Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

On November 9th, Peru’s political system imploded after Congress removed President Vizcarra from office on the dubious legal grounds of “moral incapacity”. This widely unpopular move and the rise of the Speaker of Congress, Manuel Merino, into the Presidency, took hundreds of thousands — mostly millennials and gen z — into the streets denouncing what was understood in the world as a Parliamentary coup. …

How the Pandemic is going to change Peru forever

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

Peru is a country of contrasts. While being one of the fastest-growing economies of Latin America in the last 20 years, reducing poverty by half in a decade and welcoming millions to a new middle class, most of this new economic engine of social mobility never quite made it through its own glass ceiling. This year, the pandemic exposed the structural fallacies of an idea of development that started to crack years before 2020.

Gross Informality on labor markets, incipient social welfare nets, and an absent and inefficient state, together, were Peru’s Achilles heel, creating the tragic conditions for…

From the favelas in Rio de Janeiro to the streets of Mexico City, COVID-19 is exposing the striking socio-economic landscape of a region characterized by inequality. This new and unprecedented crisis will change Latin America but, whether it would be for better or for worse, it is still to be seen.

Latin America at the eve of COVID-19

Informal economies, unreliable safety nets, and a political establishment in disarray, Latin America — or at least most of it — has been experiencing a long excruciating crisis that has been as heterogeneous throughout the continent as its geography. …

photo by Elias Arias (@imgoldenboi)

Latin America continues to cope with the aftershocks of the most transcendental season of social demonstrations in the last 30 years. In the center of the unrest are the aspirations and fears of its young, emerging, and heterogeneous middle-class, more engaging and willing to take a stand in a time of instability.

The rise of Latin America’s middle class during the first fifteen years of the century changed the social landscape of the region, introducing millions to a new and more democratic consumer society.

But by 2014, when the global commodity boom that engined growth ended, the majority of…

Fragile Institutions have shaped a season of unrest

Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

The nations of Latin America are experiencing one of their most dramatic crises in decades. Although diverse in nature and intensity, these national crises, developed under both left and right-wing regimes, are rooted in fragile institutions unable to deliver democratic demands.

The countercurrents beneath the waves of the “pink tide”

At the beginning of the century, with the disastrous Cold War-era behind, new forces started to form a new regional political establishment, claiming to be more progressive and more democratic. With China’s ascent to the economic world stage, Latin America, a natural commodity exporter, started to quickly grow. …

Peru’s Constitutional crisis and the outcry for a new political class

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A couple of weeks ago, thousands of mostly young adults, gathered in Lima, singing and celebrating the “constitutional dissolution” of congress. It is the corollary of what Peru’s bicentennial generation has been fighting for since the Lava Jato scandal broke out: The elimination of a corrupt political class represented in a widely unpopular Congress.

After Congress decided to block President Vizcarra’s efforts to call for new general elections next year, the political stakes were at its highest, opening the final chapter of a three-year-long political crisis.

Peru’s power struggle between the President and the opposition-dominated Congress made world headlines…

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

Last Friday, the Panamerican Olympics Games, Lima 2019, started with a breathtaking inaugural ceremony that made justice for Peru’s multicultural diversity and millenary heritage. As the nations of the Americans measure forces in 39 sports, for Peru, another contest is being fought in the political arena. A race between Congress, rule by a widely unpopular opposition party, and a President that has proven to be a skilled outsider, governing along with an overwhelming national sentiment of fighting corruption and ending impunity.

In 2014, Operation Car Wash or Lava Jato in Portuguese started to unveiled a money-laundering scheme in Brazil. A…

Photo by Philippe D. on Unsplash

The world recently commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings in Normandy. As Western leaders gathered to listen to the voices of freedom that liberated Europe and keep resonating in the beaches of France, the world is backsliding into a wave of nationalism and authoritarianism.

Throughout the West, socio-economic grievances are threatening the foundations of peace established in the aftermath of World War II. Migration waves and emerging crisis have propelled a backlash to international integration. Societies have become more divided, allowing the rise of radical political movements, eroding public legitimacy on democratic institutions.

These are the results…

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Migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras at the US southern border are fleeing a region overwhelmed by the consequences of chronic un-development, drug trafficking, corruption, and violence. It is a complex crisis in the nations of the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA), propelled by both, domestic and external circumstances. While these conditions continue to be relegated and misunderstood, the crisis could be exacerbated as the Trump administration continues to pursue a counterproductive strategy of disengagement in the region.

President Trump recently decided to cut off a total of $450 million in aid in the Northern Triangle. This…

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

The United States is moving forward to challenge China’s grip in financing the development of infrastructure around the globe. While the American proposal arrives delayed to a world that is increasingly influenced by China its consequences will shape US-China relations and its engagement with the developing world. Considering that the US is outlying a different approach to address this issue, could it manage to gain momentum in a changing global economic environment?

Last October, the US administration signed into law the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, creating the United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC)…

Alexander Roman

Economist writing about Latin America

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