My fellow Tigres and Tigres@s, we are committed to bringing the best that the web can offer in news and perspectives so, we are starting a weekly roundup of news from the South.
El Roundup Latin@ American@ will be posted every Saturday, populated by links to the best op-eds, news and blog posts about and from Latin America. This week’s edition:
- Fight against Poverty in Honduras Postponed [Inside Costa Rica] The Honduran government has pushed poverty reduction into the background and prioritized the implementation of programs agreed with the International Monetary Fund, reported an economist.
- Nationality, citizenship, and Hispaniola [The Latin Americanist] Not “news” per se, but an interesting piece nonetheless. Immigration is a complex issue for the dual nations that share the island of Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Both countries have taken distinct measures relating to nationality rights with Haiti choosing to expand them while its neighbor opted to restrict them.
- Miskito leader from Nicaragua assumes head of UN forum on indigenous issues [The Canadian Press] Mirna Cunningham has assumed leadership of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Cunningham is a Miskito Native who was governor for Nicaragua’s Atlantic region. She took over as chairwoman as the annual two-week session opened Monday. [Note from me: Canadian Press calls the Miskito Nation “Indians”, which really, cringe inducing does not even begin to cover it; still these are valuable news and that’s why I am linking to it, even though I edited the content to reflect the correct form].
- Global food crisis: Palm rush proves costly for Guatemala’s small farmers [Global development – guardian.co.uk] The pursuit of palm oil profits by agribusinesses in Guatemala is fuelling a food crisis for the poor.
- Chiquita sued over Colombian paramilitary payments [AP] The list has at least 4,000 names, each one targeting Chiquita Brands International in U.S. lawsuits, claiming the produce giant’s payments and other assistance to the paramilitary groups amounted to supporting terrorists.
- Judge Benches Attorney as Trial Approaches for Chevron & Ecuadoreans [Courthouse News Services] Steven Donziger, an attorney who helped engineer an $18 billion environmental verdict against Chevron, may have as much “interest” in a trial to block that award as a baseball fan might have in the New York Mets, a federal judge said. More about the devastation brought by oil company Chevron to Ecuador and the background of this trial. And here a link to the trailer of the movie Crude that documents the struggle of the Amazonian people against the oil giant. And the video of “Song of the Amazon”.
- More about resource depletion in Ecuador, Canadian Mining in Ecuador and Impunity [Upside Down World] On December 2, 2006, 14 paramilitaries armed with 38-caliber guns and pepper spray fired into a group of unarmed Ecuadorian campesinos from a community that has been resisting a copper mining project for over a decade. Thankfully no one was killed, but there were several injuries, not to mention the psychological suffering caused by such a vicious attack. This assault led three of the local campesinos from Intag, Ecuador to file a lawsuit against the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Copper Mesa Corporation, the Canadian mining company responsible for hiring the “security firm” that sent the paramilitaries to intimidate the anti-mining residents of the region.
- Another Rural Activist Killed in Amazon Region [NYTimes.com] Another rural activist was found shot to death in the Amazon on Thursday, just three days after Brazil’s leaders discussed how to stop the region’s deadly disputes over logging and protect those whose lives are threatened.
- Brazil launches program to end extreme poverty [Boston.com] President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday launched an ambitious program that aims to eradicate the entrenched poverty that afflicts millions of Brazilians even as the rest of the country has benefited from strong economic growth.
- BRAZIL: From War on Drugs to Community Policing in Rio [IPS ipsnews] Four decades after Washington declared its “war on drugs” and began to spread the doctrine south of the U.S. border, the government of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro decided to shift away from that approach towards a strategy focused on community policing.
- ELECTIONS-PERU: Partisan Media Distort Information [IPS ipsnews] Attacks, fear and disinformation are widespread in news coverage of Peru’s election campaign, with the leading media outlets taking the side of rightwing Keiko Fujimori in her contest against Ollanta Humala for the presidency.
- Why Washington is worried about Peru [Comment is free | guardian.co.uk] If its preferred candidate Keiko Fujimori loses to Ollanta Humala, the US will be isolated against South America’s left governments.
- Peru’s Presidential Election: A Battle Over Memory and Justice [Upside Down World] When Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori arrived at a plaza in the city of Cajamarca for a recent campaign speech, she was met by a barrage of eggs thrown by activists who opposed her candidacy and called her a “murderer and thief.” The activists were referring to the legacy of her father, Alberto Fujimori, who was Peru’s president from 1990-2000 and jailed in 2007 for a quarter century sentence after being found guilty of corruption and ‘crimes against humanity’.
- Peru to abolish uncontacted tribe’s reserve, says group [Mongabay.com] Territory inhabited by an uncontacted Amazon tribe in Peru is again up for grabs, warns Survival International.
- The flying men of Yungas valley [Al Jazeera English] Another item that is not exactly news, but a great report, perfect for weekend leisure reading and viewing. Bolivia’s coca farmers make a living criss-crossing deep valleys on a web of makeshift cables high above forest canopy.
- Chile: Mapuche hunger strike enters eightieth day [The Latin Americanist] and a follow up: Chile court rejects retrial for Mapuche strikers [The Latin Americanist] For several decades, Chile’s government and indigenous Mapuche activists haven’t seen eye-to-eye with each other. One of the more pressing concerns is the application of a dictatorship-era law that limits the legal rights of the accused including permitting the state to hold people for up to two years without charges. (Mapuche leaders claimed that the law is used to specifically target members of their community).
- Chile to investigate Pinochet regime role in Pablo Neruda murder [The Guardian] Chile is to investigate whether Augusto Pinochet’s regime murdered the Nobel prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda after it seized power in a bloody 1973 coup.
- Three pilots charged in Argentine ‘death flights’[AFP] An Argentine court has charged three former police officers with killing five women during the country’s 1976-1983 “dirty war” by throwing them out of an airplane while still alive.
- Argentina accuses world’s largest grain traders of huge tax evasion [The Guardian] The world’s four largest grain traders, responsible for the vast majority of global corn, soya and wheat trading and processing, have been accused of large-scale tax evasion in a landmark series of cases being brought against them by the Argentinian government. As a side note and some background information, I have written extensively in the past of charges against grain traders for modern day slavery and the treatment of workers in Argentina. So much so that, my mini media spree brought headlines in Dutch national press and an investigation by Dutch authorities. What I am saying is that these grain traders have a long history of “unfair trade” practices already.
- US Right-wing Group Unleashes Campaign Against Democracy in Latin America [Upside Down World] US Latin Americanist Cold Warriors and their far-right allies in the region kicked off a propaganda campaign in May to influence Congress and US citizens against Venezuela and fellow ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas) countries. With declining attention being paid to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, neoconservatives and neoliberals want to turn our attention to rolling back social and economic advances in Latin America.
My list of sources and issues is likely to be incomplete, so, I’d like to put out a call for Latin American bloggers/ writers/ content producers who write in English about Latin America and would like to share a post or opinion piece at “El Roundup Latin@ American@”, contact me and I’ll be happy to post them in future editions. I am not including the Caribbean Region in my roundup because it is one I am not completely familiar with (we share many cultural traits, but each region faces unique situations). However, if bloggers, writers, opinion makers from the Caribbean would like to share links I’ll be very happy to include them as well.