On March 9th, the Ministers of Communication from 12 countries that make up the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR, for its acronym in Spanish) made the decision to build a fiber-optic ring that created a direct connection between countries in the region without relying on the United States. The network will be completed in 18 months and they will begin laying ocean cables between South America, Europe, the United States and Africa.
Mexico’s federal election campaign officially kicked off March 30, but the contest arguably began in earnest days earlier when Pope Benedict XVI visited the right-wing stronghold of Guanajuato state. In a story worthy of Mexican surrealism, the daily La Jornada chronicled how all the presidential candidates joined with hundreds of thousands of people in the town of Silao to welcome the leader of an institution that is officially prohibited from participating in politics.
Hanging from City Hall in the center of downtown Bogota is an enormous banner that reads: “To arm or to love?” [Armar or amar], advertising an initiative being carried out by the new administration of democratic leftist mayor Gustavo Petro Urrego. The initiative bans legal firearms from public places in an effort to reduce the number of homicides. The measure is also intended to strengthen the ability of the police to dismantle criminal bands and decommission illegal firearms and other weapons.
The U.S. drug war on neighboring American countries has been going from bad to worse ever since Plan Colombia and Plan Condor began wreaking untold environmental destruction of herbicidal fumigation on the biologically diverse countries of Colombia and Mexico in the 1970s.
Statements by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that Peru doesn’t need international assistance because it is a middle-income country have led Peruvian authorities to take a hard look at the nature of our economic growth.
While President Obama’s approach is no threat to the profits of major weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, his main Republican opponents would actually increase the amount of taxpayer money that goes to these huge companies. Mitt Romney has adopted the most aggressive stance, pledging to keep Pentagon spending at 4% of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product.
Mexico took on the presidency of the G20 in December 2011 at a moment of multiple crises. The nation shares the presidency with a “three-member management Troika of past, present and future chairs”, this year, France and Russia. As chair, Mexico is responsible for establishing a temporary secretariat to coordinate work and prepare for and organize the June 2012 Summit.