The Hemisphere: Stagnant Economies

The hemisphere's top government planners sat down in a glossy Mexico City hotel last week to analyze what is wrong with the economy of Latin America. Before them was a massive, 484-page report compiled jointly by the U.N. and the Organization of American States. Two words among the thousands summed up the situation: "relative stagnation." A Mexican delegate put it more bluntly. "I prefer to call it plain stagnation."

Judging by the report, he was very nearly right. The growth in the region's economy in recent years, when divided among the population of 220...

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