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This paper is an attempt at identifying the causes and commonalities of financial crises in Latin America over the past forty years. This identification is carried out through an extensive review and analysis of the literature on the precipitating factors of 12 major financial crises in six major nations in Latin America. Through the literature review, we find three major commonalities among the Latin American financial crises: over-dependence on commodities, ineffective macro and currency policies, and overall political instability. Political instability is often the impetus for self-serving, politically motivated economic decisions, accentuating an existing crisis or contributing to a new one, such as the region’s current struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic. Our analysis show that these crises are associated with significant shifts in the commodity prices, exchange rates and interest rates.