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A Guide to 2018 Latin American Elections

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Political and Economic Outlook for Brazil

Political and Economic Outlook for Brazil

Follow the discussion on Twitter: #CouncilBR #Eleições2018 | @ASCOA

Council of the Americas will hold a conversation on the political and economic outlook for Brazil following the second round of elections. Expert panelists will share their views on what the electoral results mean for the future of Brazil’s economic and political landscape, and the region as a whole.

Speakers:

  • Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer
  • Luis Bitencourt, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University
  • Monica de Bolle, Director, Latin American Studies and Emerging Markets, The Johns Hopkins University - SAIS

To register, email us at dcprograms@as-coa.org.

RSVP no later than 3:00 p.m. the day before the event.

This event is part of the 2018 AS/COA Brazil Series.

Trumpism Comes to Brazil

AS/COA’s Brian Winter and Roberto Simon explain in Foreign Affairs what makes Jair Bolsonaro’s foreign agenda similar to Donald Trump’s.

Video: Mexico's Future Trade Policy

Video: Mexico's Future Trade Policy

From NAFTA negotiations to Chinese relations, panelists explored Mexico’s trade opportunities under incoming President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Speakers:

  • Arturo Sarukhan, President, Sarukhan & Associates LLC; Former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.
  • Bruce Andrews, Managing Director, Rock Creek Global Advisors; Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  • Miriam Sapiro, Managing Director and Vice Chairman, SVC Public Affairs; Former Acting U.S. Trade Representative

NAFTA negotiations could conclude as soon as the end of August, but even if they don't, incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has signaled his commitment to a successful renegotiation. Panelists at a Washington, DC event discussed the challenges that would remain in ratifying the pact under each country’s Congress, areas where AMLO's views on trade overlap with those of U.S. President Donald Trump, and how Mexico should continue to diversify its trade ties overall—especially with China. “If I were the Mexican president, I would start flirting with the Chinese a little bit more, especially as the United States becomes an unreliable partner,” said Bruce Andrews.

Learn more about AMLO in our Mexico Election Guide.

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Video: Expert Update on Brazil

Video: Expert Update on Brazil

Panelists discussed top issues ahead of the country's October elections, as well as each presidential candidate's economic platform.

Speakers:

  • Elcior Santana, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, and Director, Movimento Brasil Competitivo (MBC)
  • Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute, Wilson Center
  • Anthony Harrington, Chair, Managing Board, Albright Stonebridge Group, and former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil
  • Raquel Krähenbühl, Washington Correspondent, Globo News (moderator)

Addressing Brazil's fiscal situation will be most urgent issue facing the next president, Paulo Sotero said during a panel in Washington, DC discussing the scenario ahead of October elections. Elcior Santana gave a rundown of each candidate's political platform and economic advisors, and emphasized why the election of Jair Bolsonaro would be the most detrimental to the private sector. Meanwhile, at a time when the Latin American country is trying to open up its economy, the United States has pushed back on Brazil's prospects for joining the OECD, said Santana. Anthony Harrington noted that the bilateral U.S.-Brazil relationship is a "black hole" in U.S. foreign policy and is not a priority for either country at the moment.

Learn more about Brazil's vote in our election guide.

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Video: What an AMLO Victory Means for Mexico

Video: What an AMLO Victory Means for Mexico

Mexico's next president made major campaign pledges. A panel of experts assessed if and how he can make good on his promises.

Mexico's next president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), has made major pledges in terms of confronting corruption, battling violence, and building social programs—all with fiscal responsibility and without raising taxes. How will he get it all done? "The devil is in the details," said Citi's Ernesto Revilla. An AS/COA expert panel moderated by Bloomberg's Vivianne Rodrigues covered potential upsides and downsides to an incoming AMLO government, with BlackRock's Gerardo Rodriguez suggesting that corruption, insecurity, and U.S.-Mexico relations have reached such lows that the new administration has a real chance to improve in these areas. In terms of relations with Washington, Moody's Mauro Leos pointed out that Donald Trump has indicated interest in having a bilateral trade accord with Mexico, which could mean he would produce a letter pulling Mexico out of NAFTA-and then have six months to change his mind. He also noted reasons why, despite comparisons between AMLO and ex-Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Mexico's next president has more in common with Chile's former President Michelle Bachelet during her second term in office. 

Learn more about the outcome of the Mexican elections at: www.as-coa.org/mxelex

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#COLWallSt Video: Probabilidades electorales en Colombia y la agenda económica 2018-2022

#COLWallSt Video: Probabilidades electorales en Colombia y la agenda económica 2018–2022

¿Cómo sería la economía colombiana bajo el liderazgo de Iván Duque o de Gustavo Petro?

Presentación:

Panel: 

  • César Caballero, Director, Cifras y Conceptos (Baje su presentación.)
  • Roberto Junguito, Exministro de Hacienda (Baje su presentación.)
  • Fernando Cepeda, Exministro del Interior 
  • Sergio Clavijo, Presidente de ANIF

¿Cómo sería la economía colombiana bajo el liderazgo de Iván Duque o de Gustavo Petro? Ese fue el tema principal que discutieron expertos en la última parte de la conferencia de AS/COA en Bogotá cuatro días antes de la segunda vuelta de la elección presidencial en Colombia. Los panelistas presentaron sus perspectivas sobre los dos escenarios potenciales con respeto a la reforma pensional y tributaria, el consensos en el congreso y el apoyo de parte de las distintas regiones del país. 

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Video: Denise Dresser and Gerardo Esquivel on #EleccionesMéxico

Video: Denise Dresser and Gerardo Esquivel on #EleccionesMéxico

“Who is the real [Andrés Manuel] López Obrador?” This was one of the questions Dresser posited to the Mexican presidential frontrunner's economic advisor.

Speakers:

  • Denise Dresser, Political analyst and columnist, Reforma and Proceso
  • Gerardo Esquivel, Economist, academic, and economic advisor to presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador

“Who is the real López Obrador?” This was one of the questions Denise Dresser posited to his economic advisor, Gerardo Esquivel. Dresser repeatedly asked Esquivel whether Mexican presidential frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known as AMLO, would be the firebrand who is seen as threatening institutions or a moderate seeking to appease Mexico’s problems with corruption, violence, and poverty. Will he be able to engage the private sector? Will there be checks and balances? Esquivel answered these questions during a conversation in New York City three weeks before Election Day, responding that AMLO does respect institutions, that his comments are at times taken out of context, and that the campaign is meeting with members of the country’s business classes.

He also outlined programs a President AMLO would pursue in his first 100 days, including educational programs for ninis (youth who neither study nor work), doubling the size of the country’s pension system, and diminishing taxes in Mexico’s border region. Esquivel added that AMLO supports trilateral NAFTA talks rather than bilateral ones and a preference for no NAFTA over a bad deal.

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Timeline: Brazil's 2018 Elections

Given the tempestuous nature of Brazilian politics in recent years, here are dates to help bring clarity as we approach the October 7 elections.

Vídeo: Renovação Política e Novas Lideranças no Brasil

Vídeo: Renovação Política e Novas Lideranças no Brasil

Candidatos bolsistas da RenovaBR falaram das dificuldades do sistema político atual e como se preparam para renovar a política brasileira.

Oradores:

  • Eduardo Mufarej, Cofounder, RenovaBR @Renova_BR
  • Carlos Gomes, RenovaBR Scholar
  • Felipe Rigoni, RenovaBR Scholar  @rigoni_felipe
  • Juliana Cardoso, RenovaBR Scholar
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly; Vice President of Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

"Nós temos que fazer uma grande reforma dos privilégios no Brasil, e isso tem que passar pela caixa preta dos partidos." Foi assim que Felipe Rigoni, um dos panelistas do painel "Renovação Política e Novas Lideranças no Brasil" da AS/COA em parceria com RenovaBR, BrazilFoundation e a Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, respondeu à pergunta sobre o que fazer para o Brasil ser mais próspero, menos desigual e violento. Selecionados dentre 4.000 candidatos, três bolsistas da RenovaBR, representantes da nova geração de líderes do setor público, apresentaram suas perspectivas para o país e falaram de como renovar não só os partidos políticos, mas também o interesse de jovens e profissionais capazes com a política brasileira.  

 

 

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Video: ¿Qué pasará en Venezuela después del 20 de mayo?

Video: ¿Qué pasará en Venezuela después del 20 de mayo?

Días previos a las elecciones, tres destacados panelistas analizaron el panorama económico y político en Venezuela—y lo que le espera al país en el futuro.

Panelistas:

  • Asdrúbal Oliveros, Director and Partner, Ecoanalítica
  • Luisa Palacios, Managing Director for Latin America, Medley Global Advisors
  • David Smolansky, Exiled former Mayor of El Hatillo, Venezuela
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly; Vice President of Policy at AS/COA (moderator)

Días previos a la elección del 20 de mayo, tres destacados panelistas analizaron el panorama económico y político en Venezuela—y lo que le espera al país en el futuro. En el panel el 14 de mayo en Nueva York, los expertos hablaron de las condiciones necesarias para que salga Nicolás Maduro del poder, las expectativas de las elecciones ilegítimas que se aproximan, y los desafíos que enfrenta el país cuando llegue al punto de reconstrucción.

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Video: Colombia Elections Outlook - Challenges for the Next Administration

Video: Colombia Elections Outlook – Challenges for the Next Administration

Experts weighed in on the candidates and what these elections will mean for Colombia's political scene in the future.

Panelists

  • Richard Francis, Director of Sovereign Ratings, Fitch Ratings
  • Diego García-Devis, Senior Program Officer, Open Society Foundations
  • Muni Jensen, Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Adriana La Rotta, Senior Director, Media Relations, Americas Society and Council of the Americas (moderator)

"Petro isn’t going anywhere, regardless of if he wins or loses in 2018," said Albright Stonebridge Group's Muni Jensen in this panel at AS/COA in New York about Colombia's upcoming elections. Particpants discussed the changing state of politics in the country ahead of the presidential vote. They covered who's supporting leading candidate Iván Duque and how Gustavo Petro, who polls second, has pushed the electorate and other candidates towards more progressive views. Panelists also looked beyond the election and what the winning candidate will face in terms of security, drug eradication, and economic opportunities for all Colombians.

 

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Video: Mexico's Elections and the Race to Los Pinos

Video: Mexico's Elections and the Race to Los Pinos

Watch: Get insights on the truth about polls, what an AMLO victory could mean for the energy sector, and bright spots for Mexico amid a fierce electoral battle. 

Panelists:

  • Alonso Cervera, Chief Economist for Latin America, Credit Suisse 
  • Antonio Ortiz-Mena, Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Jorge Suárez-Vélez, Columnist, Reforma and CNN
  • Lisa Schineller, Managing Director, S&P Global Ratings (moderator)

The worst thing that could happen for Mexico's exchange rate would be a victory by the ruling party's José Antonio Meade, not a win by populist frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). If the governing PRI wins 2 of 9 gubernatorial races, it should count itself lucky. One bright spot in the midst of this election cycle is agreement that something needs to be done about Mexico's stubbornly high poverty levels.

These were some of the comments traded during AS/COA's panel on Mexico's highly contentious 2018 election. Watch the video for insights on the truth about polling, what an AMLO victory could mean for the energy sector, and bright spots for Mexico despite a fierce electoral battle.  

 

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Explainer: Paraguay's 2018 Elections

The governing party presidential candidate leads polls ahead of the April 22 election. Young voters could play a big role—if they show up.

The Real Challenge to U.S.-Mexico Relations

Mexicans won't pick their next president based on Trump tweets, but that doesn't mean bilateral ties aren't in jeopardy, writes AS Board Member Arturo Sarukhan in The Hill.

Video: Panel on Elections in Latin America at #LABC18

Video: Panel on Elections in Latin America at #LABC18

Experts from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico offered insights on their respective countries' races, from the role of social media to corruption probes.

Speakers:

  • Alberto Bernal, Chief Strategist, XP Securities
  • Roberto Simon, Political Risk Director for Latin America, FTI Consulting
  • Arturo Sarukhan, Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
  • Camila Zuluaga, Program Director and Journalist, Claro, Caracol Radio (moderator)

Latin America's three largest countries will elect a president over the course of 2018. Experts from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico offered insights on their respective countries' elections at Young Professionals of the Americas' Latin American Business Conference 2018. They discussed the spectrum of candidates in each race, the wave of anti-corruption sentiment, and the role of social media.

Learn more about Young Professionals of the Americas.

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Video: 2018 Elections in Latin America - Americas Quarterly Launch Event

Video: 2018 Elections in Latin America – Americas Quarterly Launch Event

AQ brought together an expert panel to discuss issues ranging from Russian meddling to fake news to the market's effects on Latin America's 2018 elections.

Speakers:

  • Luisa Palacios, Managing Director for Latin America, Medley Global Advisors
  • Gerardo Rodriguez, Managing Director of Emerging Markets group, BlackRock, Inc.
  • Roberto Simon, Director for Latin America, FTI Consulting
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly; Vice President of Policy at AS/COA
  • Vivianne Rodrigues, Latin America Managing Editor, Economic & Political coverage, Bloomberg News (moderator)

How is the issue of Russian meddling affecting Mexico's presidential race? Can Venezuela rebuild its democracy? Will fake news play a role in Brazil's election? Americas Quarterly marked the launch of its elections issue with an expert panel to discuss the most important issues at stake during Latin America's juggernaut year of elections.

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Latin America's Angry Outsiders

In this new issue of AQ, we preview the region’s 2018 elections – and explain why anti-establishment nationalists are rising in the polls.

Meet the Candidates

A closer look at the leading candidates in this year’s presidential elections.

LatAm in Focus: Mexico's Big Year Ahead

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.