October 17, 2008

Latin America has been notoriously absent from the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama. Nonetheless, Obama promises to foster a new era of hemispheric relations based upon mutual understanding and respect for national sovereignty. If he is elected, the strengths and weaknesses of his policies toward Latin America in the eyes of progressives will rely upon his ability to remain committed to a broad-range approach to the region despite conflicting interest groups and pressures on his administration.

October 15, 2008

In the southwestern department of Cauca on October 14, over 12,000 peaceful protestors from indigenous and other popular movements were violently attacked by Colombian security forces. The repression against the indigenous mobilization is only the latest sign of a growing wave of violent acts and selective assassinations against Colombia's popular movements by all armed actors of Colombia's internal conflict.

October 13, 2008

As stock markets tumble, plans for an alternative, regional financial framework gained new momentum among South American leaders. At a recent Summit, presidents from Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela agreed to bring the stalled Bank of the South online. They also drew up a series of integration projects and cooperation agreements.

October 12, 2008

Declassified U.S. government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal a clear and consistent policy of U.S. intervention and meddling in Bolivia's internal affairs. These activities are directed from the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, particularly through the local offices of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded Agency for International Development (USAID).

October 8, 2008

Fury at the billionaire bailout of the criminal class that has driven Wall Street into a disaster of 9/11 dimensions festers down at the bottom of the economic food chain on Main Street. It is a familiar syndrome south of the border in Mexico, which had it's own mega-bailout in the 1990s. Back then, it was poor Mexican farmers and urban workers who ended up with the short end of the deal: they were saddled with onerous debt, their tax pesos financed the bailout and, in return, the cash-strapped government cut public services. Just over a decade later, it's déjà vu all over again—and Mexico could be next.

October 6, 2008

People voted for a more participative democracy, demilitarization, and for the ability to intercede actively in political life. The U.S. military presence in Manta will end in 2009. Ecuadorians also ratified national diversity and collective rights; the right to water and the prohibition of its privatization; food sovereignty and the permanent right to secure food sources; the right to communication, and access to public, private, and community media.

October 1, 2008

NACLA contributors Wes Enzinna and Jason Wallach received 2007-2008 Project Censored Awards for their coverage of Washington’s interventions in Latin America and the fight against water privatization in El Salvador. Each year Project Censored selects the top 25 most important censored news stories chosen out of hundreds of articles.

September 29, 2008

Perhaps the most poignant moment in John Pilger’s latest documentary, The War on Democracy, comes during an interview with Sister Dianna Ortiz, the U.S. nun tortured by Guatemalan security forces in 1989. “I’ve heard people say that what happened in Abu Ghraib is an isolated incident,” she says, with a mix of outrage and disbelief. “And I just shake my head and say: Are we on the same planet? Aren’t you aware of our history? Isn’t history taught in the classroom about the role of the U.S. government in human rights violations?”

September 26, 2008

If the U.S. media have failed to cover the story of political instability in Haiti with the depth it deserves, it is certainly not the first time. In fact, it is the latest episode in a pattern of U.S. reporting on Haiti that has given many of the most important stories only a cursory glance. To get an idea of how and why this happens, I interviewed several U.S. journalists who have reported from Haiti, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

September 23, 2008

This week the McCain team is trying to dispel the notion that Palin is a foreign policy lightweight. The Alaska Governor is slated to meet with a handful of foreign leaders during the General Assembly meeting of the United Nations. The roster of leaders chosen by the McCain camp bodes badly for U.S. foreign policy should the Republican ticket win in November.