February 14, 2024

Opportunitas Advisors

February 14, 2024

Opportunitas Advisors

Michael Reid on Radar Opportunitas

Trends in Latin America 2024

In the second episode of Radar Opportunitas, we discuss the trends in risk, strategy and public policies in Latin America for 2024. In this episode, we are joined by Michael Reid, a writer, journalist, and commentator specializing in international affairs in Spain and Latin America. Michael was a journalist for The Economist for 30 years and is currently a visiting professor at the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics. Guillermo Bolinaga, founding partner of Opportunitas Advisors, and Mr. Reid discuss the opportunities and challenges that current trends in the region present for the private sector.

A turning point in the region


Michael Reid reflects on a challenging decade for Latin America, characterized by economic stagnation, social discontent, and democratic erosion. He highlights the pandemic as a critical turning point. Although there is an incipient economic recovery, the devastating effects on poverty and unemployment continue to deeply affect the region. This has led to the population’s attention being focused on the economy and security, the latter being seriously compromised by the growing threat of organized crime.

The recent report by Opportunitas Advisors on Trends for Latin America in 2024, which offers an analysis of the main trends that are shaping the immediate future in the region and that directly impact the regulatory, political and reputational risks that companies currently face, served as a guide for the conversation.

Political uncertainty


For the year 2024, the Latin American region is preparing for a significant electoral cycle (presidential elections in El Salvador, Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Reid emphasizes the uncertainty surrounding the political future of these countries, noting that both continuity and change are on the horizon, depending on the ability of incoming governments to strengthen the economy and guarantee security. He stresses the need for the emergence of leadership that is capable of forging a path towards a more prosperous and inclusive future. Reid warns that the absence of constructive dialogue and consensus with the private sector could exacerbate existing challenges, further complicating the landscape for all stakeholders involved.

Disinformation


In the face of the revolution in communications and the way people interact, Reid identifies disinformation within the global information ecosystem as a worrying phenomenon that contributes significantly to division and polarization worldwide. Reid believes that “the challenge is to create communication systems or communication ecosystems that are of higher quality, that divide less and that emphasize rigor in the news”

Organized crime


Reid emphasizes that the evolution of organized crime is the main threat in Latin America. He observes how this phenomenon has expanded in the region, increasing its economic influence and its penetration into the political spheres, which has sown a sense of insecurity in the population. In this scenario, Reid argues that all institutions related to the justice systems, including the police, prosecutors, courts and penitentiary institutions, must be strengthened. He acknowledges that this is a hard, costly and long-term commitment, but it is key to ensuring a stable and secure future for the region.

Migration


In the context of the growing migratory flow both within the Latin American region and towards the United States, we consult Reid about his perspective on the possible intensification of this trend and the repercussions it could have for the countries of origin and destination. Reid believes that the pressure towards migration will continue, although he anticipates that the response of destination countries will become more complex in the near future. This complexity, he explains, is due in part to the fact that, while migrants contribute significantly to the countries that receive them, the negative perception towards them leads to the implementation of more restrictive migration policies.

To learn more about these topics and to hear our guest’s opinion in detail, listen to the episode of Radar Opportunitas available at the following link

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