“Even though the priorities and concerns are the same, the Americas are not as synchronized as we would like and there is still a lot of work to do”, was the first conclusion from the secretary general of the Organization of Americas State (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, in regards to the hemispheric encounter in Cartagena. During the conference organized at the Woodrow Wilson Center, in Washington DC, Insulza emphasized that “we have to find ways of cooperation in pending themes and that is what is going to determine if this is going to be a decade of success for the Americas”. (in Spanish)
A good effort in this direction is the "Central American Regional Security Policy Center", an initiative by INCAE and the Woodrow Wilson Center, with World Bank and donor support. It proposes a platform for permanent dialogue between stakeholders and governments in order to generate ideas that can feed into policy-making dialogues or processes in a more systematic way.
Many Mexicans are weary of the sharp rise in violence that has accompanied Calderón's military-led strategy against drug traffickers. So why aren't presidential hopefuls offering alternatives?
According to Arnson, though the issue of Iran is not salient compared to other issues in Latin America, its inconsistent relationship with the region highlights the already existent divisions in attitudes toward the United States. Though countries like Venezuela also reject the influence of the United States worldwide, she says, the broader region does not share Iran's hostilities.
Since then, Latin American leaders have felt neglected, particularly as Mr. Obama's launched a drive last year to intensify his focus on Asia. "In the region there's pretty broad disappointment with the lack of attention," said Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center think tank.
President Barack Obama attended a summit in Latin America that may have as much resonance in domestic politics as in hemispheric economics. Discussions at the meeting of North and South American leaders in the resort city of Cartagena, Colombia, covered trade, economic growth and the battle against drug trafficking.
Latin American Program in the News: Support, But Some Disappointment, as Obama Heads to Americas SummitApr 13, 2012
President Obama travels to Colombia for the Sixth Summit of the Americas. Our experts discuss Obama's leadership in the region and possible topics to be covered at the Summit.
Latin America Program in the News: U.S. on more equal footing with neighbors as Obama heads to Summit of the AmericasApr 13, 2012
President Obama travels to a weekend summit of the hemisphere’s leaders Friday as the head of a nation that remains in many ways the economic envy of its closest neighbors, but also one whose influence is on the wane in a rising region...
Just what that means in practice is harder to say. For a deeper understanding of how Guatemala sees itself within the debate, we turn to Guatemalan Secretary of Planning Fernando Carrera. Carrera is the man who many say is the architect of Perez's proposals on drug-related issues. He recently gave a talk at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars entitled "Drug Policy and Democracy in Central America: A View From Guatemala," that provides a crucial insight into how Guatemala is positioning itself in the ever-turbulent discourse on drug legalization
Latin American Program in the News: Americas summit host, Colombian President Santos, ambitious for wider clout as regional leaderApr 12, 2012
As the date of the Americas Summit comes closer, the leadership role of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the region, has been under deep scrutiny. Dr. Arnson says that Santos "has adopted a much more pragmatic and distant approach".