Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

This fact sheet tracks current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Updated May 14, 2019 (98-684)

This report provides the results of recent presidential elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, including the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next presidential election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) World Fact Book, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.

Table 1. Election Results in South America

Country

Independence
Date

Head of
Government

Last
Election/Runoff

Next Presidential
Election

Argentina

July 9, 1816

MACRI, Mauricio

Oct. 25, 2015/
Nov. 22, 2015

Oct. 27, 2019

Bolivia

Aug. 6, 1825

MORALES, Juan Evo

Oct. 12, 2014

Oct. 27, 2019

Brazil

Sept. 7, 1822

BOLSONARO, Jair

Oct. 7, 2018/
Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 2022

Chile

Sept. 18, 1810

PIÑERA, Sebastián

Nov. 19, 2017/
Dec. 17, 2017

Nov. 2021

Colombia

July 20, 1810

DUQUE, Iván

May 27, 2018/ June 17, 2018

May 2022

Ecuador

May 24, 1822

MORENO, Lenín

Feb. 19, 2017
Apr. 2, 2017

Feb. 2021

Guyana

May 26, 1966

GRANGER, Davida

May 11, 2015

May 2020a

Paraguay

May 14, 1811

ABDO BENITEZ, Mario

April 22, 2018

Apr. 2023

Peru

July 28, 1821

VIZCARRA, Martínb

April 10, 2016 /June 5, 2016

April 2021

Suriname

Nov. 25, 1975

BOUTERSE, Desiré Delano

May 25, 2015

May 25, 2020

Uruguay

Aug. 25, 1825

VÁZQUEZ, Tabaré

Oct. 26, 2014/ Nov. 30, 2014

Oct. 27, 2019

Venezuela

July 5, 1811

MADURO, Nicolás

May 20, 2018

May 2024c

Source: The Congressional Research Service (CRS).

a. The Parliament passed a no-confidence vote in December 2018 and the decision was upheld by a court order to plan general elections in March 2019. The Guyana Elections Commission states that it may be ready for elections in July 2019, although the opposition is calling for elections to be held sooner. Taken from the National Post, "Officials: Guyana unable to hold required elections in March," February 5, 2019, at https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/officials-guyana-unable-to-hold-required-elections-in-march.

b. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected president in June 2016, but resigned on March 21, 2018, just ahead of a vote on impeachment. He was succeeded by First Vice President Martin Vizcarra, who is set to fill out the remainder of Kuczynski's term.

c. In a controversial move, Venezuela's presidential election was moved from December 2018 to May 20, 2018. See CRS In Focus IF10230, Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. Policy. Some countries have moved to recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president in 2019. See CRS Insight IN11024, Venezuela: U.S. Recognizes Interim Government.

Table 2. Election Results in Mexico and Central America

Country

Independence
Date

Head of
Government

Last
Election/Runoff

Next
Election

Mexico

Sept. 16, 1810

LÓPEZ OBRADOR, Andrés Manuel

July 1, 2018

July 1, 2024

Belize

Sept. 21, 1981

BARROW, Dean

Nov. 4, 2015

Nov. 2020

Costa Rica

Sept. 15, 1821

ALVARADO, Carlos

Feb. 4, 2018/
Apr. 1, 2018

Feb. 2022

El Salvador

Sept. 15, 1821

SÁNCHEZ CERÉN, Salvadora

Feb. 2, 2014/
Mar. 9, 2014

Feb. 4, 2024

Guatemala

Sept. 15, 1821

MORALES, Jimmy

Sept. 6, 2015/
Oct. 25, 2015

June 2019

Honduras

Sept. 15, 1821

HERNÁNDEZ, Juan Orlando

Nov. 26, 2017

Nov. 2021

Nicaragua

Sept. 15, 1821

ORTEGA, Daniel

Nov. 6, 2016

Nov. 2021

Panama

Nov. 3, 1903

VARELA, Juan Carlosb

May 5, 2019

May 2024

Source: CRS.

a. Nayib Bukele won the presidential elections held on February 3, 2019, and is scheduled to take office on June 1, 2019. See CRS Insight IN11034, El Salvador's 2019 Elections.

b. Laurentino Cortizo won the presidential elections held on May 5, 2019, and is scheduled to take office on July 1, 2019. See CRS In Focus IF10430, Panama: An Overview.

Table 3. Election Results in the Caribbean

Country

Independence
Date

Head of
Government

Last
Election

Next
Election

Antigua and Barbuda

Nov. 1, 1981

BROWNE, Gaston

March 21, 2018

by March 2023

Bahamas

July 10, 1973

MINNIS, Hubert

May 10, 2017

by May 2022

Barbados

Nov. 30, 1966

MOTTLEY, Mia

May 25, 2018

by May 2023

Cuba

May 20, 1902

DÍAZ-CANEL, Miguela

April 2018

April 2023

Dominica

Nov. 3, 1978

SKERRIT, Roosevelt

Dec. 8, 2014

by Dec. 2019

Dominican Republic

Feb. 27, 1844

MEDINA, Danilo

May 15, 2016

May 2020

Grenada

Feb. 7, 1974

MITCHELL, Keith

March 13, 2018

by March 2023

Haiti

Jan. 1, 1804

MOÏSE, Jovenel

Nov. 20, 2016

Oct. 2021

Jamaica

Aug. 6, 1962

HOLNESS, Andrew

Feb. 25, 2016

by Feb. 2021

St. Kitts and Nevis

Sept. 19, 1983

HARRIS, Timothy

Feb. 16, 2015

by Feb. 2020

St. Lucia

Feb. 22, 1979

CHASTANET, Allen

June 6, 2016

by June 2021

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Oct. 27, 1979

GONSALVES, Ralph E.

Dec. 9, 2015

by Dec. 2020

Trinidad and Tobago

Aug. 31, 1962

ROWLEY, Keith

Sept. 7, 2015

by Sept. 2020

Source: CRS.

a.Cuba does not have direct elections for its head of government. Instead, Cuba's legislature selects the members of the 31-member Council of State, with the president of that body serving as Cuba's head of government and head of state. In April 2018, Cuba's legislature selected a new president for a five-year term.

Author Contact Information

Carla Y. Davis-Castro, Research Librarian ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

Nese F. DeBruyne, CRS senior research librarian, was the former author of this report.