Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Latin America Related Abstracts

12 The South Looking East: The New Geopolitics of Latin America

Authors: Heike Pintor Pirzkall


The positive economic evolution of many countries in the Latin American Continent, mainly in South America, has changed the geopolitical position of the region in the world. It is no longer the Hinterland or backyard of the United States, now it has become the Heartland for Europe and Asia. This position has favored the interest of countries like China or India, who are combining trade agreements with special assistance and aid agreements in many fields like agriculture, alternative energy resources, defense and mining. As many countries in the region are no longer low income countries, a more equal relationship in development aid has been created were the donor and the recipient have become partners and where new actors intervene in a triangular relationship that promotes new alternative aid structures. Triangular co-operation brings together the best of different actors who are providers of development co-operation, partners in SouthSouth co-operation and international organizations. The objective is to share knowledge and implement projects that support the common goal of reducing poverty and promoting development. The intention of this paper is to explain the reasons for Latin America´s “virage” to the east and to give examples of projects and agreements between Latin American countries, China and India which will help to understand the intensification of south-east relations in recent years.

Keywords: Natural Resources, China, Partnership, development cooperation, Latin America, triangular cooperation

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11 The Structural Pillars in Contemporary Mexico: Legacies of the Past and Lessons for the Future

Authors: Lisdey Espinoza Pedraza


In places from Latin America to Africa, a big number of authoritarian regimes have given way to democratic forces and increasingly responsive and open societies. Many countries have embarked upon a process of democratisation for the first time while many others have moved to restore their democratic roots. Mexico is one of these countries, and although the Mexican state is not democratic neither dictatorial in the strict sense the Anglo-Saxon and European tradition has defined these concepts, it is possible to find elements that combine both concepts. History helps us understand and study the past, interpret the present and predict the future. In the case of the Mexican political system, history has had a very specific effect in each of the areas that comprise the making of what it is now the contemporary Mexican system. Each of the different historical periods has left a legacy that has marked the way the political system has evolved. The historical periods that Mexico has undergone since its emergence as an independent state, have permeated until modern days and some of these legacies are the ones which will help us understand and interpret many of the structures of the current Mexican political system. The most notorious characteristic of contemporary Latin America is its dependency, underdevelopment and economic disparity once this region if compared with Europe and North America. There is a widespread persistence of economic dependence and social problems despite the creation of independent countries. The role of the state is to supervise the development of relations among actors. The political phenomenon is full of a constant process of transitions and the particular case of the formation of the Mexican state evidences this.

Keywords: Latin America, Mexico, democratisation process, PRI, authoritarian regimes, political transitions

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10 Contemporary Mexican Shadow Politics: The War on Drugs and the Issue of Security

Authors: Lisdey Espinoza Pedraza


Organised crime in Mexico evolves faster that our capacity to understand and explain it. Organised gangs have become successful entrepreneurs in many ways ad they have somehow mimicked the working ways of the authorities and in many cases, they have successfully infiltrated the governmental spheres. This business model is only possible under a clear scheme of rampant impunity. Impunity, however, is not exclusive to the PRI. Nor the PRI, PAN, or PRD can claim the monopoly of corruption, but what is worse is that none can claim full honesty in their acts either. The current security crisis in Mexico shows a crisis in the Mexican political party system. Corruption today is not only a problem of dishonesty and the correct use of public resources. It is the principal threat to Mexican democracy, governance, and national security.

Keywords: Security, Drug Trafficking, Latin America, United States, Mexico, war on drugs

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9 “It Isn’t a State Problem”: The Minas Conga Mine Controversy and Exemplifying the Need for Binding International Obligations on Corporate Actors

Authors: Cindy Woods


After years of implacable neoliberal globalization, multinational corporations have moved from the periphery to the center of the international legal agenda. Human rights advocates have long called for greater corporate accountability in the international arena. The creation of the Global Compact in 2000, while aimed at fostering greater corporate respect for human rights, did not silence these calls. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to adopt a set of norms relating to the human rights responsibilities of transnational corporations, the United Nations succeeded in 2008 with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles). The Guiding Principles, praised by some within the international human rights community for their recognition of an individual corporate responsibility to respect human rights, have not escaped their share of criticism. Many view the Guiding Principles to be toothless, failing to directly impose obligations upon corporations, and call for binding international obligations on corporate entities. After decades of attempting to promulgate human rights obligations for multinational corporations, the existing legal frameworks in place fall short of protecting individuals from the human rights abuses of multinational corporations. The Global Compact and Guiding Principles are proof of the United Nations’ unwillingness to impose international legal obligations on corporate actors. In June 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to draft international legally binding human rights norms for business entities; however, key players in the international arena have already announced they will not cooperate with such efforts. This Note, through an overview of the existing corporate accountability frameworks and a study of Newmont Mining’s Minas Conga project in Peru, argues that binding international human rights obligations on corporations are necessary to fully protect human rights. Where states refuse to or simply cannot uphold their duty to protect individuals from transnational businesses’ human rights transgressions, there must exist mechanisms to pursue justice directly against the multinational corporation.

Keywords: Human Rights, Mining, Business and human rights, Latin America, international treaty on business and human rights

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8 The United States Film Industry and Its Impact on Latin American Identity Rationalizations

Authors: Alfonso J. García Osuna


Background and Significance: The objective of this paper is to analyze the inception and development of identity archetypes in early XX century Latin America, to explore their roots in United States culture, to discuss the influences that came to bear upon Latin Americans as the United States began to export images of standard identity paradigms through its film industry, and to survey how these images evolved and impacted Latin Americans’ ideas of national distinctiveness from the early 1900s to the present. Therefore, the general hypothesis of this work is that United States film in many ways influenced national identity patterning in its neighbors, especially in those nations closest to its borders, Cuba and Mexico. Very little research has been done on the social impact of the United States film industry on the country’s southern neighbors. From a historical perspective, the US’s influence has been examined as the projection of political and economic power, that is to say, that American influence is seen as a catalyst to align the forces that the US wants to see wield the power of the State. But the subtle yet powerful cultural influence exercised by film, the eminent medium for exporting ideas and ideals in the XX century, has not been significantly explored. Basic Methodologies and Description: Gramscian Marxist theory underpins the study, where it is argued that film, as an exceptional vehicle for culture, is an important site of political and social struggle; in this context, it aims to show how United States capitalist structures of power not only use brute force to generate and maintain control of overseas markets, but also promote their ideas through artistic products such as film in order to infiltrate the popular culture of subordinated peoples. In this same vein, the work of neo-Marxist theoreticians of popular culture is employed in order to contextualize the agency of subordinated peoples in the process of cultural assimilations. Indication of the Major Findings of the Study: The study has yielded much data of interest. The salient finding is that each particular nation receives United States film according to its own particular social and political context, regardless of the amount of pressure exerted upon it. An example of this is the unmistakable dissimilarity between Cuban and Mexican reception of US films. The positive reception given in Cuba to American film has to do with the seamless acceptance of identity paradigms that, for historical reasons discussed herein, were incorporated into the national identity grid quite unproblematically. Such is not the case with Mexico, whose express rejection of identity paradigms offered by the United States reflects not only past conflicts with the northern neighbor, but an enduring recognition of the country’s indigenous roots, one that precluded such paradigms. Concluding Statement: This paper is an endeavor to elucidate the ways in which US film contributed to the outlining of Latin American identity blueprints, offering archetypes that would be accepted or rejected according to each nation’s particular social requirements, constraints and ethnic makeup.

Keywords: Film Studies, Latin America, United States, identity studies

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7 Effects of Corruption and Logistics Performance Inefficiencies on Container Throughput: The Latin America Case

Authors: Fernando Seabra, Giulia P. Flores, Karolina C. Gomes


Trade liberalizations measures, as import tariff cuts, are not a sufficient trigger for trade growth. Given that price margins are narrow, traders and cargo operators tend to opt out of markets where the process of goods clearance is slow and costly. Excess paperwork and slow customs dispatch not only lead to institutional breakdowns and corruption but also to increasing transaction cost and trade constraints. The objective of this paper is, therefore, two-fold: First, to evaluate the relationship between institutional and infrastructural performance indexes and trade growth in container throughput; and, second, to investigate the causes for differences in container demurrage and detention fees in Latin American countries (using other emerging countries as benchmarking). The analysis is focused on manufactured goods, typically transported by containers. Institutional and infrastructure bottlenecks and, therefore, the country logistics efficiency – measured by the Logistics Performance Index (LPI, World Bank-WB) – are compared with other indexes, such as the Doing Business index (WB) and the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International). The main results based on the comparison between Latin American countries and the others emerging countries point out in that the growth in containers trade is directly related to LPI performance. It has also been found that the main hypothesis is valid as aspects that more specifically identify trade facilitation and corruption are significant drivers of logistics performance. The exam of port efficiency (demurrage and detention fees) has demonstrated that not necessarily higher level of efficiency is related to lower charges; however, reductions in fees have been more significant within non-Latin American emerging countries.

Keywords: Corruption, Latin America, container throughput, logistics performance index

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6 Territorial Disputes behind the Declaration of Independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Some Latin American States

Authors: Besik Goginava


Several days later after the end of 2008 Russo-Georgian War, Venezuela and Nicaragua formally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In 2009-10 both countries established diplomatic relations with self-declared republics. It is a paradoxical fact that after neighboring Russia-Georgian conflict territories were internationally recognized by two Latin American states with ongoing territorial disputes. The Venezuela-Guyana territorial dispute which officially began in the early XIX century became conflict-ridden again in the late 1990s and 2000s. Venezuela has long claimed the land which comprises 40% of Guyana’s current territory. Territorial disputes of Nicaragua include dispute with Colombia over Caribbean Islands, with Costa Rica over the San Juan River and maritime dispute with Honduras. Based on historical and analytical research methods the purpose of this paper is to establish the relationship between the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Venezuela and Nicaragua and Venezuela’s territorial dispute with Guyana, as well as Nicaragua’s with Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras. The objective of the study is to investigate the factors that led Venezuela and Nicaragua to formally recognize Georgian conflict territories and how could their own territorial disputes affect on their decision.

Keywords: Latin America, Georgia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Abkhazia, South Ossetia

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5 Policies to Reduce the Demand and Supply of Illicit Drugs in the Latin America: 2004 to 2016

Authors: Ana Caroline Ibrahim Lino, Denise Bomtempo Birche de Carvalho


The background of this research is the international process of control and monitoring of illicit psychoactive substances that has commenced in the early 20th century. This process was intensified with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and had its culmination in the 1970s with the "War on drugs", a doctrine undertaken by the United States of America. Since then, the phenomenon of drug prohibition has been pushing debates around alternatives of public policies to confront their consequences at a global level and in the specific context of Latin America. Previous research has answered the following key questions: a) With what characteristics and models has the international illicit drug control system consolidated in Latin America with the creation of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)? b) What drug policies and programs were determined as guidelines for the member states by the OAS and CICAD? The present paper mainly addresses the analysis of the drug strategies developed by the OAS/CICAD for the Americas from 2004 to 2016. The primary sources have been extracted from the OAS/CICAD documents and reports, listed on the Internet sites of these organizations. Secondary sources refer to bibliographic research on the subject with the following descriptors: illicit drugs, public policies, international organizations, OAS, CICAD, and reducing the demand and supply of illicit drugs. The "content analysis" technique was used to organize the collected material and to choose the axes of analysis. The results show that the policies, strategies, and action plans for Latin America had been focused on anti-drug actions since the creation of the Commission until 2010. The discourses and policies to reduce drug demand and supply were of great importance for solving the problem. However, the real focus was on eliminating the substances by controlling the production, marketing, and distribution of illicit drugs. Little attention was given to the users and their families. The research is of great relevance to the Social Work. The guidelines and parameters of the Social Worker's profession are in line with the need for social, ethical, and political strengthening of any dimension that guarantees the rights of users of psychoactive substances. In addition, it contributed to the understanding of the political, economic, social, and cultural factors that structure the prohibitionism, whose matrix anchors the deprivation of rights and violence.

Keywords: International Organizations, Latin America, prohibitionism, illicit drug policies, reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs

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4 The Shrinking of the Pink Wave and the Rise of the Right-Wing in Latin America

Authors: B. M. Moda, L. F. Secco


Through free and fair elections and others less democratic processes, Latin America has been gradually turning into a right-wing political region. In order to understand these recent changes, this paper aims to discuss the origin and the traits of the pink wave in the subcontinent, the reasons for its current rollback and future projections for left-wing in the region. The methodology used in this paper will be descriptive and analytical combined with secondary sources mainly from the social and political sciences fields. The canons of the Washington Consensus was implemented by the majority of the Latin American governments in the 80s and 90s under the social democratic and right-wing parties. The neoliberal agenda caused political, social and economic dissatisfaction bursting into a new political configuration for the region. It started in 1998 when Hugo Chávez took the office in Venezuela through the Fifth Republic Movement under the socialist flag. From there on, Latin America was swiped by the so-called ‘pink wave’, term adopted to define the rising of self-designated left-wing or center-left parties with a progressive agenda. After Venezuela, countries like Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Equator, Nicaragua, Paraguay, El Salvador and Peru got into the pink wave. The success of these governments was due a post-neoliberal agenda focused on cash transfers programs, increasing of public spending, and the straightening of national market. The discontinuation of the preference for the left-wing started in 2012 with the coup against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay. In 2015, the chavismo in Venezuela lost the majority of the legislative seats. In 2016, an impeachment removed the Brazilian president Dilma Rousself from office who was replaced by the center-right vice-president Michel Temer. In the same year, Mauricio Macri representing the right-wing party Proposta Republicana was elected in Argentina. In 2016 center-right and liberal, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected in Peru. In 2017, Sebastián Piñera was elected in Chile through the center-right party Renovación Nacional. The pink wave current rollback points towards some findings that can be arranged in two fields. Economically, the 2008 financial crisis affected the majority of the Latin American countries and the left-wing economic policies along with the end of the raw materials boom and the subsequent shrinking of economic performance opened a flank for popular dissatisfaction. In Venezuela, the 2014 oil crisis reduced the revenues for the State in more than 50% dropping social spending, creating an inflationary spiral, and consequently loss of popular support. Politically, the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013 weakened the ‘socialism of the twenty first century’ ideal, which was followed by the death of Fidel Castro, the last bastion of communism in the subcontinent. In addition, several cases of corruption revealed during the pink wave governments made the traditional politics unpopular. These issues challenge the left-wing to develop a future agenda based on innovation of its economic program, improve its legal and political compliance practices, and to regroup its electoral forces amid the social movements that supported its ascension back in the early 2000s.

Keywords: Political Parties, Latin America, right-wing, left-wing, pink wave

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3 Perception and Control in the Age of Surrealism: A Critical History and a Survey of Pita Amor’s Poetic Ontology

Authors: Oliver Arana


Within the common vein of social understanding, surrealism is often understood to rely on disconcerting images and fragmented collage, both in its visual representation and literary manifestations. By tracing the history and literature of surrealism, the author makes the argument that there were certain factions within Latin America that employed characteristics of surrealism in order to reach some sense of understanding, and not to further complicate or disorient -an aim that most closely aligns to Freudian psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis should, however, be a comparable practice only to understand how Latin American surrealism had more of a concrete goal than its European counterpart. The primary subject of the paper is the Mexican poet, Pita Amor, who has retroactively been associated with the movement; and therefore, it should be duly noted that the adjective, surrealism, only applies to her as something that describes traits within the literary lexicon.

Keywords: Poetry, Surrealism, Latin America, Pita Amor

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2 The Transnationalization of Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs in Latin America

Authors: Hitalo Silva


The most famous corruption scandals in the past four years were taken in Latin America, especially in Brazil, but besides the stain that these countries suffered in an international field, there was a huge effort to create or modernize its national anti-corruption laws. Also, the countries are implementing new standards for investigations and corporate compliance programs, in order to combat corruption and prevent the money laundering. But here is the following question: is here an invisible uniformization/transnationalization of the anti-corruption systems in Latin America? This new scenario reflects the impacts of the corruption investigations conducted in Latin America countries, such as Car Wash Operation in Brazil, Pretelt Case in Colombia, Gasoducto Sur Peruano case and the Mr. Alex Kouri’s case both in Peru. Legal and institutional pro-transparency reforms were made recently, the companies are trying to implement new standards of conduct and investing in their compliance department. In this sense, there is a huge homogeneity in Latin America concerning the structuring of corporate compliance programs, a truly transnationalization not only of laws but also corporate standards among these countries. Although legislative initiatives vary among the countries, there is a tendency to impose rigid liability standards for the companies being investigated for corruption, not only the personal punishments of their executives, which demonstrate the power of authorities to strength the investigative tools. Also, instruments such as leniency agreements and plea bargain are essential to put a central role in enforcement activities in Latin America. In other words, in a region where six former Presidents were convicted for acts of corruption, and, companies such as Odebrecht that is accused of offering bribes to politicians from Argentina to México, passing through Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and Panama, this demonstrates the necessity to increase strength of their legal framework in a sense that unify transnational goals. All things considered, this paper will show how anti-corruption regulators are cooperating in Latin America jurisdictions in order to unify their laws and how the private sector is dealing with this new scenario of corporate culture change.

Keywords: Corruption, Compliance, Investigations, Transnational, Latin America

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1 Analyzing Migration Patterns Using Public Disorder Event Data

Authors: Marie E. Docken


At some point in the lifecycle of a country, patterns of political and social unrest of varying degrees are observed. Events involving public disorder or civil disobedience may produce effects that range a wide spectrum of varying outcomes, depending on the level of unrest. Many previous studies, primarily theoretical in nature, have attempted to measure public disorder in answering why or how it occurs in society by examining causal factors or underlying issues in the social or political position of a population. The main objective in doing so is to understand how these activities evolve or seek some predictive capability for the events. In contrast, this research involves the fusion of analytics and social studies to provide more knowledge of the public disorder and civil disobedience intensity in populations. With a greater understanding of the magnitude of these events, it is believed that we may learn how they relate to extreme actions such as mass migration or violence. Upon establishing a model for measuring civil unrest based upon empirical data, a case study on various Latin American countries is performed. Interpretations of historical events are combined with analytical results to provide insights regarding the magnitude and effect of social and political activism.

Keywords: Data Analysis, Metrics, Civil Disobedience, Latin America, public disorder

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