In many ways, the first decade of the 21st Century was the flip side of the last decade of the twentieth century in South America. There have been numerous and significant changes. We still don’t know if it’s a glitch in time or a new beginning. In any case, the region will never be the same.
Heaven and hell are reversed, traveling to the edge of the abyss, they transform into their opposite: an atrocious war with a community of peace; desperation with hope; life and death dance in an impossible trance. This is Colombia. Where peasants tired of war take refuge in peace in order to continue living. This is the story of a visit to the community from the perspective of a supportive photographer.
They did it! After pre-announcing that no major decisions would result from Cancun talks and nearly two weeks of debates and discussions, the army of international climate change negotiators reached an agreement fully in line with the low expectations for it. In fact, they even managed to lower the bar on key issues.
The UN Climate Conference (COP16) in Cancun is turning out to be both anti-climactic and anti-climatic.
Negotiators have given up on a binding agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Instead, they are seeking to expand schemes to allow contaminating industries and nations to continue with business as usual and add another lucrative area to their portfolios–trade in carbon offsets and credits.
On Tuesday, as U.N. negotiations on climate change geared up in the Caribbean beach resort of Cancún, thousands of people marched through the streets of Mexico City to demand grassroots solutions to global warming—and to the slew of other crises they face.
The peasants and workers, students and environmentalists gathered here don’t draw lines around issues. Demands for rural development and the release of political prisoners mix with calls to stop global warming and save the jungles. Peasant farmers from the poor southern states of Mexico walk somberly down the Paseo de la Reforma in four straight lines, their silence broken by the occasional collective slogan. Their discipline and gravity are a far cry from the image of destructive “globalphobics” that the Mexican government has reportedly been warning Cancún locals about. The smaller groups of students and activists are rowdier, dancing down the streets, holding banners, and laughing along the way.
Néstor Carlos Kirchner died Oct. 27 of a sudden heart attack. The former Argentine President and First General Secretary from UNASUR, died at the age of 60 years old at the peak of his political career. His wife, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will continue to run the country as she has been since December 2007. She will keep her governing role, but now without her operator, without the man who was willing to get his hands dirty, and loved it.