Argentine President Mauricio Macri gives a press conference alongside his running mate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, the day after primary elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 12, 2019 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

Rarely has the world seen a single-day market crash like the one in Argentina this week. Investors stampeded for the exits Monday, devastating markets for Argentina’s stocks, bonds and currency, following the outcome of a primary election that strongly suggested President Mauricio Macri will lose his reelection bid. At one point, Argentina’s Merval index had dropped a staggering 48 percent, the second-biggest single-day loss anywhere in the past 70 years. When the day was over, the Merval had lost more than a third of its value, bonds had fallen 20 percent and the peso had crashed to new record lows. […]

An indigenous woman from the Amazon protests the environmental policies of President Lenin Moreno’s government, in Quito, Ecuador, March 12, 2018 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

In mid-July, government officials inaugurated operations at the sprawling Mirador mine in southern Ecuador. An open-pit copper, gold and silver mine in the Zamora-Chinchipe province near the Peruvian border, Mirador’s reserves reportedly include 3.2 million tons of copper, 3.4 million ounces of gold and 27.1 million ounces of silver. The amount of copper makes it Ecuador’s largest copper mine, but still smaller than the massive copper mines in Chile and Peru. The mine, which can already produce 10,000 tons of minerals per day, is expected to increase its output to 60,000 tons per day and potentially earn the Ecuadorian government […]

Two AT-802 planes are seen fumigating coca fields in San Miguel, Colombia, Dec. 11, 2006 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world. Last month, the Constitutional Court of Colombia upheld restrictions that it imposed in 2017 on the aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate to eradicate coca, the base ingredient in cocaine. But the court said aerial spraying could resume if the government meets certain conditions. The decision was a setback for President Ivan Duque’s efforts to restart the program, which was suspended by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, in 2015, due to a finding by the World Health Organization that glyphosate […]

President Mario Abdo Benitez speaks to the nation, accompanied by his wife Silvana Lopez Moreira, from the Palacio de Lopez in Asuncion, Paraguay, Aug. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).

Small, landlocked Paraguay has been engulfed in a political storm that has seen both its president and vice president nearly impeached in recent weeks. The crisis began on July 23 when Pedro Ferreira, the head of the National Electricity Administration, the state-owned energy company known as ANDE, resigned. Ferreira claimed that he was being pressured to add his signature to a secret energy deal with Brazil that had been negotiated behind closed doors by high-ranking officials in May. Ferreira described the deal as constituting “high treason.” The agreement, which was cancelled by Paraguay and Brazil on Aug. 1 as the […]

Soldiers uproot coca shrubs as part of a manual eradication operation in San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia, March 22, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

At his inauguration ceremony a year ago, Colombian President Ivan Duque promised a forceful crackdown on drug trafficking, especially cocaine, through “the eradication and substitution of illegal crops.” Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, he is now pushing to restart aerial spraying of coca plantations using the herbicide glyphosate, which is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, in nearby Bolivia, President Evo Morales has taken a different route, expanding legal coca cultivation while relying only on domestic law enforcement agencies to tackle drug trafficking. This coca policy will be one of many issues on […]

Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio, center, speaks at a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, in Lima, Peru, Aug. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

In a significant escalation, President Donald Trump announced a total economic embargo on Venezuela yesterday, issuing an executive order that would block all transactions with the government and its officials and freeze their property and assets in the United States. The move came on the eve of a meeting in Peru held by the Lima Group, a multilateral body of Latin American countries that supports opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, rather than Nicolas Maduro. Fifty-nine countries, including the United States, are attending. The Venezuelan government and its few remaining partners, such as Russia, are not. […]

Miguel Angel Pichetto, the most senior senator of Argentina’s Justicialist Party, and President Mauricio Macri’s pick as his vice-presidential candidate, in La Plata, March 31, 2016. (Photo by Soledad Aznare for GDA via AP Images)

Facing a competitive reelection campaign, Argentine President Mauricio Macri took an unexpected gamble last month in his choice of a running mate: Miguel Angel Pichetto, an opposition stalwart who has nonetheless helped the government advance critical reforms from his perch as the most senior senator from the Justicialist Party, the main political vehicle for the opposition Peronist movement. The move was widely praised by analysts. Pichetto is a moderate, so he can help Macri lure Peronists who are anxious about their party’s more populist ticket, which includes the polarizing former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as its vice-presidential candidate. But […]

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, center right, cross their arms with the other representatives during the ASEAN Regional Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug. 2, 2019 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).

This week, diplomats from 27 countries around the Asia-Pacific gathered in Bangkok for the ASEAN Regional Forum, where they discussed the many geopolitical flashpoints in the region, from North Korea to the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Venezuela is coming under mounting criticism in the wake of a recent United Nations report on its human rights abuses, and a cease-fire agreement in Mozambique ended a return to violence 27 years after the end of that country’s devastating civil war. WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and associate editors Elliot Waldman and Laura Weiss talk about all of this and more on the editors’ […]

A Honduran migrant mother and her child stand in line to board a bus that will take them and other migrants to Monterrey, from an immigration center in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, July 18, 2019 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

Latin America is experiencing the largest migration crisis in its modern history, with millions of people fleeing desperate conditions in Central America and Venezuela in search of refuge elsewhere in the hemisphere. Nowhere has the human drama translated into a more acute political battle than in the United States, where President Donald Trump has placed immigration at the center of his administration’s agenda, making it a prominent issue in the nation’s political debate in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Last week, Judah Grunstein, WPR’s editor-in-chief and a longtime friend, offered a thoughtful analysis of the reasons triggering the […]