Increasing global demand for the mineral could benefit countries with the world’s largest reserves.
A country’s ownership of rich natural resources is not necessarily a blessing. It presents a set of extraordinary challenges for policy makers. Bonanzas in foreign exchange all too easily create overvaluation and undermine efforts at economic diversification. At the socio-political level, mineral exploitation provokes intractable social conflicts, while the prospect of environmental contamination is ever-present. … Read more
Latin America’s political Left has displayed symptoms of bipolarity for much of the past decade. An early purveyor of this diagnosis was Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican foreign secretary (2001–2003), who in 2004 identified what he called “two Lefts” in a piece for Project Syndicate. One Left had “truly socialist and progressive roots” that was “following … Read more
The extraction of oil, natural gas and minerals is transforming Latin America. The conflicts that accompany this extraction have become part of the social and political landscape in much of the region. Some of this conflict has been violent. In June 2009, a confrontation between protestors and police in Bagua, Peru left at least 43 … Read more
Extractive industries have made a considerable contribution to Latin America’s economic growth this century, especially in countries along the Pacific Rim (i.e., Chile, Colombia, and Peru). Of those nations, perhaps greatest recent impact of the resource boom has been in Peru—contributing a large share to the country’s remarkable GDP growth of 6.9 percent in 2011. … Read more