The Financial Times is running a great overview of the state of free trade agreements in Latin America. Grandiose visions of a unified Latin American market tied together by a single free trade agreement remain elusive. While Venezuela has been approved to join Mercosur, countries like Chile and Colombia have opted for bi-lateral trade agreements instead. Mercosur, the free trade agreement uniting Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, has been a resounding success by most any standard. Trade between the countries has increased five fold since the agreements founding in 1991.Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have been provisional members for some time. Venezuela's ascension to the agreement has been ratified in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay but still requires the legislative approval in Paraguay.Ironically it is Colombia and Chile, two of the most staunchly pro-trade nations, that have turned their back on dreams of a larger Latin American free trade union. Leaders of the two countries have been put off by the leftist politics of other countries in the region, particular Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Instead they've chosen to forge their own bilateral free trade agreements with key trading partners including the United States.