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Pegged for Failure? Argentina's Crisis
by James E. Mahon, Jr. and Javier Corrales
"The press is full of diagnoses of the Argentine collapse. Most blame the Argentine political class. There is surely truth in this, and it is an opinion shared by millions of Argentines, including the most vocal protestors in Buenos Aires. But this drama has a larger, less easily personalized setting: tax evasion, the stubborn problem of Argentine exports, and global financial volatility."
by Forrest Colburn
"Latin Americaís democracies are not in danger of collapse at this time. But there are many real problems, and not many indications that these problems are being addressed with imagination and determination."
United States-Latin American Relations: Preparing for the Handover
by Michael Shifter
George W. Bush has expressed a special interest in invigorating Americaís relationship with Latin America. But his campaign rhetoric also called for a return to America's "traditional" national interests, which could mean an even stronger tendency toward the unilateralism that crept into the relationship during the second Clinton administration and has evoked growing displeasure within Latin America.
Mexico’s Long March to Democracy
by Lucy Conger
The story of the election of Mexico's first opposition president in 71 years is also the story of the birth of an increasingly energized civil society and the missteps of an intransigent and sclerotic ruling party.
“Reinventing” Democracy in Peru
by Carmen Rosa Balbi and David Scott Palmer
Alberto Fujimori, the president who claimed he had to destroy democracy in order to save it, has ignominiously departed, leaving behind a transitional government that is slowly unveiling the corruption in which Fujimori operated and also laying the groundwork for new presidential elections this April.
Ecuador’s Centrifrugal Politics
by Shelley A. McConnell
South America's first coup since the continent's return to democracy was a curious one. What led Ecuador's indigenous people and military to overthrow the government--and then deny that they had done so?
Defining the “Bolivarian Revolution”: Hugo Chávez's Venezuela
by Jennifer McCoy and Laura Neuman
Hugo Chávez has taken on the mantle of the people's will. He has also taken on an ever-larger share of political power and shown an increasing interest in spreading his "Bolivarian revolution" to the downtrodden in nearby Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Latin America’s Volatile Financial Markets
by Jonathan Lemco and Scott B. MacDonald
The soundness of Latin America's financial health remains dependent on international capital--primarily from the United States--and commodity exports--also primarily to the United States. This dependence on the international financial environment, along with deep-seated domestic economic inequalities and structural deficiencies, means a guarded economic prognosis for the countries of the region.
The United States and Colombia: Partners in Ambiguity
by Michael Shifter
"The Clinton administration and Congress will likely reach an agreement to increase aid to Colombia. Yet whether the agreement reflects a serious commitment with a clear strategic purpose to support Colombia and the Colombian government—or whether it merely seeks to satisfy the myriad domestic political interests and agendas involved in United States policy toward Colombia—is a critical question. It is a question, however, that can probably not abide much ambiguity."
The Enigmatic Guerrilla: FARC's Manuel Marulanda
by Andres Cala
"Manuel Marulanda, the head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, may become the unlikely head of the first leftist guerrilla movement to achieve success in the post-cold war era. . . . "
Democracy and Its Discontents in Fujimori's Peru
by David Scott Palmer
"The government and its supporters have concluded that Peru's continued success depends on continuity at the presidential helm. Opponents believe that five more years of President Alberto Fujimori is a recipe for disaster."
Demystifying Venezuela's Hugo Chávez
by Jennifer L. McCoy
"The challenge for the [Chávez] administration is to devise a way to include dissenting voices and respect minority views while still carrying out the changes desired by the Venezuelan people. The alternative is a tyranny of the majority in the name of revolutionary change."
The Hall of Mirrors: The Internet in Latin America
by Ricardo Gomez
Latin American Internet users, like those in the developed world, "may be merely surfing the labyrinth of the Library of Babel dreamt by Borges: a library in which the contents matter far less than the apparent infinity of its holdings."
Guatemala's Precarious Peace
by David Holiday
"The Guatemalan peace process will ultimately be considered successful if it contributes to reconciliation among the many participants in the armed conflict. . . . While international human rights norms and institutions clearly support uncovering the truth about Guatemala's bloody past, such inquiries call into question the fundamental structures of military, political, and economic power in Guatemala."