Elcano Royal Institute
The coronavirus crisis in Latin America: increased presidential power without solid foundations
Carlos Malamud y Rogelio Núñez

Impact of covid-19 in Latin America

In this article by the Elcano Royal Institute (RIElcano), the authors point out how the governments of the region, as has already happened in Europe or the United States, face the urgency of avoiding a health and economic catastrophe, leaving aside of the agenda other relevant issues up to the moment of the appearance of covid-19 (ie political elections, economic policies with austerity or expansive plans, structural reforms ...).

  • The management of the crisis will cause attrition in those governments with little popular support, which could worsen governance problems, especially after the 2019 wave of social outbursts. 
  • According to RIELcano the crisis is "accentuating presidentialism, and showing two types of leaders in the region: some with social leadership capacity, flexible and who have prioritized strategic decision-making over those who have chosen short-term tactics and even denied reality.”
  • The pandemic will put more pressure on the future sustainable and inclusive development of the region. From an economic point of view, “the region is facing a perfect storm: falling commodity prices, tightening financial conditions and zero growth in the Eurozone […] and US […]. To make things worse, this time China is unable to repeat the role it played in reactivating the economy in 2008, both due to the complex domestic situation because it is already the largest or second-largest trade partner of many the countries in the region, with little room for growth.”
  • The article also provides a great detail of the measures announced by the different governments in the region and points out some specific challenges for each country during and after the end of this crisis.

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