Atlas Network’s new Center for Latin America works with local civil society organizations across the region to solve complex issues from the bottom up. Together we can build an inclusive prosperity and a future of freedom in Latin America.

ABOUT THE CENTER

The Center for Latin America collaborates with partners that understand how individual rights, limited government under the rule of law, and free markets tend to create prosperity and improve the prospects for peace. The Center calls for an end to cronyism, corruption, and political privileges of all kinds, and looks forward to working with all people of goodwill who share this vision. In this way, the Center adheres to a set of principles, but not to a narrowly-defined ideology or political orientation.

The Center for Latin America does not engage in partisan politics. Our focus is on building a long-term consensus around the principles that foster peace and prosperity, with the sincere hope that such a future will see ‘less at stake’ in individual elections, because all parties will be respectful of fundamental freedoms.

The Center is not endowed and does not accept funding from any government. It relies entirely on the generosity of individuals and institutional donors that share its desire to create greater freedom and opportunity for the people of Latin America.

Building on nearly four-decades of investment by Atlas Network in the region, the Center for Latin America provides its partners with world-class training and mentoring; with grant competitions for project funding; and with networking opportunities that foster peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.

Launched in November 2018, the Center is directed by Dr. Roberto Salinas León, who also heads the Mexico Business Forum and the Alamos Alliance, while also serving as Senior Policy Advisor to TV Azteca and Grupo Salinas, in Mexico.

Under the leadership of Dr. Roberto Salinas León, and with the full support of all Atlas Network staff, the Center for Latin America team includes:

  • Staff: Roberto Salinas, Antonella Marty, Gonzalo Schwarz
     
  • Senior Fellows: Juan JOSÉ Daboub, Axel Kaiser
     
  • Advisory Council: 
    • Juan José Daboub
    • Martín Aguirre
    • Marcel Granier
    • Guillermo Cabieses
    • Manuel Hinds

 

Dr. Roberto Salinas León
Executive Director

Roberto Salinas is the Executive Director of the Atlas Network Center for Latin America,  he is currently President of the Mexico Business Forum, as well as the President of Alamos Alliance, which was described glowingly in Forbes in 2013 as “one of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman’s favorite retreats,” with Roberto Salinas León noted as “a major driving force of efforts for free markets.”

He has been an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Professor of Political Economy at the Escuela Libre de Derecho (1989-2002), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1989-1992) and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, in Mexico City (since 2004). He was also a Visiting Professor of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, in Guatemala (1997).

He is currently Senior Debate Fellow and Debate Lecturer at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute. He has organized a number of the most important policy and academic forums in the past 25 years in Mexico, including the annual Mexico roundtable of The Economist Group, which he directed from 1997 until 2009.

He has published more than 2,000 editorials (English and Spanish) on public policy topics, including op-ed pieces in The Wall Street JournalThe Journal of CommerceInvestor’s Business DailyBarrons, and others. He was a weekly editorial columnist in El Economista, from 1993 to 2011 and now published occasional op-ed’s in different media outlets. He is an occasional commentator for CNN, CNN Latinamerica, CNCB, BBC, and others; and is a weekly commentator on economics and global finance in AND 40, in Mexico City.

He has delivered over 900 lectures in Mexico and the U.S., Canada, several countries in Central and South America, and throughout Europe and Asia. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on three occasions – on NAFTA and free trade, structural reform in Mexico, and monetary and exchange rate policy.

Roberto Salinas León holds a B.A. in political economy, history and philosophy from Hillsdale College, Michigan; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University, Indiana.

Gonzalo Schwarz
General Manager

Gonzalo Schwarz

Growing up around the world in Uruguay, Israel, Ecuador, and Bolivia, Gonzalo saw poverty firsthand and wondered how to get individuals on the path to prosperity. After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at the Catholic University of Bolivia and his master’s in economics from George Mason University, he began his life’s work of reducing poverty. This led Gonzalo to found the Archbridge Institute, an organization dedicated to removing the barriers that prevent individuals across the globe from bettering their lives.

While forming the idea to start the Archbridge Institute, Gonzalo Schwarz was working as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Atlas Network. During his six years at Atlas, he managed key projects including the Leveraging Indices for Free Enterprise Reform program, the Templeton Freedom Award, the Latin American program, and the Sound Money Project. He also participated as an instructor in various Atlas Network training programs such as the Think Tank MBA and the Think Tank Leadership Training, focusing on outcome measurement and best practices.

Antonella Marty
Associate Director

Antonella Marty

Ms. Marty is the Associate Director at the Center for Latin American at Atlas Network. She is also the Director at the Center for Latin American Studies at Fundación Libertad (Argentina) and Senior Fellow at Fundación Internacional para la Libertad (Spain), think tank led by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

Antonella received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Universidad Abierta Interamericana (Argentina) and she is finishing her master’s degree in Public Policies from the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina).

She worked at the Argentinian Parliament as a public policy advisor from 2015 to 2017. She has also worked as an intern at the Cato Institute, The IFEF, Fundación para el Progreso and Cedice Libertad. Antonella became the first Regional Director for Argentina and also for countries like Chile when Students for Liberty was in its beginnings. She also became a member of the first Executive Board for Estudiantes por la Libertad. Antonella published her first book The Intellectual Populist Dictatorship (2015) with Unión Editorial, her second book What Every Revolutionary of The 21st Century Should Know (2018) and her third book Capitalism: Antidote to Poverty (2019).

Senior Fellows

Juan José Daboub PhD
Distinguished Senior Fellow

Dr. Juan José Daboub is the Chairman and CEO of The Daboub Partnership, an initiative of ARCIS, LLC, dedicated to delivering results for public and private organizations around the world. He is also the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Global Adaptation Institute (www.gain.org). He has taught at Princeton University and is a member of several Board of Directors, including in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

As Managing Director of the World Bank from 2006 to 2010, Dr. Daboub oversaw operations in 110 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America. He was also responsible for the oversight of the Human Development and Sustainable Development Networks, the Information Systems Group, the World Bank Institute, and the Department of Institutional Integrity.

Internationally recognized as a thought leader, Dr. Daboub has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and many other international publications. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, EWTN, TCS, and many other broadcast media outlets.

He has spoken extensively at high-level international conferences on economic freedom, prosperity and development issues, including the World Economic Forum, the Union for the Mediterranean, the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings, OECD, Transparency International, the BOAO Forum, and the Atlantic Basin Initiative.Prior to the World Bank, Dr. Daboub lead the expansion of his family owned businesses and worked for non-for-profits on public policies to promote liberty, stability and growth throughout Latin America.

From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Daboub served concurrently as El Salvador’s Minister of Finance and as Chief of Staff to the President. In these high-profile, dual roles, Dr. Daboub helped to navigate his native country through several regional economic challenges including securing and sustaining El Salvador’s investment grade rating, “dollarizing” the economy, and completing a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. During this period, he also oversaw the emergency reconstruction of El Salvador after two major earthquakes in 2001.

Dr. Daboub’s leadership began in the private sector, where he led his family-owned businesses for nearly a decade before joining the Board of CEL, El Salvador’s electric utility, and presiding over El Salvador’s electric distribution companies.

Subsequently, he was named President of ANTEL, the state-owned telecommunications company, which he re-structured and privatized through a competitive and transparent process that also de-monopolized that strategic sector. He held high Government positions in El Salvador for 12 years (1992-2004), working for three different Administrations without belonging to any political party. Dr. Daboub holds a Bachelor’s of Science, Master’s of Science and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Axel Kaiser
Senior Fellow

Axel Kaiser Barents von Hohenhagen is a Chilean-German lawyer, Master in Investments, Commerce and Arbitration, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Heidelberg (Germany). He is Director of the FA Hayek Chair at the Adolfo Ibáñez University in Santiago de Chile, he has been Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and co-founder and president of the Foundation for Progress, Chile, one of the classical liberal think tanks with the greatest impact in Latin America.

His writings have won various national and international awards such as the Hayek Essay Contest of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Caminos de la Libertad contest of the Salinas Groups in Mexico and the book prize of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, among others. In 2011, the Network of leaders of the El Sábado de El Mercurio magazine and the Adolfo Ibáñez University elected him as one of the 100 young leaders in Chile. He has been highlighted as one of the ten most admired intellectuals in Chile by the newspaper La Segunda and described as one of the most influential classical liberal intellectuals in Latin America. He is a columnist for the newspapers Financiero and El Mercurio and his opinions have been published in international media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Quillette, Forbes.com, La Nación de Argentina, El País de Uruguay and El Mundo, among others. He is an international lecturer and author of several best-selling books including El Engaño Populista (Deusto, 2016), The Pope and Capitalism (2018), The Tyranny of Equality (El Mercurio, 2015), La fatal ignorancia (2009), and The Neo inquisition (Deusto 2020).

FEATURED STORIES

CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICA STATEMENT ON REPRESSION IN NICARAGUA

Atlas Network’s Center for Latin America strongly condemns the Nicaraguan government's repressive actions against its critics, including the beating and imprisonment of presidential candidate Félix Maradiaga and economist Juan Sebastián Chamorro. As was widely reported by international media, including the Washington Post, Bloom...

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IS IT STILL LIBERALISM’S HOUR IN LATIN AMERICA?

In April of last year, The Economist’s Bello column controversially proclaimed that it should be “Latin American liberalism´s hour.” Bello columnist Michael Reid meant a set of ideas emphasizing justice systems that check power and privilege; equality of opportunity before the law; tolerance instead of bigotry, and science inste...

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LIBERA BOLIVIA EXAMINES STREET FAIR THAT HAS LIFTED THOUSANDS FROM POVERTY

On March 10, 2021, our partners at LIBERA Bolivia presented an audiovisual production called Sabemos Vender Bien (We Know How to Sell Well) that presents the events of Feria 16 de Julio in El Alto, Bolivia, a huge street fair that has helped lift thousands of people out of poverty in recent decades by encouraging free market act...

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ECONOMIC FREEDOM AUDIT IN COLOMBIA RECEIVES WIDESPREAD ATTENTION

The Instituto de Ciencia Política Hernán Echavarría (ICP), one of Atlas Network’s active partners in Latin America, organized an important online event on March 17 examining Colombia’s ranking within the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Report (EFW) and opportunities for improvement. The event—sponsored by an Atl...

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IDEAS LABS NAMED A FINALIST FOR ATLAS NETWORK’S 2020 TEMPLETON FREEDOM AWARD

More than one million Costa Ricans—almost 20 percent of the country’s population—live in poverty while almost ten thousand receive “luxury pensions.” This privileged group, dubbed “Ticos Con Coronas” (or “Costa Ricans with Crowns”), receive an average monthly pension of US$4,495, with some receiving as much as US$24,000 per mont...

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AMLO AND THE “FOURTH TRANSFORMATION” IN MEXICO

According to Enrique Krauze, Mexico's prominent classical-liberal intellectual, new "winds of authoritarianism" are sweeping across Latin America, characterized by all-mighty caudillos who ascend to political power via democratic means, but who then seek to concentrate control over a tightly knit polity of order and moral virtue...

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LA MOVILIDAD SOCIAL

In this article Center for Latin America Fellow Gonzalo Schwarz analyzes the state of social mobility in Uruguay and how there is a need for the incoming government to focus more on social mobility instead of inequality as a key policy priority. Doing so would enable more entrepreneurship and a focus on work as the main vehicle...

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FUNDACIÓN ELÉUTERA WINS 2019 LATIN AMERICA LIBERTY AWARD

Fundación Eléutera has won the 2019 Latin America Liberty Award for their work to strengthen the rule of law in Honduras through reforms to the nation’s tax code. The $7,000 prize is generously sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton Religion Trust and is part of Atlas Network's suite of Regional Liberty Awards....

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ESTUDIANTES POR LA LIBERTAD WINS 2019 LATIN AMERICA STUDENT OUTREACH AWARD

Estudiantes por la Libertad has been awarded the 2019 Award for Student Outreach in Latin America for hosting its inaugural Latin America LibertyCon which provided hundreds of young people from Central and South America intensive education about the power of free markets and the damaging results of big-government policies and eq...

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APOSTANDO POR LA MOVILIDAD SOCIAL

In this article Center for Latin America Fellow Gonzalo Schwarz discusses the need to differentiate between inequality, social mobility and poverty in policy debates. Gonzalo contends that focusing on many of the more common solutions to reduce inequality would not improve poverty and social mobility in meaningful ways and might...

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ECONOMIC FREEDOM AUDIT CASE STUDIES: VENEZUELA

Venezuela was once the most prosperous country in Latin America. Much of this was due to economic freedom. In fact, in 1970 Venezuela had the highest level of economic freedom in Latin America, and 10th in the world, as ranked by the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) Index. The prosperity, however, led to il...

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RECENT MEDIA

ANNUAL REPORT

View the center’s 2019 Annual Report

FOR PARTNERS

GRANTS

From general support to special project funding. Atlas Network offers its partners in Latin American a range of strategic opportunities on a competitive basis.

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AWARDS

In recognition of excellence and special achievements, Atlas Network identifies and rewards the very best in its Latin America network through a variety of awards and prizes.

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TRAININGS

Atlas Network provides digital and in-person training to take the leadership in the Latin American freedom movement to the next level.

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FAQS

Does the Center adhere to a particular ideology?

The Center for Latin America collaborates with partners that understand how individual rights, limited government under the rule of law, and free markets tend to create prosperity and improve the prospects for peace. The Center calls for an end to cronyism, corruption, and political privileges of all kinds, and looks forward to working with all people of goodwill who share this vision. In this way, the Center adheres to a set of principles, but not to a narrowly-defined ideology or political orientation.

Does the Center get involved in politics?

No. The Center for Latin America does not engage in partisan politics. Our focus is on building a long-term consensus around the principles that foster peace and prosperity, with the sincere hope that such a future will see ‘less at stake’ in individual elections, because all parties will be respectful of fundamental freedoms.

How can I inquire about having the Center’s Director, Roberto Salinas-Leon, speak for my organization?

The Center welcomes speaking invitations for our Director, Roberto Salinas-Leon. Please contact Antonella Marty with the details of your invitation. We must warn that Dr. Salinas needs to decline most of the invitations he receives, but we will give consideration to each request that is received. On occasion, Atlas Network may able to suggest one or more alternate speakers for your event should Dr. Salinas be unavailable.

How can I learn the Center’s position on particular policy issues?

The Center for Latin America serves a network of independent think tanks and civil society organizations that take their own positions on specific policy topics in specific countries. We are not a think tank ourselves, so we are not in the business of giving hot takes on the news of the day. On occasion, our team can assist media inquiries by providing references to experts associated with our partner organizations, but these individuals do not speak for the Center itself.

How do I get involved with the Center?

If you would like to learn more about the Center and meet those involved in its work, consider attending our upcoming Latin America Liberty Forum.

If you are working for a think tank or civil society group that would like to take part in training programs and grant competitions, the first step is to go through Atlas Network’s partner approval process

If you are a philanthropist wanting to learn about the Center’s work, please contact Antonella Marty. We would be happy to provide details that will help you make an informed decision about how gifts to the Center for Latin America may fulfill your philanthropic goals. Those who become Sponsors of the Center are invited to take part in our annual Día Logos retreat, which fosters camaraderie and collaboration among those with shared ambitions for building freer societies across the Americas.

If you are a member of the academy or the media, we welcome your inquiries about how you might contribute to a better understanding of the work of the Center and the achievements of our independent partners.

How is the Center funded?

The Center is not endowed and does not accept funding from any government. It relies entirely on the generosity of individuals and institutional donors that share its desire to create greater freedom and opportunity for the people of Latin America.

What are the Center’s top priorities at present?

Since the Center believes the best policy solutions come from the bottom-up, our strategy is to listen to our partners rather than direct them. The principal focus of our work is in supporting our partners’ locally-grown solutions to poverty and other problems via training, grants, and networking opportunities.

That said, we do bring together our Council of Ideas to identify areas of collaboration around big themes that resonate with many partners. Current themes include:

Improving understanding of the benefits of trade and the dangers of protectionism, so that political leaders will less inclined to indulge in demagoguery that could undermine beneficial trading relationships.
Rooting out corruption and political privileges that distort the economic playing field. Such work will help us clarify that enlightened political actors will be “pro-market” (since market competition produces innovation and lowers prices for consumers), not “pro-business” (a euphemism for helping existing businesses at the expense of competitors and consumers).
Using tools like the Doing Business report of the World Bank and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World report to identify “low-hanging-fruit” reforms that can measurably increase economic freedom.

What does the Center for Latin America do?

The mission of the Center is to help achieve a lasting peace and inclusive prosperity in Latin America, providing justice and opportunity to all its citizens. Our strategy is to assist civil society organizations in the region to implement bottom-up projects that increase freedom.

This means we focus our attention on helping our partners by providing (1) training; (2) competitive grant opportunities; and (3) networking opportunities. Through our annual Latin America Liberty Forum and other events and public campaigns, we also bring public attention to the projects of our partners and the importance of their work.

What is the Center’s relationship to other organizations focused broadly on Latin America?

The Center aims to complement – and finds ways to collaborate with – other efforts to advance sound policy ideas in Latin America. Two organizations with long and friendly relationships with Atlas Network, which come immediately to mind are Fundación Internacional para la Libertad and Red Liberal de América Latina. We welcome inquiries about how we might work cooperatively with other organizations pursuing similar ends.