This essay analyzes the multiple, simultaneous challenges and electoral processes currently affecting the situation and political-economic orientation of nations comprising the PacificRim, or spine, of Latin America. It examines the likely collapse of the trans-pacific partnership, the uncertain future of the Pacific Alliance, upcoming presidential elections in the next two years in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico, and another phenomenon, to conclude that the combination of these factors produces the possibility for significant change in the political and economic orientation of the region in the coming two years. It argues that such change, in combination with initiatives by the People’s Republic of China
Evan Ellis, Phd, is a research professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute with a focus on the region’s relationships with China and other non-Western Hemisphere actors. He has published over 100 works, including the books China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores (2009), The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement with Latin America (2013) and most recently China on the Ground in Latin America (2014). He has presented his work in a broad range of business and government forums in 25 countries four continents and given testimony on Chinese activities in Latin America to the US Congress, and appears regularly as an expert on Latin America-China relations in the media.