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The Atlantic Council’s Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been working for the past year to put forward recommendations for continued US engagement in Colombia. Today, Colombia is a strategic US partner. Its achievements and experience fighting international networks of organized crime have transformed the country into an exporter of security expertise and training. It is the view of this high-level Task Force that Colombia continues to symbolize a bipartisan US foreign policy success story. Read our report to find out the task force's full recommendations.

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To many Americans, the difficult issues facing Central America’s Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—may seem distant. But the future of the United States is tied to these countries as some of our closest neighbors. Geography alone demonstrates that their stability and prosperity is critical to our national interest.

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As the new administration considers ways to ensure US national security and economic growth, a newly engaged Latin America presents a wealth of opportunity on myriad fronts: urbanization, human capital, open markets, energy reform, technology, and the fight against corruption. Diverse sectors of the United States are already on board: businesses investing in the region; NGOs working on the ground; and local and state governments with trade partners across the border.

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A new Atlantic Council–Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report lays out six scenarios for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2030, underscoring how greater integration and better governance hold the key to greater prosperity.

The report finds that if the region and world move ahead as expected, 57 million more Latin Americans and Caribbean citizens will join the middle class over the fourteen-year period. Annual regional GDP growth will be 2.4 percent, slightly outperforming the US rate of 2.2 percent. But the region will face significant challenges ranging from income inequality to its demography and the impact of climate change. 

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On October 1, 2016, the Chinese renminbi (RMB) joined the dollar and the euro as one of five official international reserve assets. This is not just a technical development. It has the potential to reshape trade and finance across Latin America, according to a new report by the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. By being able to conduct deals directly in China's currency, the region now enters a new and uncertain financial era ripe with investment opportunities—but also with elevated risks.

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Days ahead of the G20 summit in China, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center today releases Industrial Development in Latin America: What is China’s Role? The report frames the effects of Chinese exports on Latin American deindustrialization using economic modeling on the region’s industrial output. It concludes that if  Latin American countries grant recognition of China as a market economy, the state of Latin American industry will worsen and countries will have diminished capacity to use trade defense measures such as anti-dumping duties.

Colombia is at the brink of a historical moment. With the conclusion of peace negotiations in Havana on August 24, the country is on the verge of signing an accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). While these achievements are a huge breakthrough, the biggest challenge -- the plebiscite -- lies ahead. Recent polls show that large numbers of Colombians are understandably on the fence on whether to vote for or against the peace deal. No Colombian wants the conflict to continue, but many are wary of the terms on which it should end.

In this month's Spotlight, we ask: What are the top four questions Colombians are asking ahead of the upcoming peace plebiscite?

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An Interview with Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes

In 2009, when Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Brazil was a success story. With a burgeoning economy and a newfound strength in the global arena, Brazilians perceived the Olympics win as the crowning achievement that confirmed the country’s progress. Seven years later, however, the national sentiment toward the successes and failures of the country has changed dramatically—and the Olympics are now in the eye of a perfect political and economic storm. Enmeshed in criticism about the quality of its infrastructure, costs, environmental setbacks, and health emergencies, the Rio Games now must struggle to prove that the International Olympic Committee’s faith was well-placed. 

Amid crises and controversies, Rio’s mayor spoke to the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center about the risks and achievements associated with the Rio Olympic Games.

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Transformations in Brazil's energy sector could be critical to rebooting the broader economy. Today, with state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, one development welcomed by investors is a bill gaining steam in Congress to open offshore oil discoveries to greater private investment. Is this the beginning of more changes to come? What should be other top energy priorities for the interim government, and how does this fit into the larger economic picture?

In the midst of Brazil’s current political earthquake, projecting the future of power and politics in the country is an uncertain endeavor. But the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center is taking that chance. The Center has engaged one of Brazil’s top thinkers, our nonresident senior Brazil fellow and economist Ricardo Sennes, to analyze what current trends tell us about who might be the winners and losers of Brazilian politics through the 2018 elections.

The result is a new Atlantic Council brief, "The Path to Power in Brazil," co-written by the Center’s Associate Director, Andrea Murta. "The Path to Power in Brazil" is more than a mere exercise in futurology, it discusses some of the most fundamental questions facing Brasília. Find out where we place our bets!