One by one, countries across Latin America are succumbing to unrest. It doesnít matter if governments are from the left or right. People are tired of austerity, with some countries suffering years of stagnant economic growth and fed up with graft.
The latest to face mass protests is Colombia. Perhaps having seen what has happened in places like Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia, unions and student groups are pressing President Ivan Duque to tackle a long list of problems.
The movements might be taking energy from each other, though some could also be simply coincidence. A big question is where they might erupt next.
So far Mexico, Argentina and Brazil have escaped serious contagion. But even in the bigger economies, thereís potential risk.
Argentinaís incoming president has promised to spend big to address inequality, but with empty coffers itís unclear how he can. That could spur a backlash from voters. In Mexico, the president is struggling to limit drug cartel-related violence. Brazil has a history of mass protests coming on fast (over things like hikes in transit costs).
In all three, the leaders will do well to get ahead of any discontent before sparks ignite.
- Rosalind Mathieson
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