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Latin America Brief

A one-stop weekly digest of politics, economics, technology, and culture in Latin America. Delivered Friday.

Lionel Messi of Argentina is challenged by Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia during the 2022 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar, on Nov. 22.
Lionel Messi of Argentina is challenged by Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia during the 2022 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar, on Nov. 22.

What Lionel Messi Reveals About Geopolitics

Gulf states have embraced the soft power of Latin American soccer in their campaign for global influence.

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva poses for a photo with representatives of his country’s Indigenous people during the U.N. climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 17.
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva poses for a photo with representatives of his country’s Indigenous people during the U.N. climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 17.

From BRICS to BIC

At COP27, Lula paints his foreign-policy aspirations green.

Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaks at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 7.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaks at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 7.

The Barbadian Proposal Turning Heads at COP27

How Mia Mottley’s climate finance plan went from symbol of moral outrage to serious possibility at the IMF.

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaks after defeating incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff at the InterContinental hotel in São Paulo on Oct. 30.
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaks after defeating incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff at the InterContinental hotel in São Paulo on Oct. 30.

Brazil Is Back

Foreign leaders have rallied around Lula after his win. How will he navigate a changed world?

Combine harvesters crop soybeans in a field at Salto do Jacui, Brazil, on April 7, 2021.
Combine harvesters crop soybeans in a field at Salto do Jacui, Brazil, on April 7, 2021.

What Xi’s Third Term Means for Latin America

Slower Chinese growth and heightened tensions with Washington will echo in the region.

Migrants line up to be transported from Canaan Membrillo village to the migrants reception station in Metetí, Darién province, Panama, on Oct. 13.
Migrants line up to be transported from Canaan Membrillo village to the migrants reception station in Metetí, Darién province, Panama, on Oct. 13.

Washington Is Eroding Asylum at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The latest U.S. immigration plans would dramatically reduce Venezuelans’ ability to seek protection.

Demonstrators protest against acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, calling for his resignation, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 10.
Demonstrators protest against acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, calling for his resignation, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 10.

Haiti’s Crisis Escalates

The country’s unelected leader has approved a call for a foreign military intervention. Such incursions have a fraught history.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a campaign rally and military parade on Brazil’s 200th Independence Day at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 7.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters during a campaign rally and military parade on Brazil’s 200th Independence Day at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 7.

How Bolsonaro Changed the Brazilian Right

Sunday’s election cemented the far-right president’s dominance of a formerly moderate camp.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro participates in the birthday worship for the pastor Silas Malafaia at Assembléia de Deus Vitória em Cristo Church in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 15.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro participates in the birthday worship for the pastor Silas Malafaia at Assembléia de Deus Vitória em Cristo Church in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 15.

The Battle for Brazil’s Evangelicals

After fueling Bolsonaro’s rise, some are flocking to Lula’s camp with earthly—and heavenly—concerns.

Ex-combatants of the FARC-People’s Army listen to a U.N. member speak on humanitarian demining in the municipality of La Montañita, Caquetá, Colombia, on Oct. 9, 2019.
Ex-combatants of the FARC-People’s Army listen to a U.N. member speak on humanitarian demining in the municipality of La Montañita, Caquetá, Colombia, on Oct. 9, 2019.

The U.N.’s Small Success Stories

The organization has been criticized aplenty this week. Its missions in Colombia, Honduras, and Venezuela could be a silver lining.

Marina Silva, Brazilian federal deputy candidate and former environment minister, speaks next to former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during a press conference in São Paulo on Sept. 12.
Marina Silva, Brazilian federal deputy candidate and former environment minister, speaks next to former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during a press conference in São Paulo on Sept. 12.

What Could Brazil’s Post-Bolsonaro Climate Policy Look Like?

It won’t be easy for the country to refurbish its green reputation.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric looks on during a ceremony at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 6.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric looks on during a ceremony at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 6.

How Chile’s Constitution Revolution Missed the Mark

It’s back to the drawing board for the country—and President Gabriel Boric.

Bad Bunny performs for the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards broadcast from Yankee Stadium in New York City on Aug. 28.
Bad Bunny performs for the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards broadcast from Yankee Stadium in New York City on Aug. 28.

Bad Bunny and the Political History of Reggaeton

The genre is the product of migration, rebirth, and the struggle to be heard.

A woman holds a banner that reads “Today a new country is born” as she awaits the inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro at the Simón Bolívar International Bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta, Colombia, on Aug. 7.
A woman holds a banner that reads “Today a new country is born” as she awaits the inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro at the Simón Bolívar International Bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta, Colombia, on Aug. 7.

Venezuela’s Enabling Neighbors Change Their Tune

Former Maduro allies in Colombia and Brazil have recently rebuked him.

Then-Grenadian Minister for Climate Resilience Simon Stiell addresses a session at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 4, 2021.
Then-Grenadian Minister for Climate Resilience Simon Stiell addresses a session at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 4, 2021.

Meet the U.N.’s New Caribbean-Born Climate Czar

Former Grenadian Environment Minister Simon Stiell is expected to push for reparations.

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