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This article analyzes legal development writing on the region. It identifies an underlying narrative of failed law, and it considers this discourse within the framework of international legal politics. Along the way, the paper makes three salient points. First, it describes and critiques the "failed law" discourse. Second, it examines the impact of this discursive formula on Latin America's institutions and on the political choices available to Latin Americans. Finally, the Article raises some concerns about how discredited law and institutions in the region may adversely affect Latin Americans and North Americans alike with regard to greater hemispheric collaboration.