The astonishing growth trajectory of China’s HNA Group is perplexing, not only to many Western businessmen, but also to observers from within China. It seems to owe much of its growth to its ability to skilfully balance political exposure – a blessing for now, but a potentially dangerous game.
Free Article
Based on an in-depth investigation conducted by Shadow Governance, this report details the criminal infiltration of Mexico’s second largest port – Lazaro Cardenas. In addition to highlighting how and why the port has been open to criminal influence, it identifies the groups involved and names key players.
China has been on a global port buying spree, and the pace is quickening. Beijing believes that China needs to rule the waves to truly secure its status as a great political and economic power. If it plays its diplomatic cards carefully, its strategy of influence through ports will continue to gain traction.
Free Article
By placing increasing strategic importance in Djibouti, Beijing can turn the country into a major trade hub and a gateway to African economies. Although the construction of China’s Djibouti naval base has been perceived as a security threat to the ‘West’, it brings good news for global investors.
Should the US take a backseat in African affairs during the Trump presidency, China would have ample opportunity to increase its dominance over the continent.
Shortly after his inauguration in 2012, President Nieto announced a major package of reforms to revitalise Mexico’s stagnant economy. The PRI administration introduced new education, energy, political, fiscal and telecommunications legislation. However, many of the reforms soon became open to influence from informal actors, primarily the business elite, who undermined their fundamental objectives.
While controlling the SNTE teachers union for almost 25 years, Elba Esther Gordillo garnered vast political influence and a reputation of being virtually ‘untouchable’. She was also able to amass a considerable personal fortune, allegedly using misappropriated funds to subsidise her lavish lifestyle. However, Gordillo's illusion of invulnerability was swiftly shattered by the Peña Nieto administration.
Free Article
Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, the founder of the Sinaloa Cartel, has risen to become one of the world’s most powerful drug lords, with a billion dollar transnational empire. Prior to his latest capture in January 2016, he had operated with relative impunity, surviving Calderón’s ‘war on drugs’, which conveniently wiped out most of his competition. This assessment addresses the long-held suspicions that he received direct governmental protection during this time.
Free Article
With less than three weeks remaining before the polls open for Mexico’s latest round of elections, this assessment identifies the main candidates and their associated risks.
The Colombian government’s majority stake in electricity provider Isagen, was abruptly sold to Canadian investment fund Brookfield Asset Management on 12 January 2016. Although Santos had long defended the move for plugging the fiscal gap and improving investment conditions, influential congressmen have joined the general public in reacting with outrage, calling it one of the greatest public losses in recent history.
Free Article
Despite impressive gains in the peace negotiations, the government and the FARC will struggle to meet the 23rd March 2016 deadline set by President Santos. When a deal is eventually signed, Colombia will not have achieved a uniform ‘national peace’. In fact, short term levels of violence will likely spike in the immediate aftermath, primarily because FARC elites will face obstacles in channelling the terms of any negotiation to the sub-factions that operate in isolated rural areas.
  • 1 (current)
  • 2