COVID-19 in Latin America: Challenges, responses, and consequences

Published: 27 May 2020

While containment efforts were quickly implemented in many countries, COVID-19 may still prove to have a long-lasting effect in Latin America, a region already marked by economic disarray and political instability. Economic projections suggest that Latin American economies will be among the most affected by the current halt in global trade and consumption. As many countries have recently faced political turmoil, massive containment efforts raise a number of questions on legitimacy and citizen-state relations.

In some countries, democratic processes essential for the upholding of democratic legitimacy have been halted. In Brazil, the central government’s handling of the crisis has been an important factor contributing to a severe political crisis. A geopolitical vacuum may provide China with an opportunity to increase its importance for the region.