"It appears to us to be a reinitiation of the harassment of independentists."1 —U.S. Congressman José Serrano, speaking to FBI director Robert Mueller
An unexpected knock on the door . . . men in trench coats handing you a grand jury subpoena . . . . If you're involved in the movement for the independence of Puerto Rico, this isn't just a not-so-fond memory of the COINTELPRO era. It's 2008 in New York City, and you are Christopher Torres, a young social worker; Tania Frontera, a young graphic designer; or Julio Pabón Jr., a young filmmaker from the Bronx.
Media Accuracy on Latin America (MALA) is a project of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), an independent nonprofit organization and publisher of the NACLA Report on the Americas.
NACLA believes that the news media are critical to informing and educating the public to ensure that the decisions we make are based on sound information. Unfortunately, mainstream news outlets in the United States repeatedly fail to provide reliable, in-depth analytic coverage of events and U.S. policy in Latin America and what coverage outlets do provide is often sensationalist, superficial, and permeated by long-standing suspicions that characterize the North-South divide.
The World Economic Forum is held at the beginning of every year; this time from Jan. 23-27. Its usual participants are well-known names from presidents, to prime ministers, from heads of large corporation, to some academics. It’s a space for celebrating and reproducing globalization, and for this it has received serious criticisms from global citizens. We should remember that the World Social Forum began as a counterproposal to Davos, showing that another world is possible.
The ride into Medellín, Colombia, is spectacular, especially at night, when lights sprawl up the western hills about a mile below the mountainsides. There are two ways in from the airport: descending from the southeast via Las Palmas through the city’s greenest, most exclusive and fortified areas (Envigado and El Poblado), or the northeast via Guarne, Zamora, and Playón, the last a peripheral neighborhood in one of the toughest of the city’s 16 wards (comunas).
"There will be violence, there will be clashes.” So said Bolivian opposition lawmaker Fernando Messmer in November, as six of the country’s departments staged a general strike to protest the rewriting of the national constitution. As we go to print, at least three people have been killed in riots on the streets of Sucre, where the Constituent Assembly meets, after right-wing demonstrations turned into riots. The assembly has been meeting for the past year with little to show for its efforts, largely because the party right has managed to gum up the process with dilatory maneuvers and outright obstruction, while its supporters have taken to the streets, often resorting to violence and harassment.
The movement to close the School of the America (SOA) punctures the founding myths of American exceptionalism. These myths include the belief that the United States is committed to democracy for all, that it is essentially good, and that because it is good, the United States only uses its power for virtuous ends. The presumed innocence of the United States and its citizens insures that “we” are always the victims of the violence of others. This historical shortsightedness perpetuates a widespread amnesia about the naked violence that has supported U.S. imperialism and the acceptance of torture by U.S. officials for decades.
With an increasing number of presidential primaries occurring around the country in the very early part of 2008, those of us concerned with Latin America are forced into an earlier-than-ever examination of the candidates’ stances on foreign policy. Though we might have expected that Latin America would be overshadowed entirely by the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or emerge only in the context of immigration, hemispheric relations have come up surprisingly often in early campaigning. So what do the candidates talk about when they discuss Latin America? In a word, Chávez.
Big fish eat littler fish. It might be a law of nature, but this makes it no less abusive. And this is exactly what could happen within the Bank of the South if an Argentine initiative, with Brazilian support, is successful.
It was a transitional year. South American social movements carried out few major actions. For them, the year constituted a slow re-composition of forces, while many affirmed their autonomy from left and progressive governments. In 2007, social movements confronted two new fronts: the consolidation of a second and new wave of neoliberalism (based on commodities) and a correlation of forces, on a regional level, in which “progressive” governments play the dominant role.
MEXICO CITY, Jan 10 (IPS) – The Zapatista guerrillas and their supporters in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas are experiencing the worst onslaught by state forces in the last 10 years, although most people are unaware of the fact, according to reports from a research centre working in the area.