April 21, 2009

In response to the just-concluded 5th Summit of the Americas held in Trinidad and Tobago, the member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) – Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela – released a counter-declaration. The document denounces the declaration of its mainstream counterpart for ignoring the global economic crisis and excluding Cuba among many other grievances.

April 20, 2009

With all that happened at the Summit of the Americas, it was easy to miss a significant about-face by the Obama administration. No, it wasn't the administration's supposedly softer stance toward Cuba. Nor was it Venezuela's well-received offer (by Chávez-basher Hillary Clinton no less) to re-exchange ambassadors with Washington. Obama won't read the Spanish edition of The Open Veins of Latin America, a gift from Chávez, so that can be dismissed, too.

April 16, 2009

As Barack Obama meets Felipe Calderón, Mexico's drug war rages on. The current militarized strategy to the drug problem is abusing innocent civilians, dramatically increasing violence, and having very little effect on the flow of drugs toward the United States. A real solution to the problem would begin by attacking the economic roots of the problem: 25 years of failed economic policies and a renegotiation of NAFTA. The Mexican people need an economic solution, but instead they're suffering the consequences of a U.S.-backed military quagmire.

April 16, 2009

Barack Obama this week continues his administration's efforts to push the "reset" button on U.S. foreign relations attending the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. What if he had picked the Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel or Democracy Now! anchor Amy Goodman to advise him at the upcoming Summit? Unlikely, to say the least, but 75 years ago President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did something just like that. As a result anti-imperialism saved the American empire.

April 15, 2009

A paper trail of declassified U.S. government documents helped confirm Fujimori's complicity in grave human right crimes committed during his ten years in office. His trial and conviction set a landmark historical precedent that will serve as a stark deterrent against future abuses, both in Peru and beyond. The case is also an important guidepost for upcoming justice-seeking efforts in Peru, where many criminals remain unpunished and the full extent of their deeds unknown.

April 13, 2009

After the immigration reform bill failed in 2007, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency began actively promoting a largely dormant program that trains local law enforcement to perform the duties of federal immigration officers. As local communities increasingly become the front lines of the immigration war, one North Carolina county took on ICE along with local anti-immigrant groups—and won the battle.

April 8, 2009

The refusal to employ disabled people in Argentina has persisted for decades. Neither the political and economic orientation of those in government nor periods of economic expansion and job creation have favored the hiring of the disabled. Although the National Congress has passed a series of laws, including job quotas in 1981, an anti-discrimination law in 1988, and constitutional mandates on human rights in 1994, these norms are in practice rarely enforced.

April 7, 2009

As a special tribunal in Peru pronounced former president Alberto Fujimori guilty of human rights atrocities, the National Security Archive today posted key declassified U.S. documents that were submitted as evidence in the court proceedings. The declassified records contain intelligence gathered by U.S. officials from Peruvian sources on the secret creation of “assassination teams” as part of Fujimori’s counterterrorism operations, the role of the Peruvian security forces in atrocities and Fujimori’s participation in protecting the military from investigation.

April 7, 2009

As part of the "Not just Change, but Justice" campaign, a joint-effort by NACLA and the Latin America Solidarity Coalition, activist-scholar Lesley Gill reports on U.S. militarization in Latin America asking the question, "What are we facing today?" Though skeptical about change, she outlines why Obama needs to change Bush-era policies and end programs like Plan Colombia and Plan Mexico. Gill says that continued funding for both militarized anti-drug programs will embolden paramilitary groups and cause repression against activists.

April 6, 2009

Daniel Ortega’s presidency, the “second stage of the Sandinista Revolution,” as he called it, has been characterized by sectarianism, authoritarianism, and intolerance of dissidents. It therefore represents a profound betrayal of the original Sandinista movement, which was committed to popular democracy, openness, and pluralism.