Oh, Latin America. Why so tempestuous?
Throughout its history, the former colony has suffered from an obvious political, social, and economic disease that comes knocking from time to time, in between rare cycles of prosperity.
In 2019, after years of Venezuela and Haiti holding the monopoly on crisis, the problem has spread. Argentina is facing its worst economic scenario this century, while Chile has burst into protests against the neoliberal effects on inequality. Bolivia has seen Evo Morales given another term as president after a contested election, Ecuador’s streets were on fire due to a new IMF loan, and Peru almost lost a president due to an institutional disaster (thanks, Odebrecht!). Oh, and Venezuela and Haiti haven’t improved much either.
And what about Brazil? Well, we would need some extra horsemen — at least two, for ideological extremism, and environmental disasters. As the Chilean liberal model faces criticism, we can also compare the recent protests in Santiago to Brazil’s future. Plus, Bolsonaro’s foreign policies have seen the country lose its leading diplomatic role, leaving it to Chile’s under-fire Sebastian Piñera. It’s a huge mess.
Latin America is not a continent for stability. Even the horsemen of the apocalypse should watch out: they don’t want someone to steal their horse, or to hitch it in the wrong place.
- Listen to our Explaining Brazil #83: Latin America’s veins are wide open.
- Widespread unrest in Chile holds comparisons with Brazil’s 2013 protests, but the Chilean crisis could serve as a lesson for the coming years in Brazil, writes Lucas Berti.
- Listen to Explaining Brazil #80: Odebrecht’s Peruvian wrecking ball.
- How did Operation Car Wash change Latin American politics? Gustavo Ribeiro answers.