Speaker(s): Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Laura Chinchilla, Ricardo Lagos, Juan Manuel Santos, Dr Ernesto Zedillo | Latin America is being hit by the virus and by a number of adverse economic shocks. How can the region’s democracies preserve both lives and livelihoods? What will be the impact on the region’s already low economic growth and high inequality?
Five former Latin American heads of state bring their knowledge and experience to bear on these difficult questions. Fernando Henrique Cardoso served two terms as President of Brazil from 1995 to 2002, having previously served as a senator, Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Finance. Mr Cardoso has been a member of The Elders since the group was founded in 2007, stepping down from a front line role in 2016. Laura Chinchilla (@Laura_Ch) is a political scientist, who graduated from college at the Universidad de Costa Rica. She also holds a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Her election in 2010 for a four year term as President of the Republic of Costa Rica was preceded by a political career which began with her appointment as Minister of Public Security between 1996 and 1998. Between 2002 and 2006 she was elected member of the National Congress. In 2006 she was elected Vice President of Costa Rica, assuming office as the Ministry of Justice at the same time. Ricardo Lagos is the former President of Chile, who held the office from 2000 to 2006. An economist and lawyer by qualification, he worked as an economist for the United Nations from 1976–1984. In the 1990s, R. Lagos served in Chile under President Aylwin and his successor, President Eduardo Frei, as both Education Minister and Minister of Public Works. Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) is the former President of the Republic of Colombia, serving two terms, from 2010 to 2018. In 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is a member of The Elders and a Honorary Graduate of LSE. President Santos studied for a Master of Science in the Department of Economics at LSE in 1975. Ernesto Zedillo was President of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. Dr. Zedillo’s was named Under-Secretary of Planning and Budget Control in the Secretariat of Budget and Planning in 1987, becoming the Secretary of Economic Programming in 1988. In 1992, Dr. Zedillo was appointed Secretary of Education. Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy.