By Chiara Cordelli and Aziz Huq

Texas’s new abortion law subjects women to heightened surveillance and the whims of private parties. If the US Supreme Court upholds the law, it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.

In 1984, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a lecture on why Roe v. Wade, the Court’s 1973 decision recognizing a constitutional right to abortion, was wrongly decided. The case, she explained, should never have been framed as a matter of privacy or reproductive choice alone: Abortion was at bottom a question of gender equality.

Thirty-seven years later, Texas is proving Ginsburg’s point with its draconian and potentially transformative abortion law. If the Supreme Court upholds the law – it just heard oral arguments on whether to permit two legal challenges to proceed – it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.

Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Por Andrés Velasco

Los latinoamericanos tenemos muchos talentos. Uno de ellos es la notable aptitud para gobernarnos mal, como lo ha puesto de manifiesto la pandemia. Seis de los 20 países con más muertes per cápita del mundo a causa del Covid-19 se encuentran en América Latina. Perú encabeza la lista y Brasil ocupa el octavo lugar.

Sin duda que la pobreza, la escasez de camas en los hospitales, y las hacinadas condiciones de vivienda, contribuyeron a la diseminación del virus, pero estos factores por sí solos no explican por qué la región lo ha hecho tan mal. Muchas naciones de Asia y de África padecen de los mismos problemas, pero sufrieron menos muertes per cápita. Incluso países que vacunaron a su población tempranamente, como Chile, –o que al principio de la pandemia parecían exitosos, como Uruguay– han terminado con un desempeño mediocre.

Image: Project Syndicate

By Jeffrey Frankel

Many aspects of cryptocurrencies are baffling, not least the success of a joke like Dogecoin. But El Salvador’s recent adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar is perhaps the strangest and potentially most worrying example of all.

El Salvador this month [September 2021] became the first country to adopt a cryptocurrency – in this case, Bitcoin – as legal tender. I say the first, because others might follow. But they should think twice, because the idea is highly dubious – and likely to be economically dangerous for developing countries in particular.

I will admit that I don’t understand the need for cryptocurrencies at all. Like many economists, I fail to see what problem they solve. They aren’t well designed to fulfill any of the classic functions of money – a unit of account, store of value, or means of payment – because their prices are so extraordinarily volatile. This volatility is not surprising, because cryptocurrencies are backed neither by reserves nor by the reputation of a well-established institution, such as a government or even a private bank or other trusted corporation.

Image: Project Syndicate

By Jorge G. Castañeda

Since the first days of Joe Biden’s presidency, his administration has insisted that the growing number of migrants being apprehended at the US-Mexico border is not a “crisis,” but rather a normal, seasonal spike. US officials have even argued that the controversy was concocted entirely by former President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

While the Biden administration was not totally wrong about Trump, reality has since rebutted its claims. The situation on the border today is indeed a crisis, both for the United States and Mexico. As of late September, some 15,000 migrants and asylum seekers, most of them Haitian, are sheltering from the sun under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. They have brought the migration issue roaring back to the fore.

CITY HALL STEPS, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2018/06/20: Council Member Antonio Reynoso – Advocates, community organizations, and Council Members held a press conference and rally at the steps of City Hall, challenging Mayor de Blasio and the NYPDs newly-announced marijuana enforcement policy, urging the Mayor to end racially biased marijuana arrests completely. The Mayor and NYPD Commissioner announced the policy shift yesterday in the culmination of their 30-day review period to assess marijuana enforcement in NYC. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By Helen Clark, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Ricardo Lagos

With his evidence-based, public-health approach to drug policy, US President Joe Biden is signaling that America’s longstanding strategies of repression and punishment have failed. The US should also champion a similar shift toward harm-reduction policies internationally.

Fifty years ago this week, US President Richard Nixon declared that drug abuse was “public enemy number one” requiring a “tough on crime” approach in the United States and abroad. The “war on drugs,” which expanded in parallel with the global political, military, economic, and cultural hegemony of the US in the post-World War II decades, has delivered the exact opposite of its own stated aims. Today we have both plant-based and synthetic production; low-scale and high-level trafficking of illicit narcotics; disproportionate sentencing and over-incarceration; violence and rights violations; and money laundering and enrichment of organized crime – all strengthened, not weakened, by repressive responses to illegal drugs.

CHILE, VALPARAISO – JULY 04 : View on the historic city and the harbor of Valparaiso on July 04, 2017, Chile. (Photo by Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images)

By Felipe Larraín and Pepe Zhang

US-China tensions are unlikely to abate anytime soon, and Latin America will not be able to insulate itself fully from the fallout. But by heeding the lessons of the last three years, the region’s governments and businesses can better position themselves to succeed over the next three years and beyond.

Once a peripheral presence in Latin America, China has become one of the region’s most important partners. Bilateral trade expanded from $12 billion in 2000 to over $300 billion in 2020, raising China’s share of the region’s total trade from 1.7% to 14.4%. China has also become an increasingly significant source of foreign direct investment in Latin America, accounting for nearly 10% of inflows in recent years.

People take part in a new protest against the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque, in Cali, Colombia, on May 19, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

By Mauricio Cárdenas

Colombians need political leadership that responds to the current anger in the streets with effective strategies to tackle the country’s social and fiscal crises, while relying on increased vaccination to defeat the pandemic. But with the radical right and populist left on the rise, expecting this anytime soon is wishful thinking.

While the United States and other advanced economies are returning to normalcy, Colombia reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths to date during the last week of June. Since early May, the country has been recording one COVID-19 death per 100,000 people per day – three times India’s rate.