It’s time for a new installment of our weekly feature of news from El Sur!
To reiterate my call from last week, 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 especially bloggers or writers who are touching upon gender/ equality/ LGBTQ issues, 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 entirely 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.
Without further ado, this week’s roundup:
- In Latin America, Rich Women Tower over Poor [Fox News Latino] The poorest women in Guatemala, Honduras and other Latin American countries are significantly shorter than the richest, according to a recent study by Harvard researchers.
- Pentagon Using Drug Wars as Excuse to Build Bases in Latin America [New America Media] Under the auspices of the drug war, the United States is returning to its historical pattern of using Central America and the Caribbean for its own military and strategic purposes. Even as a growing chorus of voices throughout Latin America argue that military responses to drug trafficking are ineffective against the narcotics trade and exacerbate existing human rights abuses and official corruption, the U.S. military presence in the region is growing.
- Mexico’s Zetas “corrupts” U.S. agents says DHS official [The Latin Americanist] As part of testimony grated to the Senate subcommittee on national security, [U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) and Customs acting Inspector General] Edwards said that the Zetas offer “cash bribes, sexual favor and other services in exchange for smuggling contraband or illegal immigrants through border inspection areas.
- Disputed Frida Kahlo archive may be authentic, Mexican court rules [LA Times] A breathless story in the online Art Newspaper reported heated claims that the previously unknown cache was fake. The charges were made by a dozen American and Mexican art dealers, critics and historians, all of whom share a vested interest in Kahlo’s robust market and the publishing business around it.
- Ghosts of Guatemala’s Past [NYTimes.com] IN 1954, the American government committed one of the most reprehensible acts in its history when it authorized the C.I.A. to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Guatemala, President Jacobo Arbenz.[...] Guatemalan society has only recently recovered from the suffering that this intervention caused, including brutal military dictatorships and a genocidal civil war against its Indian population, which led to the deaths of an estimated 200,000 people.
- Guatemala victims of US syphilis study still haunted by the ‘devil’s experiment’ [The Guardian] Marta Orellana says she was playing with friends at the orphanage when the summons sounded: “Orellana to the infirmary. Orellana to the infirmary.” Waiting for her were several doctors she had never seen before. Tall men with fair complexions who spoke what she guessed was English, plus a Guatemalan doctor. They had syringes and little bottles.
- Honduras crisis: Honduras offers lessons on safeguarding democracy during crisis [LAtimes.com] The crisis that led to President Manuel Zelaya’s ouster underscores the importance of strengthening constitutional controls over both the military and the executive.
- Venezuela: Relations with US are ‘frozen’ [BusinessWeek] Venezuela’s top diplomat says relations with the United States are “frozen” and President Hugo Chavez’s government does not perceive any possibility of improving them after Washington imposed sanctions on the South American nation’s state oil company.
- Poll: Venezuela almost evenly split on Chavez [MiamiHerald.com] Venezuelans are almost evenly split about President Hugo Chavez’s performance in office, according to a poll released Monday.
- Colombia’s halting progress on human rights [Comment is free | guardian.co.uk] President Santos presents Colombia as having moved on from past abuses, but the security services have not got the memo
- President Santos’ mining policy will intensify Colombia’s armed conflict: Indigenous [Colombia Reports] An association of Indigenous people in the southwest of Colombia has criticized President Santos national mining strategy saying it will only bring more violence.
- ELECTIONS-PERU: Leftist Winner Promises “Growth with Social Inclusion” [IPS ipsnews.net] For the first time in the democratic history of Peru, a left-wing candidate has won the presidency. With the support of an overwhelming majority of voters in the provinces, retired lieutenant colonel Ollanta Humala defeated his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori, whose strongest backing was in the capital.
- Ollanta Humala’s win is a promise to Peru’s poor [Comment is free | guardian.co.uk]The left candidate’s victory in Peru’s election is part of a firm pattern of independence and social progress in South America
- ALBA military school opened in Bolivia [Bolivia Rising via Reuters] The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is a trade pact between Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincente and the Grenadines. It aims to rival U.S.-sponsored free-trade agreements, stressing solidarity and cooperation above profit-seeking economic activities. Video of the opening ceremony with Bolivian President Evo Morales, here.
- The Brazilian tribe that played by our rules, and lost [Comment is free | guardian.co.uk] The Kayapó people’s battle to save their land from flooding as the Bel Monte dam is built follows a pattern across the Americas[...] It [the dam] will flood 400,000 hectares of the world’s largest rainforest, displacing 20,000 to 40,000 people – including the Kayapó.
- Indigenous Mapuche activists end hunger strike in Chile [Boston.com] Four imprisoned Mapuche Indian activists have given up a hunger strike they began 86 days ago to protest their prosecutions under Chile’s tough anti-terrorism law.
- Salvador Allende’s death: a new investigation reopens Chile’s wounds [The Observer] Former president’s family hope judge’s probe will show whether Allende killed himself or was murdered in 1973 coup.
- Giant open-pit mine raises questions in Uruguay [AFP] A plan to build a giant open pit mine has created a sharp rift between those who think Uruguay’s rich agricultural land should be protected, and those wanting to exploit its wealth. The Aratiri project, owned by Zamin Ferrous, a London-based minerals company, will cost an estimated $2.5 billion (1.7 million Euros), the largest mining project ever in South America.
- ARGENTINA: Avoidable Maternal Deaths on the Rise [IPS ipsnews.net] Argentina is moving backwards in terms of maternal mortality, with a rate three times higher than those of its neighbours Chile and Uruguay. Maternal deaths, which are actually increasing, are often the result of unsafe abortions, in a country where the practice is illegal.
- Volcanic ash strands travellers, coats streets in South America [The Globe and Mail] Ash from a Chilean volcano fell across a wide swath of South America on Thursday, forcing cancellation of most flights across the southern half of the continent and grounding the presidents of Argentina and Uruguay. At the link, photo gallery and video of the volcano eruption.
Have a great weekend everyone!