Articles in Latin America
Brazil is noted for its high murder rate. In the Wikipedia map posted here, Brazil falls in the highest homicide category, with more than 20 slayings a year per 100,000 people. This figure significantly exceeds that of the United States (4.8) and vastly exceeds those of such countries as Japan (0.4) and Iceland (0.3). Yet Brazil is hardly the most …
Following the death of President Hugo Chávez on 5 March 2013—coincidentally the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death—Venezuela held a presidential election on 14 April. Chávez’s chosen successor and the acting president Nicolás Maduro won, but by a very narrow margin. His opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski had run in the previous election in October 2012, losing to Chávez by 11 percentage points. But this time the margin of victory was narrow, less than two percentage points.
On the surface, Ecuador and Bolivia exhibit close political similarities. Both countries are led by popular presidents who pursue leftist agendas, taking on multinational corporations, enacting land redistribution, and opposing U.S. interests. In Ecuador, incumbent president Rafael Correa just won an overwhelming victory, besting second-place finisher Guillermo Lasso by a 34 percent margin. In the most recent Bolivian general election …
To most development economists, the key to economic success lies in the creation of good institutions, be they schools, corruption-free agencies, or the like. In 2010, the New York University Business School economist Paul Romer made quite a splash in the field by arguing that in countries where good institutions are lacking, new “charter cities” should be built and run by outside entities under their own laws as semi-sovereign entities.
In early October, the Noche Zero conference in the Atacama region of northern Chile will bring together lighting designers, urban planners, government officials, and astronomers concerned about the effects of “light pollution” and the resulting disappearance of stars from the night sky.
New roads and natural gas exploration in the Peruvian Amazon are making contact between hitherto isolated tribes and the outside world almost unavoidable.
As traffic through the Panama Canal rises, Nicaragua and Costa Rica examine alternatives in a charged political atmosphere.
In recent weeks, Zulia has experienced mounting troubles. Several leaders of the indigenous Yukpa and Wayuu communities were murdered, reportedly by wealthy ranchers infuriated at indigenous peoples moving into their prime grazing lands (Zulia is a major beef and dairy—and oil—producer)
Paiche, an increasingly rare fish native to the Amazon, is attracting much attention in Brazil and abroad, with new plans to develop commercial farming and processing facilities in the Brazilian state of Rondônia for domestic consumption and export to world-wide markets.
As the 30th anniversary of the armed conflict between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, diplomatic tensions over the future of these South Atlantic islands remain high. On May 19 Britain sent a nuclear submarine HMS Talent to the Falklands.
The government of El Salvador has moved to constitutionally recognize the existence of the country’s indigenous peoples, although the measure must first be ratified by the legislature. Ratification looks likely, despite opposition from the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). The measure would not provide any direct benefits to indigenous peoples, but it could be used to help protect them against discrimination.
Tensions between Spain and Argentina have recently mounted. Last fall, Spain began to complain that its fishing fleets operating around the Falkland/Malvinas islands were being harassed by the Argentine Navy, despite having licenses from the Falkland Islands government—a government that Argentina does not recognize. More recently, Argentina nationalized the oil company YPF, a subsidiary of the Spanish company Repsol, angering both Spanish investors and European Union officials and provoking reprisals.
In Ecuador, hundreds of indigenous protestors have been marching for two weeks from the Amazonian lowlands to the capital city of Quito, which they are scheduled to reach today. Road blockades have led to clashes with the police as well as numerous arrests.
The Taiwanese company Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd) has appeared often in the global news in recent months, owing largely the labor practices of its Chinese plants that make iPhones and other popular electronic devises. According to the Wikipedia, Foxconn factories “assemble around 40 percent of consumer electronics products in the world.”
Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – commonly known simply as CFK –recently celebrated her 59th birthday at her multi-million dollar residence in a small Patagonian town of El Calafate. But it is neither CFK’s birthday party nor the touristy shops that have attracted an avalanche of visitors to El Calafate in the last few days.