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March 17, 2022

Economics, Politics, Social Conditions and Markets in Latin America: What to Expect in 2022

Showing the Economics, Politics, Social Conditions and Markets in Latin America: What to Expect in 2022 Video

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of well over 1.6 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean. The health crisis has had an outsize impact on the region’s economy with a staggering increase in poverty and unemployment, pushing inequalities in access to health care, quality education, and digital connectivity. Some countries have experienced the re-emergence of protest movements, which reflects an acute polarization and disenchantment with democratic and economic performances. Even though Latin America perceived a sign of economic recovery in 2021, fiscal deficits, inflation, and depreciation of local currencies will make recovery complex and challenging. This talk convened experts to discuss the challenges foreseen for 2022 in terms of economic recovery, political uncertainty due to the region’s electoral calendar, markets performance and social conditions.

This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown Americas Institute, Center for Latin American Studies, Latin America Leadership Program, and the Center for Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas.


José Luis Daza is the founder and CIO of QFR Capital Management, L.P , and a Member of the Foreign Exchange Committee. Before founding QFR, Daza was a managing director of Integrated Finance Limited, a financial advisory and asset management firm based in New York. From 2001 to 2003, Daza was the global head of Emerging Markets Strategy at Deutsche Bank, responsible for research on Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He was also a member of Deutsche’s Emerging Markets Global Management Committee. For nine years he was the managing director, head of Emerging Markets Research at JP Morgan.  Daza studied for his Ph.D. in economics at Georgetown University, where he received his master’s degree. He studied economics at Universidad de Chile and received a bachelor's degree in economics from American University in Washington, DC. 

Marcela Meléndez: is chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and is an economist from Universidad de los Andes. Before joining UNDP in 2019, Meléndz spent 10 years as a partner and director of Econestudio, a Colombian consulting and economic research firm, where she was recognized for her contributions to the public policy debate. Between 2010 and 2013, she co-directed the Mission of Equity and Social Mobility convened by the Colombian government, and in 2017 she was appointed to an expert commission to carry out the expenditure and public investment review. Her research have focused on the design and evaluation of public policies, and on issues related to antitrust policy and the regulation of infrastructure services.

Hector Schamis is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He also is a weekly columnist for El País (Madrid) and a frequent contributor to Clarín (Buenos Aires), Infobae (Buenos Aires), El Nacional (Caracas), CNN, NTN24, and other media organizations. He is the author of Re-Forming the State: The Politics of Privatization in Latin America and Europe (2002) and a variety of journal articles and book chapters on authoritarianism, populism, democratization, human rights and press freedom. He currently is an advisor to the secretary-general of the Organization of American States. A native of Argentina, he received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he rose to undersecretary in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and taught at leading universities in Mexico and the United States. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.

Muni Jensen (moderator) is a political risk consultant, former diplomat, and award-winning columnist who contextualizes Latin American politics for global audiences and global politics for Latin American audiences. She is a regular columnist on international affairs in El País Colombia and a senior advisor with Albright Stonebridge Group, where she uses her experience and expertise as a political analyst and former Colombian diplomat to advise clients on Latin American political and economic issues. She hosts the world news podcast Altamar and holds a master's degree from Georgetown's Center for Latin American Studies. Jensen is a media consultant for the Georgetown Americas Institute.