Before we move on from 2016 too quickly, it’s worthwhile to take stock of all that happened at AS/COA this year—and there was a lot going on with more than 270 events across the hemisphere. Here are AS/COA Online’s most popular articles, videos, live event webcasts, podcast episodes, and social media posts from the year. Thanks to all for joining us this year, and we’ll see you in 2017.
Over half (56 percent) of Americans polled said the number of Mexican immigrants heading to the United States illegally rose in the last five years. The fact? More Mexicans are leaving the United States than arriving—a net loss of 140,000 migrants from 2009 to 2014, to be precise.
While Democrat Hillary Clinton edged out Republican Donald Trump in every Latino demographic in this Pew Research poll ahead of November 8, the Trump had more notable support, albeit still a minority, over one sub-demographic: Hispanics who are English dominant. Forty-one percent of those who were more proficient in English than in Spanish planned to support the now-president-elect, compared to just 11 percent of Spanish-dominant and bilingual Hispanics.
The race to replace the outgoing Ollanta Humala was a topsy-turvy one that saw top candidates disqualified over things like misfiled paperwork. In retrospect, there is one stat that perhaps could have presaged Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s eventual victory amid the crowded field: he had the lowest disapproval rating of any other first-round candidate.
2. “Update: Venezuela Is Running Short of Everything”
At the beginning of the year, 87 percent of Venezuelans were buying less food than they used to—and the situation has only become more severe in the months since. Beyond basic necessities like food and medicine, Venezuela is suffering losses of intellectuals in their prime working years too: more than half of the 1.5 million Venezuelans who’ve emigrated in the last 20 years have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and their median age is 32. (Puede leer una traducción de este artículo en español también.)
1. “Explainer: The Zika Virus in Latin America”
Where was the first place Zika showed up in the Western Hemisphere? Not Brazil, but Chile’s Easter Island—in 2014.
"They are me," said Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, when receiving Americas Society's Cultural Achievement Award, about the more than 700,000 youth playing in El Sistema orchestras in his country. Dudamel is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation, but his life story told during this interview with Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson of CBS News' 60 Minutes showed his passion for education.
While free trade has become unpopular in some parts of the world, the presidents of Chile, Colombia, and Peru, along with Mexico's economy secretary, made the case for its benefits at AS/COA during their visit to New York for the 71st UN General Assembly. This short video gives the highlights of the full hour-long conversation between Michelle Bachelet, Juan Manuel Santos, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and Ildefonso Guajardo.
For its first issue of the year, Americas Quarterly spotlighted how a new generation of prosecutors and activists is making historic progress in the battle against graft—and jailing those responsible, no matter how powerful. The magazine identified five "corruption busters" from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. This video tells their stories of persistence.
3. “Argentina Investment Conference 2016”
Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay and BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink headlined this event in New York, which also featured regional heads of J.P. Morgan Chase, Financial Times, DIRECTV, and more. Catch up on all the presentations from this by-invitation-only event here.
At our annual event in the capital, we talked energy, inequality, telecommunications and more, with presentations from then-Secretary of Social Development José Antonio Meade (now secretary of finance and public credit) . . . and a vice president of Breakfasts & Snacks.
1. “Latin American Cities Conferences: Buenos Aires”
Three ministers, two governors, two senators, the Buenos Aires mayor, the cabinet chief, and others presented at our annual event in Buenos Aires this year. While Governors María Eugenia Vidal and Juan Manuel Urtubey talked about the strength of the economies in their respective provinces, Production Minister Francisco Cabrera talked about the new administration’s commitment to bolster state support for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
This year, the AS/COA Online team launched the Latin America in Focus podcast, which iTunes named “new and noteworthy” in the News & Politics category. Here are the top three episodes of the 25 we put out this year.
Have some holiday traveling coming up? Be sure to subscribe to Latin American in Focus on iTunes and download a few episodes so you have something to listen to while your phone is on airplane mode.
3. “Josefina Vidal on a Changing Cuba”
What’s the top change Havana would like to see in its relationship with Washington? Lifting the U.S. embargo, says Josefina Vidal, the general director of U.S. relations in Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this podcast with Elizabeth Gonzalez. “One would hope that whomever is the next president will continue the path that we initiated because it would reflect the consensus that already exists,” she says regarding the rapprochement between the two countries.
2. “Russ Dallen on Venezuela’s Not-Quite Breaking Point”
From selective default to missing gold, the web of Venezuela’s collapse can be dizzying, says Russ Dallen, Caracas Capital managing partner, who unties the many tangled threads to the situation with Holly K. Sonneland in this episode. If you needed any proof that Cuban-style Communism doesn’t work, Venezuela—which has more oil than Saudi Arabia—is the only example you need, he says.
What do you do when a U.S. presidential candidate makes bashing your country a centerpiece of his campaign? Try to set the record straight. That’s what Agustín Barrios Gómez, president of the Mexico Image Foundation, is working to do. The former federal congressman from Mexico City talked with Carin Zissis about just how integrated U.S.-Mexican relations are.
3. This prescient quote from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at an event in DC.
— AS/COA Online (@ASCOA) February 3, 2016
2. Breaking news that Colombian voters had rejected Santos’ legacy achievement
— AS/COA Online (@ASCOA) October 2, 2016
1. A final defense from Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief Brian Winter of Dilma Rousseff, who, he said, didn’t stand in the way of corruption investigations “for the most part.”
— AS/COA Online (@ASCOA) May 11, 2016
3. A preview of Mexican regional elections, in which the PRI did in fact lose the governorship of Veracruz, along with five more.
June 5 could mark the first time the Mexican state of Veracruz doesn't elect a PRI governor.
2. President Nicolás Maduro’s suggestion that hungry Venezuelans should raise chickens at home.
87% de venezolanos dice que compra menos comida debido a escasez. ¿La solución de Maduro? Criar gallinas en la casa.
1. Another Santos quote that would presage the difficulties to come for the FARC peace process.
"I am not going to sign a bad agreement just to meet a deadline." President Santos just backed off March 23 for Colombia-FARC peace deal.
Note: While some posts did have boosts behind them, top posts were determined by which ones had the most organic reach and/or engagement.
2. Holly K. Sonneland’s profile of this Cuban cowboy and accompanying retro chair in the doorway.
1. Luisa Leme’s shot from the mystical Parque Lage in Rio.