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Last week, both the House and Senate voted to extend the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. (ATPDEA is a trade preference system by which these four countries are granted duty-free access to a wide range of exports, with the goal of promoting economic development and providing alternatives to the production of cocaine.) While the House version granted a one-...

Yesterday, we outlined the effect Ecuador's new Constitution will have on the Armed Forces and the Police. Today, we move on to the topic of sovereignty. Not only does the new Constitution prohibit the establishment of foreign military bases or installations with military goals within its territory (think the U.S. military base in Manta), it also sets the stage for Ecuador to push for further regional integration and defense cooperation. Additionally, as laid out in the new Constitution, sovereignty will no...

On Sunday, Ecuadorians went to the polls to vote on the country's 20th Constitution, which has been one of President Rafael Correa's main projects since he was elected two years ago. With 96.26% of the votes counted, the 'yes' vote has 64.04% of the vote and the 'no' 28.01%. As has been...

This week, many Latin American leaders had the opportunity to speak at the United Nation's 63rd General Assembly in New York. While the remarks of each president varied, a common thread among the speeches was the success of UNASUR and the future of regional cooperation.

Below you can find the link to a summary of each president's remarks in English. The linked pages also contain a .pdf of the full speech in Spanish.

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Last week, we speculated about whether Bolivia would be placed on the United States' list of countries who have "failed demonstrably" to cooperate with U.S. anti-narcotics policy and the implications this might have, especially when comparing coca production and eradication and seizure levels of Bolivia with those of Peru and Colombia - top U.S. allies in the region. This week, the White House issued the "Majors List" of narcotics source and transfer...

Drug related violence in Mexico has killed over 2,700 people this year. Just this week, over 30 people have been found dead: 24 of whom were found in a mass grave, bound and shot execution style, and 7 of whom were killed yesterday when a grenade exploded at an Independence Day celebration in Michoacán. While Mexican press is filled everyday with accounts of violence, kidnappings...

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