Chile: From a Social Earthquake to a Political Tsunami

Escrito por  |  18 / February / 2013
Chilean riot police detain a woman who was demonstrating against the arrest of Mapuche Indians involved in a land dispute with a logging company, in Valparaiso city about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago December 13, 2007. Dozens of protestors marched through downtown Valparaiso to pressure the government to release the five Mapuche Indians who are holding a hunger strike in the south of Chile after being arrested for starting forest fires on land belonging to a logging company that they are claiming by legacy.  REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez  (CHILE)

In the face of the Sebastián Piñera administration’s ongoing disregard for the many social demands raised by students, indigenous populations, poor people and workers, social movements are converging and politicizing diverse sectors by rejecting the economic and political model inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship.

Monsanto Conquest Meets Aztec Resistance

Escrito por  |  14 / February / 2013

Monsanto has a map for conquering the world and Mexico is in the center of it. For nearly two decades the transnational corporation that manufactures the pesticides used across the planet has been trying to take over the global seed market with genetically modified (GM) seed. If successful, most of the food we grow and eat would have to be purchased annually as seed from Monsanto. The mutant plants would grow up addicted to Monsanto herbicides. Local varieties would disappear, and in their place standardized, genetically modified food–doused with chemicals–would fill supermarket shelves and corner stores.

With Immigration Reform Looming, Private Prisons Lobby to Keep Migrants Behind Bars

Escrito por  |  13 / February / 2013

As the immigration reform debate heats up, an important argument has been surprisingly missing. By granting legal status to immigrants and ordering future flows, the government would save billions of dollars. A shift to focus border security on real crime, both local and cross border, would increase public safety and render a huge dividend to cash-strapped public coffers.

The Community Police of Guerrero, Confronting the Greatest Threat in its Existence

Escrito por  |  12 / February / 2013

For the Regional Coordinating Body of Community Authorities of the Mountain and Costa Chica of Guerrero (CRAC-PC), the seizure of the House of Justice in San Luis Acatlán by leaders and supporters of the Union of Peoples and Organizations of Guerrero (UPOEG) is “a direct attack against the communal system” that “seriously jeopardizes the CRAC project to build people power by the people.” The CRAC, also commonly known as the Community Police , calls upon social organizations to be aware of the conflict, “which represents an escalation of UPOEG aggression toward the community justice system.”

Efforts to Provide HIV-AIDS and Other Health Services to Migrants Face Major Obstacles

Escrito por  |  9 / February / 2013

Juan stopped in Tapachula, Chiapas to rest for a few days and to receive a routine medical check-up before heading out on the treacherous 1,700-mile long journey to Mexico’s northern border. Since he was already sitting in the Doctor’s office, he figured he might as well get one of the free quick tests offered by the Belen migrant shelter on Monday and Thursday afternoons. In under a minute, the test confirmed his worst fears: he was HIV-positive.

Rios Montt on Trial for Genocide in Guatemala

Escrito por  |  7 / February / 2013

Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez ended a four-hour hearing today Monday in the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt by accepting all of the witnesses, experts and documents submitted as evidence by the prosecution. The defense, by contrast, failed in its bid to incorporate experts and documentary evidence on behalf of their client, although the judge approved several defense witnesses.

Pentagon Continues Contracting US Companies in Latin America

Escrito por  |  7 / February / 2013

The Pentagon signed $444 million in non-fuel contracts for purchases and services in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 2012 fiscal year, an overall decrease of nearly 15% from the previous year. But US military spending in the region is still considerably higher than during the George W. Bush administration, when the equivalent Pentagon spending in Latin America averaged $301 million a year.