Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

18 in Latin America: Soccer Star, or Car Mechanic?

Leer en español This article is adapted from AQ’s print issue on youth in Latin America. It had been a particularly violent day in El Salvador when Maynor walked into a Mister Donut at 7 p.m. sharp for an interview. When the country makes international news, it’s often because of the pandillas, the gangs. That Wednesday … Read more


Book Review: The Salvador Option

Despite decades of military support and millions in development aid, for many Americans El Salvador remains a caricature, caught somewhere between an episode of Gangland and the milieu of sex, alcohol and jungle violence portrayed in Oliver Stone’s 1986 film, Salvador. Those Americans who do spare a thought for the tiny country are prone to … Read more


Save the Lives of Central American Migrants

In the new issue of Americas Quarterly, we asked people, “What would you tell the next U.S. president about Latin America?” To see other authors’ responses, click here. Dear Mister / Madam President, Judging from the rhetoric coming from both parties’ presidential campaigns, immigration will continue to be a hotly contested issue under the next … Read more

Surfing El Salvador

How Surfing Helps El Salvador’s Economy

At the onset of the 1980s, surf tourism in El Salvador seemed like a fading pipe dream. The country’s fledgling industry, which had shown some potential in the 1970s, stalled as Salvadorans braced for civil war. For the next 12 years, as battles raged between the right-wing government and political dissidents of the Farabundo Martí … Read more


Un breve análisis sobre el primer año de gobierno en El Salvador

El segundo gobierno del Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) recién cumplió su primer año de gestión bajo el mando del Presidente Salvador Sánchez Cerén. El primer aniversario de Sánchez Cerén llegó bajo la sombra de uno de los meses más violentos desde los Acuerdos de Paz en 1992. El mes de mayo … Read more


Increased Militarization of Citizen Security in El Salvador: Responding to the Surge

Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle has been at the center of attention for the past two weeks, and not particularly for the right reasons. Stories of corruption, impunity, deteriorating security, and the revival of the ghost of presidential re-election covered newspaper headlines throughout the isthmus. The news coming out of the region comes at a … Read more


U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Three Members of MS-13 Gang

On Thursday, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on three leaders of Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”), a gang of 30,000 members spread throughout El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States. The gang, whose leadership is concentrated in El Salvador, has been listed as a Transnational Criminal Organization since 2012 by the U.S. Department of Treasury … Read more


El Salvador’s Electoral Crisis

El Salvador held legislative and municipal elections on March 1, 2015. Almost two weeks later, the country lacks electoral results. The debacle has signified a concerning setback for Salvadoran electoral institutions and their credibility. Trouble started on Election Day, when the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced its electoral results transmission system had failed. Since then, the … Read more


El Salvador’s TSE Cancels Announcement of Preliminary Election Results

El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced on Monday that the preliminary count of votes in municipal and legislative elections would be skipped, due to system error. On Sunday, Salvadoran citizens voted for all 84 seats in Congress, 262 mayors, approximately 3,000 municipal council members, and 20 representatives for the Central American Parliament. It was … Read more


El Salvador’s Upcoming Election: A Window for Reform?

El Salvador will hold its next legislative and municipal elections in three weeks, on March 1, 2015. As the country’s electorate preps for yet another election, political parties scramble to fine tune logistics and communication strategies in the run up to the election. The period leading up to the election has showcased El Salvador’s positive … Read more


New Study Ranks Democracy in Latin America

Only two countries in Latin America—Costa Rica and Uruguay—can be considered “full democracies,” according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by BBC for Democracy Day on January 20. The report says that a majority of Latin American countries hold “free and fair” elections and are better ranked than their counterparts in the Middle … Read more


IACHR Urges U.S. to Close Immigrant Detention Centers

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urged the United States yesterday to close detention centers for immigrant children and their families. IACHR member Felipe González noted that the Commission has continually affirmed that children should not be held in detention centers. However, the U.S. currently has three detention centers open in Pennsylvania, Texas and … Read more


Dinamismo en los Partidos Políticos de El Salvador

Los salvadoreños nos encontramos, de nuevo, a escasos cinco meses de una nueva contienda electoral. Mientras muchos aún no terminan de recuperarse de la resaca de la última elección presidencial, otros esperan con ansias la llegada de los próximos comicios. Generalmente, en épocas cercanas a elecciones es cuando muchos empezamos a prestarle atención a los … Read more


Amnesty International Says El Salvador Abortion Law Kills Women

In a report released on Thursday, Amnesty International stated that El Salvador’s total ban on abortion is killing women and infringing upon human rights progress. Enacted in 1998, the law makes any form of abortion illegal, even in cases of rape, incest, when the mother’s life is in danger, or when the fetus has serious … Read more

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