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A Guide to 2018 Latin American Elections

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Once every 12 years, Brazil and Mexico, which together account for more than half of Latin America’s population, both elect a new president, and they’re set to do so in 2018. In fact, political changes will sweep the region next year: Chile’s next president takes office in March, Colombia picks its first head of state since the FARC peace deal, Cuba will see Raúl Castro step down, Venezuela might get to vote, and Costa Rica and Paraguay will choose their next presidents as well. With Ecuador’s and Honduras’ elections in April and November of 2017, nine Latin America countries elect new presidents this year and next, and most will also renew their national legislatures.

Many will also cast ballots for just Congress, as Argentina did in October and El Salvador will in March. After all these countries wrap up elections, the United States holds its 2018 midterms.

AS/COA is tracking the votes through articles, poll updates, podcasts, and programs. Check back regularly for new updates.

Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega. (AP)

Explainer: A Look at Reelection in the Americas

December 07, 2017

As Bolivia’s Evo Morales eyes a fourth consecutive term, we look at other places in the Americas where the topic of reelection has made waves in recent years.

Honduras election

Honduras' Troubled 2017 Presidential Election

December 01, 2017

After days of delays and technical glitches, updated tallies put the president ahead as the country slides into its biggest political crisis since 2009.

Elections the Polls Got Wrong.

Weekly Chart: Polls Gone Awry in the Americas

December 01, 2017

If there’s one lesson to be learned from recent polling debacles, it’s that voters should never base their decision to head to the ballot box on them.

Meade and Peña. (AP)

Mexico Update: The 2018 Presidential Race Comes into Focus

November 30, 2017

On November 27, José Antonio Meade threw his hat into the ring. Can he beat Andrés Manuel López Obrador—and a whole host of other contenders?

Honduran election worker holds up ballot marked for Salvador Nasralla

Honduras Update: A Surprise (Partial) Result in the Presidential Vote

November 27, 2017

Polls indicated incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández’s reelection, but corruption concerns appear to have given a leg up to former sportscaster Salvador Nasralla.

2018 Latin American elections flags

A Timeline of 2017 and 2018 Elections in Latin America

November 16, 2017

Latin Americans will vote for nine new presidents in two years, along with more than 2,900 legislators.

Juan Orlando Hernández

Explainer: The 2017 Honduran Presidential Election

November 21, 2017

Polls show President Juan Orlando Hernández could win a second term on November 26 in a country where the issue of reelection sparked turmoil eight years ago.

Alejandro Guillier and Sebastián Piñera in Chile

Chile Election Update: Four Takeaways from the First Round

November 20, 2017

Polls got it wrong and all eyes are on which way losing candidates’ votes will go when Alejandro Guillier and Sebastian Piñera compete in a December 17 runoff.  

Chilean presidential candidates Piñera, Guillier, and Sánchez

LatAm in Focus: What to Look for in Chile's Presidential Elections

November 15, 2017

Sebastián Piñera will likely win the November 19 vote, but turnout will be key for his rival to stand a chance in the runoff, says political scientist Patricio Navia.

The Trouble Facing Colombia's Moderates

October 30, 2017

Without conflict to bring them together, Colombians are confronting their differences, and engaging in the messy business of democracy.

Making Sense of Colombia's Crowded Presidential Field

October 30, 2017

With more than two dozen potential candidates, Colombia’s 2018 race is up for grabs. Is there room for surprise among so many familiar faces?

Four Takeaways From Argentina’s Game-Changing Mid-Term Elections

October 23, 2017

The president's center-right coalition swept Argentina's biggest provinces in mid-term elections, opening his path to reelection in 2019.

Voting Center in Venezuela

Populism Is Coming for Latin America in 2018

October 23, 2017

Investors and policymakers need to watch the region's election wave, write AS/COA’s Brian Winter and Igarapé Institute’s Robert Muggah for ForeignPolicy.com.

Venezuela's CNE head Tibisay Lucena

Update: 3 Ways Venezuela Tampered with Sunday's Regional Elections

October 13, 2017

The Maduro administration worked hard to suppress opposition turnout in gubernatorial races on October 15 before claiming victory in 17 of 23 states, in defiance of polls.

An Mexican election worker marks a voter's thumb with ink.

LatAm in Focus: Mexico's Big Year Ahead

October 12, 2017

Victor Herrera, former Mexico City office head for S&P’s Global Ratings, spells out what’s in store for Mexico—from elections to NAFTA talks.

A voter steps on election flyers in Brazil 2017

Explainer: Brazil's Political Parties to Watch in 2018

October 06, 2017

Given voter disillusionment with traditional politics, the country’s parties are rebranding to rebuild their influence. A year before general elections, we profile the parties. 

Weekly Chart: Argentina's Legislative Elections by the Numbers

September 28, 2017

The October 22 vote will determine how much sway President Maurico Macri’s coalition will have in Congress, as well as Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s return to politics.

Gigante de Cobre, copper statue in Chile

LatAm in Focus: Economic Realities Facing Chile's Next President

September 27, 2017

Listen: Now heading candidate Sebastián Piñera’s economic platform, former Finance Minister Felipe Larraín talks tax reform, copper, and more.

presidential candidates in chile

Explainer: Chile's Top Election Issues and Candidates

August 23, 2017

Get background on the issues dominating the 2017 campaign trail and the presidential candidates leading the polls.

A polling station in Cali, Colombia. (AP)

Explainer: Colombia's 2018 Elections

June 28, 2017

The race to replace outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos is on, with candidates from across the spectrum.