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What Did Secretary Blinken Achieve in South America?

Date & Time

Oct. 7, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm ET


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During the first week of October, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to South America to meet with the presidents of Colombia, Chile and Peru. They discussed migration, economic growth, climate change and democracy. He also lead the U.S. delegation to the Organization of American States General Assembly in Lima. In this Twitter Space, our Wilson Center experts discuss the outcomes of the secretary’s trip.

Selected Quotes

Cynthia J. Arnson

“I felt very much that there was a collective sigh of relief among traditional politicians, the private sector, that the visit seemed to have gone smoothly. This was reflected in a lead editorial in El Tiempo, Colombia’s main newspaper, yesterday, that U.S.-Colombian relations remained solid, they were healthy, there were understandable differences on the approach to counter narcotics, but that after Blinken left, there was a sense that Petro was not simply upsetting the applecart and that everything that had gone before was going to be disrupted.”

Cynthia Sanborn

“The Castillo administration, in spite of all of its internal turmoil, was able to show the rest of the region that it could pull off another one of these large-scale meetings successfully. And I think it really bolstered, to some extent, Castillo’s image in the region. Because the opposition in Peru has been especially short sighted confrontational. They organized very reactionary conservative groups organizing marches in front of the OAS, against some of its more progressive liberal stands, denying the president authorization to travel to visit the European Union and the Vatican in the middle of the OAS meetings. And I think that is only helped Castillo in the sense that the Peru administration is on the side of democracy and human rights.”

Francisco Urdinez 

“It was a good opportunity to sort of relaunch the bilateral relation and put an emphasis on tangible goods, which, as you said, are renewable energy, trade, and investment. I would also add to that, the importance of human rights enforcement, which is a key part of Gabriel Boric’s foreign policy authority, overall. Foreign Affairs Minister Antonia Urrejola, she’s a former Inter-American Human Rights Council member of the OAS, put a lot of emphasis on being a modern left wing, which is very respectful of human rights and puts a lot of emphasis on strengthening democracy.”


Hosted By

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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