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 March 9, 2020 (98-684)

This report provides the results of recent presidential elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, that include the date of each country's independence, the name of the most recently 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, Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) World Fact Book, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.

Table 1. South America: Heads of State and Election Schedules

Country

Independence
Date

Head of
Government

Last
Election/ Runoff

Next
Election

Argentina

July 9, 1816

FERNÁNDEZ, Albertoa

Oct. 27, 2019

Oct. 2023

Bolivia

Aug. 6, 1825

ÁÑEZ, Jeanineb

Oct. 20, 2019c

May 3, 2020

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, Davidd

Mar. 2, 2020

2025

Paraguay

May 14, 1811

ABDO BENITEZ, Mario

Apr. 22, 2018

Apr. 2023

Peru

July 28, 1821

VIZCARRA, Martíne

Apr. 10, 2016 /June 5, 2016

Apr. 2021

Suriname

Nov. 25, 1975

BOUTERSE, Desiré Delano

May 25, 2015

May 25, 2020

Uruguay

Aug. 25, 1825

LACALLE POU, Luis

Oct. 27, 2019/Nov.24, 2019

Oct. 2024

Venezuela

July 5, 1811

MADURO, Nicolás

May 20, 2018

May 2024f

Source: Compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

a. CRS Insight IN11184, Argentina's 2019 Elections.

b. Evo Morales stepped down from office on November 10, 2019, following October 20, 2019, presidential elections that international election observers assert were marred by fraud. After several resignations, the highest-ranking official still in office, Second Vice President of the Senate, Jeanine Áñez, declared herself interim president on November 12, 2019. Bolivia's Constitutional Court endorsed her as interim president. See CRS Insight IN11198, Bolivia: Presidential Resignation and Aftermath, by Clare Ribando Seelke.

c. On November 23, 2019, Bolivia passed a law that annulled the results of the October 20 elections. The newly formed election tribunal set presidential elections for May 3, 2020. See Rachelle Krygier, "Bolivia's election tribunal sets May date for new presidential election," Washington Post, January 3, 2020.

d. Amid allegations of fraud, international observers issued a joint statement on March 6, 2020, calling for the transparent tabulation of results to continue in Region 4 for Guyana's March 2, 2020 general elections. On March 8, Guyana's highest court blocked the elections commission from announcing results, and announced that on March 10 the court would begin reviewing whether election officials need to resume verification of the vote in Region 4. See Organization of America States, "Joint Statement from International Observers in Guyana," March 6, 2020; and Neil Marks, "Guyana Court Hals Release of Election Results Amid Fraud Accusation," Reuters, March 8, 2020.

e. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected president of Peru in June 2016, but resigned on March 21, 2018, just ahead of a vote on impeachment. First Vice President Martín Vizcarra constitutionally succeeded him and is set to fulfill the remainder of Kuczynski's term.

f. In a controversial move, Venezuela's presidential election was moved forward from December 2018 to May 20, 2018. Most Venezuelans and much of the international community considered the May 2018 election, in which then-President Nicolás Maduro won reelection, as illegitimate (CRS In Focus IF10230, Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. Policy, by Clare Ribando Seelke). The United States and over 50 other countries have recognized Juan Guaidó, elected president of Venezuela's National Assembly in January 2019, as Interim President of Venezuela yet Maduro remains in power (CRS Insight IN11024, Venezuela: U.S. Recognizes Interim Government, by Clare Ribando Seelke).

Table 2. Mexico and Central America: Heads of State and Election Schedules

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

BUKELE, Nayib

Feb. 3, 2019

Feb. 4, 2024

Guatemala

Sept. 15, 1821

GIAMMATTEI, Alejandro

June 16, 2019/ Aug. 11, 2019

2023

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

CORTIZO, Laurentino

May 5, 2019

May 2024

Source: Compiled by CRS.

Table 3. Caribbean: Heads of State and Election Schedules

Country

Independence
Date

Head of
Government

Last
Election

Next
Election

Antigua and Barbuda

Nov. 1, 1981

BROWNE, Gaston

Mar. 21, 2018

by Mar. 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

Cubaa

May 20, 1902

DÍAZ-CANEL, Miguel

Apr. 2018

Apr. 2023

Dominica

Nov. 3, 1978

SKERRIT, Roosevelt

Dec. 6, 2019

March 2025

Dominican Republic

Feb. 27, 1844

MEDINA, Danilo

May 15, 2016

May 2020

Grenada

Feb. 7, 1974

MITCHELL, Keith

Mar. 13, 2018

by Mar. 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 Aug. 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: Compiled by 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 2019, Cuba's legislature selected Miguel Diaz-Canel for a five-year term. In October 2019, Cuba's legislature appointed Diaz-Canel as president of the republic under Cuba's new constitution.

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.