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.
April 5, 2012
With the release of two separate investigations this week, it is becoming increasingly clear why the reconstruction has failed the Haitian people on such a massive scale—it is lucrative business opportunity first, with the humanitarian element coming in at a distant second.
April 3, 2012
Last week, U.S. Army general Martin Dempsey visited Colombia, which may be on the road to becoming the third theater of U.S. military operations after Afghanistan and Iraq. Dempsey revealed that U.S. colonels with combat experience will be sharing their experiences with the Colombian military in the coming weeks.
April 3, 2012
In what at first appears to be a contradiction, the fulsome praise lavished by U.S. officials on Mexico’s militarized “drug war” has long been accompanied by warnings issued by many of those same officials that President Felipe Calderón’s militarized offensive against trafficking and organized crime was spinning out of control.
March 29, 2012
March 6 marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the former President of Guyana and the hemisphere’s first democratically elected Marxist leader. While that distinction is often mistakenly associated with the election of Chilean President Salvador Allende, Guyana was not only the site of this historic election, but Jagan (not Jacobo Arbenz) was also the first leader in the Americas to fall victim to Cold War military intervention.
March 28, 2012
While the Obama administration is touting its new immigration detention guidelines and showing off the federal government’s new detention facility in Karnes County, Texas, the larger picture of immigrant incarceration remains ugly. It is this fundamental reality of inhumanity, as a just-released report from New York University's Immigrant Rights Clinic makes clear, that we must keep our eyes on.
March 27, 2012
During the last week and yesterday the Colombian government carried out a pair of bombing raids on camps of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), killing over 60 guerrillas. The government offensive is strategically significant. The production of the country’s oil is largely concentrated in the region of the raids, where big interests are at stake.