Foreign Policy Blogs

The Americas

Cartes prepares Paraguay potential

Cartes prepares Paraguay potential


Paraguay has long been one of the poorest, least developed and most isolated countries in Latin America, dating back from when the country gained independence from Spain in 1811.
The landlocked nation is expected to grow by 10 percent this year – due in large part to …

read more

The Barbaric Side of Justice

The Barbaric Side of Justice

Claims by families of workers who simply went to other countries to lay brick, and ended up executed or sentenced to hang like pre-French revolutionary rogues are not stories from past times and past societies. In many cases, the people legally licensed to protect society with limited powers to execute …

read more

On Fidel’s 87th, Talking Time

On Fidel’s 87th, Talking Time

On Tuesday, Fidel Castro turned 87. The milepost is particularly significant for someone whose death has been foretold a thousand times: I recall the account of a journalist who carried a constantly re-drafted Fidel Castro obituary around with him for years, always certain that the time was near. …

read more

Why Albert Hirschman Remains So Popular in Latin America

Why Albert Hirschman Remains So Popular in Latin America

Latin America has the dubious honor of being a testing ground for many economic experiments. In the 1970s Milton Friedman convinced Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to “cut the tail of the dog” and undertake painful reforms to curb hyperinflation. In the 1980s Harvard wunderkind Jeff Sachs helped the Bolivian government …

read more

Haiti: Police Open Fire on Protesters killing 3, injuring 4

Haiti: Police Open Fire on Protesters killing 3, injuring 4

A third victim, 24-year-old Rolcy Ametis, the police shot in the head, neck and hip on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, while protesting the controversial death of Judge Jean Serge Joseph, succumbed to his injuries at State University Hospital late Friday July 19, confirmed officials. Among the seven victims of the …

read more

Brazil’s Vulnerable Public Security Strategy

Brazil’s Vulnerable Public Security Strategy

By Karina Junqueira de Almeida
Over the past week, several incidents have brought to light the vulnerabilities of Brazil’s security system. Pope Francis’s arrival showed the world the contrast between the heavily armed state military force that surrounded Palacio da Guanabara, the government’s administrative building where all authorities were waiting for …

read more

The Myth of the Eternal Boom: BRICS and the Predictable Slowdown

The Myth of the Eternal Boom: BRICS and the Predictable Slowdown

Last week, The Economist in their article “The Great Deceleration” discussed the slowdown in the BRICS economies in recent months. The assumption was that countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil were to grow indefinitely as a reflection of a new world economy, showing their clout …

read more

Mexico Adopts Some Nasty US Habits

Mexico Adopts Some Nasty US Habits

Within one week, Mexico has demonstrated its ability to adopt some characteristics previously credited solely to its northern neighbour: obesity and workplace violence.
Last week the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) announced that Mexico has a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, inching just past the …

read more

Spy vs. Whistleblower: Latin America Opens its Doors to Snowden

Spy vs. Whistleblower: Latin America Opens its Doors to Snowden

Bradley Manning’s consequence for sending classified information to Wikileaks over incidents in Iraq where American soldiers killed 24 innocent Iraqis were reaffirmed today. Manning’s possible life sentence was maintained as charges of “aiding the enemy” were upheld. Manning sent videos to Wikileaks showing gun camera footage of …

read more

U.S. Immigration Reform: The Inevitable vs. the Status Quo

U.S. Immigration Reform: The Inevitable vs. the Status Quo

The 2008 economic crisis showed Americans two truths about immigration that was only openly known by immigrants to the United States. One issue was the fact that even with illegal immigration, there is a strong second generation of the children of immigrants and those who had come to the U.S. …

read more

For Greater Glory (2012)

For Greater Glory (2012)


“Viva Cristo Rey!”
That rallying cry (which translates as “Long live Christ the King!”) was made by the Cristeros (soldiers of Christ) during the conflict in Mexico in the late 1920s. That war started a few years after the Mexican government outlawed religion in the 1917 constitution.
The film begins in …

read more

Protests and the Politics of Futility

Protests and the Politics of Futility

Recently a peaceful election took place in Iran. While the moderate candidate won this past election and there was not a repeat of the protests that took place in 2009, the reality is that the moderate candidate was part of a group of chosen conservative candidates that were permitted to …

read more

The Missing Context in Coverage of Protests in Brazil

The Missing Context in Coverage of Protests in Brazil

Comparison to Turkey is a bit of stretch: to the extent that the protestors in Brazil have expressed clear objectives, the authoritarianism of their president isn’t one of them.
More importantly, the regional context is different. When it comes to Turkey there is at least some reason to associate protests with …

read more

Investing in Credibility: The Story of the Americas

Investing in Credibility: The Story of the Americas

The hyper-expansion of the BRICS nations was seen by some as an overreaction to instability in the global economy in the late 2000s. Countries like Brazil became a hot commodity for investors when Europe and the US economy were faltering. With some normalcy in the US economy returning recently, Brazil’s …

read more

The Era of Excuses in Latin America

The Era of Excuses in Latin America

After mostly sidestepping the global financial crisis in 2008, many in Latin America welcomed the 2010s as “Latin America’s decade.” But it’s been quick to fizzle out. Now, with the World Bank and IMF projecting ho-hum growth over the near future, come the excuses.
Brazil stood first in line for comeuppance. …

read more

Senior Blogger

Melissa Lockhart Fortner
Melissa Lockhart Fortner

Melissa Lockhart Fortner is Senior External Affairs Officer at the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles, having served previously as Senior Programs Officer for the Council. From 2007-2009, she held a research position at the University of Southern California (USC) School of International Relations, where she closely followed economic and political developments in Mexico and in Cuba, and analyzed broader Latin American trends. Her research considered the rise and relative successes of Latin American multinationals (multilatinas); economic, social and political changes in Central America since the civil wars in the region; and Wal-Mart’s role in Latin America, among other topics. Melissa is a graduate of Pomona College, and currently resides in Pasadena, California, with her husband, Jeff Fortner.

Follow her on Twitter @LockhartFortner.

GreadDecisions in foreign policy discussion group ad v2