The Latin America Working Group began in 2001 as the Colombia Working Group. Amidst rising levels of crime and violence in Colombia, some twenty-five diverse and qualified policy makers, analysts, and former government officials met in Washington, D.C. to discuss candidly the challenges facing the country’s political, economic, and social development and to devise innovative and effective solutions to its longstanding internal armed conflict. As the country’s security situation improved, however, the initiative was renamed the Andean Working Group in 2004 and expanded to incorporate analysts from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. In 2011, at its twentieth meeting, the initiative was renamed the Latin America Working Group to reflect the greater role of regional institutions and the influence of hemispheric actors, such as Brazil. Today the group is comprised of approximately thirty experts from the Andean region as well as key policymakers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
To identify and generate awareness about the most pressing issues facing democratic governance in Latin America;
To develop a better understanding of the interconnectedness between Latin American countries as well as the role of regional or international institutions and Hemispheric actors;
To draw on the expertise of highly informed and experienced policymakers, analysts, and academics to propose viable and innovative policies addressing the myriad other challenges to democracy confronting the Latin America today;
To ensure that these recommendations are disseminated to a broad audience, debated by relevant and influential actors, and ultimately implemented.
The Dialogue’s working paper series aims to contribute to public debates and policy discussions regarding Latin America’s development. They are written by Working Group participants and cover the most pressing challenges facing the region. To date, nineteen papers have been published. They are widely distributed and cited in policy circles throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. Though all papers, thus far, have been published as Andean Working Papers, future papers will be published as Latin America Working Papers to reflect the group’s new, more inclusive title. The latest Andean Working Papers are available below.
The group convenes twice a year, once in Latin America and once in Washington, D.C., for two-days. Participants engage in wide-ranging discussions on topics such as democratic governance, human rights, international relations, and electoral politics, amongst others. The analysis and recommendations from the meeting are disseminated through various public events held in conjunction with the working group’s meetings as well as through the group’s Latin American Working Paper Series. Since 2002, the Dialogue has published eighteen working papers on subjects ranging from the role of the military in politics to the persistence of corruption in the Andean region. The summary, agenda, and participants list for past meetings are available below.
The Dialogue regularly organizes a series of public briefings that coincide with the Working Group’s biannual meetings. They feature a variety of high-level experts and policymakers actors from both the governmental and non-governmental sectors. The Dialogue disseminates the Working Group’s findings and policy recommendations through these public sessions, as well as through its working paper series.