Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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What’s Happening in Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil
July 24, 2013

Ably led by Marty Moss-Coane, host of Philadelphia’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and I had a great conversation about Latin America yesterday. It ranged far and wide, from the protests in Brazil to the peace talks in Colombia, the violence in Mexico and Central America to the successes and challenges for democratic governance. You can listen here.

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  • Posted by alfredo behrens

    “What’s Happening in Latin America”

    RE:
    On July 26, 2013 I listened to a replay of that program Radio Times with Marty Moos-Coane and Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

    I was a visiting scholar at WWS on 1998 and lectured on Latin America for WWS. Then, as Cynthia now, I believed more on the power of governments to improve things. But now governments have been downsized, and in many ways the State of Brazil (Judiciary, Executive and Legislative) are out of synch with a population who connects through the internet and are claiming for a greater degree of interactivity.

    The private sector, particularly American multinationals with subsidiaries in Brazil, could be doing more to help modernize this society.

    I’ll give you one example. Slavery was abolished in Brazil about 120 years ago. But, though I teach at MBA level, I am yet to meet a negro director at a multinational. Talent among these hard working people is not lacking. They make it to public sector employment through competitive entry examination. Once there quite a few manage to rise to the very top, such as Joaquim Barbosa, current President of the Supreme Court of Justice.

    I contend that American multinationals are not applying in Brazil as rigorous Equal Opportunity admission procedures as they do at headquarters, and it is about time they did too

    This would be a major developmental contribution that America could be bringing to Brazil and probably similarly other countries in the region. What is preventing this from happening? What could perhaps the US State do to infuse these organizations with a stronger corporate social responsibility attitude?

    Yours sincerely

    Alfredo Behrens

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