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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents extraordinary challenges to states, economies, and societies around the world. In pursuit of our mission to enrich understanding of Latin America and Latino communities in the U.S. through cutting-edge research, the Center strives to disseminate high quality analysis on the pandemic's implications from faculty at American University and scholars at partner institutions elsewhere. During this critical moment, CLALS is convening consultations with scholars and practitioners across the Americas and beyond to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the region.

Below is a collection of analyses, projects, and infographics created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by scholars at American University and experts at partner institutions. This collection examines various dimensions of COVID-19’s impact and its medium- and long-term implications, both across Latin America and amongst Latino communities in the United States. The page will be updated regularly as the situation develops.

Analyses

*Some articles are listed in multiple categories.

Latin America: COVID-19 Challenges Higher Education
June 2, 2020; Eric Hershberg, Alexandra Flinn-Palcic, and Christopher Kambhu
The authors examine results from a recent CLALS survey of university leaders across Latin America, describing the implications of COVID-19 for higher education in the region. Read the full report.

Central America and the Pandemic: Different Priorities and Risky Bets
May 20, 2020; Alexander Segovia
This analysis of Central American government responses to COVID-19 reveals conflicting economic and health priorities across the region in this AULABLOG post.

Six Ways Coronavirus is Impacting Organized Crime in the Americas
May 4, 2020; Parker Asmann, Chris Dalby and Seth Robbins
InSight Crime summarizes how the pandemic is affecting crime and criminal organizations across the region.

COVID-19: Political Impact in Latin America
May 1; Maria Victoria Murillo
Columbia University's Institute of Latin American Studies provides a summary of the pandemic's impact on electoral campaigns, national politics, and economic policies for informal workers across the region.

Latin American Responses to the Coronavirus: Some Initial Highlights
March 31, 2020; Chuck Call and Jeffrey Hallock
This summary analyzes research findings on initial measures taken by governments throughout Latin America in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through late March.

Brazil's rescue plan flaws imperil small business recovery
June 3, 2020; Tatiana Bautzer and Carolina Mandl
While the Brazilian government has created several economic recovery programs, administrative barriers and other hurdles raise the perception that the government is focused on large companies at the expense of small businesses.

Undocumented Workers Lose Millions to Wage-Theft — It’s Getting Worse During the Pandemic
May 29, 2020; José Luis Martínez
Undocumented workers in the United States have always faced exploitation with few recourses available, but their situation has worsened due the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Podcast: Venezuela’s Crisis, Outside Powers, Politics, and the Search for a Solution
May 28, 2020; Adam Isacson, Geoff Ramsey, and David Smilde
Geoff Ramsay, Venezuela Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and David Smilde, WOLA Senior Fellow, discuss COVID-19's impact on Venezuela's ongoing economic, humanitarian, and political crises.

Central America and the Pandemic: Different Priorities and Risky Bets
May 20, 2020; Alexander Segovia
This analysis of Central American government responses to COVID-19 reveals conflicting economic and health priorities across the region in this AULABLOG post.

Ecuador: Growing Political and Economic Repercussions of COVID-19
May 15, 2020; John Polga-Hecimovich
In this AULABLOG post, the author explores the Ecuadorean government's struggle to confront the pandemic's implications.

COVID-19: Political Impact in Latin America
May 1; Maria Victoria Murillo
Columbia University's Institute of Latin American Studies provides a summary of the pandemic's impact on electoral campaigns, national politics, and economic policies for informal workers across the region.

COVID-19 Crisis National Latino Survey
April 2020; Latino Decisions and SOMOS
View results and analysis of a survey exploring the pandemic's educational, economic, and health implications for Latino communities.

COVID-19 in the Caribbean: So Open, so Vulnerable
April 20, 2020; Bert Hoffman
The economic impacts of COVID-19 on Caribbean nations reveals challenges to the region's development model in this AULABLOG post.

Cuba: Dealing with the Global Pandemic
April 17, 2020; Ricardo Torres
In this AULABLOG post, the COVID-19 pandemic presents serious health care challenges and economic implications for Cuba.

¿Cómo será el impacto del coronavirus en la economía según el BID y qué medidas sugiere?
April 13, 2020; El País
This overview of a report by the Inter-American Development Bank analyzes the potential economic impact of the pandemic for the region.

Las Respuestas de Centroamérica Ante la Pandemia: Distintas Prioridades y Apuestas Riesgosas
April 6, 2020; Alexander Segovia
Analysis from a noted economist, published by Fundación Carolina in Madrid, about the political and economic effects of COVID-19 in Central America.

U.S. Latinos among hardest hit by pay cuts, job losses due to coronavirus
April 3, 2020; Jens Manuel Krogstad, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, and Luis Noe-Bustamante
A recent survey by Pew Research Center reveals the econmic impacts of the pandemic on Latinos in the United States.

Centroamérica: Icefi sugiere medidas de corto, mediano y largo plazo para contrarrestar el impacto de la pandemia del coronavirus COVID-19
March 20, 2020; Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI)
ICEFI explores various short, medium, and long term measures that Central American governments could implement to limit the negative impacts of the pandemic in their respective countries.

‘Stigmatized, segregated, forgotten’: Colombia’s poor being evicted despite lockdowns
June 2, 2020; Joe Parkin Daniels and Nadège Mazars
As they struggle with the impacts of COVID-19, poor and marginalized communities across Bogota face the threat of eviction and destruction of their homes by government.

El Salvador: How Much has COVID-19 Hurt President Bukele?
May 29, 2020; Héctor Silva Ávalos
While President Nayib Bukele's initial pandemic response was widely popular in El Salvador, this AULABLOG post explores how his managerial weaknesses and authoritarian tendencies risk political and constitutional crises compounding the country's health and economic challenges.

Podcast: Venezuela’s Crisis, Outside Powers, Politics, and the Search for a Solution
May 28, 2020; Adam Isacson, Geoff Ramsey, and David Smilde
Geoff Ramsay, Venezuela Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and David Smilde, WOLA Senior Fellow, discuss COVID-19's impact on Venezuela's ongoing economic, humanitarian, and political crises.

Chile: Need to Broaden Support for Public Policies
May 26, 2020; Claudio Grossman
In this AULABLOG post the author, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law, examines the Chilean government's response to COVID-19 and its impact on both the ongoing social conflict and efforts for constitutional reform.

Central America and the Pandemic: Different Priorities and Risky Bets
May 20, 2020; Alexander Segovia
This analysis of Central American government responses to COVID-19 reveals conflicting economic and health priorities across the region in this AULABLOG post.

Latin America Needs to Protect Itself From the Virus of Populism
May 19, 2020; Mauricio Cárdenas
With many governments responding to COVID-19 from opposing extremes - national lockdowns or business as usual - the author argues that a middle path exists to protect vulnerable groups while limiting adverse fiscal impacts.

Americas: Authorities must protect people from COVID-19 instead of resorting to repressive measures
May 15, 2020; Amnesty International
This collection of stories from across the region illustrates how government enforcement of lockdowns and other measures put people at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Ecuador: Growing Political and Economic Repercussions of COVID-19
May 15, 2020; John Polga-Hecimovich
In this AULABLOG post, the author explores the Ecuadorean government's struggle to confront the pandemic's implications.

The COVID-19 Response in El Salvador and Nicaragua: Two Sides of the Same Authoritarian Coin?
May 13, 2020; Wilson Center
This panel discussion, featuring scholars and analysts from both El Salvador and Nicaragua, examines how responses to the pandemic in both countries reflect authoritarian tendencies among their respective presidents.

In Honduras, Coronavirus Lockdown is Enforced at Gunpoint
May 7, 2020; Eimhin O'Reilly
Analysis from InSight Crime regarding how longstanding domestic security policies in Honduras are influencing its pandemic response.

Brazil: Presidential Lockdown?
May 5, 2020; João Jarochinski Silva
The author, a CLALS research fellow, examines how President Jair Bolsonaro's response to COVID-19 is one of several political crises affecting his political standing in this AULABLOG post.

COVID-19: Political Impact in Latin America
May 1; Maria Victoria Murillo
Columbia University's Institute of Latin American Studies provides a summary of the pandemic's impact on electoral campaigns, national politics, and economic policies for informal workers across the region.

How Political Science Explains Countries’ Reactions to COVID-19
April 30, 2020; Agustina Giraudy, Sara Niedzwiecki, and Jennifer Pribble
A comparative analysis of responses to the pandemic between Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico reveals the influence of institutions, from political parties to the welfare state.

Regionalism in the Time of Coronavirus: The Only Way Forward?
April 30, 2020; Leslie Elliott Armijo
Can Latin American leaders combat COVID-19 through cooperation? The author explores the opportunities and challenges of regionalism in this AULABLOG post.

Nicaragua in the Time of COVID-19
April 9, 2020; Kenneth M. Coleman
Published on the Center's AULABLOG, the author examines the implications of the Nicaraguan government's relative inaction towards the pandemic.

Las Respuestas de Centroamérica Ante la Pandemia: Distintas Prioridades y Apuestas Riesgosas
April 6, 2020; Alexander Segovia
Analysis from a noted economist, published by Fundación Carolina in Madrid, about the political and economic effects of COVID-19 in Central America.

Assessing the Political and Social Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis in Latin America
April 2020; Merike Blofield, Bert Hoffmann, and Mariana Llanos
Published by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, the authors explore responses to COVID-19 by governments throughout the region and their potential implications.

Latin American Responses to the Coronavirus: Some Initial Highlights
March 31, 2020; Chuck Call and Jeffrey Hallock
This summary analyzes research findings on initial measures taken by governments throughout Latin America in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through late March.

Upheaval in Bolivia: Political Crisis, COVID-19, and the Run-up to New Elections
March 27, 2020; Rob Albro, Linda Farthing, and John Walsh
Watch CLALS Research Associate Professor Rob Albro participate in a panel discussion on Bolivia's current political situation, including the implications of COVID-19. (Discussion of COVID-19 begins at the 48:00 mark.)

As Coronavirus hits Latin America, expect serious and enduring effects
*This article is also available in Spanish: Los graves y prolongados efectos del coronavirus en Latinoamérica
March 26, 2020; Chuck Call
SIS Associate Professor Call analyzes government responses to the pandemic across the region and their implications for human rights.

Latin America: The Massive Challenge of COVID-19
March 26, 2020; Carlos Malamud and Rogelio Núñez
Published on the Center's AULABLOG, the authors examine the weakness of Latin American states that could exacerbate the pandemic and potential economic outcomes.

Centroamérica: Icefi sugiere medidas de corto, mediano y largo plazo para contrarrestar el impacto de la pandemia del coronavirus COVID-19
March 20, 2020; Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI)
ICEFI explores various short, medium, and long term measures that Central American governments could implement to limit the negative impacts of the pandemic in their respective countries.

Podcast: Venezuela’s Crisis, Outside Powers, Politics, and the Search for a Solution
May 28, 2020; Adam Isacson, Geoff Ramsey, and David Smilde
Geoff Ramsay, Venezuela Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and David Smilde, WOLA Senior Fellow, discuss COVID-19's impact on Venezuela's ongoing economic, humanitarian, and political crises.

Cuban doctors fight COVID-19 abroad, but on the island healthcare cuts worry experts
May 26, 2020; Nora Gámez Torres
While Cuba has made headlines by sending COVID-19 medical brigades around the world, budget and staff cuts have hampered the nation's domestic pandemic response.

'We're all on death row now': Latin America's prisons reel from Covid-19
May 16, 2020; Clavel Rangel, Joe Parkin Daniels, Tom Phillips
Prisons are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks, pushing prisoners to riot for greater protections.

Immigration Detention Proves Deadly in the US
May 7, 2020; Felipe de la Hoz
The United States' immigration infrastructure, combined with the Trump administration's policies, place detained immigrants at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.

COVID-19 Crisis National Latino Survey
April 2020; Latino Decisions and SOMOS
View results and analysis of a survey exploring the pandemic's educational, economic, and health implications for Latino communities.

The Lethal Inequity of Coronavirus
April 2020; School of International Service
In an episode of the SIS podcast Big World, Professor Thespina Yamanis discusses the social determinants of health care inequality and the challenges this presents Latino communities facing COVID-19.

Theft of Critical Medical Equipment Surges in Latin America
April 22, 2020;  María Alejandra Navarrete
From Brazil to Honduras to Mexico, medical equipment is the focus of criminal activity and black markets across the region.

Cuba: Dealing with the Global Pandemic
April 17, 2020; Ricardo Torres
In this AULABLOG post, the COVID-19 pandemic presents serious health care challenges and economic implications for Cuba.

The Health of Undocumented Latinx Immigrants: What We Know and Future Directions
April 2020; India J. Ornelas, Thespina J. Yamanis, and Raymond A. Ruiz
As COVID-19 stresses health care systems across the United States, this research explores the institutional challenges facing health care access for undocumented Latinx immigrants.

Latin America: COVID-19 Challenges Higher Education
June 2, 2020; Eric Hershberg, Alexandra Flinn-Palcic, and Christopher Kambhu
The authors examine results from a recent CLALS survey of university leaders across Latin America, describing the implications of COVID-19 for higher education in the region. Read the full report.

Chile: Need to Broaden Support for Public Policies
May 26, 2020; Claudio Grossman
In this AULABLOG post the author, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law, examines the Chilean government's response to COVID-19 and its impact on both the ongoing social conflict and efforts for constitutional reform.

What Lockdown? World’s Cocaine Traffickers Sniff at Movement Restrictions
May 26, 2020; Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
Cocaine suppliers have reacted quickly to lockdowns and other policies enacted due to the pandemic, placing some of them in strong financial positions.

Latin America: Organized Crime Taking Advantage of COVID-19
May 22, 2020; Carolina Sampó
While the pandemic has hampered organized crime throughout the region, criminal organizations are adapting to the new reality in this AULABLOG post.

Latin America Needs to Protect Itself From the Virus of Populism
May 19, 2020; Mauricio Cárdenas
With many governments responding to COVID-19 from opposing extremes - national lockdowns or business as usual - the author argues that a middle path exists to protect vulnerable groups while limiting adverse fiscal impacts.

Americas: Authorities must protect people from COVID-19 instead of resorting to repressive measures
May 15, 2020; Amnesty International
This collection of stories from across the region illustrates how government enforcement of lockdowns and other measures put people at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Log On, or Drop Out: How COVID-19 Is Pushing Students Further Apart
May 14, 2020; Benjamin Russell
The transition to online learning is sparking a new debate about longstanding educational inequality across the region.

The Other Pandemic
May 12, 2020; Alan Kraut
The author, a Distinguished Professor of History at American University, analyzes the racial backlash following the COVID-19 outbreak and how the Trump administration's pandemic response affects immigration and Latino communities.

Six Ways Coronavirus is Impacting Organized Crime in the Americas
May 4, 2020; Parker Asmann, Chris Dalby and Seth Robbins
InSight Crime summarizes how the pandemic is affecting crime and criminal organizations across the region.

COVID-19 Crisis National Latino Survey
April 2020; Latino Decisions and SOMOS
View results and analysis of a survey exploring the pandemic's educational, economic, and health implications for Latino communities.

The Lethal Inequity of Coronavirus
April 2020; School of International Service
In an episode of the SIS podcast Big World, Professor Thespina Yamanis discusses the social determinants of health care inequality and the challenges this presents Latino communities facing COVID-19.

El hambre, la otra crisis del coronavirus
April 28, 2020; Knut Walter
The author, a noted social historian, argues for new government policies to combat food insecurity in El Salvador.

Theft of Critical Medical Equipment Surges in Latin America
April 22, 2020;  María Alejandra Navarrete
From Brazil to Honduras to Mexico, medical equipment is the focus of criminal activity and black markets across the region.

Nicaragua in the Time of COVID-19
April 9, 2020; Kenneth M. Coleman
Published on the Center's AULABLOG, the author examines the implications of the Nicaraguan government's relative inaction towards the pandemic.

Assessing the Political and Social Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis in Latin America
April 2020; Merike Blofield, Bert Hoffmann, and Mariana Llanos
Published by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, the authors explore responses to COVID-19 by governments throughout the region and their potential implications.

COVID-19 and Latin America: Social Impact, Policies, and a Fiscal Case for an Emergency Social Protection Floor
April 2020; Merike Blofield and Fernando Filgueira
The authors examine current social programs across the region and consider the potential for guaranteed social protections for vulnerable populations in this report from the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento in Buenos Aires.

Centroamérica: Icefi sugiere medidas de corto, mediano y largo plazo para contrarrestar el impacto de la pandemia del coronavirus COVID-19
March 20, 2020; Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales (ICEFI)
ICEFI explores various short, medium, and long term measures that Central American governments could implement to limit the negative impacts of the pandemic in their respective countries.


Projects

Extending prior CLALS-sponsored research on Latino entrepreneurship in the DC-metro region, we have developed a survey of its Latino owned businesses, in collaboration with AU’s Kogod School of Business and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The survey is designed to gauge the effects of the pandemic and accompanying economic crisis upon Latino businesses across the region, their primary needs and concerns, and responses to the crisis. If you are a Latino-business owner, please consider completing this 10-minute survey. Our hope is that such research will both illuminate the impact of this shock on the region’s Latino community and inform policy responses by local, state, federal and non-profit agencies.

As part of the Center's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CLALS developed a survey, "COVID-19: Impacts on Higher Education in Latin America," to gather information on the impact of the pandemic, and responses to it, from universities throughout the region. The survey covers a variety of topics, including the transition to online classes and telework, financial implications, and student resources on campus.

The survey results indicate that COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions for higher education across the region and exacerbated underlying inequalities and obstacles to educational attainment. Further, the pandemic's implications for the university sector have yet to be fully realized and present serious challenges in the region. Read the full report.

This ongoing project by Ximena Varela, Director of the Arts Management Program, is a collection of stories and reactions from artists facing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists are welcome to share their stories.

Este proyecto de Ximena Varela, Directora del Programa de Gestión Cultural, es una colección de historias y reacciones de artistas que se enfrentan a los impactos de la pandemia COVID-19. Los artistas están invitados a compartir sus historias.

 

infographics

View data on the growth of COVID-19 cases across the region, updated regularly by the Americas Society and Council of the Americas.

View a calendar showing dates of school closures due to COVID-19 in Latin America, based on research by Chuck Call and Jeffrey Hallock, updated through 3/27/2020.

View a list of travel bans in Latin America due to COVID-19, based on research by Chuck Call and Jeffrey Hallock, updated through 3/26/2020.