Tear Down the Dam and Rebuild the Commons

Escrito por  |  3 / November / 2010

Managing our water commons thoughtfully in an age of growing energy demand and climate change is a considerable challenge, especially when the World Bank ignores its own advice to wean ourselves off large dams. That study by the World Commission on Dams finds large dams inconsistent with environmental and human rights standards. A global movement, including activists from Our Water Commons, continues to press to rein in the dam industry, invest in truly green solutions and apply common sense principles for how we manage our water.

How Legalizing Marijuana Would Weaken Mexican Drug Cartels

Escrito por  |  2 / November / 2010

In the months leading up to today’s vote on California’s Proposition 19 to legalize recreational use of marijuana, opponents of legalization have issued a barrage of confused and contradictory arguments. Their aim is to somehow debunk the common-sense fact that legal sourcing erodes the black-market profits of organized crime.

The most recent argument thrown out in the anti-Prop. 19 campaign, claims that the California marijuana market is insignificant to Mexican drug traffickers.

Brazil’s First Woman President Overcomes Opposition, Hostile Media

Escrito por  |  1 / November / 2010

Worker’s Party (PT) Candidate, Dilma Rousseff, will be the first woman president in Brazilian history. She was elected into office this Sunday, October 31st, with just over 56 percent of the votes, defeating conservative candidate Jose Serra by twelve points. In her victory speech Dilma called for unity and thanked outgoing President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva. Dilma supporters took to the streets, filling Paulista Avenue in São Paulo.

Two Worlds Collide at Cancun Climate Talks

Escrito por  |  29 / October / 2010

The debate over climate change generally transpires within the cloistered confines of expensive hotels, executive boardrooms, and diplomatic halls. As seen in the failure to arrive at binding agreements in Copenhagen, the talks are generally as sterile as the surroundings. Now, all signs point to another high-level fiasco at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 16), to be held Nov.29-Dec. 10 in the beach resort town of Cancun, Mexico.

Uphold Human Rights, Halt Drug War Aid to Mexican Security Forces

Escrito por  |  29 / October / 2010

Dear Friends, Below is a sign-on letter to oppose additional U.S. funds to the Merida Initiative for the disastrous drug war. We have already received an incredible response from all over the Hemisphere. We believe this is a critical juncture, as homicides and human rights violations increase in Mexico and citizens in both countries reject militarization as a strategy to weaken organized crime. We urge you to join us and the hundreds of organizations and individuals listed below in signing this statement. The movement against the drug war enforcement/interdiction approach is getting stronger in light of the history of failure and enormous cost in lives and resources that it entails. It is unconscionable that the US government continues to support it. This is the time to make our voices heard.

Ecuador’s Attempted Coup and Threats to Democracy in the Hemisphere

Escrito por  |  23 / October / 2010

The Sept. 30 attempted coup in Ecuador that killed three and held the elected president hostage serves as a warning. Democratic transitions remain fragile and incomplete in Latin America and some of the boldest moves away from colonialism and toward inclusive societies are being met with reactionary force. As the Ecuadorean police uprising shows, nations could lose the important gains that have been made over the past decades.

Strengthening Law Enforcement, Democratic, and Economic Institutions to Confront the Crisis in Ciudad Juarez

Escrito por  |  18 / October / 2010

More than 6,000 murders have occurred in our neighbor city, Juárez, over the past three years. The numbers climb each year: 1,600 in 2008, and 2,600 in 2009, with 2010 likely to break past records. Contrast these figures with the average 200-300 murdered annually before 2008 and we see that rates have increased tenfold since the “war on drugs” was launched in the city.

Juarenses live in an atmosphere of fear, not only of assassination, but also of kidnappings, carjackings, extortion, and abuse from police often in complicity with criminals. Tens of thousands of people have fled the city and abandoned their homes and businesses.