Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center

  • Iván Duque's First 100 Days

    In one of the most consequential presidential elections in recent history, Colombians elected Iván Duque as their next president by a healthy twelve-point margin on June 17. In line with most predictions and election polls, uribismo regained power for the first time since former President Álvaro Uribe left office in 2010.

    With president-elect Duque set to take office on August 7 with healthy majorities in Congress, what can we expect from his presidency? How will he reactivate an economy that is just starting to recover from the deceleration experienced since the 2014 drop in oil prices? 

    This Spotlight is authored by Leonardo Villar, director of Colombia's most prestigious think tank Fedesarrollo, and Juan Felipe Celia, assistant director at the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. 

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  • #ElectionWatch: Bots and Boosters in Mexico

    Mexican political party the New Alliance (Nueva Alianza, or PANAL) has been benefiting from significant online amplification by a cluster of activists and probable Twitter bots, in the countdown to the country’s July 1 election.

    As part of our ongoing monitoring of Mexican political dynamics, @DFRLab analyzed a number of hashtags supporting PANAL. We found a mixture of bots and highly-active human accounts which, together, gave a major boost to the campaign’s hashtags — enough to significantly distort the traffic.

    Read the full analysis on Medium.

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  • Colombia’s Vote: The Road Ahead for Iván Duque

    On Tuesday, June 19, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted an event titled, “Colombia’s Vote: The Road Ahead for Iván Duque.” The event brought about a rapid reaction discussion to Iván Duque’s victory over Gustavo Petro in the Colombian election held on June 17th. The speakers touched on a range of topics, including the growing polarization in Colombia, the future of the peace accords, the neighboring crisis in Venezuela, and prospects for the Colombian economy.  


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  • Colombia "Turns The Page" With Presidential Election

    Alina Dieste, Tomás González, and Juan Carlos López all hailed the election of Iván Duque as the next President of Colombia as a historic success for Colombian democracy. Duque, of the right-leaning Democratic Center party, beat left-leaning candidate Gustavo Petro, fifty-four percent to forty-two percent. The June 17th election was the second round of the contest, after no candidate reached the fifty percent threshold during the first round on May 25th.

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  • #ElectionWatch: Eyes on Colombia from Venezuela

    The Colombian elections have spurred significant interest in Venezuela, as evidenced by the social media activity of accounts based in the country or managed by Venezuelans.

    #ElectionWatch researchers looked into this activity. There is more evidence of coordinated social media efforts between Venezuelan opposition supporters and Colombian right-wing groups, than between the Colombian left wing and Chavista supporters.

    The most successful tweet from Venezuela to Colombia, however, was a false story, which once again highlights our concerns about the misinformation flows in these elections and their political use.

    Read the full analysis on Medium.

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  • #ElectionWatch: Bees Cause Buzz in Colombia

    A week before the election, people attending a campaign rally for presidential candidate Iván Duque were attacked by a swarm bees. A number of high-profile Uribe sympathizers blamed supporters of Colombia Humana’s Gustavo Petro for the attack. The Cesar department police chief quickly debunked the accusations. 

    The Atlantic Council's #ElectionWatch team analyzed the case and the flows of information online. Like the case with the #FraudeElectoral hashtag, partisan users were willing to push deceptive narratives, without regard for the availability of verified versions of them. What is even more worrying, is that the work of fact-checkers and journalists is not being shared widely enough for debunking lies on social media.

    Read the rest on Medium.

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  • Celia Quoted in CNBC on Colombia


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  • Marczak Quoted in The Independent on Venezuela


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  • #ElectionWatch: Down Ballot Bots in Mexico

    In a little less than a month, Mexico will elect not only a new President, but also 128 members of the Senate and 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies. Ahead of the elections, researchers have observed the use of bots, both commercial and political, deployed for the purpose of promoting candidates, campaign materials, and opposition research on social networks. This is not the first election in Mexico shrouded in social media manipulation and likely not the last.

    The use of bots in Mexico is not limited to one political party and seems a more general practice. The majority of research on social media manipulation in Mexico ahead of elections focused on the Presidential race, but much less attention was paid to automatization in senatorial campaigns.

    Read the rest on Medium

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  • #ElectionWatch: Fraud Claims in Colombia

    After the first round of voting in Colombia’s presidential election on May 27, citizens took to social media to share claims of ballot tampering in favor of leading candidate Iván Duque.

    The conservative Duque won the first round with 39 percent of the vote, comfortably ahead of progressive rival Gustavo Petro, who garnered 25 percent. The two rivals are to face one another in a runoff on June 17.

    Read the rest on Medium

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