Latin America

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Latin America
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{{short description|Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken}}{{Redirect|Latinoamérica|Latin Americans|Latin Americans|the song|Latinoamérica (song)}}

In the main Latin American languages:

|image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg 20,111,457abbr=on}}Latin America and the Caribbean}} ({{UN_Populationref}}{{efnIncludes the population estimates for South American and Central American countries excluding Belize, Guyana, the United States, and Spanish and French speaking Caribbean countries and territories, as listed under "Sub-regions and countries"}}31abbr=on}}Latin Americans>Latin American#Subregions and countries>20{{efnNot including Anglophone or Dutch-speaking countries, such as Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago; see Contemporary definitions section}}|dependencies = 13|languages = Mainly:Spanish, Portuguese and FrenchOthers:Quechua, Haitian Creole, Mayan languages, Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, Italian, German, English, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian, Welsh, Yiddish, Chinese, Japanese|time = UTC−2 to UTC−8The World According to GaWC 2012, Table 4 1. Greater São Paulo>São Paulo 2. Greater Mexico City 3. Greater Buenos Aires>Buenos Aires 4. Lima 5. Rio de Janeiro 6. Metropolitan Area of Bogotá 7. Santiago Metropolitan Region>Santiago 8. Greater Belo Horizonte 9. Guadalajara metropolitan area>Guadalajara 10. Monterrey|m49 = 419 – Latin America019 – Americas001 – World}}Latin America{{efn|name=a}} is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the Americas. Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics" (Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas),WEB, Bilbao, Francisco, Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas, es, París, 22 June 1856, Proyecto Filosofía en español,weblink 16 July 2017, by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was used also by Napoleon III's French government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas (French Canadians, French Louisiana, French Guiana, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy), along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States (Southwestern United States and Florida) Today, areas of Canada (such as Quebec) and the United States (with the exception of Puerto Rico)NEWS,weblink Time, Miami: the Capital of Latin America, December 2, 1993, where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.Latin America consists of 13 dependencies and 20 countries which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km{{sup|2}} (7,412,000 sq mi),WEB,weblink World Development Indicators: Rural environment and land use, World Development Indicators, The World Bank, World Bank, September 12, 2013, almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of {{UN_Population|Year}}, its population was estimated at more than {{#expr:floor({{replace|{{UN_Population|Latin America and the Caribbean}}|,||}}/1e6)}} million{{UN_Population|ref}}{{efn|name=d}} and in 2014, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of US$5,573,397 millionWEB,weblink GDP Current and PPP estimates for 2014, IMF, 2014, 2014-08-14, and a GDP PPP of 7,531,585 million USD.WEB,weblink GDP Current and PPP estimates for 2014, IMF, 2014, 2014-08-14,

Etymology and definitions


File:Mural panoramico.JPG|upright=2|thumb|Presencia de América LatinaPresencia de América LatinaThe idea that a part of the Americas has a linguistic affinity with the Romance cultures as a whole can be traced back to the 1830s, in the writing of the French Saint-Simonian Michel Chevalier, who postulated that this part of the Americas was inhabited by people of a "Latin race", and that it could, therefore, ally itself with "Latin Europe", ultimately overlapping the Latin Church, in a struggle with "Teutonic Europe", "Anglo-Saxon America" and "Slavic Europe".BOOK, Mignolo, Walter, The Idea of Latin America,weblink Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2005, 978-1-4051-0086-1, 77–80, Further investigations of the concept of Latin America are by Michel Gobat in the American Historical Review,Michel Gobat, "The Invention of Latin America: A Transnational History of Anti-Imperialism, Democracy, and Race," American Historical Review Vol. 118, no. 3 (December 2013), pp. 1345–1375. the studies of Leslie Bethell,Leslie Bethell, "Brazil and ‘Latin America’." Journal of Latin American Studies 42.3 (2010): 457–485. and the monograph by Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea (2017).Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2017.Historian John Leddy Phelan located the origins of “Latin America” in the French occupation of Mexico. His argument is that French imperialists used the concept of "Latin" America as a way to counter British imperialism, as well as to challenge the German threat to France.John Leddy Phelan, “Pan-Latinism, French Intervention in Mexico (1861–1867) and the Genesis of the Idea of Latin America,” in Juan A. Ortega y Medina, ed., Conciencia y autenticidad histo´ricas: Escritos en homenaje a Edmundo O’Gorman (Mexico City, 1968), 279–298. The idea of a "Latin race" was then taken up by Latin American intellectuals and political leaders of the mid- and late-nineteenth century, who no longer looked to Spain or Portugal as cultural models, but rather to France.McGuiness, Aims (2003). "Searching for 'Latin America': Race and Sovereignty in the Americas in the 1850s" in Appelbaum, Nancy P. et al. (eds.). Race and Nation in Modern Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 87–107. {{ISBN|978-0-8078-5441-9}} French ruler Napoleon III had a strong interest in extending French commercial and political power in the region he and his business promoter Felix Belly called “Latin America” to emphasize the shared Latin background of France with the former colonies of Spain and Portugal. This led to Napoleon's failed attempt to take military control of Mexico in the 1860s.BOOK, John A. Britton, Cables, Crises, and the Press: The Geopolitics of the New Information System in the Americas, 1866–1903,weblink 2013, 16–18, However, though Phelan thesis is still frequently mentioned in the U.S. academy, two Latin American historians, the Uruguayan Arturo Ardao and the Chilean (:es:Miguel Rojas Mix|Miguel Rojas Mix) proved decades ago that the term "Latin America" was used earlier than Phelan claimed, and the first use of the term was completely opposite to support imperialist projects in the Americas. Ardao wrote about this subject in his book Génesis de la idea y el nombre de América latina (Genesis of the Idea and the Name of Latin America, 1980),BOOK,weblink Genesis de la idea y el nombre de América Latina, Ardao, Arturo, Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Rómulo Gallegos, 1980, Caracas, Venezuela, and Miguel Rojas Mix in his article "Bilbao y el hallazgo de América latina: Unión continental, socialista y libertaria" (Bilbao and the Finding of Latin America: a Continental, Socialist and Libertarian Union, 1986).JOURNAL, Rojas Mix, Miguel, 1986, Bilbao y el hallazgo de América latina: Unión continental, socialista y libertaria…,weblink Caravelle. Cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-brésilien, 46, 1, 35–47, 10.3406/carav.1986.2261, As Michel Gobat reminds in his article "The Invention of Latin America: A Transnational History of Anti-Imperialism, Democracy, and Race", "Arturo Ardao, Miguel Rojas Mix, and Aims McGuinness have revealed [that] the term 'Latin America' had already been used in 1856 by Central and South Americans protesting U.S. expansion into the Southern Hemisphere".JOURNAL, Gobat, Michel, 2013-12-01, The Invention of Latin America: A Transnational History of Anti-Imperialism, Democracy, and Race,weblink The American Historical Review, en, 118, 5, 1345–1375, 10.1093/ahr/118.5.1345, 0002-8762, Edward Shawcross summarizes Ardao's and Rojas Mix's findings in the following way: "Ardao identified the term in a poem by a Colombian diplomat and intellectual resident in France, José María Torres Caicedo, published on 15 February 1857 in a French based Spanish-language newspaper, while Rojas Mix located it in a speech delivered in France by the radical liberal Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in June 1856".BOOK,weblink France, Mexico and informal empire in Latin America, 1820–1867 : equilibrium in the New World, Edward,, Shawcross,, 9783319704647, Cham, Switzerland, 120, 1022266228, By the late 1850s, the term was being used in local California newspapers such as El Clamor Publico by californios writing about America latina and latinoamerica, and identifying as latinos as the abbreviated term for their "hemispheric membership in la raza latina".BOOK, Gutierrez, Ramon A., Gutierrez, Ramon A., Almaguer, Tomas, The New Latino Studies Reader: A Twenty-First-Century Perspective,weblink 1. What's in a Name?,weblink 1st, 23 August 2016, University of California Press, Berkeley, 978-0-520-96051-0, 1043876740, 6 August 2019, The word latinoamericano emerged in the years following the wars of independence in Spain's former colonies. ... By the late 1850s, Californios were writing in newspapers about their membership in America latina (Latin America) and latinoamerica, calling themselves latinos as the shortened name for their hemispheric membership in la raza latina (the Latin race). Reprinting an 1858 opinion piece by a correspondent in Havana on race relations in the Americas, El Clamor Publico of Los Angeles surmised that 'two rival races are competing with each other ... the Anglo Saxon and the Latin one [la raza latina].'{{thin space, }}So, regarding when the words "Latin" and "America" were combined for the first time in a printed work, the term "Latin America" was first used in 1856 in a conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in Paris.WEB,weblink ''América latina o Sudamérica?'', por Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, Clarín, 16 de mayo de 2005,, 2005-05-16, 2013-04-23, The conference had the title "Initiative of the America. Idea for a Federal Congress of Republics." The following year the Colombian writer (:es:José María Torres Caicedo|José María Torres Caicedo) also used the term in his poem "The Two Americas".WEB, es, Proyecto Filosofía en español,weblink José María Torres Caicedo, 26 September 1856, Las dos Américas, Venice, 2013-04-23, Two events related with the U.S. played a central role in both works. The first event happened less than a decade before the publication of Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo works: the Mexican–American War, after which Mexico lost a third of its territory. The second event, the Walker affair, happened the same year both works were written: the decision by U.S. president Franklin Pierce to recognize the regime recently established in Nicaragua by American William Walker and his band of filibusters who ruled Nicaragua for nearly a year (1856–57) and attempted to reinstate slavery there, where it had been already abolished for three decadesIn both Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo's works, the Mexican-American War and Walker's expedition to Nicaragua are explicitly mentioned as examples of dangers for the region. For Bilbao, "Latin America" was not a geographical concept, since he excluded Brazil, Paraguay and Mexico. Both authors also ask for the union of all Latin American countries as the only way to defend their territories against further foreign U.S. interventions. Both rejected also European imperialism, claiming that the return of European countries to non-democratic forms of government was another danger for Latin American countries, and used the same word to describe the state of European politics at the time: "despotism." Several years later, during the French invasion of Mexico, Bilbao wrote another work, "Emancipation of the Spirit in America," where he asked all Latin American countries to support the Mexican cause against France, and rejected French imperialism in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. He asked Latin American intellectuals to search for their "intellectual emancipation" by abandoning all French ideas, claiming that France was: "Hypocrite, because she [France] calls herself protector of the Latin race just to subject it to her exploitation regime; treacherous, because she speaks of freedom and nationality, when, unable to conquer freedom for herself, she enslaves others instead!"WEB, Bilbao, Francisco, Emancipación del espíritu de América,weblink Francisco Bilbao Barquín, 1823–1865, Chile, 16 July 2017, Therefore, as Michel Gobat puts it, the term Latin America itself had an "anti-imperial genesis," and their creators were far from supporting any form of imperialism in the region, or in any other place of the globe.However, in France the term Latin America was used with the opposite intention. It was employed by the French Empire of Napoleon III during the French invasion of Mexico as a way to include France among countries with influence in the Americas and to exclude Anglophone countries. It played a role in his campaign to imply cultural kinship of the region with France, transform France into a cultural and political leader of the area, and install Maximilian of Habsburg as emperor of the Second Mexican Empire.BOOK, Chasteen, John Charles, Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America,weblink 4 July 2010, 2001, W. W. Norton, W. W. Norton & Company, 978-0-393-97613-7, 156, 6. Progress,weblink This term was also used in 1861 by French scholars in La revue des races Latines, a magazine dedicated to the Pan-Latinism movement.BOOK, Phelan, J.L., Pan-latinisms, French Intervention in Mexico (1861–1867) and the Genesis of the Idea of Latin America, 1968, Universidad Nacional Autonónoma de México, Mexico City,

Contemporary definitions

(File:Latin America regions.svg|thumb|The 4 common subregions in Latin America)
  • Latin America generally refers to territories in the Americas where the Spanish, Portuguese or French languages prevail: Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Quebec. Latin America is, therefore, defined as all those parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish, Portuguese and French Empires.BOOK, Rangel, Carlos, The Latin Americans: Their Love-Hate Relationship with the United States, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977, New York, 3–5, 978-0-15-148795-0, BOOK, Skidmore, Thomas E., Peter H. Smith, Modern Latin America, Oxford University Press, 2005, 6th, Oxford and New York, 1–10, 978-0-19-517013-9, By this definition, Latin America is coterminous with Ibero-America when excluding the minority French-speaking territories ("Iberian America").BOOK,weblink RAE, Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, Santillana Educación, 2005, Madrid, 8429406239,
  • The term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to all of the Americas south of the United States,BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music, Torres, George, xvii, ABC-CLIO, 2013, 9780313087943, thus including the Guianas (French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname), the Anglophone Caribbean (and Belize); the Francophone Caribbean; and the Dutch Caribbean. This definition emphasizes a similar socioeconomic history of the region, which was characterized by formal or informal colonialism, rather than cultural aspects (see, for example, dependency theory).BOOK, Butland, Gilbert J., Latin America: A Regional Geography, John Wiley and Sons, 1960, New York, 115–188, 978-0-470-12658-5, BOOK, Dozer, Donald Marquand, Latin America: An Interpretive History, McGraw-Hill, 1962, New York, 1–15, 0-87918-049-8, BOOK, Szulc, Tad, Tad Szulc, Latin America, New York Times Company, 1965, 13–17, 0-689-10266-6, BOOK, Olien, Michael D., Latin Americans: Contemporary Peoples and Their Cultural Traditions, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973, New York, 1–5, 978-0-03-086251-9, BOOK, Black, Jan Knippers, Latin America: Its Problems and Its Promise: A Multidisciplinary Introduction, Westview Press, 1984, Boulder, 362–378, 978-0-86531-213-5, BOOK, Burns, E. Bradford, Latin America: A Concise Interpretive History, Prentice-Hall, 1986, 4th, New York, 224–227, 978-0-13-524356-5, registration,weblink BOOK, Skidmore, Thomas E., Peter H. Smith, Modern Latin America, Oxford University Press, 2005, 6th, Oxford and New York, 351–355, 978-0-19-517013-9, As such, some sources avoid this oversimplification by using the phrase "Latin America and the Caribbean" instead, as in the United Nations geoscheme for the Americas.Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, UN Statistics Division. Accessed on line 23 May 2009. (French)Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Bank. Retrieved on 17 July 2009.WEB,weblink Country Directory. Latin American Network Information Center-University of Texas at Austin,, 2013-12-09,
  • In a more literal definition, which is close to the semantic origin, Latin America designates countries in the Americas where a Romance language (a language derived from Latin) predominates: Spanish, Portuguese, French, and the creole languages based upon these.
The distinction between Latin America and Anglo-America is a convention based on the predominant languages in the Americas by which Romance-language and English-speaking cultures are distinguished. Neither area is culturally or linguistically homogeneous; in substantial portions of Latin America (e.g., highland Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala), Native American cultures and, to a lesser extent, Amerindian languages, are predominant, and in other areas, the influence of African cultures is strong (e.g., the Caribbean basin{{spaced ndash}}including parts of Colombia and Venezuela).The term is not without controversy. Historian Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo explores at length the "allure and power" of the idea of Latin America. He remarks at the outset, "The idea of 'Latin America' ought to have vanished with the obsolescence of racial theory... But it is not easy to declare something dead when it can hardly be said to have existed," going on to say, "The term is here to stay, and it is important."Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Latin America: The Allure and Power of an Idea. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2017, 1, 3. Following in the tradition of Chilean writer Francisco Bilbao, who excluded Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay from his early conceptualization of Latin America,Francisco Bilbao, La América en peligro, Buenos Aires: Impr. de Berheim y Boeno 1862, 14, 23, quoted in Tenorio-Trillo, Latin America, p. 5. Chilean historian Jaime Eyzaguirre has criticized the term Latin America for "disguising" and "diluting" the Spanish character of a region (i.e. Hispanic America) with the inclusion of nations that according to him do not share the same pattern of conquest and colonization.BOOK, Gongóra, Alvaro, de la Taille, Alexandrine, Vial, Gonzalo, Gonzalo Vial Correa, Jaime Eyzaguirre en su tiempo, Spanish, Zig-Zag, 223,

Subregions and countries

Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture. If defined as all of the Americas south of the United States, the basic geographical subregions are North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America;BOOK, Geografía, Quinto Grado [Geography, Fifth Grade], Secretaría de Educación Pública [Secretariat of Public Education], Mexico City, 75–83, María Alejandra Acosta Garcia, Second, Sheridan González, Ma. de Lourdes Romero, Luis Reza, Araceli Salinas, Comisión Nacional de Libros de Texto Gratuitos (CONALITEG), Three, June 2011, the latter contains further politico-geographical subdivisions such as the Southern Cone, the Guianas and the Andean states. It may be subdivided on linguistic grounds into Hispanic America, Portuguese America and French America.{| class="sortable wikitable"! style="line-height:95%; width:2em" class="unsortable" | Flag! style="line-height:95%; width:2em" class="unsortable" | Arms! Country!Capital(s)!Name(s) in official language(s)! Area(km²)! Population{{UN_Population|ref}}({{UN_Population|Year}})! Population density(per km²)! Time(s) zone(s)!Subregion| {{flagicon|ARG}} (File:Coat of arms of Argentina.svg|20px)| Argentina|Buenos Aires| Argentina 2,780,400 {{UN_Population|Argentina}} 14.4UTC/GMT -3 hours)|South America| {{flagiconstate}} (File:Coat of arms of Bolivia.svg|20px)| Bolivia|Sucre and La Paz| Bolivia; Buliwya; Wuliwya; Volívia 1,098,581 {{UN_Population|Bolivia (Plurinational State of)}} 9UTC/GMT -4 hours)|South America {{flagicon|BRA}} (File:Coat of arms of Brazil.svg|20px)| Brazil|Brasília| Brasil 8,515,767 {{UN_Population|Brazil}} 23.6UTC/GMT -2 hours) (Fernando de Noronha)(UTC−03:00Brasília)(UTC−04:00>UTC/GMT -4 hours) (Amazonas (Brazilian state))(UTC−05:00>UTC/GMT -5 hours) (Acre)|South America {{flagicon|CHL}} (File:Coat of arms of Chile.svg|20px)| Chile|Santiago| Chile 756,096 {{UN_Population|Chile}} 23UTC/GMT -3 hours) (Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica)(UTC−04:00UTC/GMT -5 hours) (Easter Island)|South America {{flagicon|COL}} (File:Coat of arms of Colombia.svg|20px)| Colombia |Bogotá| Colombia 1,141,748 {{UN_Population|Colombia}} 41.5UTC/GMT -5 hours)|South America {{flagicon|CRI}} (File:Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg|20px)| Costa RicaSan José, Costa Rica>San José| Costa Rica 51,100 {{UN_Population|Costa Rica}} 91.3UTC/GMT -6 hours)|Central America {{flagicon|CUB}} (File:Coat of Arms of Cuba.svg|20px)| Cuba|Havana| Cuba 109,884 {{UN_Population|Cuba}} 100.6UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean {{flagicon|DOM}} (File:Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic.svg|20px)| Dominican Republic|Santo Domingo| República Dominicana 48,442 {{UN_Population|Dominican Republic}} 210.9UTC/GMT -4 hours)South America>Caribbean {{flagicon|ECU}} (File:Coat of arms of Ecuador.svg|20px)| Ecuador|Quito| Ecuador 283,560 {{UN_Population|Ecuador}} 54.4UTC/GMT -5 hours)|South America {{flagicon|SLV}} (File:Coats of arms of El Salvador.svg|20px)| El Salvador|San Salvador| El Salvador 21,040 {{UN_Population|El Salvador}} 290.3UTC/GMT -6 hours)|Central America {{flagiconlocal}} (File:French Guyana SVG.png|20px)| French Guiana*|Cayenne| Guyane 83,534 {{UN_Population|French Guiana}} 3UTC/GMT -3 hours)|South America {{flagiconlocal}} (File:Coat of arms of Guadeloupe.svg|20px)| Guadeloupe*|Basse-Terre| Guadeloupe 1,628 {{UN_Population|Guadeloupe}} 250UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean {{flagicon|GTM}} (File:Coat of arms of Guatemala.svg|20px)| Guatemala |Guatemala CityDemographics of Guatemala>Guatemala 108,889 {{UN_Population|Guatemala}} 129UTC/GMT -6 hours)|Central America {{flagicon|Haiti}} (File:Coat of arms of Haiti.svg|20px)| Haiti|Port-au-Prince| Haïti; Ayiti 27,750 {{UN_Population|Haiti}} 350UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean {{flagicon|HND}} (File:Coat of arms of Honduras.svg|20px)| Honduras|Tegucigalpa| Honduras 112,492 {{UN_Population|Honduras}} 76UTC/GMT -6 hours)|Central America {{flagiconlocal}} (File:BlasonMartinique.svg|20px)| Martinique*|Fort-de-France| Martinique 1,128 {{UN_Population|Martinique}} 340UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean {{flagicon|MEX}} (File:Coat of arms of Mexico.svg|20px)| Mexico|Mexico City| México 1,964 375 {{UN_Population|Mexico}} 57UTC/GMT -5 hours) (Zona Sureste)(UTC−06:00Zona Centro)(UTC−07:00>UTC/GMT -7 hours) (Zona Pacífico)(UTC−08:00|UTC/GMT -8 hours) (Zona Noroeste)|North America {{flagicon|NIC}} (File:Coat of arms of Nicaragua.svg|20px)| Nicaragua|Managua| Nicaragua 130,375 {{UN_Population|Nicaragua}} 44.3UTC/GMT -6 hours)|Central America {{flagicon|PAN}} (File:Coat of Arms of Panama.svg|20px)| Panama|Panama City| Panamá 75,517 {{UN_Population|Panama}} 54.2UTC/GMT -5 hours)|Central America {{flagicon|PRY}} (File:Coat of arms of Paraguay.svg|20px)| Paraguay |Asunción| Paraguay; Tetã Paraguái 406,752 {{UN_Population|Paraguay}} 14.2UTC/GMT -4 hours)|South America {{flagicon|PER}} (File:Escudo nacional del Perú.svg|20px)| Peru|Lima| Perú; Piruw 1,285,216 {{UN_Population|Peru}} 23UTC/GMT -5 hours)|South America| {{flagicon|PRI}} (File:Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.svg|20px)| Puerto Rico*San Juan, Puerto Rico>San Juan| Puerto Rico 9,104 {{UN_Population|Puerto Rico}} 397UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean| {{flagiconlocal}} (File:Blason St Barthélémy TOM entire.svg|20px)| Saint Barthélemy*Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy>Gustavia| Saint-Barthélemy 53.2 9,000INSEE – POPULATIONS LéGALES 2011 – POPULATIONS LéGALES 2011 DES DéPARTEMENTS ET DES COLLECTIVITéS D'OUTRE-MER>URL = HTTP://WWW.INSEE.FR/FR/PPP/BASES-DE-DONNEES/RECENSEMENT/POPULATIONS-LEGALES/FRANCE-DEPARTEMENTS.ASP?ANNEE=2011ACCESSDATE = 2016-01-02, 682UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean| {{flagiconlocal}} (File:St Martin Coat.png|20px)Collectivity of Saint Martin>Saint Martin*Marigot, Saint Martin>Marigot| Saint-Martin 25 39,000 361UTC/GMT -4 hours)|Caribbean| {{flagicon|France}} (File:Armoiries SaintPierreetMiquelon.svg|20px)| Saint Pierre and Miquelon*Saint-Pierre, Saint Pierre and Miquelon>Saint-Pierre| Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon 242 6,080 25UTC/GMT -3 hours), Daylight saving time (UTC−02:00>UTC/GMT -2 hours)| North America {{flagicon|URY}} (File:Coat of arms of Uruguay.svg|20px)| Uruguay|Montevideo| Uruguay 176,215 {{UN_Population|Uruguay}} 18.87UTC/GMT -3 hours)|South America {{flagicon|VEN}} (File:Original Coat of arms of Venezuela.png|20px)| Venezuela|Caracas| Venezuela 916,445 {{UN_Population|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)}} 31.59UTC/GMT -4 hours)|South America class="sortbottom" style="font-weight:bold| Total|| 20,111,699 626,747,000
  • : Not a sovereign state


{{See also|History of North America|History of South America|History of Central America|History of the Caribbean}}

Pre-Columbian history

File:80 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009 - edit.2.jpg|thumb|A view of Machu Picchu, a pre-Columbian Inca site in 173x173pxFile:Chichen Itza 3.jpg|thumb|left|Mayan archeological site Chichen ItzaChichen ItzaThe earliest known settlement was identified at Monte Verde, near Puerto Montt in Southern Chile. Its occupation dates to some 14,000 years ago and there is some disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents. By the first millennium CE, South America's vast rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home of tens of millions of people. The earliest settlements in the Americas are of the Las Vegas CultureThe preceramic Las Vegas culture of coastal Ecuadorweblink from about 8000 BCE and 4600 BCE, a sedentary group from the coast of Ecuador, the forefathers of the more known Valdivia culture, of the same era. Some groups formed more permanent settlements such as the Chibcha (or "Muisca" or "Muysca") and the Tairona groups. These groups are in the circum Caribbean region. The Chibchas of Colombia, the Quechuas and Aymaras of Bolivia were the three indigenous groups that settled most permanently.The region was home to many indigenous peoples and advanced civilizations, including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Maya, and Inca. The golden age of the Maya began about 250, with the last two great civilizations, the Aztecs and Incas, emerging into prominence later on in the early fourteenth century and mid-fifteenth centuries, respectively. The Aztec empire was ultimately the most powerful civilization known throughout the Americas, until its downfall in part by the Spanish invasion.

European colonization

File:Desembarco de Colón de Dióscoro Puebla.jpg|thumb|left|upright=1.15|Romantic painting of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus arriving to the Americas (Primer desembarco de Cristóbal Colón en América), by Dióscoro PueblaDióscoro PueblaFile:Jal-ixco.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|Cristóbal de Olid leads Spanish soldiers with Tlaxcalan allies against indigenous warriors during the European colonization of the Americas.]]With the arrival of the Europeans following Christopher Columbus' voyages, the indigenous elites, such as the Incas and Aztecs, lost power to the heavy European invasion. Hernándo Cortés seized the Aztec elite's power with the help of local groups who had favored the Aztec elite, and Francisco Pizarro eliminated the Incan rule in Western South America. The European powers of Spain and Portugal colonized the region, which along with the rest of the uncolonized world, was divided into areas of Spanish and Portuguese control by the line of demarcation in 1494, which gave Spain all areas to the west, and Portugal all areas to the east (the Portuguese lands in South America subsequently becoming Brazil). By the end of the sixteenth century Spain and Portugal had been joined by others, including France, in occupying large areas of North, Central and South America, ultimately extending from Alaska to the southern tips of the Patagonia. European culture, customs and government were introduced, with the Roman Catholic Church becoming the major economic and political power to overrule the traditional ways of the region, eventually becoming the only official religion of the Americas during this period.(File:Imperios Español y Portugués 1790.svg|thumb|Spanish and Portuguese empires in 1790.)Epidemics of diseases brought by the Europeans, such as smallpox and measles, wiped out a large portion of the indigenous population. Historians cannot determine the number of natives who died due to European diseases, but some put the figures as high as 85% and as low as 25%. Due to the lack of written records, specific numbers are hard to verify. Many of the survivors were forced to work in European plantations and mines. Intermixing between the indigenous peoples and the European colonists was very common, and, by the end of the colonial period, people of mixed ancestry (mestizos) formed majorities in several colonies.

Slavery and forced labor in colonial Latin America

{{See also|Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas|Atlantic slave trade}}Indigenous peoples of the Americas in various European colonies were forced to work in European plantations and mines; along with African slaves who were also introduced in the proceeding centuries.The Mita of Colonial Latin America was a system of forced labor imposed on the natives. First established by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1569–1581), the Mita was upheld by laws that designated how large draft levies were and how much money the workers would receive that was based on how many shifts each individual worker performed. Toledo established Mitas at Potosi and Huancavelica, where the Mitayos—the workers—would be reduced in number to a fraction of how many were originally assigned before the 1700s. While several villages managed to resist the Mita, others offered payment to colonial administrators as a way out. In exchange, free labor became available through volunteers, though the Mita was kept in place as workers like miners, for example, were paid low wages. The Spanish Crown had not made any ruling on the Mita or approved of it when Toledo first established it in spite of the uncertainty of the practice since the Crown could have gained benefits from it. However, the cortes of Spain later abolished it in 1812 once complaints of the Mita violating humanitarian rights were made. Yet complaints also came from: governors; landowners; native leaders known as Kurakas; and even priests, each of whom preferred other methods of economic exploitation. Despite its fall, the Mita made it to the 1800s.Brown, K. W. (2008). Mita. In J. Kinsbruner & E. D. Langer (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (2nd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 635–636). Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons.Another important group of slaves to mention were the slaves brought over from Africa. The first slaves came over with Christopher Columbus from the very beginning on his earliest voyages. However in the few hundred years, the Atlantic Slave trade would begin delivering slaves, imported by Spain and other colonizers, by the millions. Many of the large scale productions were run by forced slave labor. They were a part of sugar and coffee production, farming (beans, rice, corn, fruit, etc.), Mining, whale oil and multiple other jobs. Slaves were also house workers, servants, military soldiers, and much more. To say the least these people were property and treated as such. Though indigenous slaves existed, they were no match in quantity and lack of quality jobs when compared to the African slave. The slave population was massive compared to the better known slave ownership in the United States. After 1860 Brazil alone had imported over 4 million slaves, which only represented about 35% of the Atlantic slave trade. Despite the large number of slaves in Latin America, there was not as much reproduction of slaves amongst the population. Because most of the slaves then were African-born, they were more subject to rebellion. The United States involvement in the slave trade is well known amongst North America, however it hides a larger and in some ways crueler operation in the south which had a much longer history.“African Slavery in the Americas.” A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present, by Teresa A. Meade, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016, pp. 53–57.

Independence (1804–1825)

File:Bolivar Arturo Michelena.jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.65|Simón Bolívar, Liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and PanamaPanamaIn 1804, Haiti became the first Latin American nation to gain independence, following a violent slave revolt led by Toussaint L'ouverture on the French colony of Saint-Domingue. The victors abolished slavery. Haitian independence inspired independence movements in Spanish America.File:Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.png|thumbnail|right|upright=0.65|Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was the first leader of the Mexican War of IndependenceMexican War of IndependenceBy the end of the eighteenth century, Spanish and Portuguese power waned on the global scene as other European powers took their place, notably Britain and France. Resentment grew among the majority of the population in Latin America over the restrictions imposed by the Spanish government, as well as the dominance of native Spaniards (Iberian-born Peninsulares) in the major social and political institutions. Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808 marked a turning point, compelling Criollo elites to form juntas that advocated independence. Also, the newly independent Haiti, the second oldest nation in the New World after the United States, further fueled the independence movement by inspiring the leaders of the movement, such as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla of Mexico, Simón Bolívar of Venezuela and José de San Martín of Argentina, and by providing them with considerable munitions and troops.Fighting soon broke out between juntas and the Spanish colonial authorities, with initial victories for the advocates of independence. Eventually, these early movements were crushed by the royalist troops by 1810, including those of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in Mexico in the year 1810. Later on Francisco de Miranda in Venezuela by 1812. Under the leadership of a new generation of leaders, such as Simón Bolívar "The Liberator", José de San Martín of Argentina, and other Libertadores in South America, the independence movement regained strength, and by 1825, all Spanish America, except for Puerto Rico and Cuba, had gained independence from Spain. In the same year in Mexico, a military officer, Agustín de Iturbide, led a coalition of conservatives and liberals who created a constitutional monarchy, with Iturbide as emperor. This First Mexican Empire was short-lived, and was followed by the creation of a republic in 1823.

Independent Empire of Brazil

File:Independence of Brazil 1888.jpg|upright=1.2|thumb|left|Declaration of the Brazilian independence by the later Emperor Pedro I on September 7, 1822]]The Brazilian War of Independence, which had already begun along other independent movements around the region, spread through northern, northeastern regions and in Cisplatina province.Diégues 2004, pp. 168, 164, 178 With the last Portuguese soldiers surrendering on 8 March 1824,Diégues 2004, pp. 179–180 Portugal officially recognized Brazil on 29 August 1825.Lustosa, p. 208On 7 April 1831, worn down by years of administrative turmoil and political dissensions with both liberal and conservative sides of politics, including an attempt of republican secession,Ibidem Fausto 1999, pages 82–83 as well as unreconciled with the way that absolutists in Portugal had given to the succession of King John VI, Pedro I went to Portugal to reclaim his daughter's crown, abdicating the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who thus became the Empire's second monarch, with the regnal title of Dom Pedro II).Lyra (v.1), p. 17File:Pedro Américo - D. Pedro II na abertura da Assembléia Geral.jpg|thumb|upright|Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil between 1831 and 1889]]As the new Emperor could not exert his constitutional powers until he became of age, a regency was set up by the National Assembly.Carvalho 2007, p. 21 In the absence of a charismatic figure who could represent a moderate face of power, during this period a series of localized rebellions took place, as the Cabanagem, the Malê Revolt, the Balaiada, the Sabinada, and the Ragamuffin War, which emerged from the dissatisfaction of the provinces with the central power, coupled with old and latent social tensions peculiar of a vast, slaveholding and newly independent nation state.Ibidem Fausto 1999, Chapter 2, 2.1 to 2.3 This period of internal political and social upheaval, which included the Praieira revolt, was overcome only at the end of the 1840s, years after the end of the regency, which occurred with the premature coronation of Pedro II in 1841.Ibidem Fausto 1999During the last phase of the monarchy, an internal political debate was centered on the issue of slavery. The Atlantic slave trade was abandoned in 1850,Bethell, Leslie The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade, Cambridge University Press 1970, Cambridge Latin American Studies, Chapters 9 to 12. View on Google Books as a result of the British' Aberdeen Act, but only in May 1888 after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for an ethical and legal dismantling of slavery in the country, was the institution formally abolished.Scott, Rebecca and others, The Abolition of Slavery and the Aftermath of Emancipation in Brazil, Duke University Press 1988 {{ISBN|0822308886}} Seymour Drescher, Chap. 2: "Brazilian Abolition in Comparative Perspective"On 15 November 1889, worn out by years of economic stagnation, in attrition with the majority of Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup.Smallman; Shall C. Fear in Memory in the Brazilian Army and Society, University of North Carolina Press 2002 {{ISBN|0-8078-5359-3}} Chapter 1, "The Overthrow of the Empire," pp. 16–18

Conservative–liberal conflicts in the 19th century

(File:Hisparevol.gif|thumb|upright=1.15|Development of Spanish American Independence{{legend |#FF0000|Government under traditional Spanish law}}{{legend |#FFA500|Loyal to Supreme Central Junta or Cortes}}{{legend |#FFFF00|American junta or insurrection movement}}{{legend |#008000|Independent state declared or established}}{{legend |#000080|Height of French control of the Peninsula}})After the independence of many Latin American countries, there was a conflict between the people and the government, much of which can be reduced to the contrasting ideologies between liberalism and conservatism.Pozas, Mario A. El liberalismo hispanoamericano en el siglo XIX. pg2 Conservatism was the dominant system of government prior to the revolutions and it was founded on having social classes, including governing by kings. Liberalists wanted to see a change in the ruling systems, and to move away from monarchs and social classes in order to promote equality.When liberal Guadalupe Victoria became the first president of Mexico in 1824, conservatists relied on their belief that the state had been better off before the new government came into power, so, by comparison, the old government was better in the eyes of the Conservatives. Following this sentiment, the conservatives pushed to take control of the government, and they succeeded. General Santa Anna was elected president in 1833. The following decade, the Mexican–American War (1846–48) caused Mexico to lose a significant amount of territory to the United States. This loss led to a rebellion by the enraged liberal forces against the conservative government.In 1837, conservative Rafael Carrera conquered Guatemala and separated from the Central American Union. The instability that followed the disintegration of the union led to the independence of the other Central American countries.In Brazil, rural aristocrats were in conflict with the urban conservatives. Portuguese control over Brazilian ports continued after Brazil's independence. Following the conservative idea that the old government was better, urbanites tended to support conservatism because more opportunities were available to them as a result of the Portuguese presence.Simón Bolívar became president of Gran Colombia in 1819 after the region gained independence from Spain. He led a military-controlled state. Citizens did not like the government's position under Bolívar: The people in the military were unhappy with their roles, and the civilians were of the opinion that the military had too much power. After the dissolution of Gran Colombia, New Grenada continued to have conflicts between conservatives and liberals. These conflicts were each concentrated in particular regions, with conservatives particularly in the southern mountains and the Valley of Cauca. In the mid-1840s some leaders in Caracas organized a liberal opposition. Antonio Leocadio Guzman was an active participant and journalist in this movement and gained much popularity among the people of Caracas.Halperín Donghi, T. (2013). Historia contemporánea de América latina. Madrid: Alianza.In Argentina, the conflict manifested itself as a prolonged civil war between unitarianas (i.e. centralists) and federalists, which were in some aspects respectively analogous to liberals and conservatives in other countries. Between 1832 and 1852, the country existed as a confederation, without a head of state, although the federalist governor of Buenos Aires province, Juan Manuel de Rosas, was given the powers of debt payment and international relations and exerted a growing hegemony over the country. A national constitution was only enacted in 1853, reformed in 1860, and the country reorganized as a federal republic led by a liberal-conservative elite.Galasso, N. (2011). Historia de la Argentina (Vol. 1). After Uruguay achieved its independence, in 1828, a similar polarization crystallized between blancos and colorados, where the agrarian conservative interests were pitted against the liberal commercial interests based in Montevideo, and which eventually resulted in the Guerra Grande civil war (1839–1851).Hudson, R., & Meditz, S. (1990). Uruguay: A Country Study.

British influence in Latin America during the 19th century

File:La Reconquista de Buenos Aires.jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|British invasions of the Río de la Plata. Beresford surrenders to Santiago de LiniersSantiago de LiniersLosing most of its North American colonies at the end of the 18th century left Great Britain in need of new markets to supply resources in the early 19th century.Donghi, T. (1970). Historia contemporánea de América Latina (2. ed.). Madrid: Alianza Editorial. 148–149 In order to solve this problem, Great Britain turned to the Spanish colonies in South America for resources and markets. In 1806 a small British force surprise attacked the capitol of the viceroyalty in Río de la Plata.Donghi, 88 As a result, the local garrison protecting the capitol was destroyed in an attempt to defend against the British conquest. The British were able to capture large amounts of precious metals, before a French naval force intervened on behalf of the Spanish King and took down the invading force. However, this caused much turmoil in the area as militia took control of the area from the viceroy. The next year the British attacked once again with a much larger force attempting to reach and conquer Montevideo.Donghi, 89 They failed to reach Montevideo but succeeded in establishing an alliance with the locals. As a result, the British were able to take control of the Indian markets.This newly gained British dominance hindered the development of Latin American industries and strengthened the dependence on the world trade network.Engerman, Stanley L., and Kenneth L. Sokoloff. "History Lessons: Institutions, Factors Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World." The Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 14(3) pp. 217–232 (2000): pp. 217–232. Print. 219 Britain now replaced Spain as the region's largest trading partner."Latin American History from 1800 to 1914." Woodville. Colegio Woodville, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. weblink. 1–3 Great Britain invested significant capital in Latin America in order to develop the area as a market for processed goods."Latin American History from 1800 to 1914." Woodville. Colegio Woodville, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. weblink. 1 From the early 1820s to 1850, the post-independence economies of Latin American countries were lagging and stagnant. Eventually, enhanced trade among Britain and Latin America led to state development such as infrastructure improvements. These improvements included roads and railroads which grew the trades between countries and outside nations such as Great Britain.Racine, K. (Aug2010). "This England and This Now: British Cultural and Intellectual Influence in the Spanish American Independence Era." Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 90(Issue 3), p423–454. By 1870, exports dramatically increased, attracting capital from abroad (including Europe and USA)."Latin American History from 1800 to 1914." Woodville. Colegio Woodville, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. weblink. 2

French involvement in Latin America during the 19th century

File:Dell'Acqua Ernennung Maximilians zum Kaiser Mexikos.jpg|thumb|left|upright=1.25|Maximilian receiving a Mexican delegation at Miramar Castle in Trieste, ItalyItalyBetween 1821 and 1910, Mexico battled through various civil wars between the established Conservative government and the Liberal reformists ("Mexico Timeline- Page 2)". On May 8, 1827 Baron Damas, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sebastián Camacho, a Mexican diplomat, signed an agreement called "The Declarations" which contained provisions regarding commerce and navigation between France and Mexico. At this time the French government did not recognize Mexico as an independent entity.BOOK, Robertson, William Spence, French Intervention in Mexico in 1838, 1944, Duke University Press, 222–223, 2507834, It was not until 1861 that the liberalist rebels, led by Benito Juárez, took control of Mexico City, consolidating liberal rule. However, the constant state of warfare left Mexico with a tremendous amount of debt owed to Spain, England, and France, all of whom funded the Mexican war effort (Neeno). As newly appointed president, Benito Juárez suspended payment of debts for next two years, to focus on a rebuilding and stabilization initiative in Mexico under the new government. On December 8, 1861, Spain, England and France landed in Veracruz in order to seize unpaid debts from Mexico. However, Napoleon III, with intentions of establishing a French client state to further push his economic interests, pressured the other two powers to withdraw in 1862 (Greenspan; "French Intervention in Mexico…").File:Batalla de Puebla.png|upright=0.9|thumb|right|Painting depicting the Battle of PueblaBattle of PueblaFrance under Napoleon III remained and established Maximilian of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, as Emperor of Mexico.WEB, French Intervention in Mexico and the American Civil War, 1862–1867,weblink U.S Department of State Office of the Historian, The march by the French to Mexico City enticed heavy resistance by the Mexican government, it resulted in open warfare. The Battle of Puebla in 1862 in particular presented an important turning point in which Ignacio Zaragoza led the Mexican army to victory as they pushed back the French offensive ("Timeline of the Mexican Revolution"). The victory came to symbolize Mexico's power and national resolve against foreign occupancy and as a result delayed France's later attack on Mexico City for an entire year (Cinco de Mayo (Mexican History)). With heavy resistance by Mexican rebels and the fear of United States intervention against France, forced Napoleon III to withdraw from Mexico, leaving Maximilian to surrender, where he would be later executed by Mexican troops under the rule of Porfirio Díaz.WEB, Ridge Jr., Michael Allen, A country in need of American instruction : The U.S. mission to shape and transform Mexico, 1848–1911,weblink Iowa Research Online, University of Iowa, Napoleon III's desire to expand France's economic empire influenced the decision to seize territorial domain over the Central American region. The port city of Veracruz, Mexico and France's desire to construct a new canal were of particular interest. Bridging both New World and East Asian trade routes to the Atlantic were key to Napoleon III's economic goals to the mining of precious rocks and the expansion of France's textile industry. Napoleon's fear of the United States' economic influence over the Pacific trade region, and in turn all New World economic activity, pushed France to intervene in Mexico under the pretense of collecting on Mexico's debt. Eventually France began plans to build the Panama Canal in 1881 until 1904 when the United States took over and proceeded with its construction and implementation ("Read Our Story").

American involvement in Latin America during the 19th century

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was included in President James Monroe's 1823 annual message to Congress. The doctrine warns European nations that the United States will no longer tolerate any new colonization of Latin American countries. It was originally drafted to meet the present major concerns, but eventually became the precept of U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere. The doctrine was put into effect in 1865 when the U.S. government supported Mexican president, Benito Juárez, diplomatically and militarily. Some Latin American countries viewed the U.S. interventions, allowed by the Monroe Doctrine when the U.S. deems necessary, with suspicion.Bakewell, Peter. A History of Latin America. pg 491Another important aspect of United States involvement in Latin America is the case of the filibuster William Walker. In 1855, he traveled to Nicaragua hoping to overthrow the government and take the land for the United States. With only the aid of 56 followers, he was able to take over the city of Granada, declaring himself commander of the army and installing Patricio Rivas as a puppet president. However, Rivas's presidency ended when he fled Nicaragua; Walker rigged the following election to ensure that he became the next president. His presidency did not last long, however, as he was met with much opposition from political groups in Nicaragua and neighbouring countries. On May 1, 1857, Walker was forced by a coalition of Central American armies to surrender himself to a United States Navy officer who repatriated him and his followers. When Walker subsequently returned to Central America in 1860, he was apprehended by the Honduran authorities and executed.

Mexican–American War (1846–48)

File:Mexico nebel.jpg|thumb|left|upright=1.15|American occupation of Mexico CityMexico CityThe Mexican–American War, another instance of U.S. involvement in Latin America, was a war between the United States and Mexico that started in April 1846 and lasted until February 1848. The main cause of the war was the United States' annexation of Texas in 1845 and a dispute afterwards about whether the border between Mexico and the United States ended where Mexico claimed, at the Nueces River, or ended where the United States claimed, at the Rio Grande. Peace was negotiated between the United States and Mexico with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which stated that Mexico was to cede land which would later become part of California and New Mexico as well as give up all claims to Texas, for which the United States would pay $15,000,000. However, tensions between the two countries were still high and over the next six years things only got worse with raids along the border and attacks by Native Americans against Mexican citizens. To defuse the situation, the United States agreed to purchase 29,670 squares miles of land from Mexico for $10,000,000 so a southern railroad could be built to connect the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. This would become known as the Gadsden Purchase. A critical component of U.S. intervention in Latin American affairs took form in the Spanish–American War, which drastically affected the futures of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Americas, as well as Guam and the Philippines, by dismantling some of the last remaining Spanish colonial possessions throughout the world.

From the United States of America interventions to the "Good Neighbor" policy

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the U.S. banana importing companies United Fruit Company, Cuyamel Fruit Company (both ancestors of Chiquita), and Standard Fruit Company (now Dole), acquired large amounts of land in Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The companies gained leverage over the governments and a ruling elite in these countries by dominating their economies and paying kickbacks, and exploited local workers. These countries came to be called banana republics.The 1898 Spanish–American War resulted in the end of Spanish control in the Caribbean. A period of frequent U.S. intervention in Latin America followed, with the acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone in 1903, the so-called Banana Wars in Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras; the Caco Wars in Haiti; and the so-called Border War with Mexico.After World War I, U.S. interventionism diminished, culminating in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy in 1933.

World wars (1914–1945)

{{Campaignbox Battles of the Mexican Revolution involving the United States}}{{See also|Pan-Americanism}}

World War I and the Zimmermann Telegram

File:Zimmermann Telegram.jpeg|thumb|The Zimmermann Telegram as it was sent from Washington to Ambassador Heinrich von Eckardt (German ambassador to MexicoMexicoThe Zimmermann Telegram was a 1917 diplomatic proposal from the German Empire for Mexico to join an alliance with Germany in the event of the United States entering World War I against Germany. The proposal was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. The revelation of the contents outraged the American public and swayed public opinion. President Woodrow Wilson moved to arm American merchant ships in order to defend themselves against German submarines, which had started to attack them. The news helped generate support for the United States declaration of war on Germany in April of that year.Andrew, p. 42.The message came as a coded telegram dispatched by the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, on January 16, 1917. The message was sent to the German ambassador of Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. Zimmermann sent the telegram in anticipation of the (Atlantic U-boat campaign of World War I#1917: Renewed "unrestricted" campaign|resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare) by Germany on 1 February, an act which Germany presumed would lead to war. The telegram instructed Ambassador Eckardt that if the U.S. appeared certain to enter the war, he was to approach the Mexican Government with a proposal for a military alliance, with funding from Germany. As part of the alliance, Germany would assist Mexico in reconquering Texas and the Southwest. Eckardt was instructed to urge Mexico to help broker an alliance between Germany and Japan. Mexico, in the middle of the Mexican Revolution, far weaker militarily, economically and politically than the U.S., ignored the proposal; after the U.S. entered the war, it officially rejected it.

Brazil's participation in World War II

After World War I, in which Brazil was an ally of the United States, Great Britain, and France, the country realized it needed a more capable army but didn't have the technology to create it. In 1919, the French Military Mission was established by the French Commission in Brazil. Their main goal was to contain the inner rebellions in Brazil. They tried to assist the army by bringing them up to the European military standard but constant civil missions did not prepare them for World War II.Brazil's President, Getúlio Vargas, wanted to industrialize Brazil, allowing it to be more competitive with other countries. He reached out to Germany, Italy, France, and the United States to act as trade allies. Many Italian and German people immigrated to Brazil many years before World War II began thus creating a Nazi influence. The immigrants held high positions in government and the armed forces. It was recently found that 9,000 war criminals escaped to South America, including Croats, Ukrainians, Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi war machine. Most, perhaps as many as 5,000, went to Argentina; between 1,500 and 2,000 are thought to have made it to Brazil; around 500 to 1,000 to Chile; and the rest to Paraguay and Uruguay.NEWS, Secret Files Reveal 9,000 Nazi War Criminals Fled to South America after WWII,weblink Mail Online, 24 May 2012, London, Allan, Hall, 2012-03-19, It was not a secret that Vargas had an admiration for Hitler's Nazi Germany and its Führer. He even let German Luftwaffe build secret air forces around Brazil.This alliance with Germany became Brazil's second best trade alliance behind the United States.File:Massarosaw.jpg|right|thumb|Brazilian soldiers greet Italian civilians in the city of MassarosaMassarosaBrazil continued to try to remain neutral to the United States and Germany because it was trying to make sure it could continue to be a place of interest for both opposing countries. Brazil attended continental meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1936); Lima, Peru (1938); and Havana, Cuba (1940) that obligated them to agree to defend any part of the Americas if they were to be attacked. Eventually, Brazil decided to stop trading with Germany once Germany started attacking offshore trading ships resulting in Germany declaring a blockade against the Americas in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, Germany also ensured that they would be attacking the Americas soon.Once the German submarines attacked unarmed Brazilian trading ships, President Vargas met with the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss how they could retaliate. On January 22, 1942, Brazil officially ended all relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy, becoming a part of the Allies.The Brazilian Expeditionary Force was sent to Naples, Italy to fight for democracy. Brazil was the only Latin American country to send troops to Europe. Initially, Brazil wanted to only provide resources and shelter for the war to have a chance of gaining a high postwar status but ended up sending 25,000 men to fight.WEB, Penteado, Carlos Joes A., Hyper War: The Brazilian Participation in World War II,weblink 24 May 2012, After World War II, the United States and Latin America continued to have a close relationship. For example, USAID created family planning programs in Latin America combining the NGOs already in place, providing the women in largely Catholic areas access to contraception.WEB, Health in Latin America and the Caribbean,weblink Center for Strategic and International Studies, 22 May 2012,

Mexico and World War II

File:BraceroProgram.jpg|thumb|The first Braceros arrive in Los AngelesLos AngelesMexico entered World War II in response to German attacks on Mexican ships. The Potrero del Llano, originally an Italian tanker, had been seized in port by the Mexican government in April 1941 and renamed in honor of a region in Veracruz. It was attacked and crippled by the {{GS|U-564}} on 13 May 1942. The attack killed 13 of 35 crewmen.WEB,weblink Potrero del Llano (steam tanker), Helgason, Guðmundur, German U-boats of WWII -, 29 May 2019, On 20 May 1942, a second tanker, Faja de Oro, also a seized Italian ship, was attacked and sunk by the {{GS|U-160|1941|6}}, killing 10 of 37 crewmen. In response, President Manuel Ávila Camacho and the Mexican government declared war on the Axis powers on 22 May 1942.A large part of Mexico's contribution to the war came through an agreement January 1942 that allowed Mexican nationals living in the United States to join the American armed forces. As many as 250,000 Mexicans served in this way.BOOK, Lars Schoultz, National Security and United States Policy Toward Latin America,weblink 2014, 175, In the final year of the war, Mexico sent one air squadron to serve under the Mexican flag: the Mexican Air Force's Escuadrón Aéreo de Pelea 201 (201st Fighter Squadron), which saw combat in the Philippines in the war against Imperial Japan.WEB, Klemen, L., 201st Mexican Fighter Squadron,weblink The Netherlands East Indies 1941–1942, 201st Mexican Fighter Squadron Mexico was the only Latin-American country to send troops to the Asia-Pacific theatre of the war. In addition to those in the armed forces, tens of thousands of Mexican men were hired as farm workers in the United States during the war years through the Bracero program, which continued and expanded in the decades after the war.Navarro, Armando, Mexicano political experience in occupied Aztlán (2005)World War II helped spark an era of rapid industrialization known as the Mexican Miracle.Howard F. Cline, The United States and Mexico, revised edition. New York: Atheneum Press, 1962, p. 184. Mexico supplied the United States with more strategic raw materials than any other country, and American aid spurred the growth of industry.WEB,weblink The Surprising Role Mexico Played in World War II, Pruitt, Sarah, 24 September 2018,, A&E Television Networks, 30 May 2019, President Ávila was able to use the increased revenue to improve the country's credit, invest in infrastructure, subsidize food, and raise wages.Howard F. Cline, The United States and Mexico, revised edition. New York: Atheneum Press, 1962, p. 286.

Involvement in World War II

There was a Nazi influence in certain parts of the region, but Jewish migration from Europe during the war continued. Only a few people recognized or knew about the Holocaust.WEB, Stavans, IIan, The Impact Of The Holocaust In Latin America, Furthermore, numerous military bases were built during the war by the United States, but some also by the Germans. Even now, unexploded bombs from the second world war that need to be made safe still remain.NEWS, WWII Bombs Destroyed in the Galapagos Islands,weblink BBC News, 2012-05-24, 2012-01-18,

Cold War (1945–1992) {{anchor|Cold War}}

{{See also|Operation Condor|Organization of American States|Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance|Alliance for Progress}}


File:NASAburningbrazil.jpg|thumb|Burning forest in Brazil. The removal of forest to make way for cattle ranching was the leading cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest from the mid-1960s. (Soybean]]s have become one of the most important contributors to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon."Brazil Amazon deforestation soars". BBC News. 24 January 2008.)The Great Depression caused Latin America to grow at a slow rate, separating it from leading industrial democracies. The two world wars and U.S. Depression also made Latin American countries favor internal economic development, leading Latin America to adopt the policy of import substitution industrialization.WEB, History of Latin America, Encyclopædia Britannica, Countries also renewed emphasis on exports. Brazil began selling automobiles to other countries, and some Latin American countries set up plants to assemble imported parts, letting other countries take advantage of Latin America's low labor costs. Colombia began to export flowers, emeralds and coffee grains and gold, becoming the world's second-leading flower exporter.Economic integration was called for, to attain economies that could compete with the economies of the United States or Europe. Starting in the 1960s with the Latin American Free Trade Association and Central American Common Market, Latin American countries worked toward economic integration.In efforts to help regain global economic strength, the U.S. began to heavily assist countries involved in World War II at the expense of Latin America. Markets that were previously unopposed as a result of the war in Latin America grew stagnant as the rest of the world no longer needed their goods.


Large countries like Argentina called for reforms to lessen the disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor, which has been a long problem in Latin America that stunted economic growth.WEB, Kaufman, Robert, The Political Effects of Inequality: Some Inconvenient Facts, Rutgers University, Advances in public health caused an explosion of population growth, making it difficult to provide social services. Education expanded, and social security systems introduced, but benefits usually went to the middle class, not the poor. As a result, the disparity of wealth increased. Increasing inflation and other factors caused countries to be unwilling to fund social development programs to help the poor.

Bureaucratic authoritarianism

Bureaucratic authoritarianism was practised in Brazil after 1964, in Argentina, and in Chile under Augusto Pinochet, in a response to harsh economic conditions. It rested on the conviction that no democracy could take the harsh measures to curb inflation, reassure investors, and quicken economic growth quickly and effectively. Though inflation fell sharply, industrial production dropped with the decline of official protection.

US relations

{{see also|Latin America–United States relations|Foreign interventions by the United States|United States involvement in regime change in Latin America}}File:Reunión Pinochet - Kissinger.jpg|thumb|Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with U.S. Secretary of State Henry KissingerHenry KissingerAfter World War II and the beginning of a Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, US diplomats became interested in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and frequently{{vague|date=June 2014}} waged proxy wars against the Soviet Union in these countries. The US sought to stop the spread of communism. Latin American countries generally sided with the US in the Cold War period, even though they were neglected since the US's concern with communism were focused in Europe and Asia, not Latin America. Between 1946 and 1959 Latin America received only 2% of the United States foreign aid despite having poor conditions similar to the main recipients of The Marshall Plan.BOOK, Born Into Blood and Fire, A Concise History of Latin America, Chasteen, John, W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2011, 253, Some Latin American governments also complained of the US support in the overthrow of some nationalist governments, and intervention through the CIA. In 1947, the US Congress passed the National Security Act, which created the National Security Council in response to the United States's growing obsession with anti-communism.WEB, Dominguez, Jorge, US-Latin American Relations During the Cold War and its Aftermath, Institute of Latin American Studies, In 1954, when Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala accepted the support of communists and attacked holdings of the United Fruit Company, the US decided to assist Guatemalan counter-revolutionaries in overthrowing Arbenz.Schneider, Ronald M. Latin American Political History: Patterns and Personalities. pg 274–275 These interventionist tactics featured the use of the CIA rather than the military, which was used in Latin America for the majority of the Cold War in events including the overthrow of Salvador Allende. Latin America was more concerned with issues of economic development, while the United States focused on fighting communism, even though the presence of communism was small in Latin America.

Cuban Revolution

By 1959, Cuba was afflicted with a corrupt dictatorship under Batista, and Fidel Castro ousted Batista that year and set up the first communist state in the hemisphere. The United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, and combined with Castro's expropriation of private enterprises, this was detrimental to the Cuban economy. Around Latin America, rural guerrilla conflict and urban terrorism increased, inspired by the Cuban example. The United States put down these rebellions by supporting Latin American countries in their counter-guerrilla operations through the Alliance for Progress launched by President John F. Kennedy. This thrust appeared to be successful. A Marxist, Salvador Allende, became president of Chile in 1970, but was overthrown three years later in a military coup backed by the United States. Despite civil war, high crime and political instability, most Latin American countries eventually adopted bourgeois liberal democracies while Cuba maintained its socialist system.

Bay of Pigs Invasion

File:CheyFidel.jpg|thumb|upright|Che Guevara (left) and Castro, photographed by Alberto KordaAlberto KordaEncouraged by the success of Guatemala in the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état,Schneider, Ronald M. Latin American Political History: Patterns and Personalities. pg 376–377 in 1960, the U.S. decided to support an attack on Cuba by anti-Castro rebels. The Bay of Pigs invasion was an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba in 1961, financed by the U.S. through the CIA, to overthrow Fidel Castro. The incident proved to be very embarrassing for the new Kennedy administration.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Encyclopædia Britannica,

Alliance for Progress

President John F. Kennedy initiated the Alliance for Progress in 1961, to establish economic cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America. The Alliance would provide $20 billion for reform in Latin America, and counterinsurgency measures. Instead, the reform failed because of the simplistic theory that guided it and the lack of experienced American experts who could understand Latin American customs.WEB, Kennedy proposes Alliance for Progress - Mar 13, 1961 -,weblink HISTORY, 10 September 2017,

Nicaraguan Revolution

Following the American occupation of Nicaragua in 1912, as part of the Banana Wars, the Somoza family political dynasty came to power, and would rule Nicaragua until their ouster in 1979 during the Nicaraguan Revolution. The era of Somoza family rule was characterized by strong U.S. support for the government and its military as well as a heavy reliance on U.S.-based multi-national corporations. The Nicaraguan Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Nicaragüense or Revolución Popular Sandinista) encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to violently oust the dictatorship in 1978–79, the subsequent efforts of the FSLN to govern Nicaragua from 1979 until 1990 and the Contra War which was waged between the FSLN and the Contras from 1981–1990.The Revolution marked a significant period in Nicaraguan history and revealed the country as one of the major proxy war battlegrounds of the Cold War with the events in the country rising to international attention. Although the initial overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1978–79 was a bloody affair, the Contra War of the 1980s took the lives of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and was the subject of fierce international debate.Bakewell, Peter. A history of Latin America. pg541-542 During the 1980s both the FSLN (a Leftist collection of political parties) and the Contras (a rightist collection of counter-revolutionary groups) received large amounts of aid from the Cold War super-powers (respectively, the Soviet Union and the United States).

Washington Consensus

{{See also|Free Trade Area of the Americas}}File:Ship passing through Panama Canal 01.jpg|right|thumb|Roll-on/roll-offships, such as this one pictured here at Miraflores locks, are among the largest ships to pass through the Panama Canal. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of PanamaPanamaThe set of specific economic policy prescriptions that were considered the "standard" reform package were promoted for crisis-wracked developing countries by Washington, D.C.-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the US Department of the Treasury during the 1980s and 1990s.In recent years, several Latin American countries led by socialist or other left wing governments{{spaced ndash}}including Argentina and Venezuela{{spaced ndash}}have campaigned for (and to some degree adopted) policies contrary to the Washington Consensus set of policies. (Other Latin countries with governments of the left, including Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru, have in practice adopted the bulk of the policies.) Also critical of the policies as actually promoted by the International Monetary Fund have been some US economists, such as Joseph Stiglitz and Dani Rodrik, who have challenged what are sometimes described as the "fundamentalist" policies of the International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury for what Stiglitz calls a "one size fits all" treatment of individual economies.The term has become associated with neoliberal policies in general and drawn into the broader debate over the expanding role of the free market, constraints upon the state, and US influence on other countries' national sovereignty.This politico-economical initiative was institutionalized in North America by 1994 NAFTA, and elsewhere in the Americas through a series of like agreements. The comprehensive Free Trade Area of the Americas project, however, was rejected by most South American countries at the 2005 4th Summit of the Americas.

Turn to the left

{{See also|Pink tide}}File:UNASUR-15SEP2008.jpg|thumb|right|UNASURUNASURIn most countries, since the 2000s left-wing political parties have risen to power.{{Citation needed|date=September 2017}} The presidencies of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, Néstor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernández in Argentina, Tabaré Vázquez and José Mujica in Uruguay, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras (removed from power by a coup d'état), Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sánchez Cerén in El Salvador are all part of this wave of left-wing politicians who often declare themselves socialists, Latin Americanists, or anti-imperialists (often implying opposition to US policies towards the region). A development of this has been the creation of the eight-member ALBA alliance, or "The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America" (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) by some of the countries already mentioned. By June 2014, Honduras (Juan Orlando Hernández), Guatemala (Otto Pérez Molina), and Panama (Ricardo Martinelli) had right-wing governments.

Return of social movements

File:45. Humauaca (1).JPG|thumb|A view on globalization, titled Somos cultura que camina en un mundo globalizado ("We are a culture walking in a globalized world"). The mural is located in Humahuaca in the north of ArgentinaArgentinaIn 1982, Mexico announced that it could not meet its foreign debt payment obligations, inaugurating a debt crisis that would "discredit" Latin American economies throughout the decade.Hershberg, Eric, and Fred Rosen, eds. Latin America after Neoliberalism. New York: North American Congress on Latin America, 2006. Print. This debt crisis would lead to neoliberal reforms that would instigate many social movements in the region. A "reversal of development" reigned over Latin America, seen through negative economic growth, declines in industrial production, and thus, falling living standards for the middle and lower classes.Escobar, Arturo, and Sonia E. Alvarez, eds. The Making of Social Movements in Latin America. Boulder: Westview, 1992. Print. Governments made financial security their primary policy goal over social security, enacting new neoliberal economic policies that implemented privatization of previously national industries and informalization of labor. In an effort to bring more investors to these industries, these governments also embraced globalization through more open interactions with the international economy.Significantly, as democracy spread across much of Latin America, the realm of government became more inclusive (a trend that proved conducive to social movements), the economic ventures remained exclusive to a few elite groups within society. Neoliberal restructuring consistently redistributed income upward while denying political responsibility to provide social welfare rights, and though development projects took place throughout the region, both inequality and poverty increased. Feeling excluded from these new projects, the lower classes took ownership of their own democracy through a revitalization of social movements in Latin America.Both urban and rural populations had serious grievances as a result of the above economic and global trends and have voiced them in mass demonstrations. Some of the largest and most violent of these have been protests against cuts in urban services, such as the Caracazo in Venezuela and the Argentinazo in Argentina.Johnston, Hank, and Paul Almeida, eds. Latin American Social Movements. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. Print.(File:MST International Socialist46623.jpeg|thumb|left|Children singing the Internationale, 20th anniversary of MST)Rural movements have made diverse demands related to unequal land distribution, displacement at the hands of development projects and dams, environmental and indigenous concerns, neoliberal agricultural restructuring, and insufficient means of livelihood. These movements have benefited considerably from transnational support from conservationists and INGOs. The Movement of Rural Landless Workers (MST) is perhaps the largest contemporary Latin American social movement. As indigenous populations are primarily rural, indigenous movements account for a large portion of rural social movements, including the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), indigenous organizations in the Amazon region of Ecuador and Bolivia, pan-Mayan communities in Guatemala, and mobilization by the indigenous groups of Yanomami peoples in the Amazon, Kuna peoples in Panama, and Altiplano Aymara and Quechua peoples in Bolivia. Other significant types of social movements include labor struggles and strikes, such as recovered factories in Argentina, as well as gender-based movements such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and protests against maquila production, which is largely a women's issue because of how it draws on women for cheap labor.

Modern era

The 2000s commodities boom caused positive effects for many Latin American economies. Another trend is the rapidly increasing importance of the relations with China.Jordi Zamora. "China's double-edged trade with Latin America." Sep 3, 2011. AFP.weblink the end of the commodity boom in the 2010s, economic stagnation or recession resulted in some countries. As a result, the left-wing governments of the Pink Tide lost support. The worst-hit was Venezuela, which is facing severe social and economic upheaval.The corruption scandal of Odebrecht, a Brazilian conglomerate, has raised allegations of corruption across the region's governments (see Operation Car Wash). The bribery ring has become the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history.WEB, Casey, Nicholas, Zarate, Andrea, Corruption Scandals With Brazilian Roots Cascade Across Latin America,weblink The New York Times, 16 June 2017, 13 February 2017, As of July 2017, the highest ranking politicians charged were former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (arrested)WEB, Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term,weblink The New York Times, 7 April 2018, and former Peruvian Presidents Ollanta Humala (arrested) and Alejandro Toledo (fugitive, fled to the US).WEB, Another former Peruvian president is sent to jail, this time as part of growing corruption scandal,weblink Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2017, 14 July 2017,


{{Historical populations|title = Historical populations|type = Latin America and the Caribbean|align = right|footnote = Source: "UN report 2004 data" (PDF)16000000240000003800000074000000167000000511000000603191486}}{{see also|Demographics of South America}}

Largest cities

The following is a list of the ten largest metropolitan areas in Latin America.WEB,weblink Global Metro Monitor 2014, Brookings Institution, 22 January 2015, {| class="wikitable sortable"! City !! Country !! 2017 population !! 2014 GDP (PPP, $million, USD) !! 2014 GDP per capita, (USD)Greater Mexico City >Mexico}} Mexico 23,655,355 $403,561 $19,239 Greater São Paulo >Brazil}} Brazil 23,467,354 $430,510 $20,650 Greater Buenos Aires >Argentina}} Argentina 15,564,354 $315,885 $23,606 Greater Rio de Janeiro >Brazil}} Brazil 14,440,345 $176,630 $14,176Metropolitan Area of Bogotá >Colombia}} Colombia 9,900,800 $199,150 $19,497 Lima Metropolitan Area >Peru}} Peru 9,752,000 $176,447 $16,530 Santiago Metropolitan Region >Chile}} Chile 7,164,400 $171,436 $23,290Greater Belo Horizonte >Brazil}} Brazil 6,145,800 $95,686 $17,635Guadalajara Metropolitan Area >Mexico}} Mexico 4,687,700 $80,656 $17,206 Monterrey Metropolitan area >Mexico}} Mexico 4,344,200 $122,896 $28,290Polanco Skyline Mexico City DF.jpg|Mexico City, MexicoMarginalPinheiros.jpg|São Paulo, Brazil

Ethnic groups

(File:Genetic variation of mestizo populations in Latin America.PNG|thumb|upright=1.15|alt=Triangle diagrams of genetic makeup of Mexico City and Quetalmahue, Chile|The Mexican mestizo population is the most diverse in Latin America, with people being either largely European or Amerindian rather than having a uniform admixture. Distribution of Admixture Estimates for Individuals from Mexico City and Quetalmahue (indigenous community in Chile).WEB,weblink Geographic Patterns of Genome Admixture in Latin American Mestizos, Plos genetics, 2008-03-21, 2013-09-09, )The inhabitants of Latin America are of a variety of ancestries, ethnic groups, and races, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. The specific composition varies from country to country: some have a predominance of European-Amerindian or more commonly referred to as Mestizo or Castizo depending on the admixture, population; in others, Amerindians are a majority; some are dominated by inhabitants of European ancestry; and some countries' populations are primarily Mulatto. Various black, Asian and Zambo (mixed black and Amerindian) minorities are also identified regularly. People with European ancestry are the largest single group, and along with people of part-European ancestry, they combine to make up approximately 80% of the population,WEB,weblink CIA â€“ The World Factbook – Field Listing â€“ Ethnic groups, 2008-02-20, or even more.JOURNAL, Lizcano Fernández, Francisco, May–August 2005, Composición Étnica de las Tres Áreas Culturales del Continente Americano al Comienzo del Siglo XXI, Convergencia, 38, 185–232; table on p. 218, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Mexico, 1405-1435,weblink Spanish, PDF, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-09-20, According to Jon Aske:WEB,weblink Hispanics and Race, Jon, Aske, Aske has also written that:WEB,weblink Some historical background, Jon, Aske, In his famous 1963 book The Rise of the West, William Hardy McNeill wrote that:BOOK, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community, McNeill, William H., 1991, The University of Chicago Press, , p. 603Thomas C. Wright, meanwhile, has written that:BOOK, Latin America since Independence: Two Centuries of Continuity and Change, Wright, Thomas C.,weblink 2017, Rowman & Littlefield, , pp. 30 – 31


(File:Map-Romance Latin America.svg|thumb|left|Linguistic map of Latin America. Spanish in green, Portuguese in orange, and French in blue.)Spanish and Portuguese are the predominant languages of Latin America. Spanish is spoken as first language by about 60% of the population, Portuguese is spoken by about 34% of the population and about 6% of the population speak other languages such as Quechua, Mayan languages, Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, English, French, Dutch and Italian. Portuguese is spoken only in Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese), the biggest and most populous country in the region. Spanish is the official language of most of the rest of the countries and territories on the Latin American mainland (Spanish language in the Americas), as well as in Cuba, Puerto Rico (where it is co-official with English), and the Dominican Republic. French is spoken in Haiti and in the French overseas departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guiana, and the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon; it is also spoken by some Panamanians of Afro-Antillean descent. Dutch is the official language in Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, and the Netherlands Antilles. (As Dutch is a Germanic language, these territories are not necessarily considered part of Latin America.) However, the native language of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, is Papiamento, a creole language largely based on Portuguese and Spanish and has a considerable influence coming from the Dutch language and Portuguese-based creole languages.(File:Map-Most Widely Spoken Native Languages in Latin America.png|thumb|{{color|blue|Quechua}}, {{background color|black|{{color|#f9dc38|Guaraní}}}}, {{background color|black|{{color|#ff9922|Aymara}}}}, {{color|#cc0000|Náhuatl}}, {{color|#006600|Lenguas Mayas}}, Mapudungun)Amerindian languages are widely spoken in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay and Mexico, and to a lesser degree, in Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile amongst other countries. In Latin American countries not named above, the population of speakers of indigenous languages tend to be very small or even non-existent (e.g. Uruguay). Mexico is possibly the only country that contains a wider variety of indigenous languages than any Latin American country, but the most spoken language is Nahuatl.In Peru, Quechua is an official language, alongside Spanish and any other indigenous language in the areas where they predominate. In Ecuador, while holding no official status, the closely related Quichua is a recognized language of the indigenous people under the country's constitution; however, it is only spoken by a few groups in the country's highlands. In Bolivia, Aymara, Quechua and Guaraní hold official status alongside Spanish. Guaraní, along with Spanish, is an official language of Paraguay, and is spoken by a majority of the population (who are, for the most part, bilingual), and it is co-official with Spanish in the Argentine province of Corrientes. In Nicaragua, Spanish is the official language, but on the country's Caribbean coast English and indigenous languages such as Miskito, Sumo, and Rama also hold official status. Colombia recognizes all indigenous languages spoken within its territory as official, though fewer than 1% of its population are native speakers of these languages. Nahuatl is one of the 62 native languages spoken by indigenous people in Mexico, which are officially recognized by the government as "national languages" along with Spanish.Other European languages spoken in Latin America include: English, by some groups in Puerto Rico, as well as in nearby countries that may or may not be considered Latin American, like Belize and Guyana, and spoken by descendants of British settlers in Argentina & Chile; German, in southern Brazil, southern Chile, portions of Argentina, Venezuela and Paraguay; Italian, in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay; Ukrainian, Polish and Russian in southern Brazil and Argentina; and Welsh, in southern Argentina.WEB,weblink Reference for Welsh language in southern Argentina, Welsh immigration to Patagonia,, 2008-07-22, 2013-04-23, WEB,weblink The Welsh Immigration to Argentina,, WEB, Jeremy Howat,weblink Reference for Welsh language in southern Argentina, Welsh immigration to Patagonia,, 2013-04-23, WEB,weblink Reference for Welsh language in southern Argentina, Welsh immigration to Patagonia,, 2013-04-23, WEB,weblink Reference for Welsh language in southern Argentina, Welsh immigration to Patagonia,, 2009-09-29, 2013-04-23, WEB,weblink Reference for Welsh language in southern Argentina, Welsh immigration to Patagonia,, 2013-04-23, Yiddish and Hebrew are possible to be heard around Buenos Aires and São Paulo especially.WEB,weblink Brazil – Modern-Day Community,, 2013, 2013-12-22, Non-European or Asian languages include Japanese in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay, Korean in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile, Arabic in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile, and Chinese throughout South America.In several nations, especially in the Caribbean region, creole languages are spoken. The most widely spoken creole language in Latin America and the Caribbean is Haitian Creole, the predominant language of Haiti; it is derived primarily from French and certain West African tongues with Amerindian, English, Portuguese and Spanish influences as well. Creole languages of mainland Latin America, similarly, are derived from European languages and various African tongues.The Garifuna language is spoken along the Caribbean coast in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize mostly by the Garifuna people a mixed race Zambo people who were the result of mixing between Indigenous Caribbeans and escaped Black slaves. Primarily an Arawakan language, it has influences from Caribbean and European languages.Archaeologists have deciphered over 15 pre-Columbian distinct writing systems from mesoamerican societies. the ancient Maya had the most sophisticated textually written language, but since texts were largely confined to the religious and administrative elite, traditions were passed down orally. oral traditions also prevailed in other major indigenous groups including, but not limited to the Aztecs and other Nahuatl speakers, Quechua and Aymara of the Andean regions, the Quiché of Central America, the Tupi-Guaraní in today's Brazil, the Guaraní in Paraguay and the Mapuche in Chile.Meade, Teresa A. History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present. Wiley Blackwell, 2016.


File:Santuario de Las Lajas, Ipiales, Colombia, 2015-07-21, DD 21-23 HDR-Edit.JPG|thumb|The Las Lajas Sanctuary in the southern Colombia, Department of Nariño.]]The vast majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%),WEB,weblink Christians, 18 December 2012, Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, 13 May 2016, mostly Roman Catholics belonging to the Latin Church.WEB,weblink CIA â€“ The World Factbook – Field Listing â€“ Religions, 2009-03-17, About 70% of the Latin American population consider themselves Catholic.Fraser, Barbara J., In Latin America, Catholics down, church's credibility up, poll says {{webarchive|url= |date=2005-06-28}} Catholic News Service June 23, 2005According to the detailed Pew multi-country survey in 2014, 69% of the Latin American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant. Protestants are 26% in Brazil and over 40% in much of Central America. More than half of these are converts from Roman Catholicism.Alec Ryrie, "The World's Local Religion" History Today (2017) online"Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region" Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life Nov 13, 2014


Due to economic, social and security developments that are affecting the region in recent decades, the focus is now the change from net immigration to net emigration. About 10 million Mexicans live in the United States.Watching Over Greater Mexico: Mexican Migration Policy and Governance of Mexicanos Abroad {{webarchive |url= |date=December 10, 2008}} 31.7 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican as of 2010, or roughly 10% of the population.WEB,weblink American Factfinder: Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (QT-P3), 2016-01-17, United States Census Bureau, American Factfinder, During the initial stage of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines which were around the 1600s, about 16,500 soldiers levied from Peru and Mexico were sent together with 600 Spanish officers to fight wars, settle, colonize and build cities and Presidios in the Philippines.Stephanie Mawson, ‘Between Loyalty and Disobedience: The Limits of Spanish Domination in the Seventeenth Century Pacific’ (Univ. of Sydney M.Phil. thesis, 2014), appendix 3. These 16,500 Peruvians and Mexicans supplemented the Native Malay Population which then reached 667,612 people.The Unlucky Country: The Republic of the Philippines in the 21St Century By Duncan Alexander McKenzie (Page xii) This initial group of Latin American soldier-settler founders had spread their genes among the sparesly populated Philippines.Letter from Fajardo to Felipe III From Manila, August 15 1620.(From the Spanish Archives of the Indies)("The infantry does not amount to two hundred men, in three companies. If these men were that number, and Spaniards, it would not be so bad; but, although I have not seen them, because they have not yet arrived here, I am told that they are, as at other times, for the most part boys, mestizos, and mulattoes, with some Indians (Native Americans). There is no little cause for regret in the great sums that reënforcements of such men waste for, and cost, your Majesty. I cannot see what betterment there will be until your Majesty shall provide it, since I do not think, that more can be done in Nueva Spaña, although the viceroy must be endeavoring to do so, as he is ordered.") This resulted into a spread of Latin American admixture among Filipinos as evidenced by a large number of Filipinos possessing Native American ancestry.WEB,weblink Reference Populations - Geno 2.0 Next Generation, 21 December 2017, A Y-DNA compilation organized by the Genetic Company "Applied Biosystems" found that 13.33% of the Filipino Male Population sampled from across the country had Y-DNA of Latin American and Spanish origins.With a sample population of 105 Filipinos, the company of Applied Biosystems, analyses the Y-DNA of the average Filipino. Furthermore, according to a survey dated from 1870 conducted by German ethnologist Fedor Jagor of the population of Luzon island (Which holds half the citizens of the Philippines) 1/3rd of the people possess varying degrees of Spanish and Latin American ancestry.Jagor, Fëdor, et al. (1870). The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes According to the 2005 Colombian census or DANE, about 3,331,107 Colombians currently live abroad.weblink {{webarchive|url=|date=January 31, 2009}} The number of Brazilians living overseas is estimated at about 2 million people.Brasileiros no Exterior â€“ Portal da Câmara dos Deputados {{webarchive |url= |date=July 21, 2009}} An estimated 1.5 to two million Salvadorans reside in the United States.Country Overview: El Salvador, United States Agency for International Development {{webarchive |url= |date=January 1, 2010}} At least 1.5 million Ecuadorians have gone abroad, mainly to the United States and Spain.Chavistas in Quito,, January 7, 2008 {{webarchive |url= |date=December 7, 2008}} Approximately 1.5 million Dominicans live abroad, mostly in the United States.WEB,weblink Dominican Republic: Remittances for Development,, 2013-04-23, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-06-10, More than 1.3 million Cubans live abroad, most of them in the United States.Business With Cuba: The Complete Guide {{webarchive|url= |date=2016-03-14}}, Jan 12, 2015, Patricia Maroday It is estimated that over 800,000 Chileans live abroad, mainly in Argentina, the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden.Chile: Moving Towards a Migration Policy, Migration Information Source An estimated 700,000 Bolivians were living in Argentina as of 2006 and another 33,000 in the United States.WEB,weblink Migration News,, 2013-04-23, Japanese Brazilian immigrants to Japan numbered 250,000 in 2004, constituting Japan's second-largest immigrant population. Their experiences bear similarities to those of Japanese Peruvian immigrants, who are often relegated to low income jobs typically occupied by foreigners.Hamamatsu Journal; Sons and Daughters of Japan, Back From Brazil Central Americans living abroad in 2005 were 3,314,300,WEB,weblink WorldBank Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008,, 2013-04-23, of which 1,128,701 were Salvadoransweblink 685,713 were Guatemalansweblink 683,520 were Nicaraguansweblink 414,955 were Honduransweblink 215,240 were Panamanianweblink and 127,061 were Costa Ricansweblink the period 2000–2005, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, and Venezuela were the only countries with global positive migration rates, in terms of their yearly averages."International Migration Report 2006: A Global Assessment; VII. Profiles by Country or Area". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division.As a result of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and its social and economic impact, there was a significant migration of Haitians to other Latin American countries. During the presidency of Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro, over 3.2 million people fled Venezuela during the Venezuelan refugee crisis as socioeconomic conditions and the quality of life worsened.NEWS, Olivares, Francisco, Best and brightest for export,weblink 24 September 2014, El Universal, 13 September 2014, NEWS, Hugo Chavez is Scaring Away Talent,weblink 24 September 2014, Newsweek, 30 June 2009, NEWS, Ten percent of Venezuelans are taking steps for emigrating,weblink 26 April 2015, El Universal (Caracas), El Universal, 16 August 2014, The countries of Latin America seek to strengthen links between migrants and their states of origin, while promoting their integration in the receiving state. These Emigrant Policies focus on the rights, obligations and opportunities for participation of emigrated citizens who already live outside the borders of the country of origin. Research on Latin America shows that the extension of policies towards migrants is linked to a focus on civil rights and state benefits that can positively influence integration in recipient countries. In addition, the tolerance of dual citizenship has spread more in Latin America than in any other region of the world.Pedroza, L.; Palop, P. y Hoffmann, B. (2018). Emigrant Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean: FLASCO-Chile. Online:weblink|accessdate=09 May 2019


{{See also|Education in Latin America}}File:World map of countries by literacy rate.svg|thumb|right|World map indicating literacy rate by country in 2015 (2015 CIA World FactbookWorld FactbookDespite significant progress, education access and school completion remains unequal in Latin America. The region has made great progress in educational coverage; almost all children attend primary school and access to secondary education has increased considerably. Quality issues such as poor teaching methods, lack of appropriate equipment and overcrowding exist throughout the region. These issues lead to adolescents dropping out of the educational system early.BOOK, Welti, Carlos, B., Brown, Adolescents in Latin America: Facing the Future with Skepticism, The World's Youth: Adolescence in Eight Regions of the Globe, 2002, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 0521006058, [Online-Ausg.]., Most educational systems in the region have implemented various types of administrative and institutional reforms that have enabled reach for places and communities that had no access to education services in the early 1990s. Compared to prior generations, Latin American youth have seen an increase in their levels of education. On average, they have completed two years schooling more than their parents.However, there are still 23 million children in the region between the ages of 4 and 17 outside of the formal education system. Estimates indicate that 30% of preschool age children (ages 4–5) do not attend school, and for the most vulnerable populations, the poor and rural, this calculation exceeds 40 percent. Among primary school age children (ages 6 to 12), coverage is almost universal; however there is still a need to incorporate 5 million children in the primary education system. These children live mostly in remote areas, are indigenous or Afro-descendants and live in extreme poverty.[BID/EDU Stakeholder Survey 1993/2003, February 8, 2011]Among people between the ages of 13 and 17 years, only 80% are full-time students in the education system; among them only 66% advance to secondary school. These percentages are lower among vulnerable population groups: only 75% of the poorest youth between the ages of 13 and 17 years attend school. Tertiary education has the lowest coverage, with only 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 years outside of the education system. Currently, more than half of low income children or living in rural areas fail to complete nine years of education.

Crime and violence

Latin America and the Caribbean have been cited by numerous sources to be the most dangerous regions in the world.{{Citation|url=|archive-url=|url-status=dead|archive-date=24 October 2012|title=Latin America the Most Dangerous Region in terms of Violence|accessdate=28 August 2013}}{{Citation|url= |title=Latin America Is the Most Dangerous Region in the World (By Far) |accessdate=28 August 2013 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate= 3 December 2013 }} Studies have shown that Latin America contains the majority of the world's most dangerous cities. Many analysts attribute the reason to why the region has such an alarming crime rate and criminal culture is largely due to social and income inequality within the region, they say that growing social inequality is fueling crime in the region.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Latin America: Crisis behind bars, 2005-11-16, 2010-05-07, Many agree that the prison crisis will not be resolved until the gap between the rich and the poor is addressed.File:Homicide rates per 100000 people world, UNODC 2012.jpg|thumb|left|upright=1.15|2012 map of countries by homicide rate. As of 2015, the Latin American countries with the highest rates were El Salvador (108.64 per 100,000 people), Honduras (63.75) and Venezuela (57.15). The countries with the lowest rates were Chile (3.59), Cuba (4.72) and Argentina (6.53).]]Crime and violence prevention and public security are now important issues for governments and citizens in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Homicide rates in Latin America are the highest in the world. From the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, homicide rates increased by 50 percent. Latin America and the Caribbean experienced more than 2.5 million murders between 2000 and 2017.NEWS, Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 20 September 2018, There were a total of 63,880 murders in Brazil in 2018.NEWS, A Year of Violence Sees Brazil's Murder Rate Hit Record High,weblink The New York Times, 10 August 2018, The major victims of such homicides are young men, 69 percent of whom are between the ages of 15 and 19 years old. Countries with the highest homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2015 were: El Salvador 109, Honduras 64, Venezuela 57, Jamaica 43, Belize 34.4, St. Kitts and Nevis 34, Guatemala 34, Trinidad and Tobago 31, the Bahamas 30, Brazil 26.7, Colombia 26.5, the Dominican Republic 22, St. Lucia 22, Guyana 19, Mexico 16, Puerto Rico 16, Ecuador 13, Grenada 13, Costa Rica 12, Bolivia 12, Nicaragua 12, Panama 11, Antigua and Barbuda 11, and Haiti 10.WEB,weblink Intentional homicides (per 100,000 people), UN Office on Drugs and Crime's International Homicide Statistics database., September 21, 2017, Most of the top countries with the highest homicide rates are in Africa and Latin America. Countries in Central America, like El Salvador and Honduras, top the list of homicides in the world.WEB,weblink Map: Here are countries with the world's highest murder rates, UN Office on Drugs and Crime's International Homicide Statistics database., February 1, 2017, Brazil has more overall homicides than any country in the world, at 50,108, accounting for one in 10 globally. Crime-related violence in Latin America represents the most threat to public health, striking more victims than HIV/AIDS or other infectious diseases.WEB,weblink Crime Hinders Development, Democracy in Latin America, U.S. Says – US Department of State, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-02-13, Countries with lowest homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2015 were: Chile 3, Peru 7, Argentina 7, Uruguay 8 and Paraguay 9."Understanding the uneven distribution of the incidence of homicide in Latin America" International Journal of Epidemiology


File:Sampa Noite.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|{{Flag|Brazil}}, São PauloSão Paulo


According to Goldman Sachs' BRICS review of emerging economies, by 2050 the largest economies in the world will be as follows: China, United States, India, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico.WEB,weblink The N-11: More Than an Acronym, Appendix II: Projections in Detail, Goldman Sachs Economic Research, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-03-31, Paseo.Reforma.Skyline CDMX 2016 2.jpg|alt=|thumb|200x200px|{{Flag|Mexico}}, Mexico CityMexico CityFile:J30 464 Hochhäuser um die Azucena Villaflor.jpg|alt=|thumb|200x200px|{{Flag|Argentina}}, Buenos AiresBuenos AiresFile:Costanera Center Santiago De Chile (192559007).jpeg|alt=|thumb|200x200px|{{Flag|Chile}}, SantiagoSantiagoFile:Lima Peru Glass Skyline San Isidro.jpg|alt=|thumb|199x199px|{{flag|Peru}}, LimaLima{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: right" style="background:#ececec;"|+Population and economy size for Latin American countries!Country!Population{{UN_Population|ref}}({{UN_Population|Year}}, millions)!GDP (nominal)WEB,weblink World GDP Ranking 2015 – Data and Charts, Knoema, 13 May 2016, (2015, billions US$)!GDP (PPP)(2015, billions US$) {{flag|Argentina}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 601.7| 972.3 {{flag|Bolivia}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 33.5| 73.9 {{flag|Brazil}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 1,799.6| 3,207.9 {{flag|Chile}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 240.0| 424.3 {{flag|Colombia}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 300.98| 724.16 {{flag|Costa Rica}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 51.6| 74.1 {{flag|Cuba}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}} {{flag|Dominican Republic}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 66.6| 147.6 {{flag|Ecuador}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 98.9| 181.8 {{flag|El Salvador}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 25.7| 52.9 {{flag|Guatemala}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 63.2| 125.6 {{flag|Haiti}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 8.8| 19.0 {{flag|Honduras}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 19.9| 41.0 {{flag|Mexico}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 1,161.0| 2,220.1 {{flag|Nicaragua}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 12.3| 31.2 {{flag|Panama}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 47.5| 82.2 {{flag|Paraguay}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 29.1| 60.8 {{flag|Peru}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 179.9| 385.4 {{flag|Uruguay}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 55.0| 74.2 {{flag|Venezuela}}{{UN_Population,}}/1e6 round 1}}| 131.9| 491.6 Total| 577.8| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}


Over the past two centuries, Latin America’s GDP per capita has fluctuated around world average. However, there is a substantial gap between Latin America and the developed economies. In the Andean region this gap can be a consequence of low human capital among Inca Indios in Pre-Columbian times. It is evident that the numeracy value of Peruvian Indios in the early 16th century was just half of the numeracy of the Spanish and Portuguese. JOURNAL, Juif, Dácil-Tania, Baten, Jörg, 2013, On the Human Capital of Inca Indios before and after the Spanish Conquest. Was there a "Pre-Colonial Legacy"?,weblink Between 1820 and 2008, this gap widened from 0.8 to 2.7 times.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 123, 9781107507180, Since 1980, Latin America also lost growth versus the world average. Many nations such as those in Asia have joined others on a rapid economic growth path, but Latin America has grown at slower pace and its share of world output declined from 9.5% in 1980 to 7.8% in 2008.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 138, 9781107507180,

Standard of living

Latin America is the region with the highest levels of income inequality in the world.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 148f, 9781107507180, The following table lists all the countries in Latin America indicating a valuation of the country's Human Development Index, GDP at purchasing power parity per capita, measurement of inequality through the Gini index, measurement of poverty through the Human Poverty Index, measurement of extreme poverty based on people living under 1.25 dollars a day, life expectancy, murder rates and a measurement of safety through the Global Peace Index. Green cells indicate the best performance in each category while red indicates the lowest.{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: right" style="background:#ececec;"|+Social and economic indicators for Latin American countries! Country! HDI (2015 est.)! GDP (PPP) per capita in US$(2015)WEB,weblink GDP per Capita Ranking 2015 – Data and Charts, Knoema, 13 May 2016, ! Real GDP growth % (2015)! Income inequality Gini (2015)WEB,weblink Human Development Report 2011, Table 3: Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ! Extreme poverty %

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