Reads of the Week: Latin America’s Democracies, Mexican Migration, and More

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Venezuelan President Chavez looks on as his Brazilian counterpart Lula da Silva speaks during their meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in July, 2010 (Jorge Silva/Courtesy Reuters).

Venezuelan President Chavez looks on as his Brazilian counterpart Lula da Silva speaks during their meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in July, 2010 (Jorge Silva/Courtesy Reuters).

Jorge Dominguez’s recent testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere gives an overview of Latin America’s progress toward democratic consolidation in recent history, and the role the international community has played in this slow, but steady, march.

Time and America’s Quarterly have two good pieces on Mexico’s state level elections last weekend. While both rightly focus on the PRI’s strength coming out of the election, it didn’t win everywhere. The party lost nine municipalities it previously held in the state of Hidalgo, due in large part to successful alliances between the PAN and PRD. Meanwhile, the PRD mayor of Mexico City urges that these ties must become stronger to give his party and its allies a fighting chance in the 2012 presidential elections.

A recent New York Times article looks at the current state of  illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S., highlighting how changing dynamics within both countries dissuade Mexicans from crossing the border illegally. This discussion addresses issues I raised in the past, namely changing demographics and new economic realities, including the rise of the middle class in Mexico and the region more broadly.

Lastly, for readers worried about Brazil’s overheating, this Economist graph won’t calm your fears.

Published in conjunction with Latin America’s Moment at the Council on Foreign Relations.