Columns

September 16, 2012
  One of the core reasons why the civil war in Colombia has endured for so long is because the costs of peace for the dominant classes and the United States is more than the costs of war. Nevertheless, there are several issues that can assess the possibility of success of the process of a possible peace in Colombia. 
September 13, 2012
Almost a year after resigning as Bolivia’s Defense Minister, Cecilia Chacón has broken her silence to question President Evo Morales’ appointment of ex-Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti as ambassador to the UN—an act which, she says, signifies impunity for those responsible for the police repression of lowland indigenous marchers last September 25 at Chaparina.
September 13, 2012
What MINUSTAH’s near certain renewal on October 15 essentially means is another year of impunity for MINUSTAH, whose mandate entrusts them with the protection of the Haitian people on paper, but routinely and unapologetically violates their human rights in practice. Better options are available but are not considered. Why?
September 12, 2012
If you are a U.S. American Muslim crossing the international border into Michigan from Canada, be prepared for Customs and Border Protection officers to handcuff, detain, and interrogate you for perhaps two, but possibly ten, hours. The U.S.-Canada border is quickly becoming one of the hot spots of the post-9/11 homeland security era in the United States.
September 5, 2012
When Ecuador granted asylum to Australian journalist Julian Assange in mid-August, and then, two weeks later, the United States provided asylum to Ecuadorian journalist Emilio Palacio, the two cases threw the hypocrisy of the establishment press into stark relief.
September 4, 2012
Over the last two decades, many countrys and NGOs have sounded a loud drumbeat against “human trafficking." In the name of protecting immigrant women and girls, the resulting practices ultimately increase the detection, detention, and deportation of migrants. As in the days of Chinese exclusion, anti-trafficking rhetoric leads to the proposterous suggestion that immigration controls are in the best interests of migrants.
September 2, 2012
The secret peace talks between the Santos government and the FARC are now out in the open. It is premature to anticipate the prospects, however they are the first talks since the collapse of the last peace negotiations in 2002. I believe that the chance for success is higher now than in the 1998–2002 round. Success is by no means guaranteed, but there may be some hope.
August 30, 2012
Five days past its official deadline and with less than half the communities polled, the consultation process on the Bolivian government’s proposed highway through the TIPNIS has ground to a halt amidst continuing controversy and local resistance. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting over the perceived militarization of the TIPNIS.
August 30, 2012
It’s a steamy, overcast monsoon morning in Nogales, Sonora, just across the border from the United States. I’ve come to learn more about what happens to Mexican deportees, many parents of children, who are left off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  in downtown Nogales at two in the morning.
August 28, 2012
A new report on the U.S. role in a lethal raid that killed four civilians in Honduras has received zero coverage in the corporate media. At the very least, in light of new eyewitness testimony, news organizations should revisit the thoroughly accepted view that U.S. forces played only a support role in the May 11 raid.
August 22, 2012
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe's recent verbal attacks against President Juan Manuel Santos are perhaps most important for where they were made—Sincelejo, a powerful stronghold of Colombian landed elite. Across the country, this group has disproportionate political power that far exceeds its economic weight due to its success in political engineering and its employment of brutal force.
August 22, 2012
From the Dominican-Haitian borderlands to Ireland, the United States is internationalizing its boundary policing. In the process, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is creating the 21st century boundary, one that involves enrolling other countries in U.S. enforcement practices.
August 21, 2012
On August 12th, the Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity kicked off its one-month, 6,000-mile journey across the United States. Riding from San Diego to Washington, D.C., the Caravan seeks to educate and confront Americans about the terrible violence besetting Mexico—and perhaps to recruit those who are convinced and inspired to a U.S. offshoot of Mexico’s Movement for Peace. 
August 20, 2012
Geographer and author Jared Diamond seems oblivious to the corrosive role of outside interference in modern Haitian history. In his recent op-ed in The New York Times, Diamond focuses on Haiti’s supposed cultural defects as an explanation for its lack of development, rather than the crimes of foreign powers.
August 16, 2012
In the ongoing struggle against the Bolivian government’s plan to build a highway through the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), lowland indigenous women have been on the front lines. Their protagonism has sparked controversy in a society where patriarchal traditions and attitudes still run deep, despite important recent advances.
August 16, 2012
Unbelievably good news! The national fútbol team won an Olympic gold medal last Saturday for the first time ever, beating Brazil (Brazil!) 2-1. (OK, the news is not all that good if you happen to be a Brazilian, but Brazil has had more than its share of good soccer news over the years.) And otherwise, these are not happy times in Mexico. There is precious little good news that comes out of the land of the Aztec sun these days. 
August 15, 2012
This year in Guyana, Emancipation Day—the day which commemorates the abolition of slavery—was not a cause of celebration but was marked instead by widespread sadness and anger. On August 1, funerals were held for three men who were killed by Guyanese security forces during a protest over government plans to increase electricity rates in the bauxite mining town of Linden.
August 14, 2012
The struggle against Arizona's infamous anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070, continues. A key component of the fight-back involves a grassroots campaign in Tucson against the state's private prison industry via a broad community coalition called Fuerza!
August 14, 2012
Since July 23, workers have been on strike at Colombia's private railway company FENOCO demanding better salaries, improved work conditions, and more social investments in areas of coal production. The strike may have serious implications on coal supply and prices in international markets, considering that Colombia is among the world’s largest coal exporters.
August 8, 2012
The government of Canada has made it increasingly difficult for Mexican asylum seekers to find sanctuary there. This has resulted in an increase in deportees, many of whom face highly dangerous conditions upon their forced return to their country of birth. In response, migrants and activists in Montreal have organized to challenge Canadian policy, creating new webs of solidarity across international boundaries.
August 6, 2012
The New York Times recently published concerns over Venezuela’s entry to Mercosur, Latin America's largest trade bloc. Mercosur purportedly “sets a terrible example for the region” by allowing in a country with “precarious protection of democratic rights,” according to those quoted by the Times. In contrast, the newspaper uses no space in its article to explain the background behind the antidemocratic ouster of Paraguay's president, Fernando Lugo, a reason behind Mercosur's inclusion of Venezuela.
August 5, 2012
As the Bolivian government launches its controversial consultation process on the TIPNIS highway, affected communities are responding with a creative range of tactics—some in support, and others in resistance—attesting to the deep divisions the process has created.
July 31, 2012
The months following Mexico’s presidential election are turning out to be as conflictive and as revelatory of Mexican politics as the election itself. One of the ongoing debates centers around the testimony of a Mexican-American public relations hustler named José Luis Ponce de Aquino, who claims to have been hired by campaign functionaries of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to promote a favorable image of PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto in the United States.
July 31, 2012
The state is not winning the civil war in Colombia thanks to the limitations of its behemoth military and the capacities of the insurgency to adjust to changing war conditions.
July 30, 2012
Given the rightwing accomplishments in Honduras and Paraguay of subverting the most basic of democratic protocols, it’s absurd for The Washington Post to ignore these events in favor of detailing the “new authoritarianism” of leaders who are admittedly “democratically elected,” who “do not assassinate opposition figures or declare martial law,” and who preside over republics with “active news media, political opposition and civil society organizations.”

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