An epidemic of forced evictions that began shortly after the earthquake is making life even harder for the countless Haitians that remain in displacement camps. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 233,941 Haitians have been evicted from camps, and that 166,000 of the 680,000 people remaining in camps face an ongoing threat of eviction. They say that the “rapid pace of eviction” is causing people to leave the camps even though they have nowhere else to go. Of the more than 180,000 residential buildings destroyed in the earthquake, only 4,100 have been repaired. Only a fraction of the needed temporary shelters have been built.
The Qom community of The Primavera is made up of some 4500 inhabitants. As is true with almost all indigenous communities in Argentina, their circumstances are virtually ignored in a society that thinks of itself as “descended from ships.” However, the fight for land and territory that continues in their state of Formosa has grown to such a size that it has broken through the media barrier that usually keeps the interior of the country invisible to those in Buenos Aires.
Striking the podium in anger, Felipe Calderon insists that the explosion of violence in Mexican soil is the sole fault of organized crime. He reiterates his commitment to the war on drugs and his determination to relentlessly pursue those responsible. This vehement defense of his security strategy is directed not at the criminals themselves, but at a society that increasingly rejects the president’s crime policy.
For two days, Capulalpam de la Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca turned into a modern Babel of land disputes. The town was the site of the Third National Forum Building Resistance to Protect our Land, May 20 and 21. The organizers said the goal of the event was, “a critical analysis of the current model of development, and the compilation of a list of demands so as to allow the communities to form a united front in the defense of their lands.”
In an interview with the Americas Program, Marco Antonio Castillo, director of the Guatemala-based Grupo Ceiba, notes that increased violence in Guatemala caused by the presence of drug-trafficking cartels is causing alarm and will lead presidential candidates this year to call for a crackdown. In a country that experienced the military abuses of the eighties, this will be dangerous.
In this fourth article of David Bacon’s series ‘Building a Culture of Cross-Border Solidarity’, the author looks at the growing ties between U.S. and Mexican unions. This article was originally published in the Institute for Transnational Social Change report ‘Building a Culture of Cross-Border Solidarity’.
In this exclusive interview with Americas Program Director Laura Carlsen, poet and anti-drug war leader Javier Sicilia discusses the role of the United States in Mexico’s drug war and the potential for citizen protest to challenge it.