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America Economi­a is Latin America's leading business magazine, founded in 1986 by Elias Selman and Nils Strandberg. Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, it features a region-wide monthly edition and regularly updated articles online, as well as country-specific editions in Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.
Photo of U.S President Joe Biden with Custom and Border Patrol officers during a visit to the border wall along the Rio Grande,
Luis Rubio

Migrants, Fentanyl, Cartel Violence: U.S. And Mexico Must Both Rethink The Border

Mexico and the United States must collaborate to tackle a dual problem of violence and drug use hurting their countries.But first, they must stop playing the blame game.


MEXICO CITY — An unstoppable force is about to smash into an immovable object. The fentanyl crisis in the United States has become, beyond the reach of any single election, a vital threat to its society. And while the key to the problem, as with all narcotics abuse, is around consumption, Mexico can hardly absolve itself of responsibility when the fentanyl is sourced here. Moreover, it is connected to our own, massive crime problem.

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All of this means that there is yet another reason for authorities on both sides of the border to help each other.

I am reminded of Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, set in the French Revolution. Dickens mocks the French revolutionaries who claim to be fighting for liberty while decapitating all and sundry.

Likewise there's no squaring safe streets in Mexico with a drug epidemic next door: drugs like fentanyl finance the cartels that terrorize Mexican cities and neighborhoods. Or put another way: Drugs sold in the United States pay for the guns they fire at Mexicans!

Not surprisingly perhaps, given his irrepressible optimism, Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, rejects both components of the problem. He says no fentanyl is made in Mexico and crime here is under check, which would mean people are deluded in both countries.

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Photo of workers in plant
Natalia Vera Ramírez

A Chilean Recipe To Become A Global Leader In Eco-Food Production

Chile's CeTA agency tests innovative food prototypes for startups and firms, helping to curb production costs and pushing for evolution in the context of climate change.

SANTIAGO — Drought in many parts of the world will likely become a recurring problem, and is already fueling not just fires but also debate on food security and sustainable food production.

Latin America is particularly vulnerable to climate change, as seen in Argentina's record-breaking summer heat and violent flooding in Peru, both of which threaten food production.

The future of food production has been of particular interest to neighboring Chile, which created in 2016 the CeTA (Centro Tecnológico para la Innovación Alimentaria), a research and testing center for new foods. This private-public partnership is working to make Chile a world leader in producing evolved, sustainable food products.

In 2014, a joint report by the government and Inter-American Development Bank found that Chile had doubled the value of its food exports in the previous decade, to $16 billion. Jean Paul Veas Flores, the CeTA managing-director, attributes this to expanded cultivation areas and switching to higher-value fruit and vegetables.

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Photo of a woman walking by a wall with street art of Venezuelan presidents Maduro and Chavez in Caracas
Farid Kahhat

The Latin American Left Is Back, But More Fractured Than Ever

The Left is constantly being hailed as the resurgent power in Latin America. But there is no unified Left in the region. The "movement" is diverse — and its divisions are growing.


LIMA — Lula da Silva's reelection to the presidency in Brazil is the 25th consecutive democratic election in Latin America in which the ruling party has lost power. There appears to be general discontent with ruling parties, caused partly by external factors: the world's worst pandemic in a century, the worst recession since the 1990s, and sharpest inflation rate in 40 years.

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Luis Rubio

Is Mexico's President Pushing For "Mexit" From Trade Pact?

In irking Mexico's chief trading partners with decisions affecting energy firms, the country's leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is tinkering with the free-trade pact that is the very engine and ballast of Mexico's vast, and vulnerable, economy.


MEXICO CITY — The key to having a nuclear bomb is to never use it. Its fundamental value is in its deterrence of other powers wielding the bomb. The same applies to negotiations between governments in areas like investments or trade. Clearly the risk is inferior, as the country will not face physical destruction, which may be why Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) sees no risk at all in raising the stakes in his spat over energy with the United States and Canada — the country's paramount free-trade partners.

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Photo of delivery worker for Didi Food
Gwendolyn Ledger

Didi, The Chinese Food Delivery App Finding Its Tasty Niche In Latin America

Didi Food, a delivery startup that struggled in East Asia, has found a growing market in Latin American cities, where appetite for home deliveries has yet to be fully satisfied.

SANTIAGO DE CHILEBarranquilla and Soledad are the latest Colombian cities to join the Chinese delivery firm Didi Food's expanding market in Latin America.

The firm began exploring partners here months ago, but announced its "arrival" online in late June once it had a critical mass of eateries and partners registered with it. The application is available in other Colombian cities, as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

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Photo of a world map
Luis Rubio

Our World Is "Flat" No More: Welcome To The Era Of Pure Geopolitics

The dominance of a single narrative of globalization and liberal democracy is over.


MEXICO CITY — As the Bolshevik leader Lenin once observed, there are decades when nothing happens and weeks in which decades take place. The big turns in history tend to go unnoticed in their decisive moments because daily life doesn't suddenly change for most people around the world.

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Yet in retrospect, certain moments become crucial. Everything suggests the invasion of Ukraine is one of those turning points, with enormous implications for the world's future.

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Photo of a person under an umbrella looking over the Los Angeles cityscape
Ángel Alonso Arroba*

Summit Of The Americas: Why Washington Needs To Tend To Its Own Backyard

With Washington's attention fixed on Russia, Ukraine and China, the upcoming Summit of the Americas will likely not be the "breakthrough" gathering to forge the equal ties Latin America has long sought from the United States. But Washington would be wise to invest in stronger unity in its own hemisphere.


SANTIAGO — As we approach the next Summit of the Americas, the only meeting of leaders from the countries of North and South America, slated to begin in Los Angeles on June 6 , it will no doubt be hailed yet again as a unique opportunity for the United States to reboot its relations with the region.

It is a cliché that has taken on new weight since the darker period of the Trump administration, when Latin America kept falling as a priority for Washington. Yet that administration, with its less-than-cordial discourse toward Latin nations, merely exacerbated a trend that was already well underway.

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Photo of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico voting​
Luis Rubio

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.


MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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