Following two consecutive years of recession, 2017 may mark a turning point for South America. Simultaneously mired by political scandal, high inflation, growing government debt, increasing unemployment and declining output, politico-economic turbulence in Brazil has dragged down economic activity on the continent. Though, while the new Brazilian government introduces fiscal reforms with a renewed commitment to growing the economy, there are no guarantees that Brazil’s re-emergence will necessarily benefit its neighbours if it continues its approach to regionalism.
The Colombian government and the left-wing rebel group, the FARC, have been participating in peace talks for the last year in Havana, Cuba. The drug regulation plan was proposed by the FARC during these talks, now in the 19th round.
A great deal of media coverage has been devoted to the persistent instability in Colombia and ongoing negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government. However, little attention is paid to the effects that this conflict has had on Colombia’s southern neighbor, Ecuador, and the tenuous relations between the two nations.
Since becoming Pope, Pope Francis has been celebrated around the world as not only a religious figure, but also an unofficial diplomat. Pope Francis has traveled around the world and given a number of addresses during his time as Pope thus far. Yet, though a religious leader, the Pope’s addresses are never simply religious. Instead, his message has weighed in on a number of political topics, including immigration and US-Cuba relations during his most recent visit to both countries.