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Democracy Under Siege in Central America

Luis A. Rivas ˙ ˙ Migration, Remittances & Development

Photo of protesters in Nicaragua during the 2018 protests Jorge Mejía Peralta / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 DEED
Democracy is under threat in Central America and authoritarianism is on the rise. This problem is having long-term institutional and economic implications for these countries and poses serious challenges for US policy towards the region. Uncheckered political ambitions and abuses of authority in the form of corruption or political and economic favoritism are signs of severe democratic backsliding. Nicaragua is an illustration of the consequences of unconstrained power. But the growing corruption and political ambitions of other Central American leaders could further affect democratic institutions in the region. It is important not only to bear witness but to mobilize proactive foreign policy to prevent authoritarianism from rising.Read more +

Unlocking Forests’ Potential in Latin America and the Caribbean  

Juanita Fonseca ˙ ˙ Voces

A cloud forest in Costa Rica Florent Mechain / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 DEED
Tropical forests, which cover 6 percent of Earth, are our planet’s largest natural carbon sink and our first line of defense against climate change. Even with massive human effort at reducing emissions, reaching the 1.5-degree target is not possible without forest restoration.    Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), whose forests…Read more +

Q&A with David Goldwyn: Will Maduro’s Electioneering Decrease Appetite for Guyanese Oil?

David Goldwyn ˙ ˙ Voces

Photo of Nicolas Maduro Federico Parra / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED
On December 3, President Nicolás Maduro held a referendum asking citizens whether the Essequibo region should be “reclaimed” as part of Venezuelan territory. Whether prompted by the 2015 discovery of abundant oil reserves, or the need to gain popularity before the 2024 presidential elections, Maduro ordered Petróleos de Venezuela, SA…Read more +

An Unprecedented Migration Crisis: Characterizing and Analyzing its Depth

Manuel Orozco, Patrick Springer ˙ ˙ Voces

Photo of migrants in Panama Servicio Nacional de Migración de Panamá / Twitter
This piece offers a look at the current migration trends and points to large differences that characterize this situation as a crisis: the scale, composition, nature, and management of migration is outside conventional or historical patterns. Aspects of this unprecedented migration pattern are not within the control of government authorities and policy makers. The recent migration wave to the US border has been referred to as a crisis. Media references point to the drama of people arriving and passing through the Darien, Central America, and Mexico to characterize the problem. Others have pointed out the increasing arrivals into US cities in numbers that are hard to manage by local communities.Read more +