Latin America

  • Marczak Quoted by the Miami Herald on Venezuela's Economic Situation


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  • The End of Corruption Culture in Latin America?

    Accountability in the region creates space for safer investments

    Odebrecht was once synonymous with Latin America’s most ambitious public works projects. Today, those who hear the name think only of the web of malfeasance that has engulfed the region and continues to extend beyond the continent. But, as negative as these new revelations may seem, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and opportunities along the way. The pragmatic efforts of police and judicial actors show that some countries in the region are ready to face impunity head on. If Latin America can continue down the road to accountability, US investors could be the first to benefit.

    What started as a money laundering investigation in Brazil in 2014, the case of Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest construction company, has today developed into the deepest corruption scandal Latin America has seen, with top leaders implicated. Just this week, major newspapers reported the Brazilian Supreme Court has authorized investigations into more than one hundred Brazilian politicians. In December, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in a US court to paying nearly $800 million in bribes to win business in more than ten countries, dating back to the early 2000s. The company was subsequently slapped with a record fine of $3.5 billion by the Brazilian, US, and Swiss judiciaries in December. It seems the times are changing.

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  • Update NAFTA, But First Understand Why It’s Important

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was heavily criticized during our recent presidential campaign.

    The day after US President Donald J. Trump’s swearing in, it was posted on the White House website that “the President is committed to renegotiating NAFTA [to give] American workers a fair deal.”

    Before moving forward to “renegotiate,” it is essential that the administration appreciate what NAFTA has accomplished.  Joining the economies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States created a $19 trillion market with 490 million consumers. In the twenty-three years since NAFTA took effect, vibrant integrated supply chains have developed linking the three economies in ways that have been enormously beneficial to the United States. 

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  • 'Mexico Has Options'

    Energy sector reform will continue with or without the United States, said former Mexican official

    Though recent political tensions threaten the stability of US-Mexico relations, Mexico’s ongoing energy sector reform will continue without US partnership, if necessary, according to Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy.

    “Mexico’s energy reform does not depend on the United States,” Lourdes Melgar, who now serves at the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, said at the Atlantic Council on March 16. “If the United States does not want to have business with Mexico,” Melgar cautioned, “I think they’re missing the picture, because Mexico has options.”

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  • Trump’s ‘Rhetoric of Hate’ May Sway Mexico’s Elections

    Mexican presidential candidate sees risk of an anti-American Mexican leader


    The “rhetoric of hate” that has dominated US President Donald J. Trump’s approach to Mexico could impact the outcome of Mexico’s presidential elections in 2018 and determine the future of the US-Mexican partnership, Margarita Zavala, a candidate for the Mexican presidency, said at the Atlantic Council on March 7.

    “We have a rhetoric of hate coming from the president of the United States, beginning with the campaign,” said Zavala, urging: “It’s important to take that kind of rhetoric seriously because of what it gives rise to. That’s the risk we’re seeing in Mexico.” She said Mexico is ready to take a step back from its relationship with Washington “and that’s because of what’s happening in the United States.”

    The prospect of an anti-American Mexican president “is a matter that has an impact on future relations and the future of us all,” she added.

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  • Women’s Ascension in Latin America

    When former US secretary of state and then-presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Atlantic Council in November 2015, she spoke of Latin America’s strides to achieve gender equity at the highest levels. “It may be predictable for me to say this, but there's a lot we can learn from Latin America's success at electing women presidents,” she said with a smile. The remark elicited chuckles from the audience, comprised primarily of many accomplished women, but it pointed to a key dynamic in Latin American politics. The region, with a history of female heads of government, seems to be leading the Western Hemisphere in terms of notable women in top-level leadership roles. But in what ways does the example set by Latin America contribute to women rising in all sectors of leadership?

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  • Trade, Security, and Prosperity: Perspectives from Mexico’s Margarita Zavala and US Secretary Michael Chertoff

    The new administration has brought with it a plethora of tensions for the United States’ relationship with Mexico. From a proposed border wall, to talks of withdrawing from NAFTA, to a scrapped meeting between the two presidents, what was historically a diplomatic partnership has been turned on its head.

    On Tuesday, March 7, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted ‘Trade, Security, and Prosperity,’ a discussion with Margarita Zavala, one of the main contenders for the presidency of Mexico in 2018, and Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security. The event also marked the launch of the Beyond the Headlines: A Strategy for US Engagement with Latin America in the Trump Era. The publication, part of the Atlantic Council Strategy Papersseries for the new administration, was written in partnership with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

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  • Marczak Joins CGTN America to Discuss Trump's Policy Toward Mexico


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  • Here's Why Mexico Matters

    If the current tension in the US-Mexico relationship gets out of hand it could disrupt crucial cooperation between the two countries on checking the flow of unauthorized migrants into the United States, said an Atlantic Council analyst.

    “The great danger here is that, in all of this tension, something is going to boil over,” said Peter Schechter, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

    Mexico provides essential security assistance in deterring migrants from Central America crossing into the United States. “That, too, is in danger if things boil over,” said Schechter. “I imagine all cooperation will stop and, therefore, all of these people will start flowing upward.” 

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  • Slavin Moderates VOA's Issues in the News on President Trump's Cabinet, US-Mexico Relations, and the Battle for Mosul


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