Taking Note

Teo Ballvé
Latin America seems eerily calm lately. “Calm,” of course, is a relative term in this place of endlessly dramatic and sometimes incomprehensible developments.


Four years ago, we initiated a yearlong conversation on race in the pages of this magazine with the series “Race and Racism in the Americas.” Over several Reports, we considered critical developments at the nexus of race, culture and identity.

Open Forum

Thomas Maack
Almost three years after taking power, and after sparking hope among progressive forces all over the word, the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) is in total disarray amid a major corruption scandal. Lula’s government is paralyzed. The Brazilian people and the left have not been this politically disenchanted and discouraged since the military overthrow of João Goulart’s government in 1964.


Reed Lindsay
A NACLA investigation funded by the Samuel Chavkin Fund for Investigative Journalism finds that U.S. "democracy promotion" programs in Bolivia seek to prop up discredited political parties, undercut grassroots movements and limit the scope of debate on the ownership of natural resources.
Jen Ross
Chile’s lush Huasco Valley is flanked by bone-dry hills that reach up towards the towering ridges of the Andes. Some 5,000 meters above the valley, where the temperature is cold enough to capture the scarce rainfall, giant ancient glaciers blanket the landscape.
Karen Robert
At noon on March 4, 2005, a green Ford Falcon pulled up next to a woman in Centenario, a municipality of Neuquén, in southern Argentina. Three men and a woman forced her into the car and then spent the next several hours threatening, torturing and mutilating her.


Roberto Lovato
The Chiapanecan Indian and Nicaraguan farm workers fled their bucolic but troubled rural homelands to harvest these fields carpeted with colorful tulips under the gray skies of northernmost Washington State.
George Yúdice
Back in the mid-1960s, when I was applying to colleges, the University of Miami had a reputation for majors in basket weaving and volleyball. Miami itself was known for its retirement communities, spring break beach parties and bargain vacationing.
Juan Flores
Countries like Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic with huge diaspora populations in the United States are having a hard time digesting their return migrants.
Deborah A. Thomas
Today, Jamaica is known around the world for the culture it produces. Indeed, the mere mention of the island conjures up soundscapes of reggae music and dancehall, images of Rastas and resistance.


Jennifer Harbury
The horrors of Guatemala’s “silent holocaust” are meticulously recorded and portrayed in this searing book. From the CIA-backed coup of 1954 to the village-by-village massacres of the 1980s, the full history of the 36-year “internal conflict” is set forth in a manner that makes the book hard to put down.

In Brief

Alex van Schaick
A major strike in ecuador’s main oil-producing provinces in August dealt a heavy blow to multinational oil corporations operating in the country, sending a stern message to the hobbling government of President Alfredo Palacio.