Latin American protests and PPPs

01 November 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Social unrest in Chile, Ecuador and elsewhere in the region has placed a spotlight on the cost and adequacy of national infrastructure and electricity. How far has economic growth in these two countries actually driven government procurement of PPPs over the past five years? Giulio Comellini investigates

During October, Chile and Ecuador were among several Latin America countries (Bolivia, Peru and Honduras were others) rocked by riots, protests and civil unrest.

Though the motivation and grievances of protestors were different in each country, infrastructure provision was a common theme in all. In Chile, an increase of 9.2% in electricity pricing and a rise in metro fares were sparks that ignited the unrest, whereas Ecuador’s riots were triggered by economic policies that include a 30% increase in gasoline prices and a 120% rise in diesel fares. Both governments agreed to roll-back hikes to appease protestors.

The final repercussions of the social crisis are yet to be seen. At the time of writing, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has reshuffled the cabinet by replacing eight ministers and agreed to some of the protesters’ claims, whereas Lenín Moreno, president of Ecuador, has agreed to postpone some of the austerity measures and start a new national dialogue.

Read more