El Salvador’s La Unión Port: Foundering in a Sea of Politics

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Guillermo López Suárez, the new head of El Salvador’s port authority, faces a dilemma: how to get the brand new La Unión port running. Plans made by the previous, right-wing government to find a private operator for the $187 million port had stalled in the National Assembly. In addition, a number of expensive technical problems had become clear over the course of the port’s construction. To make matters worse, the current administration faced opposition to privatization of the port from within its own party, which had radical Marxist elements. López Suárez must consider advice from two outside technical teams: the Japanese development and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. He also must tailor his decision to the specific political setting of El Salvador. 

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