South of South of the Border (because Mexico is the only Latin American country in many North Americans' minds), this is the rest of Spanish, Portuguese and two small French and Dutch speaking chunk of America in fiction. That in case there is a Portuguese speaking one, because everybody knows that The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires, right? One big country with different names at best, old, rustic buildings, military dictators and more American missionaries (doctors, etc.) than you can shake an M16 at. Also a good place to find great big wildlife, be it of Earth origin- or extra-terrestrial. The Banana Republic part is now fairly inaccurate in Real Life. It's rather a historic penchant for getting in this kind of situation that created the trope. Nothing to do with Ancient Rome. See also: Useful Notes On Latin America. Compare Spexico.
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- Moon Over Parador
- Bogota got this treatment in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The locals were not very pleased.
- San José, Costa Rica in Jurassic Park. Because certainly a small modern city in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains looks like a Hawaiian beach resort.
- The Dancer Upstairs (John Malkovich's directorial debut).
- In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy confesses to have learned Quechua... while fighting in Pancho Villa's army. He also finds a Maya-like temple in the Brazilian Amazon.
- Lima: Breaking the Silence
- Vilena in The Expendables.
- On the 2007 movie The Reaping, the Chilean city of Concepcion is depicted as a tropical location inside a Banana Republic.
- Romancing the Stone, set in Colombia.
- Selena: Jennifer Lopez is American, of Puerto Rican ancestry, and not a fluent speaker of Spanish. This caused a small uproar when she portrayed the Mexican-American singer Selena. Who had also not been a fluent Spanish speaker; her first and fluent language was English. She had only learned Spanish after phonetically singing it, and was never entirely fluent in it.
- The Steven Seagal direct-to-video vehicle Submerged, alledgely set in Uruguay and filmed in Bulgaria. The background jumps from using the Argentinian flag to the Uruguayan and back again as if they were one and the same, and a Mayan temple in a jungle supposely near Montevideo appears at one pointnote .
- Invoked by Don Cheadle's character in Crash. He cuts short a phone call with his mother because he's "having sex with a white woman." He later remarks that she's Mexican. His girlfriend, who is Hispanic but not Mexican, is not amused.
- Her father came from El Salvador and her mother from Puerto Rico-she helpfully points out, "Neither of those is Mexico." His response: "The question we have to ask ourselves is-who gathered together those remarkably different cultures and taught them all to park their cars on their lawns?" in keeping with its theme of "insult every ethnicity imaginable."
- Similarly in Clueless, Cher makes her maid Lucy talk to the gardener for her, and tells her it's because Cher doesn't speak "Mexican". This infuriates Lucy, as she is from El Salvador, which Josh explains. Cher doesn't get what the big deal is; Josh points out that Cher gets mad if anyone thinks she lives below Sunset.
- Agualar in the second Finnegan Zwake book is one of these.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude, written by an author who actually comes from Colombia, is set in a unnamed Banana Republic with all the trappings (dictatorships, rebels, old decrepit towns, and an actual banana plantation) plus An Aesop about why capitalism is bad.
- Actually those vague descriptions fit with pretty much all Latin American countries - Except of course, the dictatorships which were common back in the time García Marquez wrote the book but not anymore -. Gabriel García Marquez was certainly trying to appeal to all such nations.
- Actually no, it is just Colombia. The geographical location of Macondo is quite specific: South of La Guajira, passing Cienga. Macondo is just Aracataca with another name. If you want this trope by Garcia Marquez then you have to check:
- The Autumn of the Patriarch
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett is set in an unspecified small country in South America that is supported just barely by exporting narcotics. It was based on the hostage situation in Peru (the Trope Namer for Lima Syndrome).
- On Heroes and Tombs: Set in Buenos Aires, but inverted to non-Hispanics in that the descriptions would fit New York very well. "City of the Pessimists"
- Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits, the actual name of the country is never said, although is generally accepted that is the author’s native Chile. Nevertheless, the description and situations could easily happen in any South American country.
- MacGyver, a number of occasions.
- The Sentinel
- One episode of JAG in season 1 takes place in the U.S. Embassy in Peru, and another episode in season 2 takes partially place in the U.S. Embassy in Colombia.
- Harm and Mac go to Panama in "The Colonel's Wife".
- Also multipart adventures in Paraguay in season 8/9
- Played for laughs with Catalina's unnamed native country in My Name Is Earl.
- The new show "Off The Map" begins- Somewhere in South America.
- As does an episode of Human Target, even though it is obviously filmed in Canada. Guerrero handwaves it by saying that they are near the Andes and it is too cold to run around in a t-shirt.
- In an episode of Six Feet Under a Mexican-American family comes to Fisher and Sons to bury their son who was killed in a gang shooting. Nate asks Rico to deal with them, since Rico is Hispanic. Rico takes offense — because Nate assumes that he knows how to deal with gangs, but also because Rico is Puerto Rican, not Mexican.
- Swedish singer/poet/whatever Evert Taube had many songs set in Latin Land (especially Argentina)
- Chicago-based alt-rock band The Biochem Wars has two songs (See the Red Sun and Waves and Rocks, Sea and Fire) set in Costa Rica, inspired by a hiking excursion the lead singer took there.
- Carlos Santana is of Mexican descent, but his musical style embraces cultural strains from throughout Central and South America and even the Caribbean, including places where there is little to no Spanish influence.
- The board game "Junta" is set in "La Republique De Los Bannanos" and revolves around various high-level functionaries in the place trying to get as much foreign aid money into their secret Swiss bank accounts as possible.