For Latin America’s Leaders, 2023 Will Be a Year of Living Dangerously

For Latin America’s Leaders, 2023 Will Be a Year of Living Dangerously
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wipes his face after he was sworn in as the country’s new president in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 1, 2023 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

With the worst of the coronavirus pandemic now in the history books—or so we all hope—the world is trying to move beyond that catastrophic chapter. But the recovery has been made more difficult by the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the economic reverberations of both the pandemic and the war now complicating the picture.

Nowhere is that challenge more pressing, and more fraught, than in Latin America, the region that was arguably the world’s hardest-hit during the so-called polycrisis. For governments hoping that in 2023 they will be able to retake the ground lost in the past three years, the task looks gargantuan.

Latin America suffered some of the highest death tolls and deepest economic contractions of the crisis that started in 2020. It was a tragic turn of events for countries across the region that had been making strides in pulling their populations out of poverty.

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