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About Ivan Briscoe

Ivan Briscoe is Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Crisis Group, the international conflict-prevention organisation. Twitter: @itbriscoe

Ivan Briscoe es director del programa de América Latina y el Caribe del International Crisis Group, organización internacional para la prevención de conflictos.Twitter: @itbriscoe

Articles by Ivan Briscoe

This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Fending off the iron fist: crime and the left in Latin America

An exploding crime wave is confronting Latin America's new generation of leftwing leaders with difficult political choices, says Ivan Briscoe.The script for a typical Latin American security scandal was closely observed in Venezuela in the aftermath of a gruesome incident in the first week of April 2006.

Venezuela: a revolution in contraflow

Ivan Briscoe, travelling west from Caracas to Macaraibo, listens to the voices of the unemployed, the mobilised, the empowered and the disillusioned to portray the hope and the paradoxes of Hugo Chávez's "Bolivarian revolution". 

The time of the underdog: rage and race in Latin America

Latin America's dominant political story in 2005 has been the rise of the left. But, argues Ivan Briscoe in the wake of Evo Morales's victory in Bolivia, this political dynamic is driven and framed by an even larger one: the ascent of the underdog. 

The Summit of the Americas' free-trade farewell

Behind the entertaining Bush-Chávez fight, the real story of the Mar del Plata summit is that Washington's grip on Latin America is dissolving, says Ivan Briscoe. 

The new Latin choir: democracy vs injustice in Latin America

The Salamanca summit of nineteen Latin American nations plus Spain and Portugal heard fine, radical words from a continent shifting left. Will they help lift the poor and feed the hungry? Ivan Briscoe assesses the politics of a social chasm. 

Néstor Kirchner's Argentina: a journey from hell

President Kirchner has led Argentina from economic collapse to mini-boom, faced down the army, stood up to the IMF - and stayed popular. But is his achievement miracle or mirage? Ivan Briscoe reports on two years of surprises. 

All change in Venezuela's revolution

After winning two elections and one referendum, defeating a coup and surviving four general strikes, Venezuela's maverick president Hugo Chávez seems impregnable. But where is his "Bolivarian revolution" going? Ivan Briscoe reports from Caracas on a convulsive, divisive, history-haunted social experiment.

Taking liberties

“The Take”, Naomi Klein’s film about Argentinean factory workers flies the flag for global cooperatives. But, says Ivan Briscoe, her alternative to global capitalism celebrates an anti-politics that cannot provide the answers she seeks.

The invisible majority: Venezuela after the referendum

The decisive referendum victory of Venezuela's populist president, Hugo Chávez, guarantees the continuation of the Latin American oil state's tumultuous political experiment. But in the wake of its latest electoral triumph, can Chávez's "Bolivarian revolution" develop a larger capacity to heal the country's deep schisms? 

Dreaming of Spain: migration and Morocco

Morocco matters. Its Islamist-secularist tensions, huge resource-pool of aspiring migrants to Europe, intimate relationship with Spain, and experience of terrorism place the North African country at the heart of current global concerns. In Tangiers, Ivan Briscoe discovers a link between its political frustrations and the longing of so many of its people for escape.

A victory for Spain, not al-Qaida

The proximity of the Madrid blasts and the electoral defeat of Spain’s ruling party has been interpreted as a victory for terrorism. For Ivan Briscoe in Madrid, this is a profound misunderstanding of what happened in Spain.

The electoral victory of Spain’s Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), three days after the devastating train bombings in central Madrid that killed over 200 citizens, was astounding.

Beyond the zero sum: from Chávez to Lula

The search for a meaningful Latin American political project beyond neo-liberalism is taking a variety of national forms. Does the careful, inclusive strategy of Lula in Brazil offer more long-term hope than the radical populism of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela? And do contrasts in political culture and civil society illuminate their chances of success as well as the nature of their political leadership? 

Argentina: how politicians survive while people starve

Argentina's presidential election of April 2003 follows seventeen months of economic devastation and social turmoil in the fallen giant of Latin America. The collapse of the neo-liberal model has reduced millions to penury, yet the political class is impervious to civic protest, quiet desperation, and radical insurgency alike. As Peronists, ex-Radicals, and leftists compete for a tarnished prize, a former resident paints a vivid panorama of the "land without heroes". 
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