Over the past two decades, the Latin America and Caribbean region has made enormous strides in terms of political and economic development. Twelve countries held successful elections for head of government in 2006, including a close election in Mexico, and in 2007, five other countries have elections scheduled. Although the region overall experienced an economic setback in 2002-2003, it has rebounded since 2004, and most recently experienced an average growth rate over 5% in 2006. Despite this progress, several nations face considerable challenges that threaten political stability or pose challenges for U.S. interests and policy in the region. These include persistent poverty, violent guerrilla conflicts, autocratic leaders, drug trafficking, increasing crime, and the rise of a new form of populism in several countries.
"January 23, 2007." Title from PDF title page (viewed March 30, 2011).
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