.UU. El segundo problema, igual de grave, es el económico. Los países tienen recursos limitados. 

Bruno Binetti, La Tercera (April 24, 2020)

The Covid-19 crisis highlights how important state capacity is and the competence of leaders. I don’t think this will have any ideological implications — it doesn’t help the left or the right. However, proponents of free-market capitalism in the region are going to have a hard time getting traction.

Michael Shifter, Financial Times (April 14, 2020)

La forma en la que China puede ayudar a la región será muy, muy diferente a como lo hizo post-2008.

Margaret Myers, BBC Mundo (April 14, 2020)

Ahora que muchos han perdido sus empleos [por la crisis del Covid-19], se debaten entre la responsabilidad moral de ayudar a sus familiares en Venezuela y la necesidad inmediata de atender su vida aquí en Estados Unidos.

Manuel Orozco, Voice of America (April 10, 2020)

[We] expect remittances to fall between 7 percent and 12 percent in 2020, compared with the previous year.

Manuel Orozco, Washington Post (April 6, 2020)

La máxima prioridad de Estados Unidos, especialmente por la probable catastrófica dimensión que tendrá el Covid-19 en Venezuela, debería ser la ayuda humanitaria y salvar tantas vidas como sea posible.

Michael Shifter, Deutsche Welle (April 7, 2020)

“Most of the region’s leaders were already in serious trouble, with slowing economies, social pressures and protests forcing them to look inward. With borders closing everywhere, the coronavirus has only accentuated that instinct.”

Michael Shifter, Bloomberg (March 25, 2020)

La pandemia en América Latina: poderes de emergencia, corrupción e inseguridad

June 4 | Michael Shifter | Aristegui Noticias

En esta entrevista con Aristegui Noticias, Michael Shifter habló con Daniel Zovatto, Director Regional de IDEA Internacional para América Latina y el Caribe, sobre el impacto de la pandemia en los Estados Unidos, América Latina en general y también casos específicos como Brasil, México, El Salvador, Nicaragua y Venezuela. 

 

El impacto del Coronavirus en Perú

May 22 | Michael Shifter | Canal N

En esta entrevista para el programa 20/20 de Canal N, Michael Shifter y Mávila Huertas hablaron sobre los efectos del Covid-19 en América Latina, la situación actual en Perú, la importancia de las instituciones y las diferencias entre esta pandemia y la crisis financiera de 2008-2009.

 

Se estima una caída de 300 millones de dólares en remesas a Nicaragua

May 5 | Manuel Orozco | Confidencial

Manuel Orozco fue entrevistado por el periodista de Confidencial, Iván Olivares para hablar sobre las consecuencias de la pandemia en los flujos de remesas. Orozco calcula una pérdida de remesas de unos 300 millones de dólares que afectarán a unas 600 mil familias nicaragüenses.

 

Mask Diplomacy

May 5 | Margaret Myers | Two The Point – Wilson Center Podcast

How is China’s coronavirus assistance to Latin America being perceived and what are the implications for US-China competition in the region?

 

China y la “diplomacia de mascarillas” en América Latina

Apr 17 | Margaret Myers | NTN24

En esta entrevista con NTN24, Margaret Myers habló sobre el rol crucial de China en el combate del coronavirus en Latinoamérica, así como la “diplomacia de mascarillas” o “mask diplomacy” impulsada por este país.

 

Impacto de Covid-19 en las remesas a Latinoamérica y al empleo en Estados Unidos

Mar 23 | Manuel Orozco | CNN

Manuel Orozco explica el impacto económico de la panedemia de Covid-19 para los migrantes latinoamericanos en Estados Unidos, sus familias que reciben remesas y para los países de la región. Su análisis se concentra en los impactos relacionados a la crisis de desempleo proyectada para el país.

 

 

From our Members

La ola populista de la pandemia

May 13 | Luis Miguel Castilla | La República

OCHA and UNFPA: Global response to COVID-19 must address rights and needs of women and girls

May 12 | Natalia Kanem | ReliefWeb

Vídeos “Live” do YouTube sobre Coronavírus

May 12 | Monica de Bolle | YouTube

Los dos rumbos que puede tomar el mundo tras la pandemia

May 8 | Fernando Cepeda Ulloa | El País

Yolanda Kakabadse on Ecuador, Coronavirus & Climate Crisis

May 5 | Yolanda Kakabadse | Medium

Manejo de riesgos sanitarios para la reactivación

May 5 | Luis Miguel Castilla | Gestión

Fukuyama:“La pandemia puede castigar a los líderes populistas por su ineptitud”

May 3 | Francis Fukuyama | La Vanguardia