Farmers march to demand the government pardon their debts and protest a new sales tax, Asuncion, Paraguay, April 13, 2016 (AP photo Jorge Saenz).

Earlier this month, hundreds of people marched in Asuncion, demanding the resignation of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and denouncing widespread government corruption. In an email interview, Mercedes Hoffay, a program manager at Global Americans and Christopher Sabatini, a lecturer of international and public policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the executive director of Global Americans, discuss Cartes’ leadership and politics in Paraguay. WPR: How successful has Cartes been at following through on his 2013 election promises, namely growing the economy and reducing crime? Mercedes Hoffay and Christopher Sabatini: Cartes’ follow-through on his campaign promises has […]

Riot police at a weekly protest by Nicaragua's opposition near the Supreme Electoral Council, Managua, Aug. 5, 2015 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

Nicaragua moved closer to one-party rule late last month, when the country’s Supreme Electoral Council unseated 28 opposition lawmakers and substitute lawmakers in the National Assembly, effectively handing full control of the legislature to President Daniel Ortega’s party, the Sandinista Front of National Liberation, or FSLN. The council dismissed the lawmakers from the Independent Liberal Party for their refusal to recognize their new official party leader, Pedro Reyes, an Ortega ally who had been granted the position in a contentious ruling in June by the Supreme Court of Justice that removed the previous opposition leader, Eduardo Montealegre. Unfortunately, these types […]

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos gives Senate President Mauricio Lizcano the peace deal with FARC rebels, Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Felipe Caicedo).

Here is a moral dilemma: Would you be happy to live in a world in which 80 percent of the population enjoys more or less peaceful conditions, but the remaining 20 percent are condemned to live with a worsening spiral of war and suffering? This is a useful question, because it is a rough description of the actual world we live in. Most of the planet is pretty stable these days. Last week, the cognitive scientist Stephen Pinker and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos underscored this point in an opinion piece celebrating Colombia’s peace deal with the leftist Revolutionary Armed […]

Police near Peru's Congress during President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's inauguration ceremony, Lima, July 28, 2016 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

In the most serious accusation among many that have damaged the reputation of Peru’s National Police in recent years, the country’s Interior Ministry has identified a group of police officers who allegedly participated in “death squads” that assassinated petty criminals in order to earn extra money or promotions, at a time when crime was rising to unprecedented levels. The charges complicate the urgent challenge of improving public security for a new government that has been in power for less than a month. According to the national press, 97 police officers are under investigation for the extrajudicial killings of 27 criminals […]

Thousands of people march against domestic violence, Lima, Peru, Aug. 13, 2016 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the status of women’s rights and gender equality in various countries around the globe. On Saturday, more than 50,000 people took to the streets of Lima and eight other cities in Peru to protest violence against women and what they see as an indifferent judicial system. The demonstrations come after three high-profile cases in which activists believe male perpetrators were given lenient sentences by Peruvian courts. In an email interview, Jelke Boesten, a reader at King’s College London, discussed the fight for women’s rights in Peru. WPR: What […]

Indigenous authorities from Nebaj village during a protest, Guatemala City, May 30, 2015 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the legal status and socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples in a range of countries. The recent arrest of an indigenous leader in Guatemala sparked outrage among the country’s indigenous communities, which claim the government is systematically discriminating against them. In an email interview, Jennifer N. Costanza, an independent scholar who focuses on indigenous rights and the politics of resource extraction in Latin America, discussed indigenous rights in Guatemala. WPR: What is the legal status of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples, what legal struggles have they fought in recent years, and […]

Cracked earth at the almost empty Itaim dam, Itu, Brazil, Oct. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Andre Penner).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. During the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil showed a video that highlighted the risks the planet faces—higher temperatures, rising sea levels and melting ice sheets—because of climate change, winning the country praise from environmental advocates. In an email interview, Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary at the Climate Observatory in Sao Paulo, discussed Brazil’s climate change policy. WPR: What is Brazil’s risk exposure to climate change, what effects of climate change are already apparent, and what sorts […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their economic summit, Baku, Aug. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Geo-economics dominated the agenda of two critical meetings this week: a trilateral economic summit in Baku between Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, followed by a bilateral summit in St. Petersburg between Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While matters of war and peace were also on the agenda—the stalemated conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the ongoing fighting in Syria—both summits’ main focus was on ensuring connectivity to the global economy. Let’s start with Iran. In the year since Iran acceded to the terms of the nuclear agreement it signed with the group of world […]

Erik Lopez, dressed as "Captain Mexico," stands in front of police officers while protesting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Burlingame, California, April 29, 2016 (AP photo by Eric Risberg).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss Thailand’s new anti-democratic constitution, Zambia’s tense presidential election campaign, and Guatemala’s fight against corruption six months into Jimmy Morales’ presidency. In the Report, Carin Zissis looks at Mexico’s image problem—and its implications for U.S. ties—in the context of Donald Trump’s bellicose campaign rhetoric. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Thailand’s Junta Cements Control as Voters Approve New Constitution Zambia Goes to the Polls Amid Government Crackdown and Fears of Fraud Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Fight Goes On, Despite Morales’ Flaws The Trump Effect: […]

Indigenous protesters during an anti-government march, Quito, Ecuador, Aug. 21, 2015 (AP photo by Ana Maria Buitron).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the legal status and socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples in a range of countries. The Ecuadorean indigenous political party Pachakutik yesterday officially validated the results of its presidential primary, naming Lourdes Tiban as the party’s nominee for next year’s election. In an email interview, Manuela Picq, professor of international relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador, and currently a Loewenstein Fellow in the department of political science at Amherst College, discusses the legal, political and socio-economic status of Ecuador’s indigenous peoples. WPR: What is the […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally, Aug. 9, 2016, Fayetteville, N.C. (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

On Monday, 50 Republicans signed a letter denouncing the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as a “risk” to America’s “national security and well-being.” These aren’t any ordinary Republicans. They are some of the party’s leading national security and foreign policy voices, people like Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, who both served as secretary of homeland security under former President George W. Bush; Michael Hayden, who previously headed both the CIA and National Security Agency; Eric Edelman, who worked for former Vice President Dick Cheney; and Richard Fontaine, who was a foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain. They were merciless […]

Chinese gold medal winner Sun Yang during the medal ceremony for the men's 200-meter freestyle final, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Martin Meissner).

So far, the Olympic Games in Rio are off to a good start. No major disasters have occurred, despite serious worries about security and environmental conditions. But the games—and particularly the downsides like excessive costs, corruption and imbalances of power and influence—have raised questions of politics and economics that bear many similarities to some of the major trends in international affairs. One innovative proposal for fixing the Olympics provides a useful comparison to some notions of how to improve the global governance system. Hosting the Olympics has already been costly for Brazil—in financial terms for sure, at $12 billion, of […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the U.S.-Mexico border, Laredo, Texas, July 23, 2015 (AP photo by LM Otero).

During a June 30 campaign stop in New Hampshire, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pointed to a plane flying overhead and quipped that it could be a Mexican aircraft “getting ready to attack.” It’s not a small thing for the potential future U.S. president to casually suggest that neighboring Mexico is planning to launch an assault, given the close historical, security and commercial ties between the two countries. A third of U.S. territory used to belong to Mexico. Americans travel to Mexico more than any other foreign destination, and over twice as much as they do to Canada. Bilateral trade […]

Argentina's president, Mauricio Macri, right, with Mexico's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, at a news conference, Buenos Aires, July 29, 2016 (AP photo by Agustin Marcarian).

In late July, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visited Argentina, where he and Argentine President Mauricio Macri agreed to expand an existing trade agreement and seek a more comprehensive one moving forward. In an email interview, Sean Goforth, director of research for Nearshore Americas, discusses Mexico-Argentina political and economic relations. WPR: What was the nature and extent of Mexico-Argentina political and economic ties under former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and how are bilateral ties likely to change under President Mauricio Macri? Sean Goforth: At odds! Mexico’s foreign relations have been oriented around integration into the North American economy. […]

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Defense Minister Williams Mansilla reviewing troops, Guatemala City, Jan. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

On Jan. 14, comedian Jimmy Morales was inaugurated as president of Guatemala, unexpectedly sweeping to power after successfully tapping into the public’s repudiation of the political establishment to win the country’s election last fall. Running under the slogan “neither corrupt nor a thief,” Morales was able to appeal to a citizenry that, following revelations of massive corruption scandals, had taken to the streets to demand greater government accountability and forced the resignation of then-President Otto Perez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti. Voters were willing to overlook Morales’ lack of concrete policy proposals, handing him a landslide victory over former […]

President Barack Obama during a news conference following the G-20 Summit, Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has punctuated his campaign with foolish and frankly dangerous comments on foreign affairs. He has made recurrent gaffes about nuclear weapons and U.S. alliances. But just occasionally he says something almost sensible. Last month, a journalist asked Trump how he would persuade Turkey to focus on fighting the so-called Islamic State rather than armed Kurdish groups in the country’s southeastern region. “Meetings,” he replied. “If I ever have the opportunity to do it, meaning if we win, we will have meetings, we will have meetings very early on.” Foreign policy experts wrote this off as […]

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks at the Presidential Palace, La Paz, Bolivia, May 1, 2016 (AP photo by Juan Karita).

Editor’s note: This is the first article in an ongoing WPR series on the legal status and socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples in a range of countries. Bolivian President Evo Morales entered office in part thanks to Bolivia’s politically organized and potent indigenous movement. In an email interview, Linda Farthing, a writer and editor specializing in Bolivia and Latin America whose latest book is “Evo’s Bolivia: Continuity and Change,” discusses the legal status and socio-economic conditions of Bolivia’s indigenous communities. WPR: What is the legal status of Bolivia’s indigenous peoples, and what are the key political and socio-economic issues facing […]

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