Columns

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.”
July 26, 2012
Despite the war on drugs being lost long ago, the debate on a progressive drug policy in the Caribbean is showing positive signs of revival due to increased campaigning on behalf of an unlikely partnership of community organizations, farmers, and academics.
July 25, 2012
Border Patrol forces are increasing at an astounding rate on the U.S.-Canadian border, and there are calls for more resources and personnel in the halls of Congress. Sodus, New York—located in the farmlands right off Lake Ontario near Rochester, is a vivid example of how this post 9/11 build-up is clamping down on rural areas.
July 20, 2012
On January 11, 2012, Beverly J. Oda, Canada’s former Minister of International Cooperation, announced that the Government of Canada would be committing $19.9 million to the resettlement of 5,000 families, who were left homeless and were living in the internally displaced camp in Champs de Mars. She also remarked that “If all we do is clear the Champ de Mars, we will have failed.”
July 20, 2012
How the iconic Cuban song Guántanamera came to America 50 years ago, thanks to the U.S.-Cuban trade embargo and a progressive summer camp.
July 17, 2012
Sergio Haro is a veteran reporter for Zeta, an independent newsweekly in Tijuana, Mexico. Haro has reported widely on organized crime and violence on Mexico’s northern border, and for his efforts, has worked under constant credible threats. He is the central figure in Reportero a new film directed by Bernardo Ruiz, which will be shown this Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 PM at the Spanish Benevolent Society, 239 West 14th Street in Manhattan. The screening is a benefit for NACLA. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. What follows is a brief interview with Haro conducted this week by Fred Rosen.
July 16, 2012
Former president Alvaro Uribe Velez has built a coaltion of reactionary political forces and social groups to challenge president Santos's peaceful overtures and his attempt to return lands to those dispossessed by right-wing groups and the landed elite. 
July 16, 2012
A New York Times article indicates an outsized role of U.S. forces in Honduras, but does not utilize relevant information from previous reports; progressive news and commentary highlight the alarming decline of Honduran sovereignty. 
July 13, 2012
On July 5, Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment announced that it would suspend new river mining claims due to growing concern about widespread environmental damage. The announcement comes at a time when gold prices are soaring and many Canadian and Brazilian multinationals are scrambling to capitalize on Guyana’s vast mineral wealth.
July 13, 2012
Following a two-week vigil in La Paz, frustrated lowland indigenous marchers protesting the Bolivian government's plan to build a highway through the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) have decided to return to their native communities. The marchers have pledged to resist the government's proposed consultation process on the road.
July 12, 2012
Dear friends - As you may know, I was recently honored at NACLA’s 45th Anniversary Benefit Gala with the 2012 Latin America Peace and Justice Award. Now, I want to invite you to join me in supporting NACLA’s ongoing mission to inform and educate journalists, activists, teachers, and students throughout the hemisphere by donating generously today.
July 11, 2012
In May, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement imposed the deportation program known as "Secure Communities" on New York State despite widespread opposition throughout the state and from Governor Andrew Cuomo. This development serves as a lesson about the challenges of fighting a federal immigration policing regime that few have questioned systematically.
July 5, 2012
On July 2, Haitian grassroots organizations and their international allies launched a housing rights campaign called ‘Under Tents’ in response to the failure the Haitian government to “address Haiti’s epidemic of homelessness.”
July 4, 2012
They’re still counting, or re-counting, the votes in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto of the once-all-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was (probably) elected the country’s next president this past Sunday with about 38% of the vote. The results remain contested because the second-place finisher, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has challenged them, alleging various kinds of fraud and demanding a total recount. 
July 3, 2012
On the late afternoon of Saturday, June 30, members of the Mexican community of greater New York City gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square and cast their ballots in a a symbolic vote for the country’s president. The action illustrates the dynamic nature of the U.S.-Mexico border region, while serving as a manifestation of the ongoing struggle to define it.
July 2, 2012
The second national indigenous march to protest the Bolivian government's proposed highway through the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) reached La Paz last week on the heels of a violent police strike. The government linked both the police and the TIPNIS protesters to a possible coup attempt.
June 29, 2012
Though different, there are many important and striking similitarities between the U.S. enforcement of its border with Mexico and the Israeli pacification of the Palestinian people. One such similarity is the companies involved. For example, Israel's Elbit Systems not only supplies the Israeli state with electronic detection systems along the wall of separation with the West Bank, but also won a contract to provide the same equipment on the Mexico-U.S. border.
June 28, 2012
It’s one thing to be proud of an accomplishment, such as reducing the amount of homelessness by constructing homes—but it is irresponsible and criminal to attack, forcefully evict, and destroy thousands of shelters consisting of battered tents and tarps, then brag internationally about seeing a reduction in the levels of visible homelessness. Yet this is exactly what is happening right now in Haiti.
June 27, 2012
The Colombian congress recently passed a bill that will lead to impunity if President Juan Manuel Santos approves.
June 26, 2012
Supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), are angry and dismayed as polls show the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto maintaining a lead over second-place AMLO of six to 18 points. None of this is to say that Peña Nieto deserves to be the front-runner, much less that Mexico would be better off with the authoritarian, corrupt, corporatist PRI back in power, but when I reported the polling consensus in last week’s blog, I received several negative comments from AMLOistas accusing me of betraying the cause of the left—as though recognizing that you are behind is the equivalent of admitting you are wrong. 
June 25, 2012
A June 20 blog post by Harvey Morris, featured on the website of The New York Times, pointedly asks in its headline, “Asylum for Assange: What’s in It for Ecuador?” Writing for the paper of record, Morris understandably looks at Ecuador's policy considerations through the lens of that government’s own self-interest. But the Times selectively applies this kind of examination.
June 22, 2012
The widespread approval of the Obama administration's recently announced immigration policy initiative—and the profound joy felt by large numbers of unauthorized migrants and their allies and advocates in the United States—is understandable in many ways. But the happiness should not cloud our collective ability to see the serious limits to Obama’s policy change nor, more importantly, dilute energies pushing for more far-ranging transformation of a fundamentally unjust system.
June 21, 2012
Talking about the structural ineffectiveness of charities and NGO’s is difficult because criticism of charity creates the problematic misconception that an individual is against easing the suffering of others, or the good intention to make the world a better place. This is not true. The problem is the wider framework within which charity occurs.

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