Columns

December 2, 2013
Faith and large-scale mining have something in common: they both move mountains. On many occasions, the Church has been an obstacle to industry’s efforts to expand into Latin American countries. A growing movement connects anti-mining resistance, spirituality, and environmental struggles.
November 30, 2013
The Atlantic Concession Railway links the coal mines of Cesar to the ports of Santa Marta. The traditional ways of life and artisenal industries of communities at both ends of the track have been destroyed by environmental damage, leading to their forced displacement. 
November 29, 2013
By 2008, one in ten Mexicans, some 11.4 million people, resided in the United States. However, the global financial crisis, combined with the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and the numerous costs and perils associated with emigrating to the United States from Mexico and Central America, have dissuaded increasing numbers from taking the risk. 
November 27, 2013
Honduras’ elections on November 24 had the potential of reversing some of the worst pro-market, anti-people policies put forward by the government of Porfirio Lobo, who was the direct beneficiary of the 2009 coup that ousted the left-of-center Manuel Zelaya. Instead, the elections have been fraught with irregularities and violent intimidation.
November 27, 2013
Puerto Rico has a complicated and oftentimes contradictory history regarding gender and sexuality. In the second posting of NACLA-Global Voices' new series, Angel Carrión lays out an initial framework for understanding the LGBT movement in Puerto Rico today.
November 26, 2013
"What we’ve been doing for a long time is trying to raise awareness about these official actions, whether they be by the state police, local police, or Border Patrol—law enforcement agencies that are roving around, knocking on doors, pulling cars over, taking people off the steps of churches, taking people out of grocery stores, drug stores, or following kids home from school."
November 22, 2013
The legend of El Dorado stems from a Spaniard, Juan Rodriguez Freyle, watching a High Priest of the Muisca getting covered in gold dust and jumping in Lake Guatavita, near Bogotá, in a religious ceremony that makes the Pope's big hat and incense burning look fairly underwhelming. Naturally, the Spanish decided that they themselves were far better placed to use all the gold responsibly, and set about destroying the complex societies that had flourished in Colombia prior.
November 21, 2013
On September 25, Bolivians marked the second anniversary of events at Chaparina, where national police brutally repressed indigenous marchers protesting the construction of a government-proposed highway through the TIPNIS indigenous territory and national park. Two years later, the central question—who ordered the attack?—has not been answered.  
November 21, 2013
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Mexican officials to pretend that the massive number of murders and enforced disappearances is not part of a deliberate government strategy. Political rhetoric, unsurprisingly, points to drug cartels as the sole perpetrators of violent crime in Mexico. But the mantra that the Mexican state, supported with funds and military wherewithal by the U.S. government, is waging a genuine war on organized crime is a pervasive but totally false myth.
November 20, 2013
Imagine the sort of metal police barricades you see at protests. These are unevenly lined up like so many crooked teeth on the Dominican Republic’s side of the river that acts as its border with Haiti. Like dazed versions of U.S. Border Patrol agents, the armed Dominican border guards sit at their assigned posts, staring at the opposite shore.
November 18, 2013
Extractives in Latin America aspires to draw attention to reality as represented through Latin American eyes and voices. The politics we explore here may run the gamut from getting access to a canister of propane to cook dinner in Bolivia to the paradoxes linking Argentine nationalism, Chevron, and the U.S.-backed fracking push in the hemisphere.
November 18, 2013
As part of the partnership between Global Voices and NACLA, a team of five Global Voices authors from Latin America and the Caribbean will contribute weekly articles for a series about women, gender, and LGBT issues. We asked these five authors to tell us why they think that covering these themes in the region is important.
November 15, 2013
Once the signature program of the U.S. drug war in Latin America, aerial fumigation of coca leaf crops is finally in deep trouble. Fumigation’s crisis comes in a moment when coca growers, like other farmers throughout Colombia, face an economic crisis that led to a month-long national agricultural strike in August.
November 14, 2013
The war on drugs—like its counterpart, the war on terror—promises a hazy pastiche theme park beyond the rainbow, where hard-working families and humble entrepreneurs will succeed and realize their dreams via honest resolve and determination. For the moment though, and in order to win, the tale goes, the state must first wage war on those who would do harm. But the war is a sham, for the simple reason that the groups that benefit from the conflict have no interest in seeing it end. 
November 13, 2013
A few days ago the Juan Manuel Santos government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed off on the second item of their five-point negotiation program: that of political participation. This agreement, alongside the preceding agreement on the agrarian question, elevates the positive expectations that the peace process is moving in the right direction, and that prospects of a final agreement are closer than ever before.
November 12, 2013
Pedro César García Moreno, a member of Conciencia Campesina and president of the Community Action of El Cajón-La Leona district, was shot dead close to his home on November 2. He had been actively involved in opposing the development of an open-pit gold mining project, had regularly attended environmental meetings, and had helped persuade many farmers in the area not to sell their lands to foreign miners.
November 11, 2013
On Friday Global Voices aired their online hangout session “Dreams of U.S. Immigration Reform” as part of the NACLA-Global Voices collaboration “Migrant Journeys.” The hangout included activists and experts—including NACLA’s own Alfonso Gonzales—in the movement for immigration reform who discussed what the proposed reform could mean for the daily lives of millions of immigrants.
November 8, 2013
Last month, Bolivians marked the tenth anniversary of "Black October," a watershed moment in a popular uprising that culminated with the election of Evo Morales. Today, both Morales and popular sectors view the legacy of Black October through the lens of their own political agendas.
November 8, 2013
As we embark on a new blog here at NACLA, we look at the world of NGOs, how they work best, and how they can offer a window on the complex issues facing Colombia today. As with much in life, the work of human rights organizations can be directly related through a strained metaphor to the preparation of hamburgers.
November 7, 2013
The revelations leaked by Edward Snowden that the NSA committed acts of espionage against top Mexican officials and the president himself have so far provoked only mild indignation from the Mexican political class. The lackluster reaction from Los Pinos to the NSA revelations is reflective of the extent to which Mexican elite politicians acquiesce in the intrusions, largely because they themselves use domestic spying to further their own sectional interests in a country in which, little more than a decade after the ‘transition to democracy,’ the majority of the population are excluded from meaningful political participation.
November 6, 2013
How did the US-Mexican border become the place where the American past chokes on itself?
November 5, 2013
Efforts to overhaul the nation’s border security and immigration policies are revving up again in Washington. That means a renewed push for enhanced border policing, such as the $46 billion in the reform bill the Senate passed in June. That kind of spending would bring the Border Patrol’s creeping militarized mission further into the interior of the United States. The United States currently has 60,000 border guards, more than double the size of Ecuador's army.
November 1, 2013
The specter of the increasing public debt in Colombia is expected to generate a deep economic crisis if not addressed.
October 30, 2013
For over 50 years the island of Cuba has defiantly stood its ground in the Caribbean, rejecting a capitalist economic model in favor of a system that has served the needs of its people, first, and those of the international economy, a distant second. It is primarily for this reason that Cuba’s decision to establish an export processing zone at the port of Mariel has been met with a great deal of concern.
October 24, 2013
A photo essay from the week of September 11, 2013 in Chile, marking the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government by a U.S.-backed military coup (Part 2). 

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