Central and South America will enter 2018 on a peaceful path primarily, but with some potential to conflict and political dissent across many borders. Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Costa Rica hold the best likelihood to peace and stability, while Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela could descend into political upheaval.
Colombia will enter 2018 at peace with FARC and other rebel groups in the South American nation of lush vegetation and beautiful people which should auger well as a model for stability, security and progress to other states in Latin America.
However, while most of Colombia's actions to peace are complete, the nation will seek, in 2018, to sustain its peace process and serenity against a backdrop of some discord from national naysayers to its peace efforts.
Political dissent will figure high in Peru in 2018 triggered by the recent apparent 'tit-for-tat' deal involving President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and former president Alberto Fujimori's supporters in the Peruvian congress. Kuczynski, who faces corruption allegations, survived impeachment in the congress because of support from Fujimori's party. After weathering the political crisis, Kuczynski provided a pardon to the twice convicted former president Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year-old prison sentence for human rights abuses related to his rule from 1990 to 2000. Peruvian opposition parties have vowed protests over the construed 'tit-for-tat' support and pardon.
Venezuela has been declining farther and father into political turmoil in recent years. Dictatorship jailing of political opposition and dissenters has been rampant, raw violence has gripped the nation consuming scores of lives of protesters as food shortages and consumer prices increase. Thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country to other lands because of the political turmoil, which could get worse in 2018.
President Nicolas Maduro has undermined the parliament with the establishment of a constituent assembly which he controls. That assembly recently expelled a Canadian diplomat to which Canada reacted by expelling two Venezuelan diplomats out of Ottawa. Food and basic supply shortages continue, while opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, remains under house arrest in Caracas.
Maduro has gambled that an oil deal the nation recently inked with Russia and his Christmas goodwill to free 36 political prisoners, will provide him with some degree of cushion to his rule in 2018, when he will seek another term as president. Yet, Venezuela's troubles remain as some 150 political prisoners remain in detention as the economy continues a downward spiral.
Guatemala and Honduras:
Both of these nations that sided with Israel and the United States(US) in voting against a United Nations(UN) resolution last week repudiating the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, will continue to witness stark violence wrought by the illegal drug trade in 2018. Political dissent within both nations will also become current in 2018.
Micro and Macro corruption problems will continue in Brazil in 2018. But no major social unrests and associated security problems should figure too highly in 2018.
Chile's recent election of former president Sebastian Pinera to become its new president epitomizes much of the confusion Latin America has had in determining its future - bringing back the past in an attempt to better the present. But such actions are not immune to troubles as Chile could very well find out in 2018.
Some closure must come in 2018 to the loved ones of 44-submariners lost to the South Atlantic via a submarine accident in 2017. Legal troubles could mount for a former president of the country as economic troubles come to the fore in Argentina in 2018.
Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua:
Leftist-leaning regimes in these countries could continue to cling to power in 2018 amid suppressed dissent and corruption among members of the nations' executive branches.