Session 11: Impact of the Covid-19 on Latin America
In recent years, Latin America has seen a lot of change. China has become a major new trading partner, and traditional partnerships with the United States have been shifting since the election of Trump. Nineteen Latin American and Caribbean countries have signed onto the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the past two years. On the security front, the longest conflict in the region came to an end with the signing of the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC in November 2016. However, this past decade has also seen the comedown of the ‘Rise of Brazil’ and now a more immediate crisis in President Bolsonaro’s hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic. And the 2017-19 so-called ‘super-cycle’ of elections was marked by ‘anti-votes’ across the region due to growing dissatisfaction with weak state responses to the persistent and wide range of security and socio-economic challenges. Adding to this context, and as a result of COVID-19, the IMF World Economic Outlook Report issued in April 2020 forecast economic growth to contract by 5.2%, with an expectation for the worst recession in 50 years. Since then, the virus has spread extremely rapidly across the region. Current figures indicate over 1 million cases and over 50’000 deaths, as Latin America and the Caribbean has become a new epicentre for the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation.
While it is too soon to analyse the broader consequences of COVID-19, this webinar episode will provide an overview of the initial economic and security impact of the pandemic on Latin America at the national, urban and individual level. Panellists will cover a range of issues, from geo-economics, development and informal economies to urban violence, drug trafficking & financial flows, and domestic violence. The webinar will focus not only on the current situation but also the expected economic and security outlook as the situation evolves, as well as a discussion of potential approaches for mitigation.
Several of our panellists today are experts for our GCSP-UNIGE Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in International and European Security. We are still accepting applications on a case-by-case basis for the 2020-2021 edition. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2y0z9yF. This MAS attracts participants working in government, IOs, NGOs, the private sector and academia – if you wish to increase your knowledge, skills and network to advance your career in international peace and security – contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on Latin America with Dr Christopher Sabatini here: https://www.gcsp.ch/digital-hub/video/us-latin-america-relations-dr-christopher-sabatini.
Dr Elisa Aracil, Professor, Department of Economics, Universidad Pontifica-ICADE
Dr Elisa Aracil is a Professor of Economics at Universidad Pontificia-ICADE in Madrid. She has built her career in a variety of roles related to investment banking and the academic world. Her research focuses on economic development, sustainable finance, sustainable banks, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental related innovations, digitalization, and the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. She has published in top scientific journals such as Business Strategy & the Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Business Ethics: A European Review, International Journal of Emerging Markets and Global Policy. She has presented her work in peer-reviewed academic conferences such as the Academy of International Business (AIB), the European International Business Academy (EIBA) and the Academy of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge Conference (ACIEK), formerly GIKA and INEKA. She is a researcher at several competitive research projects, and a member of CETIS-PhD program at Universidad Pontifica Comillas.
Dr Álvaro Mendez, Co-Director, Global South Unit, London School of Economics (LSE); GCSP Associate Fellow
Dr. Álvaro Méndez is the co-director of the LSE Global South Unit. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the LSE, Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Global Public Policy at Fudan University, Visiting Professor of International Relations at Peking University and at Sciences Po, and a former editor of Millennium-Journal of International Studies at the LSE. He is an associate academic at the LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC), and an International Advisory Board member of the Observatoire Politique de l'Amérique latine et des Caraïbes (OPALC) at Sciences Po. He has taught and delivered lectures at Fudan University, University of Shanghai, the Singapore Institute of Management, Universidad Torcuato di Tella (Buenos Aires-Argentina), Universidad del Pacifico (Lima-Peru), and at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.He is the co-author of UN Security Council Reform and the Challenge of South Representation (SAIIA 2009).
Dr. Méndez is regularly called upon to contribute to research conferences and the press his insights on the emergence of Latin America as an important actor in world politics. He is currently co-authoring a major study on the foreign relations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Mexico with respect to China.
Ms Mónica Méndez Caballero, Global Security Analyst
Mónica is a global security analyst. As government official, she had analyzed and worked on Security Sector Reform in Mexico, as well as on international comparative analyses of empirical examples to foster institutional strength of justice and security agencies in Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Spain, and the United States. Her practitioner experience and research interests focus on strategic planning and policy design for legitimacy-building of security-related institutions in democratic environments, and gender equality for peace and development. Ms. Mendez holds a MAS in International and European Security from the University of Geneva and the GCSP, an MBA in Top Management from IPADE Business School and a BA in Political Science from ITAM. She is also an alumna of the GCSP through its flagship Leadership in International Security Course, as well as the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and the Near East South Asia Center For Strategic Studies. Mónica was awarded a place in the Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) Next Generation Symposium organized by Women in International Security (WIIS) in 2019.
Prof Celina B. Realuyo, Professor of Practice, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University
Celina Realuyo is Professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University where she focuses on U.S. national security, illicit networks, transnational organized crime, counterterrorism, cybersecurity and anti-money laundering and counter threat finance issues. As a former U.S. diplomat, international banker with Goldman Sachs, State Department Director of Counterterrorism Finance Programs, consultant, and professor at the National Defense, George Washington, and Joint Special Operations Universities, she has two decades of international experience in the public, private and academic sectors. She speaks regularly in English and Spanish on "Managing U.S. National Security in 21st Century,” “The 3 R’s: Responding to Risk with Resourcefulness,” “Following the Money Trail to Combat Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption,” "Combating the Convergence of Illicit Networks in an Age of Globalization” and “The Impact of COVID-19 on Transnational Organized Crime in the Americas.” Professor Realuyo is a regular commentator on global affairs for CNN en Español, Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Univision and has testified before Congress on national security, terrorism, and crime issues.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and Women in International Security. She has been decorated twice by the Colombian government with the Colombian War College (ESDEGUE) Military Medal and Colombian Armed Forces Faith in the Cause Medal. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and Women in International Security. Professor Realuyo has traveled to over 70 countries and speaks English, French, and Spanish fluently, and is conversant in Italian, German, Portuguese and Arabic.
Mr Antônio Sampaio, Research Fellow, Conflict, Security and Development, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Antônio examines conflict, security and development challenges in urban centres of fragile countries. His research has focused on the effects of armed conflict and organised crime in the security and recovery of large cities, as well as the policies and strategies used to prevent conflict and build peace. Antônio has authored journal articles and presented widely on these topics. He also analyses security and political developments in Latin America, particularly Brazil and Colombia. He delivers briefings to governments and companies on these topics and has featured in media outlets such as the Financial Times, Foreign Policy and The Washington Post.
Prior to joining the IISS in London, Antônio was an editor at the international desk of Globo News TV, in Rio de Janeiro. He contributes occasionally to specialised publications, such as Jane’s Intelligence Review, on topics related to his research. He has advised NATO in 2018 on the formulation of a capstone doctrine for military operations in an urban environment. Antônio is also a member of the expert network of the Global Initiative on Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC).
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