Columns

December 23, 2013
While southern Arizona continues to be ground zero for the most extreme measures of border militarization today, it is also home to powerful nodes of civil resistance. On December 8, local residents from Arivaca and the surrounding area held their first protest at a Border Patrol checkpoint—one out of about a dozen located throughout the region. I documented the event in the video posted below.
December 21, 2013
Newly-annointed President Juan Orlando Hernández is gearing up to lead the most authoritarian administration in Honduran history, under the cloud of a tainted election, a violence-plagued society, and a failed economy. Can Honduran social movements curtail the abuses of the regime through the combined efforts of a viable political opposition party and massive popular resistance?
December 18, 2013
In a move that appears to complete Mexico’s loss of national sovereignty to international capital, the senate has finally passed a sweeping and far-reaching reform of the country’s oil industry. The restructuring is treated with widespread skepticism—polls suggest that about 65-75 percent of the population oppose the initiative.
December 17, 2013
In the first part of our dialog about the work of artist, blogger, and scholar Coral Herrera, we discussed the opportunities presented by new technology for gender equality and the social struggle for the rights of women and LGBT persons. This time we will enter into a discussion about the struggle for gender equality in Latin America.
December 16, 2013
In a mining conflict country, police brutality under the pay of mining corporations is the ugliest side of community relations. With financial and logistical support from the corporations, the police find incentives to use force. What would Servando Huanca, Vallejo's anti-miner in El tungsteno (1931), have done about it?
December 13, 2013
The modification and certification of seeds has put Colombian campesinos up against giant multinationals, creeping international "protection" laws, the U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and their own government. On December 3, Colombian farmers returned to the streets.
December 12, 2013
Following Mexico’s “transition to democracy” in 2000, many of the old systems of political and judicial control which the one-party state had at its disposal were dismantled, leaving a power vacuum that was filled by both legal and illegal capital. This process did not replace the older structures and failed to bolster democratic institutions, allowing for the most ruthless and merciless capitalist institutions to rise to the top.  
December 12, 2013
Coral Herrera's writings analyze structural problems in Western societies and the discomfort that arises in the intimate lives of men and women. Her work conducts a deconstructive critique of the causes and consequences of societal norms and the imaginaries that we defend without knowing why.
December 9, 2013
A report on the author's experience observing the election with the National Lawyers Guild. The electoral outcome, and recent indications of electoral "mischief," can only be understood in the context of Honduras's repressive political climate and systemic flaws in the electoral system.
December 6, 2013
Argentina's nationalization of YPF took a strange turn this year when the government signed a deal with Chevron to boost gas extraction through fracking. President Fernández and her team say this will lead the country to "energy sovereignty."  But what does energy sovereignty mean and what does fracking mean for popular democracy and real economic transformation?
December 6, 2013
The Colombian media is in the midst of a nostalgia fest, sparked by the twentieth anniversary of Pablo Escobar's death. The jefe of the Medellín Cartel, estimated fifteenth richest man in the world, some time Liberal party congressman, some time grave robber, Escobar has been the subject of a number of best selling books in both Colombia and the United States.
December 4, 2013
Raul Burbano is the Program Director for Common Frontiers Canada, a multi-sectoral working group based in Toronto that organizes research, educational campaigns, and political action on issues related to hemispheric economic, social, and climate justice. He shares his thoughts and experiences after returning from Honduras as an official member of Canada's electoral observer delegation.
December 4, 2013
The neoliberal project in Mexico, as elsewhere, has achieved a totalizing dominance over almost every aspect of everyday subsistence, work, and even leisure time. And yet the apparent power of the current order also makes it increasingly vulnerable to popular activism, dissent, and political mobilization.
December 4, 2013
Rocks—of various sizes and composition—are among the most ubiquitous landscape feature in many of the areas where the Border Patrol operates. If the Border Patrol’s use of deadly force policy continues unaltered, agents can potentially excuse virtually any deadly shooting, anywhere, under any circumstance.
December 3, 2013
President Juan Manuel Santos meets today with President Barak Obama in the White House. The United States is not only the major trading partner and major market of Colombia’s exports, but also an active participant party in Colombia's 50-years long civil war.
December 2, 2013
In July of 2011, Project Arcoiris (The Rainbow Project) was born. It all began when activist Yasmin Silvia Portales shared her dissatisfaction with the absence, at the time, of spaces for meeting the social demands of sexually diverse persons and for advocating for sexual and reproductive rights.
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.

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