Thursday, March 23Welcome

The coming years of Latin America

Illustration of a map of Mexico, Central and South America on a calendar page.

Illustrated by Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Latin America in 2022 2023 has seen the dramatic ouster of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and Nicaragua’s continued descent into tyranny. And he expects 2023 to see no end to the story of political unrest, major elections, and the new leader’s first year in office.

big picture: The United States has complex and important relationships with major Latin American countries, some of which are major sources of immigration to the United States.

Here’s what we’ll see in 2023:

Argentina: Argentina will elect new presidents, legislatures and governors in most provinces on October 29th.

Bolivia: The arrest of opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho in late December sparked intense political unrest that is expected to last for months.

Brazil: The return of President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva could bring dramatic changes to the country, including the withdrawal of lax gun control laws. Former President Jair Bolsonaro exacerbated his emphasis on efforts to slow deforestation in the Amazon, critics say.

  • But Brazilian society is sharply polarized, and the economic outlook is much darker than when he first took office, reports Dave Lawler of Axios.
  • Still, Lula has great ambitions for regional integration and global leadership, in addition to domestic challenges.

Chile: Last year, the first attempt to introduce a radically new constitution failed, but President Gabriel Boric, who campaigned on the issue, vowed to try again.

El Salvador: President Naib Bukele’s fight against gangs raised questions about human rights abuses, but he doubled down and extended the national emergency, which is still in effect.

Mexico: President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador is set to meet with President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week for the North American summit after years of troubled relations with the United States.

  • He is expected to continue pushing for electoral reform despite heavy criticism that it would threaten the independence of the National Electoral Administration (INE) and give his party too much power.

Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega’s government consistently cracked down on dissent and critics, including banishing nuns from charities originally founded by Mother Teresa.

  • Ortega has been restricting press freedom in recent years, revoking the licenses of 17 media organizations last summer.

Peru: Political unrest has not abated since former president Pedro Castillo was deposed and arrested last month after he said he would dissolve parliament, which was facing impeachment.

  • At least 22 people have died in protests, with activists calling for the resignation of former Vice President Dina Boluarte.

Venezuela: The future of Venezuela’s rule is even more uncertain after opposition lawmakers dissolved the interim government and ended the leadership of Juan Guaido, whom the United States had previously recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

  • Opposition parties began negotiations with the Maduro government late last year on several issues, including fair elections, but Guaidó’s downfall casts doubt on the future of any agreement.
  • talks between Maduro and opposition leaders are likely to continue, but so far Maduro “has not shown at any point any willingness to give any concessions that could lead to free and fair elections,” one expert said. Told Dave.
  • The United States has already softened its approach to Maduro, and this year will test how much the relationship can change.

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