News and Politics

Conflict and Consensus in El Salvador: Contours of a Post-Neoliberal State

October 19, 2016

On June 1, 2014, Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) will assume the presidency in El Salvador.  Although the FMLN has held the Salvadoran presidency since 2009 with its independent ally, Mauricio Funes, this will be the first time that a former guerrilla commander will occupy the country’s highest office.

The End of a Political Era: 2014 Costa Rican Elections

October 19, 2016

2014 national elections in Costa Rica represents the end of the political era inaugurated in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The country has had a reputation of being an old and stable democracy in Latin America. Three main factors in the last decade have transformed the path party system has followed leading the political system into a paradoxical situation. First, individuals’ attachments to parties are weaker and have been replaced over time by careful scrutiny of the candidates and their proposals.

All They Wanted? Presidents, Political Support, and Agency Design in Costa Rica

October 19, 2016

Presidents want public institutions that give them ample control of bureaucracy. Conversely, members of Congress purposefully choose to place new agencies outside presidents’ control as a way of shielding those agencies from presidential influence. These claims are two well-known assumptions in the literature on agency design.

Drug Cartels Capitalize on Lime Shortages in Mexico

October 19, 2016

In Mexico, the lime has long stood as a staple of popular food and culture. It is used by most Mexicans in everyday cooking and drinks but lately many have been forced to reduce their consumption. Lime prices have skyrocketed due to shortages, and on average have doubled every month this year.1 Various factors such as climate change, citrus diseases, and the on-going violence caused by drug trafficking have led to this shortage.

Venezuelans Protest Using Nude Photos and Hashtags

October 19, 2016

Venezuelans remain restless as political chaos affects their country and groups have been divided into supporters of President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition. La Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) has become a microcosm for the nation’s situation as student groups confront one another within the university's walls.

Colombia, Political Exclusion, and Delegative Democracy

October 19, 2016

On December 9th, 2013, then mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro was dismissed from his post and subsequently banned from holding public office for 15 years.1 Petro was a former M19 guerrilla and longtime opposition leader who was known for being the highest ranking former guerilla in Colombia. The man who made the decision to fire Petro due to ‘gross mismanagement’ was Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez, who has a reputation for doing away with leftist politicians.

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