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Latin America

Vue aérienne du barrage hydroélectrique d'Itaipu sur le fleuve Parana

Latin America is a resource-rich region with enormous potential for economic development. Venezuela and Mexico, for example, have key oil reserves. Lithium, a critical material for the ecological transition, is abundant, especially in Chile, which has the largest reserve in the world with 9.2 million tons of lithium.

However, this economic potential is impacted by the political situation in several states. Latin America has a long history of democratic instability and authoritarianism, and it is therefore essential to understand current political developments. This instability is also one of the primary causes of the large migration flows from Central and South American countries to the United States and Canada.

For a long time, Latin America has been considered the ''backyard'' of the United States, but now it must reckon with China and Russia, which are trying to increase their influence in the region.Nevrtheless,  Latin America has made great strides in regional integration in recent decades, with organizations such as Mercosur, which is currently negotiating an ambitious trade agreement with the European Union.

Created in 2023 as part of the Americas program, a specific research axis on Latin America allows Ifri to structure a more active research on this region, especially on energy policies but also on important democratic and geo-economic issues.

Laurence NARDON

Research Fellow, Head of Ifri's Americas Program

Jean-Louis MARTIN

Associate Research Fellow, Americas Programme / Center for Energy and Climate


This Briefing offers an analysis of Brazil's political and economic situation and prospects at the end of 2023. It also examines Brazil's position on certain international relations issues, thirteen months after Lula's election.

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