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Central American Realities: A Conversation with President Luis Guillermo Solís

Former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera will discuss the daunting challenges facing Central America during a talk Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Duke University.

His talk, “Central American Realities,” is free and open to the public. The event starts at 5 pm at the Nasher Museum of Art. Paid parking is available at the museum.

For many years, Solís has contributed to strengthening Central America’s political institutions, economies and ties to the rest of the world.

Solís first came to international attention as an aide to the president of Costa Rica during negotiations to bring peace to Central America in the 1980s. He was Costa Rica’s president from 2014-18 and is now a visiting scholar at Florida International University.

Solis will discuss violence, corruption and poverty in the region.

“These are issues that can threaten the very viability of a country by suppressing investment, generating tremendous immigration pressures and complicating relations with neighbors and trade partners,” said Patrick Duddy, the director of Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).

Duddy, who will moderate the event, met Solís when Duddy was posted as a diplomat to the United States Embassy in Costa Rica from 1987 to 1990.  

“Even then, President Solís had a reputation for clear-thinking, probity and political acumen,” Duddy said.

The talk is co-organized by Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Duke Center for International and Global Studies and the Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy.  

The upcoming discussion is part of the Challenges of Global Governance Series and supported by Duke’s Office of Global Affairs and the Hanscom Endowment.