February 16, 2013
The New York Times reinforces attitudes that Latin American politics can be little more than a primitive charade, starring authoritarian leaders and a hoodwinked public, punctuated by laughable distractions. Thankfully—at least within the paper's coverage—this "political theater of the absurd" isn’t commonplace here at home.
February 15, 2013
While widening inequality is helping to stifle the U.S. economy, in Bolivia domestic demand fueled by rising incomes and narrowing inequality is a driving force behind the country's newly found economic prosperity. The U.S. could learn a lot from Bolivia's example.
February 14, 2013
For decades Jean Claude Duvalier brutally ruled over Haiti—leading to the murder, dissapearance, and torture of tens of thousands. However, the recent decision by an appeals court on February 7 demanding Duvalier appear in court or face arrest is a small but extremely important step toward gaining justice for his many victims.
February 13, 2013
Against the backdrop of drones and surveillance towers on the Northern Border, CBP agents repeatedly handcuff border-crossers, often brandishing weapons, conducting invasive body searches, and detaining people for up to 12 hours.
February 12, 2013
More than 5,000 workers at coal multinational corporation began a strike demanding higher salaries, better working conditions, and effective measures to protect the environment. This strike reveals yet a much larger problem with the extractive resource industry in Colombia.
February 7, 2013
Given the current controversy surrounding the extent of the U.S. drone program and targeted killings, it is important to revisit that in the summer of 2012, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency announced that unmanned drones would begin patrolling Caribbean airspace. This is only one aspect of how the War on Drugs in the Caribbean is increasingly looking like the War on Terror.
February 5, 2013
A new report focusing on the Border Patrol's Buffalo Sector in northern New York exposes what is essentially a bounty program—one in which Border Patrol agents receive bonuses for the number of people they arrest. These incentives, combined with larger institutional presures to produce arrests, have resulted in the arrest and detention of large numbers of individuals lawfully present in the United States.
February 5, 2013
The peace process hit a snag last week after FARC resumed its military operations following the expiration of its 60-day unilateral cease fire.
January 31, 2013
A unique experiment in urban planning and preservation has successfully revitalized Havana's decaying historic district while largely avoiding the displacement of existing residents. Will Cuba’s new laws that legalize the free market sale of housing lead to the gentrification of this dynamic neighborhood?
January 30, 2013
The expansion of the Panama Canal is to be completed in 2015. In preparation for this, Jamaica has embarked upon an ambitious program of infrastructure development to position it as a “global transshipment and logistics hub”—joining the likes of Singapore, Dubai, and Rotterdam.
January 29, 2013
The number of migrant deaths in Brooks County, in the southern part of Texas, has exploded over the last year.
January 28, 2013
The negotiations between the FARC and the Santos government have advanced, and last week they established a benchmark for the first item on their discussion of the agrarian question.
January 25, 2013
José Cárdenas has concealed the financial benefits he’s accrued from lobbying precisely because they make his espoused views both easily predictable and utterly dismissible. Fortunately for him, mainstream news organizations like The Miami Herald, Foreign Policy, and NPR accommodate this charade.
January 24, 2013
On January 8, 2013, Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation—and head of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)—blindsided Haiti, the United States, and the United Nations by announcing through the media that he would be freezing any further distributions of development aid.
January 24, 2013
The comprehensive immigration reform bill will soon be introduced in Congress could be great— normalizing the status of millions who are now forced to live in the shadows. However, if history is any guide, it could instead mean a ramping up of enforcement that creates a life and death circumstance for crossing migrants, as well as destroying the fragile eco-system of the borderlands.
January 21, 2013
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has modified its position regarding Colombia's latifundios. This is its first change on the latifundio question since its inception in 1964.
January 18, 2013
While President Evo Morales decrees that Bolivia’s TIPNIS conflict is resolved, conflicting reports issued by the government and religious and human rights groups over the past few weeks have served to extend the controversy over the proposed highway that would bisect this indigenous territory and national park in the Amazon lowlands.
January 17, 2013
This past November I visited Ciudad Juárez, Mexico to witness the urban redevelopment taking place in the city’s historic district. With my digital camera I took about thirty minutes of footage from which I produced this seven and a half minute video, “La Ultima Taza de Café?” (The Last Cup of Coffee?).
January 14, 2013
Peace talks between representatives of the Juan Manuel Santos government and the FARC delegates resume today in Havana, Cuba.
January 10, 2013
In 2012, the Caribbean was the site of many positive developments—but overall the region as a whole is desperately trying to keep its head above water. While last year marked 50 years since the end of formal British colonialism in both Jamaica and Trinidad, it also highlighted that new and perhaps more powerful structures of control have arisen in the region such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the international drug trade.
January 9, 2013
A new report from the Migration Policy Institute documents record levels of spending on immigration and boundary policing. Often justified in the name of protecting children, the "border wars" and the diversion of billions of dollars to fund them, not surpriingly, prove ultimately to be quite harmful to children in myriad ways.
January 4, 2013
The new eco-thriller, “A Dark Truth,” sensationalizes contemporary conflicts over water rights and environmental justice in Latin America, and disrespects the popular movements that are the main protagonists of those struggles.
January 1, 2013
The peace talks in Colombia are in recess and will resume in January 14 when the parties will continue their discussion of the agrarian question.
December 21, 2012
Due to the decline of the traditional sugar and banana exporting industries, many cash strapped Caribbean islands have been resorting to an unusual and controversial method to raise revenue—selling citizenship. There is an ongoing debate about the transparency of such programs, and whether the economic benefits outweigh the potential costs.
December 17, 2012
On December 11, the United Nations announced a long overdue initiative to end the cholera epidemic which has devastated Haiti for more than two years—taking over 7,750 lives and infecting 600,000 more. While the announcement by the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is a welcome and much needed step, the ten-year plan is not without controversy.