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International Reports 4/2008

Mexico: Reforms and Block-Heads | Guatemala: Hope is the last to die | Escalation and Spontaneous Fraternization in the Andes | The Peacemaker from Venezuela | Brazil´s Boom

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  • Editorial

    Ausgabe 4/2008 der Auslandsinformationen der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

    by Gerhard Wahlers

  • Mexico: Reforms and Block-Heads

    After nearly eighteen months in office, the image projected by the Mexican government under Felipe Calderón is one of unity and efficiency. However, the devotion to duty of its ministers is not least among the reasons why they are hardly known to the general public and rarely hit the headlines. It was to reestablish himself and his team in the minds of the Mexican population that the President initiated a spectacular cabinet reshuffle a short while ago.

    by Frank Priess

  • Guatemala: Hope is the last to die

    Although the new Guatemalan leadership under Álvaro Colom Caballeros has only been in office for a little more than two months, the euphoria that attended the change of government appears to have evaporated. Colom and his team keep veering and vacillating, and there is no hint of consistency in the policy of the new President whose slogan ’Your Hope Is My Mission’ won him and his party, Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE), more than half of the Guatemalan vote in the elections.

    by Tjark Marten Egenhoff

  • Escalation and Spontaneous Fraternization in the Andes

    Die Region im Dilemma zwischen antiterroristischem Kampf und caudillistischen Konfrontationen

    When tension escalated between Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela in March of this year, threatening to turn the countries’ worst diplomatic crisis so far into a military conflict, the world became aware of the instability of this region, which is divided by a deep political and ideological rift. And yet: Only one week after Raúl Reyes, the number two in Colombia’s terrorist FARC, was killed by Colombian units on Ecuadorian territory, the spook came to an end, and the heads of the states involved embraced or at least shook hands.

    by Carsten Wieland

  • The Peacemaker from Venezuela

    Domestic-Policy Motives for Foreign-Policy Escalation

    It was not only for foreign-policy reasons that Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chávez, took advantage of Colombia’s military action against FARC fighters on Ecuadorian territory and the subsequent conflict between Bogotá and Quito to interfere and provoke a crisis in the region.

    by Peter Fischer-Bollin

  • Brazil´s Boom

    Brazil is making the grade: The economy is doing just fine, and consumer spending is growing. Thanks to its numerous natural resources, its enourmous spread of cultivated land, and the slow but steady renewal of its manufacturing industry, the country today offers a rich assortment of goods that are in great demand and command high prices worldwide.

    by Wilhelm Hofmeister

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About this series

International Reports (IR) is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's periodical on international politics. It offers political analyses by our experts in Berlin and from more than 100 offices across all regions of the world. Contributions by named authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial team.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388