As the top judicial body in the American justice system, the U.S. Supreme Court is no stranger to setting legal precedents that reverberate for generations. However, more often than not, those rulings have little impact outside of U.S. borders. Last Monday, however, the high court reached a decision that might very well change the face of international finance for years to come. By ruling that Argentina must repay $1.3 billion to a group of persistent creditors, the nine justices potentially delivered a blow to emerging market economies dependent on international debt markets and put America’s global financial power on display […]

Colombians re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos for a second term on June 15, in what is being described as a referendum on his government’s peace negotiations to end the half-century-long guerrilla war with the FARC. The election was close until the very end, with pre-election polls predicting differing results. In the end, Santos won a little more than 50 percent of the votes while his challenger, former Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, gained a little over 45 percent, providing a close yet nonetheless decisive mandate for the incumbent president to continue with the peace process. With this in mind, some […]

In a surprise move in late May, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala fired Peru’s top drug official, Carmen Macias, replacing her with a longtime confidant, former Defense Minister Luis Alberto Otarola. Humala also backed away from a controversial coca eradication campaign about to get under way in the Apurimac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM) that faced strong local opposition. The government is sending mixed messages, however, regarding how these actions will impact Peru’s broader drug control strategy and the role that Peru’s government will play in regional drug policy debates, where it has strongly resisted any move toward drug policy reform. Ironically, Macias’ […]

After nearly six years, Rio de Janeiro’s Police Pacification Units (UPPs) appear to be faltering. Since the beginning of the year, multiple categories of violent crime have risen across the city, and with the spotlight on Brazil due to the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament, the program is now facing unprecedented levels of criticism and scrutiny. Many pundits and journalists are arguing that the pacification program is no longer effective. Meanwhile, public security officials are calling the recent escalation in crime a temporary setback in an otherwise successful effort to combat powerful drug trafficking gangs. In truth, neither of these […]