Peasants work in a potato field, Villapinzon, Colombia, Aug. 23, 2013 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Two weeks of strikes, protests and roadblocks ended in rural Colombia two weeks ago after peasant farmers and indigenous groups reached an agreement with the Colombian government to include them in future rulings on mining and other issues in the country’s rural areas. More than 30,000 members of indigenous and peasant groups across the countryside initially joined the agrarian strike on May 30, which affected 24 of Colombia’s 32 departments, or regions. Three protesters were killed in clashes with riot police, and some 100 people were injured. “The government was responsible for the signing of agreements, which are viable and […]

Pipelines running from an oil production site in eastern Ecuador, Dec. 3, 2012 (DPA photo by Erwin Patzelt via AP).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa defended his legacy last month in his last state of the nation address, saying that the current recession is the result of a perfect storm of falling oil prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar. In an email interview, Diego Grijalva, a professor of economics at the University of San Francisco of Quito, discusses Ecuador’s economy in the wake of the commodities bust. WPR: How important are commodities for Ecuador’s economy, and what impact […]

Clashes between students and Bolivarian National Police near the Central University, Caracas, Venezuela, June 9, 2016 (AP photo by Fernando Llano).

Next week, on June 23, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) will meet to discuss Venezuela, a country in the throes of an economic, political and humanitarian crisis. It now appears that it’s only a matter of time before Venezuela—virtually institution-less, politically polarized, facing chronic food and medical shortages, and with its government and military wracked by corruption—implodes and becomes a failed state. How did this happen? How did a country with abundant natural resources, a nominally democratic government and basic human rights, one that is a member of a multilateral system with numerous safeguards to […]

Street vendors begin their workday, Villa Maria del Triunfo, Peru, Oct. 6, 2015 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

Editor’s note: This is the final article in WPR’s ongoing series on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the potential impact on members’ economies.. Peru’s recently elected president, Pablo Kuczynski, is a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and ratification of the deal by Peru’s Congress is likely in the near future. In an email interview, Alan Fairlie, a professor of economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, discussed the benefits and drawbacks of TPP membership for Peru. WPR: What are the expected economic benefits and potential downsides for Peru from the TPP, and who are the expected “winners” and “losers”? […]

Peruvian President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski at the end of a news conference, Lima, June 9, 2016 (AP photo by Silvia Izquierdo).

LIMA, Peru—After trailing Keiko Fujimori in the polls for weeks, former World Bank economist and investment banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski enjoyed a surge of support just before Peru’s run-off election on June 5 to win one of the most contested presidential races in the country’s history. Kuczynski is widely regarded as capable and honest, but he faces major challenges as he attempts to strengthen the economy and improve life for Peruvians. The country’s cities and northern regions suffer high crime rates; its vast jungle regions are dominated by drug traffickers; and corruption is rampant in the national police and courts. […]

Presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, of the "Fuerza Popular" political party, during her closing presidential campaign rally, Lima, Peru, Thursday, June 2, 2016 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

LIMA, Peru—As Peruvian voters head to the polls this Sunday to elect a new president, many will be thinking of former President Alberto Fujimori, who governed from 1990 to 2000 and is now imprisoned in Lima for crimes ranging from corruption to authorizing death squad killings. Reviled by some Peruvians and admired by others, Fujimori has a polemical but powerful political legacy here, where his daughter Keiko is the front-runner in the presidential race, his son Kenji was recently re-elected to the Peruvian Congress, and a political movement he created won a majority in the Congress during the first round […]