Nowhere in the world is the web of treaties, agreements and agencies concerned with regional security needs as thick as in Latin America. The region has seen one of the most dramatic institutional transformations of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.
Since the early 1990s, the rising price of crude oil and other key natural resources—and the resulting drive by governments and private companies to extract those resources—has led to sharp conflicts in Latin America.
During the 1970s, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America. With the region’s highest growth rates and the lowest levels of inequality, it was also one of the most stable democracies in the Americas. But starting in the early 1980s, things fell apart.
The world has changed dramatically since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed. Today, 20 years later, we live in an era of mega-regionalism. This new reality calls for a new strategic vision for North America.
Just a few years ago, Brazil was brimming with optimism. Rising global demand for resources led to an export and consumption boom. The official poverty rate was declining sharply, thanks to an expansion of the social safety net and falling unemployment.