May 24, 2012
The banana industry has long been famous for the power and influence multinational corporations yield upon governments. Despite bananas being grown in nearly all tropical regions, 70% of the global banana market is controlled by only three corporations—Del Monte, Dole, and Chiquita. This two-part article looks at the corporate influences behind the demise of the Caribbean banana trade.
May 23, 2012
The second indigenous march in defense of Bolivia’s Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) is taking place in a changed political climate, featuring a more aggressive government strategy as well as a multitude of urban conflicts. Whether the success of the first march can be replicated under these conditions remains an open question.
May 21, 2012
Alejandro Solalinde is a Catholic priest who runs the Hermanos en el Camino shelter in southern Mexico for migrants who are crossing the country on their way to the United States. For his efforts he has received both plaudits and death threats. Last week, at the suggestion of Mexican Bishops, international human rights organizations, and many of his political supporters, he decided to leave the country for at least six weeks.
May 15, 2012
In this first-hand account of a back-and-forth between a federal judge and a young shackled migrant is a vivid look into the Border Patrolization processes happening in the country that will be a significant part of the new 2012-16 strategy, revealed to the public on May 8 with great fanfare.
May 14, 2012
Noriega’s buffoonish commentary in CNN would be more amusing if not for his hands-on experience in crafting devastating U.S. policies toward Latin America. Given his disturbing record, it is astonishing that CNN would produce a news piece on Venezuela through the lens of Noriega—a lobbyist with obvious conflicts of interest in Latin America.
May 11, 2012
As part of her election campaign, Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller announced her intention of breaking ties with the British monarchy and becoming an independent republic. While this is no doubt a long overdue and symbolic act, breaking ties with the real neocolonial power in Jamaica—the International Monetary Fund—should be a much higher priority.
May 10, 2012
On May 1, President Evo Morales seized control of Bolivia's electric grid from one Spanish company and inaugurated a $600 million gas processing plant with another. Two weeks earlier, he boosted incentives for crude oil production in Bolivia's "nationalized" oil and gas sector by 300%, demonstrating an increasingly pragmatic, investor-friendly approach to nationalization.
May 8, 2012
Mexico’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies unanimous approval of a law to alleviate the damage and suffering experienced by victims of state and criminal violence may turn out to be of enormous importance. It officially recognizes victims who have heretofore been seen simply as collateral damage in the war against illicit drugs, and official and organized crime.
May 6, 2012
The birth of the Patriotic March movement in Colombia may usher in a new phase in the country's quest for peace and social justice. But can it harness the potential and push the country to a tipping point for peace?
May 4, 2012
The recent news out of Haiti is that Port au Prince is currently undergoing a building boom—but it’s not the much needed homes for the estimated half million internally displaced people, it’s due to upscale hotels being built to house foreign investors and aid workers.
May 3, 2012
As the presence of drone in the U.S. borderlands becomes more pronounced, important lessons are to be drawn—from abroad and within the United States—regarding potential dangers ahead. They highlight the need to vigorously contest the the Department of Homeland Security's use of remotely-piloted aircraft for purposes of policing the border region.
May 2, 2012
On April 19, The Washington Post’s editorial board published a cartoonishly hysterical rant titled “Argentina’s president rejects stepping into the future,” in reaction to the government’s re-nationalization of the Spanish-owned oil company, Repsol YPF.
May 1, 2012
In Mexico, it is not only Mexican institutions that play the impunity game. While it has become commonplace to argue that the most important U.S. export is “the rule of law,” U.S. institutions have played an important role in reinforcing a transnational culture of impunity. And Mexicans have been paying attention.
April 27, 2012
After a week fraught with tension, the second march to protest the Bolivian government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) is set to depart April 27 from the Amazonian department of Beni, headed towards the highland capital of La Paz. The march seeks to build an indigenous-urban alliance in broad defense of indigenous, environmental, and human rights.
April 25, 2012
April 18th marked the public release of the first batch of the secret colonial documents from the British government known as the "migrated archives."Interestingly, UCLA's Professor Robert Hill’s work with the migrated archives is not the first time that he has come across secret or forgotten documents related to his work in the Caribbean.
April 25, 2012
Video footage and eyewitness accounts demonstrating how U.S. federal agents brutally beat Anastasio Hernández Rojas, tased him five times, and ultimately killed him in May 2010—all while he lay on the ground with his arms handcuffed—are calling for accountability.
April 24, 2012
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Colombia on Monday as part of a regional tour that includes Brazil and Chile. Panetta's visit came on the heels of Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak's trip to Colombia and may be planned to bless the growing Colombian-Israeli collaboration, which Colombia believes can help it position itself as a major exporter of security in the region.
April 24, 2012
Just a year ago the indigenous Purépecha community of Cherán established a self-imposed “state of siege” to protect itself from the illegal logging that was decimating the community’s forests. This past Wednesday, April 18, the communal council of Cherán reported that a group of 20 comuneros engaged in a project of reforestation were ambushed by an armed group, leaving two dead and two others seriously wounded.
April 18, 2012
In part two, Robert Hill, Professor of Afro-American and Caribbean History at UCLA, who has been deeply involved in the "migrated archives" since their discovery, shares his insights into the release of the archives and what it entails for the Caribbean history.
April 16, 2012
President Evo Morales's surprise announcement that Bolivia will revoke its contract with Brazilian company OAS to build the controversial TIPNIS highway has failed to defuse tensions, but could represent a paradigm shift in the TIPNIS controversy, with an opportunity to return to "ground zero."
April 13, 2012
In February, I visited the American Border Patrol (ABP), the vigilante group that claims to be the first to have used an unmanned aerial vehicle for surveillance on the U.S.-Mexico border. Though labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ABP has much in common with the U.S. border enforcement policy, especially as the United States renews its call for surveillance technology and a "virtual wall."
April 12, 2012
Nearly 50 years after decolonization, the case brought forth by four Kenyan pensioners against the British government has the real potential to be regarded as a “Colonial WikiLeaks,” quite possibly leading to the rewriting of the established narratives of decolonization and independence not only in Africa, but also throughout the Caribbean and all former Commonwealth colonies.
April 10, 2012
According to a recent report, about 40% of Colombian land "has been licensed to, or is being solicited by, multinational corporations in order to develop mineral and crude oil mining projects." The extractive development is at the expense of food production, a profound shift in land use that puts the future of Colombia’s food security in jeopardy.
April 6, 2012
“The beer’s OK. But this egg here… this could be a problem,” said the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer, pulling a jumbo-sized chocolate Easter egg from our trunk and walking beside the car. "I’ve never seen one this big, but if it’s like the Kinder eggs, we’re going to have to confiscate it.”
April 6, 2012
In the run-up to the May-June consulta that will decide the fate of the proposed highway through the TIPNIS Indigenous Territory and National Park, the Bolivian government is signing agreements with lowland indigenous groups and seeking to cancel its contract with Brazilian company OAS to build the TIPNIS road, causing a shift in political alliances around the TIPNIS conflict.