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Drones

Drones

American drones have been flying the skies over Mexico since 2009 to collect intelligence on drug syndicates.  The flights took place with the consent of the Calderón administration, but neither the US nor Mexican governments made it public. As the story broke earlier last week Mexicans of many stripes—from lawmakers to farmers—started to howl that […]

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The FARC Diversifies, Again

The FARC Diversifies, Again

For much of the last four decades the FARC has its generated revenue to fight the Colombian government by trafficking drugs. In the 1990s the group gained more infamy by diversifying their sources of revenue to include high-profile kidnappings. While this didn’t change in the “noughties” the FARC was badly whipped by the government, aided […]

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Brazil's 7.5% Growth in 2010

Brazil's 7.5% Growth in 2010

In a conference call last week, Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega confirmed that Brazil’s GDP grew 7.5 percent in 2010, the country’s highest rate of growth since 1986. Although this is hardly a surprise (the 7.5 figure was projected six months ago), that annual figure includes a laggard fourth quarter of 0.7 percent growth. However, […]

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Important U.S.-Mexico Summit

President Calderon arrives today on a two-day trip to Washington. The Mexican president will meet with President Obama, Speaker John Boehner, and members of the U.S. business leaders. Though it is a snap visit, it could prove pivotal. Shannon O’Neil of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote over the weekend, “It will, assuredly, be a […]

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Bolivia's Retornados

Bolivia's Retornados

Until recently, a quintile of Bolivia’s citizenry could be found working outside the country. As a result of the global recession though, and specifically the ailing construction industry in Spain and the United States, Bolivians are returning home in droves, often after many years of informal work. Of course, Bolivia’s economy has also suffered since […]

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On U.S. Arms in Mexico

On U.S. Arms in Mexico

STRATFOR recently released a report challenging the oft-invoked statistic that 90% of firearms seized in Mexico come from the U.S. To be clear, the statistic is derived from a 2008 GAO report compiled on data reported to the ATF. Of the roughly 30,000 weapons seized in Mexico, information was reported to the ATF on only […]

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Assassination of Manuel Farfan Corriola

Assassination of Manuel Farfan Corriola

Around midnight on February 2 Manuel Farfan Carriola was slain on his way home from work. His four bodyguards were also killed, and several police officers were wounded in a gunfight with the assailants. Early blame for the murder of Carriola, a retired general and recently appointed police chief of Nuevo Laredo, is going to […]

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Medieval Technology and the American Landscape

Last Friday US Border Patrol observed Mexican smugglers using a catapult to hurl pot from across a small part of the Sonora Desert that included the international border with Arizona. USBP contacted their Mexican colleagues who promptly broke up the operation. In all, law enforcement seized 35 pounds in marijuana, a 10-foot tall catapult, and […]

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South America's Roadmap to Peace

South America's Roadmap to Peace

A briefing in World Politics Review considers the impact of the growing mass of states in South America that are recognizing a Palestinian state. The trend started on December 3, when Lula officially recognized Palestinian independence. Since then, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, and Uruguay have followed suit. Peru and Paraguay are rumored to be […]

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On Display at Tate Modern

On Display at Tate Modern

London’s Tate Modern is one of the most renowned art museums in the world. And right now Tate is exhibiting the work of Gabriel Orozco, a 48-year-old Mexican artist. Orozco garnered international acclaim in 1993 when he reconfigured a junked Citroen by carving the icon of French industry into three parts, making the vehicle appear […]

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Getting High Minded in Peru

This month’s Atlantic magazine reports on use of hallucinogenics by indigenous groups in Peru.  Ayahuasca, a plant-based medicinal served as a drink, has been used by various peoples for centuries to treat a variety of maladies as well as for ceremonies. By reporter’s account, taking the drink induces a very unpleasant physical reaction—“usually occasions some […]

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As Goes the Price of Corn…

Mexico produced a record 25 million tons of tortillas last year. But given that tortillas are a staple of Mexican diet the country is still reliant on imports. Spikes in global corn and fuel prices, not to mention rising electricity prices in Mexico, have many worried about pass-on price hikes. So far, the increases have […]

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End of the Gasilinazo ('Big Gas Hit')

End of the Gasilinazo ('Big Gas Hit')

On December 26, Bolivia’s vice president announced a gas subsidy cut, saving the government $380 million, but meaning a rise in fuel prices of 57-80 percent. Massive protests and street demonstrations followed, but the Morales government insisted that the move would be mitigated by cost of living subsidies to families and public employees. In the meantime, […]

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Year in Review

Year in Review

Fourteen months ago forecasters had Mexico slated for ongoing recession in 2010, unsurprising given the 7% contraction Mexico experienced in 2009 and the sparse signs of consumer demand increasing in the U.S. Instead, third quarter figures have Mexico on track for 5.3% growth this year. Manufacturing is up almost 10% year-over-year, and rising oil prices […]

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Year in Review

Two thousand ten may be remembered as the year of nature’s wrath in parts of Latin America. Nearly a year after an earthquake struck the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, the country has been slow to recover—that being true even before a cholera outbreak arrested parts of the country beginning in October; at least 2591 have died from […]

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About the Author

Sean Goforth
Sean Goforth

Sean H. Goforth is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His research focuses on Latin American political economy and international trade. Sean is the author of Axis of Unity: Venezuela, Iran & the Threat to America.

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