Latin America unveiled: Geopolitics, co-operation and democracy

Latin America unveiled - Peter Backman

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The fourth installment of our exclusive series with Peter Bäckman, CSyP, AMBCI, CEO of TEDCAP covers the status of democracy in Latin America and considers the risk associated with upcoming elections.

In Latin America, democracy is not just a political system, it is a long-held dream. As the region’s history has been dominated by authoritarian regimes, excessive external intervention, corruption and socio-economic hardship, politics has been at the center of the gestalt of the Latin American citizen.

Latin America’s political landscape is diverse, presenting various geopolitical risks during elections, including social polarization, economic volatility, regional power dynamics and external influences. To effectively confront these challenges, governments, organizations and stakeholders must comprehensively understand and analyze these risks, enabling them to devise strategies that mitigate potential threats to regional stability and democracy.


As Argentina, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and El Salvador prepare for their upcoming elections in 2023 and 2024, it is crucial to address the geopolitical risks associated with these democratic processes.

Fragile democracies necessitate heightened risk and security management measures to safeguard institutional integrity. Strengthening electoral systems, ensuring transparency and promoting civic engagement are critical aspects of this effort. Additionally, establishing robust mechanisms to address disinformation campaigns, cyber-threats and election-related violence is essential to protecting the democratic foundations of these nations.

The potential impact of the “Bukele Effect” in the upcoming election cycle across Latin America is also significant. Nayib Bukele’s success in El Salvador and his distinctive political strategies have resonated with voters, inspiring similar movements and tactics in other countries.

As candidates in the region aim to emulate Bukele’s policies of radical change, established parties may face challenges, potentially reshaping the political landscape and weakening traditional party structures. Bukele’s implementation of aggressive measures to combat gang violence and his deployment of the military and police forces to restore public safety align with citizens’ long-standing demands for stronger action against crime, drug trafficking and human trafficking in the region.

Considering Latin America’s influential position as a global political bloc, strengthening regional co-operation in managing electoral risks becomes imperative.


Organizations operating in Latin America can adopt several strategies to mitigate the risks associated with geopolitical tensions.

These strategies revolve around monitoring the political landscape, conducting risk assessments, diversifying operations, building local relationships, ensuring regulatory compliance, engaging in scenario planning, stakeholder engagement, considering political risk insurance, developing business continuity plans and maintaining a long-term perspective.

Firstly, conducting comprehensive risk assessments that encompass political, economic, social and cultural factors specific to each country is crucial. This helps identify potential risks and guides the development of appropriate mitigation strategies.

Maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders is also essential. This includes governments, local communities, business partners and industry associations. Building open and collaborative relationships allows organizations to understand concerns and interests, culturing better management of tensions.

Fostering organizational resilience through adaptability, agility and preparedness is vital. By embracing these measures and proactively managing risks, Latin America can navigate the upcoming elections with greater resilience and protect the democratic values that underpin the region’s progress.

You can connect with Peter on LinkedIn here.

Read the previous installment of Latin America unveiled here and make sure to keep an eye out for the next piece, coming 17 July!

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