Colombia: Dismantling a Half-Century of Conflict

Escrito por  |  13 / December / 2012

The negotiations between the government and the guerrilla forces are seen by a large part of the Colombian public as a good opportunity to seal a peace deal. Many believe that the hour has come and that the main actors in the conflict will not let this opportunity escape. The reality, however, is much more complicated.

Lead Poisoning Underscores Mexico’s Need to Hasten Toxic Waste Inventory

Escrito por  |  13 / December / 2012

It was 35 years ago when Amexco S.A. de C.V. began its infamous illegal dumping of lead-contaminated residues in Tijuana – 30,000 m3 of slag imported from California under what the Mexican government deemed the false pretext of car-battery recycling. By the time Mexico’s federal environmental prosecutor analyzed remediation options in 1996, the U.S. corporation Alco Pacifico Inc. had acquired the liability. Mexican law mandated the return of the hazardous waste to its country of origin.

Armed Peace Does Not Equate with Civil Peace

Escrito por  |  12 / December / 2012
Peace process dialogue meeting (Oslo, Norway) Photo:

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began peace negotiations with a surprise proposal in La Habana (Cuba) on November 19th. In Colombia some groups assert that peace depends upon the political will of the guerrillas, but what conditions exist for a successful process?

Ismael and Manuelita Died in Defense of Three Basic Rights

Escrito por  |  12 / December / 2012

The three most threatened human rights on the planet today are the right to water, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to food. In Chihuahua these are ever-growing threats that have claimed two victims already. Ismael Osorio and Manuelita Solis, his wife, were murdered near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc on Oct. 23 while they defended these rights.

What really happened in Curuguaty?

Escrito por  |  12 / December / 2012

What happened in Curuguaty? That’s the question that has been lingering in the minds of many Paraguayans after the controversial death of Vidal Vega, the peasant leader who was a key witness to the investigations of the Curuguaty massacre. Vidal Vega, 48, leader of a landless peasant movement in Paraguay was shot four times on December 1 2012, by bullets from a 12-gauge shotgun and a 38-caliber revolver fired by two unidentified men who sped away on a motorcycle, according to an official report prepared at the police headquarters in the provincial capital of Curuguaty.

Should We Push the Pentagon off the Cliff?

Escrito por  |  10 / December / 2012
John McCain and Lindsey Graham campaign to defeat Obama 2012 with fears of Pentagon budget cuts.

You can’t open a newspaper or watch a TV news program anywhere in the U.S. these days without endless speculation about the impending “fiscal cliff” – a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will occur if Congress and the President don’t come up with a deal to cut the federal budget deficit. The first thing to know is that for the most powerful sectors of U.S. society, there will be no “fiscal cliff” – they are sitting on plenty of cash and can easily weather any short-term reductions in their revenues.

Private Prison Companies Profit Off Laws that Define Immigrants as Criminals

Escrito por  |  10 / December / 2012

The U.S. locks up the highest percentage of its population in the world—nearly two and a half million people. Latinos now make up the majority of people sent to federal prison for felony crimes, with sentencing for newly defined immigration felonies like illegal border crossing or aiding in border crossing accounting for the increase. This makes the private prison industry very rich.