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A Guide to 2019 Latin American Elections



Six countries in Central and South America held presidential elections in 2019. Elsewhere in the Americas, Justin Trudeau won a second term as prime minister when Canada held federal elections on October 21 and Colombia held local elections on October 27.

Explore our individual guides via links below:

AS/COA tracks the votes through articles, poll updates, podcasts, and programs.

An Aymaran man holds the Wiphala flag. (AP)

Q&A: The View from the Streets in Bolivia

November 15, 2019

In the wake of Evo Morales’ resignation, AS/COA Online’s Holly K. Sonneland talks with two experts about events on the ground.

Q&A: Eric Farnsworth Talks Bolivia on CNN's The Brief with Bianca Nobilo

November 12, 2019

"Had [Evo Morales] left before this whole anti-constitutional effort to maintain power, his legacy would’ve been totally different," the AS/COA vice president said in this interview.

Evo Morales resigned November 10.

Timeline: Evo Morales Resigns from the Bolivian Presidency

November 10, 2019

Latin America’s longest continuously serving president stepped down November 10. AS/COA Online tracks events from election day through Morales’ resignation.

Alberto Fernández

LatAm in Focus: Argentina's 2019 Election Brings in a New President

October 30, 2019

Alberto Fernández defeated President Mauricio Macri in the first round. Juan Cruz Díaz, Cefeidas Group managing director and AS/COA special advisor, lays out the country’s political panorama. 

Bogotá Mayor-Elect Claudia López.

Amid Regional Unrest, Colombia Holds Peaceful Local Elections

October 30, 2019

Left-leaning politicians will occupy the mayor’s seat in the country’s three biggest cities, while uribismo lost races across the board.

Uruguay vote. (AP)

Three Takeaways from Uruguay's First-Round Presidential Vote

October 28, 2019

The governing Broad Front coalition’s Daniel Martínez will face the National Party’s Luis Lacalle Pou in what could be a tight November 24 runoff.

Bolivian President Evo Morales on October 20. (AP Images)

After Controversial Vote Count, Bolivia's Evo Morales Claims Victory

October 25, 2019

Days after the October 20 election and a delay in the final tally, counts gave Morales what he needs to avoid a runoff. But the controversy’s not over yet.

Macri and Fernández

The First Round: Argentina's 2019 Presidential Election

October 24, 2019

The October 27 election is coming down to two presidential tickets, and Alberto Fernández is polling ahead of President Mauricio Macri. 

Colombian ballots. (AP)

What to Watch in Colombia's 2019 Local Elections

October 24, 2019

The first nationwide elections since the 2018 presidential race take place on October 27. Bogotanos will pick their next mayor—one of the top posts in the country.

Bolivian election ballot

Is Bolivia on the Verge of a Historic Runoff Election?

October 21, 2019

Carlos Mesa outperformed polls, indicating a likely runoff against Evo Morales. But official results are stalled.

Bolivia poll tracker

Poll Tracker: Bolivia's 2019 Presidential Race

October 18, 2019

The courts ruled that Evo Morales can run for a fourth consecutive term. Do Bolivians want him to?

Poll Tracker: Uruguay's 2019 Presidential Elections

October 24, 2019

The ruling coalition's Daniel Martínez leads polls, but that doesn't mean he should get too comfortable. The first round takes place October 27.

Argentina Poll Tracker

Poll Tracker: Argentina's 2019 Presidential Elections

October 20, 2019

Six tickets will compete in the October 27 first round, but the race comes down to Alberto Fernández versus President Mauricio Macri. 

Uruguayan voters. (AP)

LatAm in Focus: Behind Uruguay's Presidential Vote

October 17, 2019

The 2019 race might not yield major political shifts, but the next president will still face unknown territory, says Professor Arturo Porzecanski. The first round-vote takes place October 27.

Evo Morales (AP)

Is Bolivia's Evo Morales Poised to Win a Fourth Term?

October 16, 2019

Based on polls, it's possible that Evo Morales's party will lose the two-thirds majority in Congress but retain a slim absolute majority in both houses, writes AS/COA's Holly Sonneland in this Q&A.

What Macri’s Exit Would Mean for Latin America’s “Moderate Right”

October 07, 2019

Argentina’s president was arguably the greatest hope of liberal technocrats in the region.

Morales or Mesa? Either Way, Bolivia Faces Tough Questions.

October 09, 2019

Uncertainty at the polls and over the economy mark Bolivia’s Oct. 20 presidential elections.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele runs a meeting with health officials. (Image: Office of the Presidency of El Salvador)

El Salvador's Nayib Bukele Marks 100 Days in Office

September 09, 2019

With 100 days as president under his belt, what has Latin America’s youngest president done to address corruption, security, and emigration?

Carlos Mesa’s Uphill Effort to Defeat Evo Morales

August 26, 2019

Why Bolivia’s leading opposition candidate has lost momentum.

PASO Results: Who Will Compete for Argentina's Presidency?

August 14, 2019

Six tickets made it past the primary to vie for the presidency. The first round takes place October 27.

A Path to Ending Argentina’s Market Meltdown

August 19, 2019

Brazil’s 2002 crisis illuminates a way to calm investors, writes a longtime emerging markets economist.

An Uruguayan voter

Explainer: Uruguay's 2019 Presidential Election

August 14, 2019

With the primary behind Uruguayans, here’s a look at who’s in the running and other issues coming up in the October 27 vote. 

Alejandro Giammattei (AP)

Guatemala's 2019 Runoff Vote: Giammattei Wins Presidency

August 12, 2019

Conservative Alejandro Giammattei beat Sandra Torres in a runoff amid low voter turnout to replace Jimmy Morales.

Argentina gubernatorial elections Map

Mapping Argentina's 2019 Gubernatorial Elections

November 12, 2019

So far, 15 provinces have held elections. While the peronistas saw one seat flip to another party, they increased victory margins in several others. 

Poll Update: Argentina's 2019 Presidential Primary

August 08, 2019

Nine candidates are competing in the August 11 primary, known as the PASO, but pollsters put rivals Alberto Fernández and Mauricio Macri well ahead of the others.

A voting center in Guatemala. (AP)

3 Things to Know ahead of Guatemala's Presidential Runoff

August 07, 2019

Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammattei will face off in an August 11 runoff with an expected low voter turnout and amid an immigration deal with Washington.

Guatemala Poll Update

Poll Update: Guatemala's 2019 Presidential Runoff

August 07, 2019

Alejandro Giammattei leads Sandra Torres in polling ahead of the August 11 runoff to replace Jimmy Morales.

Three Reasons Argentina’s Primary Matters

July 29, 2019

Argentina’s presidential candidates are already set. But the upcoming PASO could still have a big impact on the race.

Argentina Presidential Candidates

Explainer: Presidential Tickets in Argentina's 2019 Election

July 09, 2019

How is President Macri polling? And with whom is ex-President Fernández de Kirchner sharing the electoral ticket? AS/COA Online takes a look.


Alberto Fernández’s Balancing Act in Argentina

July 09, 2019

Is the presidential hopeful distancing himself from his running mate?

Voters in Guatemala

Guatemala Update: Torres and Giammattei Head to a Runoff

June 17, 2019

The former first lady will face an ex-prison director in a second-round vote on August 11.

2019 Election Guide poll update graphic

Poll Update: Guatemala's 2019 Presidential Race

June 14, 2019

Sandra Torres has a healthy lead in polling ahead of the June 16 general elections, but she shouldn't rest easy.

Nayib Bukele (Image: The Salvadoran presidency.)

Nayib Bukele's First Steps as El Salvador's President

June 06, 2019

Since taking office on June 1, the young president has already made a set of notable decisions.

A Guatemalan voter. (AP)

Explainer: Guatemala's Presidential Election

June 06, 2019

With the first-round vote slated for June 16, here’s a look at what’s at stake and who’s still in the running. 

Sandra Torres

LatAm in Focus: Who's In and Who's Out in Guatemala's Presidential Race

May 30, 2019

Political scientist Marielos Chang explains why Sandra Torres is the candidate to beat, though her win is not a sure bet. The first-round vote takes place June 16.

Nayib Bukele

LatAm in Focus: President-elect Nayib Bukele on His Plans for El Salvador

May 09, 2019

At COA's Washington Conference on the Americas, CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera talked with the 37-year-old leader about immigration, foreign policy, and job creation. 

Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo wins Panama's election

3 Charts on Panama's General Elections

May 06, 2019

The PRD’s Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo is proclaimed winner of closest presidential race of the last 30 years.

Nito Cortizo, Romulo Roux, Ricardo Lombana

What to Watch ahead of Panama's May 5 Election

May 02, 2019

One candidate leads, but polls have been wrong before.

Is Pension Reform on the Ballot in Argentina's Election?

March 28, 2019

Public dissent and legal challenges have slowed implementation of President Mauricio Macri’s 2017 reform.

Meet the Candidates: Uruguay

April 11, 2019

Uruguay's ruling coalition goes for a fourth consecutive term in a campaign marked by a debate over rising crime.

Meet the Candidates: Argentina

April 11, 2019

Macri and Kirchner are garnering the most attention ahead of Argentina's October vote. But there's room for a dark horse.

Meet the Candidates: Bolivia

April 11, 2019

In his controversial push for a fourth term, Evo Morales faces another former president.

Meet the Candidates: Panama

April 11, 2019

Ending corruption is top on voters' minds in Panama, but they're split over who offers the most credible promise of change.

Meet the Candidates: Guatemala

April 11, 2019

Two months out from Guatemala's election, it's still unclear who will be allowed on the ballot.

Argentina's 2019 Electoral Calendar

Argentina's 2019 Electoral Calendar

March 14, 2019

From gubernatorial PASOs to the first-ever mandatory presidential debates, AS/COA Online outlines key dates ahead of October 27 general elections.

Panamanian Presidential candidates Roux, Cortizo, Blandon. (AP)

Explainer: A Who's Who of Panama's Presidential Candidates

March 08, 2019

Learn about the candidates’ positions on everything from constitutional reform to social security to agricultural production.

Poll Tracker: Panama's 2019 Presidential Election

Poll Tracker: Panama's 2019 Presidential Election

May 01, 2019

The opposition PRD party leads the race in the seven-candidate field ahead of the May 5 vote.

Video: Argentina's Challenges and Opportunities Facing 2019

February 11, 2019

An expert panel in New York agreed the country's economic prospects look to improve in 2019 over the previous year and will be a key factor in October's presidential election.

Nayib Bukele takes office in El Salvador on June 1. (AP)

Bukele Breaks El Salvador's Two-Party Hold on Power

February 04, 2019

Learn about what the 37-year-old former mayor plans to do as president.

AQ INTERVIEW: Urtubey: “Argentina's Problem Didn’t Start With Macri or Cristina”

February 04, 2019

Argentina’s dark-horse presidential candidate speaks to AQ about his vision for uniting the country.

Voters in Panama on Election Day. (AP)

2019 Latin American Elections: A Preview

January 09, 2019

AS/COA Online takes a look at upcoming presidential races in Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Uruguay.

All Eyes on Guatemala as Crisis Brews Ahead of Elections

February 01, 2019

President Jimmy Morales' maneuvering against Guatemala's institutions could give the U.S. a chance to recalibrate its policy.

Chart header image

Poll Tracker: El Salvador's 2019 Presidential Election

January 24, 2019

Can Nayib Bukele win outright on February 3? That’s the big question—and the result is not a given.

A voter in Costa Rica. (AP)

LatAm in Focus: How Healthy Is Democracy in Latin America?

January 17, 2019

Steven Levitsky, co-author of How Democracies Die, talks about Brazil’s election, strategies for the Venezuelan opposition, and the lack of female authoritarians.

The Curious Case of Alfredo Olmedo, the “Argentine Bolsonaro”

January 14, 2019

Another controversial maverick hits the campaign trail in Latin America.

Could This Argentine TV Host Be Latin America’s Next ‘Outsider’ President?

November 10, 2018

A year out from Argentina's election, a familiar face is testing political waters.

Will El Salvador's Nayib Bukele Be the Next Social Media President?

November 08, 2018

The frontrunner’s direct connection with supporters is upending party politics.

“Moderate” Peronists See Chance to Beat Macri in 2019

October 02, 2018

Argentina’s president is struggling with an economic crisis. His predecessor is implicated in a huge corruption case. Is there room for another challenger?

Resumen de #CouncilARG 2018: Perspectivas económicas y políticas en Argentina

September 04, 2018

Cinco miembros del gabinete, dos gobernadores, un alcalde, líderes del sector privado y otros se reunieron durante la decimoquinta conferencia anual de AS/COA en Buenos Aires.

Video #CouncilARG 2018: Gobernadores argentinos Urtubey y Cornejo en la conferencia del Council

August 30, 2018

Los gobernadores de Salta y Mendoza hablaron de la importancia de la transparencia en la política y en los mercados para la mejoría de la economía argentina.

Could This Prosecutor Become Guatemala's Next President?

July 10, 2018

Thelma Aldana made her mark in Guatemala’s fight against corruption. Is she ready for politics?

Thanks, But Goodbye: Why Many of Evo Morales' Supporters Want Him to Move On

April 29, 2018

El Alto, Bolivia, was key to Evo Morales' rise, and thrived during his three terms in office. Why is it turning against the president as he campaigns for a fourth?