Hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh

and the Political Institutions and Processes Section of the Latin American Studies Association


Please see this letter for more information on the series and about how to get involved. For questions, please email


Upcoming Events

The next Charlemos will take place on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 2 pm EST. Victoria Murillo (Columbia University) will moderate a discussion between Kurt Weyland (University of Texas at Austin) and Steven Levitsky (Harvard University) on comparisons between Trumpism and Populism in Latin America, as well as the consequences of the November 3rd U.S. Elections for Latin America.

Registration is required.

Past Events

La sexta conferencia de Charlemos tuvo lugar el lunes, 19 de octubre a las 17:00 EDT. Esta charla estuvo copatrocinado por el Departamento de Ciencia Política de la Universidad de los Andes. Raul Sánchez-Urribarri (Universidad de La Trobe, Melbourne, Australia) moderó la discusión entre Angelika Rettberg (Universidad de Los Andes), Sandra Botero (Universidad del Rosario), y Laura Gamboa (Universidad de Utah) acerca del tema "Amenazas hacia la democracia en Colombia". Angelika Rettberg habló de su artículo "Colombia en 2019: La paradoja de la abundancia"; Sandra Botero y Laura Gamboa hablaron de su artículo "Corte al Congreso: Poder judicial y trámite legislativo en Colombia". 

The sixth Charlemos took place on Monday, October 19th at 5:00 pm EDT. This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science at the University of the Andes. Raul Sánchez-Urribarri (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) moderated the discussion with Angelika Rettberg (Universidad de los Andes), Sandra Botero (Universidad del Rosario), and Laura Gamboa (University of Utah) on "Threats to Democracy in Colombia". Angelika Rettberg discussed her article, "Colombia in 2019: The Paradox of Plenty"; Sandra Botero and Laura Gamboa discussed their article, "From Court to Congress: Judicial Power and Legislative Procedure in Colombia." 

Los artículos están dsiponsibles aquí.  //  Articles available here: Colombia en 2019/Colombia in 2019 and Corte al Congreso/From Court to Congress.



The fifth Charlemos took place on Monday, September 21, 2020. Fabrice Lehoucq (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) moderated a discussion with Sandra Ley (CIDE) and Guillermo Trejo (University of Notre Dame) on "Votes, Drugs, and Violence: Mexico and Beyond". We discussed their book Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico (Cambridge University Press, August 2020). Book description from Cambridge University Press:

One of the most surprising developments in Mexico's transition to democracy is the outbreak of criminal wars and large-scale criminal violence. Why did Mexican cartels go to war as the country transitioned away from one-party rule? And why have criminal wars proliferated as democracy has consolidated and elections have become more competitive subnationally? In Votes, Drugs, and Violence, Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley develop a political theory of criminal violence in weak democracies that elucidates how democratic politics and the fragmentation of power fundamentally shape cartels' incentives for war and peace. Drawing on in-depth case studies and statistical analysis spanning more than two decades of multiple levels of government, Trejo and Ley show that electoral competitiion and partisan conflict were key drivers of the outbreak of Mexico's crime wars, the intensification of violence, and the expansion of war and violence to the spheres of local politics and civil society.



Please visit our YouTube Channel CLAS PITT to see the recording of the discussion.

The fourth Charlemos took place on August 31, 2020. Javier Corrales (Amherst College) moderated a conversation with Amy Erica Smith (Iowa State University) and Taylor C. Boas (Boston University) on "Religion, Sexuality Politics, and Voting Behavior in Latin America". The talk was based on a paper by the same title that was written for the 2020 APSA. See the abstract and link to the paper below:

Right wing candidates have rallied against same-sex marriage, abortion, and "gender ideology" in several recent Latin American elections, drawing strong support from socially conservative voters. Yet in other parts of the region, these issues are largely irrelevant to voting decisions. Drawing on theories explaining partisan shifts in the United States, we argue that elite debates on sexuality politics create conditions for electoral realignment in Latin America. When politicians take polarized positions on newly salient "culture war" issues, masses shift their voting behavior. Using a conjoint experiment in Brazil, Chile, and Peru and region-wide multilevel analysis of the AmericasBarometer and Latinobarómetro, we demonstrate that the rising salience of sexuality politics creates new electoral cleavages in terms of issue attitudes and religion. Whereas scholarship in the United States posits the centrality of partisanship, our findings indicate that sexuality politics prompts realignments even in weak party systems.

Click here to read the article. // Please visit our YouTube Channel CLAS PITT to see the recording of the discussion.


La tercera conferencia de la serie Charlemos, tuvo lugar el 10 de agosto 2020. Julieta Suárez-Cao (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, #reddepolitólogas) moderó la discusión con Claudia Heiss (Universidad de Chile, #reddepolitólogas) y Gabriel L. Negretto (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) sobre "La reforma constitucional chilena en perspectiva comparada." 

The third lecture of the series took place on August 10, 2020 and focused on constitutional reform in Chile. Julieta Suárez-Cao (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, #reddepolitólogas) led the discussion with Claudia Heiss (University of Chile, #reddepolitólogas) and Gabriel L. Negretto (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile). 

  • Claudia Heiss, 2020. "Emergencia y proceso constituyente: la frágil construcción de una salida democrática al choque de legitimidades" (Forthcoming en el libro: Contreras, Pablo (ed.), La ley de la emergencia. Ensayos sobre el derecho, la excepción y la pandemia. Santiago: Der Ediciones.) Trabajo disponible aquí.
  • Gabriel L. Negretto, 2020. "New Constitutions in Democratic Regimes" (Forthcoming en el libro: Negretto, Gabriel L (ed.), Redrafting Constitutions in Democratic Regimes: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)


Please visit our YouTube Channel, CLAS PITT to see the recording! // ¡Ve a nuestra canal de YouTube, CLAS PITT para ver la grabación del evento!




The second lecture of the series took place on July 20th, focused on "How Political Science Explains Countries’ Reactions to COVID-19." Andrés Mejía Acosta moderated and Agustina Giraudy, Sara Niedzwiecki, and Jennifer Pribble discussed their recent article, published in America's Quarterly.

El artículo en español. / O artigo em Português. / The article in English.


Please visit our YouTube Channel, CLAS PITT to see the recording!





The first lecture of the series took place on June 29, 2020 and focused on "Inconsistent Backsliding in Latin America." Jennifer Cyr moderated and Javier Corrales discussed his recently published paper and Fabrice Lehouqc discussed his forthcoming paper.

  • Javier Corrales, 2020. "Democratic backsliding through electoral irregularities: The case of Venezuela." European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Abstract available here.
  • Fabrice Lehoucq, forthcoming. "Bolivia's Citizen Revolt." Journal of Democracy.


Please visit our YouTube Channel, CLAS PITT to see the recording!