Latin America on the Move: Two Panels
Continental Governance and the Impact of the US 2024 Elections on Latin America

May 2, 2024, The New School, New York,

This event was jointly organized by the Observatory on Latin America OLA together with faculty from the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Universidad de los Andes, and Colegio de Mexico, led by Professors Michael Cohen and Juan Gabriel Tokatlian.

The first panel examined the question of “continental governance”, based on a 2024 report prepared by the three Latin American universities with support from the Ford Foundation. The panel included Professor Sandra Borda, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia; Professor Andreas Feldman Pietsch, University of Illinois; and Tomás González, from the Centro Regional de Estudios de Energía (CREE), Bogotá, Colombia. Professor Enrique Desmond Arias, Marxe Chair of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Professor, Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, served as the discussant.

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The substantive thrust of this panel was that despite many common economic and political interests, there was little concrete evidence that there was currently a consensus among countries in the region that “continental governance” was likely. There was great variation in how regional institutions had operated, from the active presence of the Inter-American Court for Human Rights to the intermittent and often ineffective assertion of common interests in MERCOSUR or the Organization of American States. A paper on the transition to renewable energy demonstrated the complexity of coordinated or collaborative policies and actions in the energy sector. This argument was strengthened by the comments of the discussant who illustrated the wide variation within the region in relation to management of violence.

A second panel on the impact of the US 2024 presidential elections on Latin America suggested strongly that there was little difference between the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States, citing the continuity between Trump and Biden in many areas, from trade or the US embargo against Cuba. The major exception to this was the extreme position that the Trump administration had taken vis a vis Mexico and the issue of reducing the number of migrants seeking entry into the United States on the southern border. Mexico was clearly wary of the extreme positions adopted by the Trump administration and was preparing to respond to this again in the event that Trump won the 2024 presidential election.

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