112 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2016
    1. In Latin America, filmmakers have found a political conscience, and with it, touched a nerve at the box office. Films that deal with government and police corruption, corporate irresponsibility and economic inequality are hitting theaters, as well as bubbling up internationally at festivals

      Several Latin American directors have drawn international acclaim for their attempts to "deliver a more nuanced and ethically accurate portrayal" in their films of the aftermath of dictatorship and corruption.

    1. "Latin America as a whole exported more value in soccer players in the first half of 2013 than live animals in the entirety of 2011. Argentina’s soccer player exports amount to about a quarter of the value of its meat exports over the same period in 2011; Brazil’s to more than its gun exports; Uruguay’s to more than its fish exports; Peru’s to more than its cocoa exports; and Ecuador’s to roughly the same as its coffee and tea exports. Guatemala even ships off more value in soccer players each year than beef."

    1. Mexico’s 2015 population survey, released Dec. 8, counted 1.38 million people of African heritage, representing 1.2% of the country’s population (link in Spanish.) Most live in three coastal states, including Guerrero, where they account for nearly 7% of the population, and overall they are poorer and less educated than the national average, Mexico’s census bureau (INEGI by its acronym in Spanish) has found.

      Mexico has started counting its Mexican population.

  2. Dec 2015
    1. No era solo la sorpresa del triunfo en un certamen que por lo regular es bastante competitivo, era la sorpresa de haber logrado lo que yo misma y mi familia consideraba sencillamente imposible, que una mujer de color y pobre ganara.

      Story of Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2004 shocked at her success regardless of her color.

    1. The most recent Population and Housing Census conducted in Cuba confirmed that black and mixed-race people are the poorest in Cuba, a problem that will be difficult to overcome by any post-Castro government. A future Cuba will also have to devote considerable efforts to come in aid of an aged population, the chronically ill, alcoholics, drug-addicts and the numerous single-mother families where fathers have been absent for three generations.

      Orlando Zapata's National Civic Resistance and Disobedience Front protesting racism and "Potential Criminality law"

    1. There's little question that, whatever else the Cuban Revolution has done or not done, it triumphed with a strong and progressive platform on race. At every single official level, it explicitly and forcibly banned racial discrimination. In fact, it may have done so too forcefully. Because Cuba is a top-down society -- especially under Fidel Castro -- the new anti-racism codes rained down without explanation and, more importantly, without process. People understood that racism was no longer tolerated but not how they participated in racist structures, how they were affected by the legacy of racism and, least of all, how light-skinned Cubans -- especially on the island -- benefited from those legacies.

      Article on the existence of modern racism in Cuba

    1. Latin America's past of slavery and colonization is linked to anti-black racism, which some countries have tried to fight with anti-discrimination and affirmative action policies. Denying the existence of the black population by not counting them in the national census is one major way structural racism plays out in Latin American countries although anti-blackness is a pervasive issue in other issues, as well.

      Mexico Takes Big Steps In Finally Recognizing Afro-Latinos

    1. Mexico’s citizenry began to believe that “Mexicanness” and blackness were mutually exclusive and could not co-exist. Mestizaje, however, did not only exclude blackness from its national patrimony, but also left out a host of other racial identities from Mexico’s conversation about race.

      Afro-Mexicans are pushing for legal recognition in Mexico's National Constitution.

    1. Rio Olympics No Help to Brazil Economy Based on World Cup

      An article comparing the effects of the 2010 World Cup held in Brazil to the current and projected impact of the 2016 Olympics on the economy.

    1. [SÃO PAULO] A Brazilian government agency responsible for natural resources has fined 35 companies for not sharing benefits from exploitation of the country's biodiversity.

      Biopiracy is another form of exploitation of Latin American countries.

    1. “Everyone is wondering how the transition will affect the authenticity of Cuban heritage, tradition, music, values,” they said. “Will it be transformed, will it melt or mix? There are many ways to think about those pieces in relation to the larger state of the world.”
    1. The candidate won anyway, putting the revamped Party of Institutionalised Revolution (PRI) en route to regaining the power it had held from 1929 to 2000, and the students refocused their energies on rejecting the result of a poll they say was unfair.


    2. Thursday were banners accusing the network of trying to "impose" Enrique Peña Nieto as president.

      student protest against current president. 2012.

    1. 'Trees of Life': Nicaragua capital transformed into first lady's new-age vision

      Moving away from the canal project which has been the main focus of my posts, this article covers a completely different impact of international action into Nicaragua. First Lady Rosario Murillo designed and commissioned the trees of life in all of Managua's public parks. The intriguing factor involving these 17 meter tall trees is accompaniment to an equally large sized mural of late Venezuelan populist leader Hugo Chavez in Managua's center. This connection to Chavez just shows how western investment alone has not been the only factor that has shaped Nicaragua, and that Chavez and Venezuela equally have shaped the nation. Additionally, the populist rule of Chavez during his rule over Venezuela seems to be influencing the Ortega "husband and wife dynasty's" 2016 campaign by building larger than life trees all throughout the city as an attempt to "give back" to the people for cutting down most of the real trees as a result of massive public works projects.

  3. Nov 2015
    1. “El Güegüense o el Macho Ratón” is one of the oldest of the handful of literary works from popular indigenous culture that have survived from Latin America's European dominated colonial era. Essentially a piece of street theater conceived in the indigenous Nahualt language, it combines music, dance, dialogue and masquerade portraying the interaction of an indigenous merchant with a Spanish colonial official.
    1. Brazilian development

      This article goes in depth about the nature of the Brazilian economy from 1500 to 1929 breaking it down into 3 periods: a colonial regime, an independence era, and an oligarchic republic.

    1. the works of Colombian novelist and short-story writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez are quintessential examples of “magic realism”: fiction that integrates elements of fantasy into otherwise realistic settings.
    1. The Eternaut is a particularly compelling work, and it occupies an interesting point in Latin American literature. While Latin American literature is mostly associated with magical realism—Borges, Márquez, that sort of thing—Oesterheld’s writing is less fantastical and more pulp-inflected.
    1. Morales was born into the Aymara indigenous ethnic group in the Andean highlands, a group of people who tend to back roads, industry and economic development, said Tegel. But indigenous populations in the tropical part of the country, generally speaking, don’t want that, he said. “They want to a certain degree to be left alone. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want economic development, but they want a different model and they want it done much more at a community level.” Economics is a huge issue in Bolivia — one of the poorest countries in Latin America — and a major driver in policy decisions, Tegel said. “That tension between his indigenous and environmental discourse and some of the projects he actually wants to do, including increasing mining in the country, is at the very least a paradox and something his critics are calling hypocritical.”
    1. Tempers flare between Nicaragua, Costa Rica over US-bound Cuban asylum seekers

      Here's an interesting article bringing to light yet another issue plaguing Nicaragua as a result of foreign actors and their regional location. The Cuba refugees bound for the US have found themselves attempting to use Nicaragua as a gateway further into Latin America and have seen their advance halted by Nicaraguan authorities. For Nicaragua, this foreign influx is an unintended consequence of being relatively close to the United States and has significantly dampened Nicaraguan relations with neighboring Costa Rica. This will be an interesting story to follow, as it seems to mimic the current Syrian migrant crisis seen in the Balkans right now, where states like Nicaragua are negatively impacted simply due to their location on the road to the United States in the same way that states like Greece and Italy are negatively impacted on the Syrian migrant route further into the EU.

    1. The 74 pieces, acquired legally at the time by the former Spanish ambassador to Ecuador, were given to the Museo de América for restoration on the condition that they be returned when asked.
    1. Private violence supplements government efforts. Reported Arian Terrill, a DR aid worker, many of those who “voluntarily” depart for Haiti “are actually leaving under harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence by the security forces and Dominican street gangs acting as plainclothes proxies.”

      A description of the indiscriminate nature of the roundings up of Haitians in the Dominican during the current crisis.

    1. - It's horrible how the president of Mexico (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz) acted as a child when he learned about the massacre. It was like "Oh...Ehmm...They (the students) shot first, for that reason we responded by killing them all and taking them to jail" And you know why he acted like that? Because of the Olympic Games. That's why people hate this monster, because he planned the massacre not for people, but to see money in his pocket. Would you liked to have seen lots of students protesting while Mexico has foreign visitors? I don't think so. That's how our mediocre politicians in Mexico act these days, and we have to eradicate them by voting them out of office. I can see that they don't even care about anything except their pay and sleeping in the congress while there are important issues to discuss.

      Direct comparison of the massacre of 1968 to the current sentiment towards government control and student protest.

  4. socialtext.dukejournals.org socialtext.dukejournals.org
    1. The Zapatista “Mother Seeds in Resistance” project counters this neoliberal impetus toward biological and informational monocultures, staking out a constellation of material and cultural spaces that embrace entropic self-organization in its biological, knowledge-sharing, and socio-historical dimensions. In so doing, the “Mother Seeds in Resistance” project not only illuminates the nexus between archive theory, ecocriti-cism, and postcolonial theory but also makes it possible for us to envision an archival space beyond the counter-entropic paradigm of the imperial archive.

      Amazing article on the Mother Seed Project developed by Zapatistas in Mexico as a way to preserve indigenous seeds from invasion from GE plants.

    1. Long a part of indigenous culture in which the leaf had been chewed or brewed in teas, coca cultivation is legal — though controlled — in Bolivia. President Evo Morales, himself once a leader of coca growers, has championed its cause, leading the United Nations to acknowledge his country’s right to allow its traditional use.
    1. Nicaragua: A Success Story in the Making

      In continuing with the theme of international actors in Nicaragua, it is also equally important to touch upon the views of Nicaragua in foreign media. This article comes courtosy of the Huffington Post and shows how the US would like to paint a picture of a prospering Nicaragua with strong economic development. In contrast to last weeks article that really focuses on the discontent of the local farmers in Nicaragua with the government reluctance to hear there side in regards to the canal project. In fact one key omission from this article is the description of how Nicaragua was able to gain this new GDP through private investment from abroad exclusively. This places Nicaragua in a precarious situation as it makes them essentially dependent on this foreign investment that has come about through the canal project.

    1. Brazil’s economy- 1971-2005: Growth pattern and structural change

      A case study examining the growth pattern of Brazil's economy from 1971-2005 in relation to historical events.

    1. Peru seeks repatriation of 400 cultural artifacts from New York

      Repatriation of artifacts currently residing in the Met. A common concern across countries currently seeking repatriation of cultural objects is their ability to display and care for the objects.

    1. Now, nearly 20 years after Pablo Escobar was shot dead following a long manhunt by Colombian and American agents, the flamboyant chief of the Medellin cocaine cartel is being resurrected by Colombian television.
    1. he Inca requirements of public service did not much disturb the traditional Quechua way of life. When the Spanish conquered the Inca empire in the 16th century, however, and the Quechua came under Spanish rule, Quechua society was drastically altered. The Spanish encomienda system of tribute required the Quechua to produce unfamiliar crops for the Spanish at the expense of their own food supply. The Spanish system, unlike its Inca predecessor, did not provide for the welfare of the labourer and his family during his term of forced labour.

      Origin of Spanish dominating indigenous culture in Bolivia...

    1. Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal, a Nightmare for Environmentalists

      This article brings to light yet another theme we have examined thus far in our study of Latin American history. Foreign influence into Latin America tends to utilize a strategy of completely decimating land in order to maximize their profits. We saw this with US sugar companies in Cuba and with the mining and agricultural goods throughout colonial Latin America and now yet again this Chinese funded canal project seems to be following suit. As in McCook's reading, those who suffer the most of this neglect are the small, semi-subsistance farmers who rely on the consistency of the environment as their only source of food and income.

    1. Brazilian Economy

      An interesting background of the Brazilian economy from the 16th century up until more recent developments of economic growth prior to the current recession.

    1. A Historic Manuscript on Aztec Life Is “Virtually Repatriated

      Interesting ideas of repatriation through technology. Does this count as true repatriation? Does it achieve the same goals?

    1. Diaz, who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New Jersey at the age of six, went to Washington on Thursday with the Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat, there to urge the US government to take action to curb what they said was the persecution of large numbers of immigrants, mainly Haitians, in the Dominican Republic.

      Article about author Junot Diaz being called unpatriotic and "anti-Dominican" by the Dominican government for his protest.

  5. Oct 2015
    1. Mr. Morales is also the first indigenous president of Bolivia, where 48 percent of the population declared themselves indigenous in the last census, and his government has proven itself adept at reconciling ancestral knowledge with economic modernization.
    1. Russia Ready to Join Nicaraguan Canal Construction When Progress Noted

      An update on the Canal project in Nicaragua which since the first announcement of Chinese investment into the country has been a largely driven by international actors trying to capitalize on economic potential of the project. It now appears that the Chinese will not be international presence within Nicaragua as the Russians now have staked an interest in the project. Its clear that these actors have successfully influenced the Nicaraguan government through the foreign investment for this project, as the government is willing to go along with whatever the investors propose. This connects to the fact that the Oretega regime is struggling with a legitimacy issue currently and this project, in the mind of Oretega, has the potential to legitimize his regime again through the vast economic potential it offers.

    1. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are campaigning against the destruction of the Gran Chaco. According to ENDEPA, a national organisation of indigenous people, deforestation is not even mainly about timber: “The Indios in Argentina are facing multinational corporations which are massively buying real estate, in Patagonia as well as in the Chaco. Many of these companies are bogus firms with addresses in tax havens. As far as we understand the motives of these companies, they are interested in the natural resources of this country. We are seriously concerned, because great water reserves – above and below the surface – are coming under the control of these corporations.” Under the dry, thorny forest, there is a huge subterranean water reservoir: a part of the Gran Chaco belongs to the Guaraní aquifer, which also passes below Brasil, Paraguay and Bolivia. It is assumed that this aquifer is the second biggest freshwater reserve of the world.

      Article touches on the indigenous struggle in the Gran Chaco region of Argentina. Poorly aware of their rights, the indios are faced with a constant battle of land expropriation and water pollution caused by the exploitation of large corporations.

    1. Spain will return 74 colonial and 49 pre-Columbian works of art to Ecuador on Wednesday, 22 years after the former were handed to a museum for restoration and 12 years after Madrid police found the latter during a raid undertaken as part of a money laundering and drug trafficking case.
    1. Al reescribir la historia, estas élites han impedido con éxito cualquier redistribución de poder a los descendientes de los habitantes originarios del continente. Al reescribir la historia, los europeos han logrado evitar cualquier discusión sobre reparaciones por los siglos de pillaje con los que se expropió la riqueza de dos continentes para financiar el ascenso del capitalismo y el imperialismo del Viejo Mundo.

      This article problematizes Columbus day in the settle colonial plan of the structural elimination of the native which pervades today.

    1. The escape was a stinging blow to President Enrique Peña Nieto, who celebrated Mr. Guzmán’s capture in February 2014 as evidence that his government was winning the drug war.

      Shows the disconnect between control of the people and the control of the gov't. Essentially useless. The central control continues to be weak, no matter what.

    1. The gangs are the first suspects that come to mind. MS13 has been linked to rudimentary car bombs using grenades in the past. The simple booby-traps are set so the grenade's safety pin will be pulled as the victim opens a door or turns the vehicle's wheels.
    1. We were walking along Washington Avenue, the main street that runs through the town, past the Town Hall that looks like a castle, and the duck pond. I don’t remember what we were talking about or if we were even talking, but I remember his face, bloated and red and angry. He stuck that face out of the truck that slowed down as it passed, then he threw a lit cigarette at us, two teenage girls – her 16, me 13 – and said, “Go home, n*ggers.” We jumped away to avoid getting burnt and stared at the truck as it sped off. She started crying, a quiet, blubbering cry that shook her shoulders. I stayed quiet the rest of the walk home. The following year, a black girl who was all of a shade darker than me told me I didn’t know prejudice – “because you’re not black.” She pursed her lips and shook her head. I thought back to that lit cigarette and that bloated, red face.

      A woman sharing the complexity of her identity as a black latina. Being seen as a "n*gger" by white people, yet not being accepted as black by African Americans, while at the same time her latino family refuses to acknowledge her blackness because of their negative perceptions on blacks.

    1. Calderón, who is a proud Afro-Puerto Rican independentista —his son’s name is Malcolm X and his daughter’s name is Ebony Nairobi— is in fact an interesting paradigm for further discussing the issue of gaining independence or progress in Puerto Rico. The fact of the matter is that most independentistas are white Hispanophiles who have socio-economic mobility and are invested in respectability politics. On the contrary, Calderón not only criticizes the United States and their mendacious treatment toward Puerto Rico, but also criticizes Puerto Rico’s racism, classism, corruption and, more important, advocates for people with few resources. He does not romanticize the country by blaming Puerto Rico’s current crisis on Puerto Rico’s colonial status but instead takes a firm and critical approach to a range of issues that affect the country altogether.

      Article focusing on the work of Tego Calderon and other Afro-Caribbean activists in Puerto Rico.

    1. EV: Decolonization means a lot to me, it means recuperating… our own path, something which we’ve been forced to lose, this [indigenous] path, this wisdom, this knowledge has been devalued, minimized as though it weren’t knowledge at all. And so now we are recuperated this, and we’re doing so in our own way. This for us is decolonization, a process which is done via the state but also via the social organizations, because this is an issue of how to organize, how to speak of our ancestral technologies. Yes, many things have been modernized, but in many cases we have a necessity to recuperate our own principles and values as indigenous peoples. 
    1. These historic details resonated with the late President Nestor Kirchner, for whom the cultural center is now named, and for his widow, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who succeeded him as president. They're from the Peronist party, and like Juan and Eva Peron, who founded that party, as well as such cultural institutions as the Argentine National Symphony, the arts are baked into their worldview, says Culture Minister Teresa Parodi.

      The installment of a free cultural center in Buenos Aires reflects the Peronist use of the arts to further national identity.

    1. Odds on the Nicaragua Canal Project and Other Political Bets

      Interesting update on the massive Nicaraguan canal project. In this article, International firms like the International Business Times and the Harvard Business Review analyze both the current progress on the project as well as the future potential of the project and how it has changed. This is an interesting take because within Nicaragua, the canal has always been an international project, financed by Chinese investors and now criticized and analyzed by American firms. Next week I plan to seek out a truly Nicaraguan source on this canal project in order to be able to compare and contrast international views with domestic views. Definitely worth a read.

    1. At the heart of the situation is an often-overlooked distinction between undocumented foreign workers who were recruited by the Dominican state or by companies, and those who crossed the border illegally and lack a valid visa. While every government has a sovereign right to document and count its foreign workers, in this case the process fails to distinguish between different categories of migrants: the unlawful and the undocumented.

      A look at the immigration/deportation conflict between the Dominican and Haiti, and the confusion many are undergoing, through personal stories.

    1. Rio 2016: 'The Olympics has destroyed my home'

      This article discusses the construction being done leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics through different perspectives of individuals in Brazil.

    1. People Who Worry the U.S. Will "Spoil" Cuba Are Fetishizing Poverty

      This article made me curious about the impact that the U.S. has on the economy of latin america (specifically cuba) today and how it differs, if at all, from the impact it has historically had.

    1. Cuba's Health Care System: a Model for the World

      Reading this made me think of a core question: Is there a correlation between revolution and an awareness of public health? If so, why? Expanding on that thought, I began to wonder if there are there any examples within Latin American revolutions that could prove or refute this idea.

    1. Analysis: Castro brothers' successor may inherit a very different Cuba

      I think that this article is important because it discusses the challenges of adapting a government centered around a single individual to the demands of the modern era. It would be interesting to compare the Castro's changes in policies to the changes in policies that other Latin American dictators have made and see if there is some sort of pattern or similarity.

    1. For a Post-Castro Cuba, Castro Lite

      This article was intriguing to me because it caused me to ponder what I believe to be a significant question: What impacts the legacy of a dictator?

    1. Mining and oil companies generally earn a bad reputation for their Amazon activities, but projects devised in the name of “sustainability” can have a negative impact too. Think in particular of the programme of hydroelectric dams being rolled out across Brazil. Belo Monte, the world’s fourth largest hydroelectric dam, is being built across a southern tributary of the Amazon, for instance. It has already caused the influx of tens of thousands of workers, with severe strain on local social relations. Its impact on a vast ecosystem – a major hydrological basin – will be monumental.

      This article accounts for Indigenous resistance in Amazonia. Large corporations continue to perpetuate the structural genocide of indigenous populations.

    1. Don't go against the natural world, natural law, go with Mother Earth. She has a certain way of doing things and when you start going against that there are no penalties or fines, there's only consequences when you go against natural law," Morales said.
    1. Nicaraguan government denies permit to B2Gold mining project

      This article follows suit with my article from last week which touched upon the role of foreign actors within Nicaragua. Foreign actors within Nicaragua have been responsible a large portion of the country's history, most notably the US and Soviet influence in the Nicaraguan Revolution during which the Soviet backed Sandanista militia overthrew the Somoza government who had ruled Nicaragua for 43 years prior to this change. The important piece of this article is the fact that Nicaragua rejected this foreign investment into extracting gold from the nation's rivers, a project which the government rejected due to environmental concerns. Will this recent push for environmental concerns change Nicaragua's mindset on foreign investment?

    1. Voices: In Brazil, economic gaps just one road apart

      Interesting article discussing wealth inequality in Brazil, highlighting the extreme level of poverty in Rocinha, one of the countries largest favelas.

    1. Pop was an ethos more than a movement, and it morphed as it migrated across borders and oceans. But nowhere was it more engaged than in Brazil, where artists opposed both American hegemony and their own country’s military regime.

      In the mid-twentieth century, Brazilian pop artists protested military rule, American neocolonialism and political censorship through vivid, nationalistic works of art.

    1. El ejemplo de los colombiano

      An older but interesting opinion piece written by Rajoy the president of Spain. Seems to be an attempt to raise support among Colombian voters by praising Colombian politicians and cultural figures

    1. Somos los hispanos de Europa

      This opinion piece written under the name of Rajoy, Spain's president, is recognizing the important role of Latin Americans in Spanish society and the importance of the spanish speaking world in general. The most intersting quote of the article is "Yo creo en América Latina y en los latinoamericanos, independientemente de los ciclos económicos, porque el gran activo de nuestra política exterior son las personas".

    1. On the beach, the women stick around to direct their cargo to waiting tap-tap trucks, bound for nearby storage depots that act as hubs for the small retailers across southern Haiti that sell peasants their soap and staples. Then they head home for some well-earned rest. The women are known as Madam Saras. They’re familiar figures in Haiti, named for migrant Sara birds that line the country’s trees in chattering groups. In a nation filled with broken infrastructure and stalled development schemes, where the “informal sector” makes up eighty-five per cent of trade, the Madam Saras are crucial cogs. They’re responsible for getting produce from Haiti’s rural farmers to its cities, and getting goods from across the border to all Haitians. The job is hard, “but a good living,”

      Another glimpse into the active economic relationship between Haitians and Dominicans. The new tightening of migration laws through deportation on the part of the Dominican government, threatens the livelihood of these women. Not only are the laws threatening, but attitudes towards Haitians in the Republic worsen in an already hostile and prejudiced environment.

    1. Taking on Corruption in Latin America

      This article discusses the difficulty in attacking corruption. It uses Guatemala and Brazil as examples of direct corruption through embezzlement and fraud schemes with Chile and Mexico where corruption is rooted in access to political knowledge and nepotism. In Chile and Mexico, the link is less direct and investigations cannot be traced as concretely as was the case in Brazil and Guatemala. This can make tackling corruption extremely difficult where these cases are more difficult to prove.

    1. They did not. According to the best estimates, there are some 45m indigenous people in Latin America today. Who are they? Those who define themselves thus, say social scientists. That self-definition does not turn on language and dress, nor still less on living in a rural community (though all those elements may be important to Indian cultural identities). The rise of the new Indian movements has several causes. First and foremost, most indigenous Latin Americans still live in poverty, and many in extreme poverty. Compared with the rest of the population, they have fewer years of schooling and are less likely to enjoy basic services, according to the World Bank. While access to primary schooling is now nearly universal, that is not true of higher education. Whereas 18% of Ecuadoreans aged between 18 and 25 are in full-time education, the figure for indigenous Ecuadoreans is only 1%, reckons Fernando García, an anthropologist at FLACSO, a postgraduate school in Quito.

      The Economist article (2004) recaping the overarching increase in Indigeniety and the problems it faces in our modern capitalist society.

    1. We ask him why a gang member would kill a 15-year-old girl. He speculates that it's because she didn't want to be someone's girlfriend or didn't want to do something for that gang. Is this normal, we ask? Does it happen to young women a lot? It happens every day, he says.

      Girls are not safe and are just as much effected by the violence in El Salvador as are the male gang members. This leads to the idea that there is either the choice to join a gang or be at risk and have to isolate yourself from the world around you.

    1. The “patriotic” and supposed “Spanish Only” blanquit@s also can articulate English and Spanish very well while the poor and scrutinized in public schools learn only Spanish. Isn’t it easier and more fruitful to speak about race, language, diaspora openly instead of having a racist and irrational “todos somos iguales” discourse? I guess white supremacy and privilege are more important than caring for our own people. But yes, many white Puerto Ricans have done incredible work for Afro-Puerto Ricans, other black bodies and low-income Puerto Ricans of all hues but rest assured; they are the overwhelming minority.

      William Garcia explains his stance on the importance of acknowledging racism in Puerto Rico gives counter arguments to those who deny it's existence .

    1. “Latin America has learnt to its cost what happens when presidents are allowed to perpetuate themselves in power,” says Óscar Ortiz, an opposition senator.

    1. Desde octubre de 2013 hasta julio de este año, cerca de 80.000 menores provenientes de esos países centroamericanos fueron detenidos por las autoridades estadounidenses a lo largo de la frontera con México. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage A Smuggled Girl’s Odyssey of False Promises and FearOCT. 5, 2014 Y ésos fueron los que lograron llegar hasta ese punto. A algunos los secuestraron los mismos coyotes a quienes sus familias pagaron miles de dólares para que los pasaran de contrabando a Estados Unidos; otros perdieron extremidades durante el viaje o fueron vendidos como esclavos sexuales. Otros pudieron regresar.

      Political corruption seen in immigrant relations at the border of US and Mexico.

    1. Chinese Entrepreneur to Build Nicaragua Canal Loses Much of His Assets

      Interesting article about foreign investment into Nicaragua, this time in the form of a canal expected to rival the Panama Canal as the main route of passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. This theme of foreign investment into Latin America has played a major role in the infrastructure of the region, dating back to the British private companies who built railroads in Argentina and the American companies in Mexico.

    1. <!-- jQuery(function() { // Increase Font Size jQuery('.increase-font-size').click(function(){ var currentFontSize = jQuery('#blox-story-text').find("p").css('font-size'); var currentFontSizeNum = parseFloat(currentFontSize, 10); var newFontSize = currentFontSizeNum*1.2; $('#blox-story-text').find("p").css('font-size', newFontSize); return false; }); // Decrease Font Size jQuery('.decrease-font-size').click(function(){ var currentFontSize = $('#blox-story-text').find("p").css('font-size'); var currentFontSizeNum = parseFloat(currentFontSize, 10); var newFontSize = currentFontSizeNum*0.8; jQuery('#blox-story-text').find("p").css('font-size', newFontSize); return false; }); // end doc ready }); //--> Home Local Downtown Waco Students to help unearth historic fountain of Waco’s Hispanic heritage

      Community archaeology! Excavation of a fountain from a Mexican-American neighborhood settled in the late 19th century.

    1. El tema es que el 8% de la población dominicana es extranjera, o sea, unas 800.000 personas, en números redondos, la mayoría en una situación de precariedad jurídica. En tal virtud se dictó la ley 169/14, que regularizó a 55.000 personas, hijos de padres extranjeros pero con algún documento dominicano de residencia, y a y 9.000 que no contaban con ninguna documentación.

      A discussion of some of the differences between Haiti and the Dominican Republic as realities to the current situation involving non-citizen Haitians in the Dominican. Article argues that the problems of immigration and citizenship cannot be resolved by the Dominican alone, and that then Haitian government must take responsibility for its own citizens in order to ameliorate the crisis.

    1. In Brazil, Balloon of Former President da Silva Provokes Ire

      Interesting article that just shows where the state of mind of people is at in brazil right now. A parade balloon mocking the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is causing controversy relevant to Brazil's economy crash and political injustice.

    1. She was one of the few remaining legends of the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when a new crop of writers from Latin America announced themselves to the world, with her help, and changed Spanish-language publishing forever.

      Carmen Balcells was at the center of the Latin American literary boom, which popularized the works of Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, and many other writers who had been censored or neglected by publishing houses in their own countries.

    1. The protection of seed is thus of the utmost importance for the indigenous peoples of Guatemala and across Mesoamerica. “We cannot live without our corn,” said Acetún of the indigenous municipality. “It makes up all of our lives. We consume it for our food, we sell it, it is us.”

      This is an article about Guatemalan indigenous population wining fight against Monsnto in 2014.

  6. Sep 2015
    1. For the country to gain some traction against crime, gang members who want to leave the streets need to find another way to earn a living. The word for it here is re-insertion, which means a chance at a normal life. There are efforts to set up bakeries and chicken farms for former gang members, or to allocate street market stalls to their families.

      Great initiatives are taking place in El Salvador to keep gang members off the streets and away from violence by providing anyone who was involved with gangs the opportunity to work and earn a living while contributing to society and their families.

    1. Nicaragua: The country travellers haven't yet discovered

      I found this article quite interesting because of how in the perception of other regions of the world, in this case New Zealand, Nicaragua is simply a forgotten nation and not a hotbed for conflict as the American media seems to paint it. In fact, this article really touches upon the positives of what Nicaragua has to offer and rarely mentions the political situation in Nicaragua, which is the main point the US media seems to focus on.

    1. This article discusses the role an American energy company played in Guatemala's newly uncovered corruption scandal and the legal consequences its employees could face due to their participation in bribery. " “It is safe to assume,” he says, “that US authorities would be conducting an investigation.” Should the US government press charges against this company to stand in solidarity with Guatemala?

    1. As a Boom Fades, Brazilians Wonder How It All Went Wrong

      This article is about how Brazil went from being such a strong and economically sound country to the worst economic crisis in decades. It mentions how an economy once thriving off exports of raw materials like iron ore, crude oil, and soy beans is now at a stand still. As I continue to read these articles about Brazil's economic troubles the one thing held constant in all of them is that President Rousseff seems to be almost fully responsible for this tragedy. After the economy appeared to be slowing down from its recent boom, Rousseff ordered the central bank to cut interest rates which lead to a credit spree of consumers who are now unable to repay their loans. she created price controls on gas and electricity that also led to big loses of public energy companies. It is almost as if Rousseff and her campaign party meant to ruin the economy on purpose or as Antonio Delfim Netto, a former finance minister, mentions, "they deliberately destroyed the public finances to obtain re-election".

    1. A pesar de ser un país esencialmente negro las posiciones de poder están ocupadas por gente de pieles claras.

      The article talks about systematic racism in Puerto Rico. Being black and successful is seen as an astounding achievement. Whereas being white and successful is simply expected. 80% percent of Puerto Ricans identified as white in 2010. The article ends with "We are a racist country that excludes, that is why we also exclude the dominicans, because they are black".

    1. Podemos struggles to rebuff Venezuela link

      This is an article from last March about Podemos, an emerging political party in Spain, and its often considered dubious connections with the Venezuelan government. The idea of European intellectuals and academics being contracted by leftist Latin American governments for consultancy work is interesting.

    1. Las tensiones entre la Iglesia Católica y la Revolución comenzaron cuando las medidas de estatización de propiedades nacionales y extranjeras enviaron señales de que el país se encaminaba hacia el comunismo. El catolicismo preconciliar, de fuerte connotación franquista, se puso del lado de quienes defendían el capitalismo como más adecuado a la libertad religiosa e identificaron el comunismo con el ángel exterminador de la fe cristiana.

      An exploration of communist Cuba's relationship with the Catholic Church following Pope Francis' visit. Cuba took refuge following it's revolution under the wings of the Soviet Union, causing a lot of friction between the Church and the new Cuban state. Cuba and the Church always maintained a relationship, however, and Raul Castro and the Pope have a lot in common with their shared criticisms of capitalism.

    1. Archive news footage: The Guardian spoke to some of the parents of the 43 disappeared Mexico students in late 2014

      (see attached video)

      Parents report on the incredulity of their missing children. Pretty impressive that this horrible event is being used as an incentive to start a public movement against government corruption in general...I didn't realize this event had had so much of an effect on the system, I thought it was merely being reinvestigated!

    1. For Argentina’s Falklands Veterans, the War Is Far from Over

      Veterans rights are not just a U.S. problem, but also visible in Latin America. If you ever travel to Buenos Aires there is a permanent post where homeless veterans of the Malvinas War sit and protest the poor treatment of ex-combatants.

    1. Puerto Rico sufre 500 años de racismo Existe en la Isla a nivel individual e institucional

      Newspaper article from El Nuevo Dia talks about systematic racism in Puerto Rico and the under appreciation of black art.

    1. Bolivia has long been associated with poverty. But the tide is turning, and buildings constructed in the style of the 'New Andean architecture' are an increasingly visible sign of that change. The FT's Andres Schipani reports.

      Extreme wealth in El Alto. Wealth used to celebrate Bolivian culture - New Andean Architecture & typical Bolivian dress for women: hats, polleras, earrings, rings of dancers

    1. Guatemala is in political crisis. So why are Mexicans envious?

      This article is very interesting in my opinion because it shows the waves Guatemala has made throughout Latin America. Yes, political corruption is a bad thing, but it is very interesting to see it as a mechanism of radical political change. Would Mexican's be questioning the political status quo if corruption in countries such as Guatemala wasn't as pronounced as it is? To me it almost seems like corruption more than conformity can do more in progressing/specializing country politics.

    1. In Divided Nicaragua, National Dish Brings Rich And Poor Together

      I came across this article on NPR and found it quite interesting that in a country as politically and socioeconomically divided as Nicaragua there is one things that unites all classes: vigoron. What began as a street food in Granada, Nicaragua has now captivated the entire nation. In fact, the dish has survived the Somoza dictatorship and the brutal Sandinista and Contra civil war that ensued afterwards. Definitely worth a read.

    1. All they asked from me was to get them some fried chicken and chips for lunch.  They were hungry and poor in communities that felt under siege from the state.  For the brief time I was there this small community suffered two gang related deaths.  These guys have little choice and their story needs to be told, for them and their communities.

      Following up with the article from last week I thought sharing the work of Hinton would be appropriate to give an insight as to what he experienced first hand with the gang violence in El Salvador while staying with the community.

    1. This is a really interesting article about many Latin American intellectuals' opinions on the possibility of Catalonian independence from Spain. Many are urging Cataluña to stay a part of Spain because Barcelona has historically been a city that Latin American intellectuals have lived and worked in and they don't want to lose those cultural ties if Cataluña severs its ties with Spain thus abandoning castellano. The other portion of this article that stood out for me was the quote by Abad which argued that Europe has been doing the right thing by not yielding to every nationalistgroup because that only leads to violence and probelems (I assume he's referring to the case of Latin America here).

    1. Brazil’s economy tanks as multibillion-dollar corruption scandal expands

      Brazil is currently facing one of the worst economic recessions in its history. With the economy set to shrink by another 2 to 3% this year and with inflation rates pushing towards 10% many are beginning to blame President Dilma Rousseff. President Rousseff however, is not accepting full responsibility for this crisis but instead putting the blame on other global factors, like Chinas deterred economic growth. Many still blame Rousseff for her inability to handle such an unexpected and unfortunate series of events. And with the President now losing support even within her own coalition partners many are calling for her impeachment.

    1. Ancient tunnels discovered underneath Mexican city of Puebla

      Construction often uncovers archaeological features in cities. Commercial archaeologists are often called into construction sites in order to excavate the material.

    1. Llamarían Rosas a la avenida SarmientoInformación generalSería el tramo que une Plaza Italia con avenida del Libertador; la Legislatura lo aprobó, pero falta una audiencia pública

      Rosas vs. Sarmiento. Still a problem to this day

    1. http://video.foxnews.com/v/4399403023001/corruption-in-mexico/?#sp=show-clips

      Although I have a lot of trouble with the way fox news presents information, i do find it interesting how these reporters comment on the pure "fact" of political corruption and the involvement of wealthy, dangerous people in the Mexican government. I feel like no matter what the political association of the reporter is, there is no question that there has been an absurd amount of illegal action on the part of the Mexican government.

    1. President Evo Morales’s backers are seeking to amend Bolivia’s Constitution so he can run for re-election in 2020. A plan finalized Tuesday night comes just eight months after Mr. Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, won a third term. He first took office in 2006. Mr. Morales’s supporters control the two-thirds of Congress needed to pass such legislation. After that, voters would decide in a referendum. Gustavo Aliaga, the farmworkers union leader, said Wednesday that the bill would be sent to Congress next week. Mr. Morales, an Aymara Indian who was born into poverty, is a leftist who has often clashed with the United States. Former President Jorge Quiroga said allowing another term would create a monarchy.

      Evo Morales - President between the years 2006 and 2020?!

    1. Behind Closed Doors: 'Colorism' in the Caribbean

      Interesting Interview of how being black is perceived in the Caribbean, more specifically in the Dominican Republic.

    1. Dueling stories behind shooter at Nicaragua protest reveal sharp divide over Sandinista government

      Interesting story involving Nicaragua's Sandinista government and their alleged support of a shooter at a peaceful anti-Sandinista rally in Managua. The anti-Sandinista's have staged protests every Wednesday since President Daniel Ortega and his party eliminated term limits, enabling Ortega to run for his third consecutive term. Ortega's FSLN currently controls all four branches of the Nicaraguan government: executive, judiciary, electoral authority,and the national assembly. This removal of term limits will essentially enable Ortega to have an unlimited reign as Nicaragua's president.

    1. How Peru is using drones to protect its archaeological treasures

      Interesting read on the usage of drones in mapping archaeological sites. The composite image is made by taking overlapping aerial photographs. From this, 3D models of the sites can be made. This article discusses not only the archaeological benefits of drone use, but also how drones can help to keep tabs on any destruction occurring on the site.

    1. Guatemala sets pace in corruption fight

      This article discusses former president Otto Perez Molina's resignation as president of Guatemala. It highlights the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala's role (CICIG) in leading the investigation against Molina. As an organization that operates independently of the Guatemalan government, it shows how important and effective these organizations are through this separation. There has been a push for similar organizations to become established in countries such as Mexico and Honduras.

    1. Rio Destroys Poor Neighborhoods, Replaces Them With Luxury Apartments For The Olympics

      This article is about the relocation of families throughout Brazil due to the construction of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. It is estimated that up to 100,000 families will have been relocated by the end of the 2016 Olympics. These areas being cleared out for the Olympic Village are normally low income neighborhoods being replaced by luxury apartments meant to house athletes during the Games. What is even more surprising is that this evicting of families in a common occurrence among nations hosting the Olympics. We have seen several examples of this in the past including 1.5 million people relocated for the 2007 Beijing Olympics, 720,000 people evicted for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and many others.

    1. The “other embassy” for Venezuelans in Madrid

      This article discusses the recent wave of immigrants from Venezuela to Spain. Some interesting points are that Venezuelans do not need tourist visas to visit Spain and the paragraph on the emerging political party Podemos and its connections to the Venezuelan government.

    1. "Hinton wants to foreground the story of the civil war and the class conflict that still rages in El Salvador. He doesn’t present gangs as mindlessly violent; their violence springs from an impoverished, divided society."

      Adam Hinton was welcomed by one of the most dangerous gangs in the world, MS-13, to photograph their community and learn about the reasons why gangs are unavoidable in their communities. Hinton through his photography and documenting of stories helps reveal that Salvadorians are normal people, like us, struggling everyday to survive.

    1. Cuba pardons 3,522 prisoners days before Pope Francis’ visit

      Check out this article, I thought that it was interesting mainly because it illustrates the lasting effect that Christianity has had on Latin America and specifically Cuba.

    1. When Oscar Olivera informed the crowd in the plaza of the agreement and claimed victory, he received a tepid response. Peasant delegates, who had become ever more suspicious of government promises, demanded that the modifications of Law 2029 be approved at once. Nevertheless, the crowd disbanded. Modifications to the law were approved in parliament that same night and a modified law, No. 2066, was proclaimed by President Banzer on April 11. The reform contained 36 articles. The main points were that (1) the possibility of creating a national water council was left open; (2) instead of five-year licenses peasant and indigenous organizations now had to register only for "the useful life of the service"; (3) in concession areas the concessionaires would not have monopoly rights and water committees, cooperatives, and other usos y costumbres would be recognized; and (4) rate structures were to be established in consultation with the municipalities and the local units of Popular Participation

      Great Read ! Looks at the Water Wars of 2000 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

    1. Of course, the story of fruit in Latin America is also the story of exploitation. To many Brazilians of the time, Carmen Miranda's empty lyrics and her massive fruit headdress was an offensive symbol of the way foreigners perceived Latin American women: as objects to be consumed and discarded like a piece of fruit.

      The connection of fruit to art in Latin America can be traced through music (e.g. the song Buscando Guayaba, the elaborate headdresses of Carmen Miranda) and through literature (e.g. the banana massacre in One Hundred Years of Solitude). Fruit is symbolic of the exploitation of Latin American culture by the West, as papayas, passionfruit, and other produce were shipped across the Atlantic during the Columbian Exchange.

    1. The crime of the 43 disappeared student protesters is without a doubt one of the worst crimes of the century to occur in Mexico. It is unusual and impressive for the Mexican government, known to be extremely secretive and corrupt, to be reinvestigating this case, which is giving parents of the children, as well as the general public serious anxiety as well as doubt. Is the motive for reinvestigation by the government the press that this case has received internationally? Is it unusual for the public to make their resentment and doubt so "heard" when the government is known to be so dangerous and corrupt?

    1. "I would also say, and here I wish to be quite clear, as was St. John Paul II: I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America," he said to applause from the crowd.

      Pope Francis, seen as "pope of the poor," visited Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay because they are thought of as the poorest countries in the region and are home to 40% of the world's Catholics

    1. First Native Case Of Mosquito-Borne Tropical Disease Chinkungunya Confirmed In Spain Aug 26 2015—NEWS—The ECDC said the mosquito species is not the one responsible for the 2013 Americas outbreak. Presence of the Aedes Albopictus mosquito. Source: ECDC. (Click to enlarge) The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC) confirmed the first case of the tropical disease chinkungunya to be transmitted in Spain on August 21. "This is the first chikungunya case reported from Spain without travel history to endemic areas,˝ said the ECDC report. The patient is a 60-year old man of undisclosed nationality who was likely infected in Gandía (Valencia) and who developed symptoms of the disease—which include fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rashes—during a "short" trip to France at the beginning of July. A statement published by the Spanish Health Ministry on August 4 said it was "very likely" the man had been infected by a mosquito of the species Aedes Albopictus in Gandía, "but not conclusive", due to his trip to France "for part of the incubation period". The ECDC believes it "unlikely" the man became infected in France due to the short duration of his stay there and the lack of reported na

      Chinkunguya in Spain