Turmoil and conflict is nothing new to the countries in Latin America, and the last few months some of the most prosperous countries have been experiencing problems. Argentina’s currency took a nosedive, leaving the country in crisis. Brazil’s growth rate has slowed significantly and World Cup protests are growing by the day. And oil heavy Venezuela is experiencing massive protests over inflation and shortages.
Economy and Development
The Communications and Transport Secretary in Mexico has proposed a regional rail project, the Tren Transpeninsular (TTP), to connect major beach resort areas and several major archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. A GSPIA capstone class taught by Marcela González Rivas, Policy and Planning in Development Countries, is working with a local non-profit in Mexico, Foro para el Desarrollo Sustentable, who has been hired to conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential social impacts of the TTP.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently concluded the annual Article IV Consultation with Colombian policymakers, which took place from March 3rd-13th.2The IMF mission was headed by Valerie Cerra, who concluded that Colombia had a strong macroeconomic policy framework and was able to weather the global financial crisis through an inflation-targeting regime, maintaining
In Havana this past weekend, Cuba passed a new law to open the country to foreign investment. The latest in a series of reforms by Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel in 2008, this law encourages foreign capital in an effort to advance Cuba’s development and struggling economy.
In the largest city in South America, more than 8,000 families are living in temporary tents consisting of plastic sheets and timber.
Last week, Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner faced a general strike from some of the largest unions of the country. Most businesses and services throughout the country were closed including transportation, hospitals, schools, and restaurants.1 With many taxi and bus drivers on strike, those who did not participate could not go to work for the day. Picketers blocked off roads, preventing travel throughout the capital. In other cities throughout the country, such as Córdoba, smaller scale strikes had similar effects.