No one paying attention would disagree with Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s assessment that the “war on drugs” has failed miserably. But highlighting the failure of previous strategies to tackle drug trafficking does nothing to protect the embattled Petro from what has happened to Colombia’s cocaine trade since he took office.
It may not be a return of the “Pink Tide,” but the region’s left has been showing signs of a revival. Perhaps more than questions of right and left, though, what most characterizes South America today is a sense of instability and democratic fragility. What’s next for the continent?
Violence and corruption in Central America, particularly in the Northern Triangle countries, is causing a wave of outward migration. Since taking office, the Biden administration has pledged to tackle the root causes of the problem, which the Trump administration’s restrictive measures and pressure on regional governments did nothing to address. Meanwhile, efforts at reform across the region face opposition from entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo.
Competition over maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders highlight the tensions between national sovereignty and transnational challenges in the maritime domain. While often ignored in coverage of international affairs, it features prominently in bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy.