Geopolitical unrest in South America and its impacts on supply chains

South America is experiencing a series of protests in response to increasing inequality and corruption

Over the past two months, a wave of massive protests has severely impacted South American nations and caused substantial supply chain disruptions across Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Colombia. Protesters across the region have targeted major highways, production facilities (mainly copper and oil refineries), ports, and airports to disrupt cargo transportation, halt industrial production, and force governments to respond to their concerns.

Although the causes of mass protests in South America are related to country specific issues, the common thread that leaders have been forced to face is the need to strike the right balance between implementing fiscal reforms and protecting social safety nets. Despite efforts by South American leaders to pacify citizens’ concerns through incremental changes, it is likely that violent protests will persist into 2020.

In order to mitigate risks associated with the protests, customers should monitor updates on policy changes and protests, identify key locations in affected areas and anticipate alternative routes or modes of transportation.