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Since the mid-1980s, Latin America has enjoyed long and broad democratic expansion, and has made considerable progress with regard to free and fair elections and respect for human rights. As the 'most democratic emerging-market region in the world', over 80 % of the Latin American population enjoy democracy, a proportion surpassed only in western Europe and North America. Standards vary widely however: while Costa Rica, Uruguay and Chile stand out in all classifications as the most free and democratic ...

Haiti is currently experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its recent history. Just one month after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July 2021, a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the south-west of the country, affecting over 800 000 people and killing over 2 200. As a result, the national and regional elections (scheduled for 26 September 2021) were postponed indefinitely. At the same time, kidnappings and gang violence have increased insecurity; and the repatriation ...

The Mexico dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition, as well as the latter's decision to run in the 21 November 2021 local and regional elections, have revived hopes for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the country's political conflict. Nevertheless, the Maduro government has suspended the third round of negotiations, dimming prospects for a successful outcome of the dialogue. The EU is observing the elections.

Argentina is Latin America's second-largest country in terms of size, fourth-largest in terms of population, and third most important in economic terms. It is a federal republic, composed of 23 autonomous provinces plus the autonomous (capital) City of Buenos Aires. It is an electoral democracy with universal adult suffrage, a presidential system of government and separation of powers. Executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, legislative power in the bicameral National Congress ...

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in Latin America's worst economic and social crisis in decades, with a disproportionate impact on informal workers. The informal economy describes economic activity by workers or economic units that is not or only insufficiently covered by formal legal or practical arrangements. Although it is on the decline in Latin America, the informal economy still accounts for slightly over half of all jobs in the region. To counteract the spread of Covid-19, various confinement ...

Latin America is among the world's regions worst affected by Covid-19, and its economies, employment and even human rights are already suffering seriously, and are expected to continue to do so. Governments and international organisations, including the EU, are making efforts to mitigate the consequences, but the results remain uncertain. This is an update of an 'At a glance' note from October 2020.

The United Mexican States is the third-largest country in Latin America, with the second-largest economy and population. It is a federal republic, composed of 31 states plus Mexico City. The country is an electoral democracy with universal suffrage, a presidential system of government and separation of powers. The executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, the legislative power in the bicameral Congress of the Union and the judicial power in the Federal Courts of Justice. States ...

With an area of nearly 8.5 million km2 and a population of around 212 million (approximately twice the size of the EU with half the population), Brazil is Latin America's largest and most populated country, the biggest democracy (and, despite many observers' concerns over the current state of democracy) one of the freest countries) in the region. It is politically organised as a Federative Republic, formed by the Union, 26 states, 5 570 municipalities and the Federal District (Brasilia). The Brazilian ...

According to the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, Portugal is a semi-presidential Republic and a parliamentary democracy. It is a unitary state which also includes two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira archipelagos) with their own political and administrative statutes and self-governing institutions (Article 6 of the Constitution). The Constitution of the Third Republic created a single representative body: the Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da República). The Assembly exercises ...

The mandate of the Venezuelan National Assembly, democratically elected in 2015, comes to an end on 5 January 2021; to renew it, the Maduro government called new legislative elections for 6 December 2020. While the government tightened its grip on power to secure a favourable outcome for itself, including through the appointment of a new electoral council, the opposition-led National Assembly presided by Juan Guaidó insisted on holding free and fair presidential and legislative elections with recognised ...