Around Latin America

-The fallout from the murder of a Brazilian judge and the arrest of 8 police officers continues to have consequences in Brazil. Last week, Rio de Janeiro state’s (not city’s) top police officer resigned, accepting responsibility for hiring the police chief connected to the murder of judge Patricia Acioli back in August. Acioli was known for her hard stances on police officers who joined militias and/or committed extrajudicial violence, including murders. The absolutely-outstanding blog RioReal has thoughts on how this resignation reflects the broader processes and problems in Rio state’s police forces, as well as the background of the new police chief.

-Unsurprisingly, a new illegal immigration law in Alabama (the harshest in the United States) has resulted in an exodus of Hispanic children from Alabama’s school system. While some of these numbers no doubt include the children of illegal immigrants who fear being deported, it also includes legal citizens who are withdrawing their children and opting for home-schooling, rather than have their children face stereotyping and suspicion simply because of their ethnic background.

-The Argentine newspaper Clarin has called for the government to open the still-sealed documents on the Malvinas War (Falklands War). This coming April will mark the 30th anniversary of the war, yet many key documents that detail the behind-the-scenes decision-making process of the military government that ruled at the time remain classified, preventing the public and historians from having access to what would be a turning point in the course of the Argentine dictatorship. The military, which took over control in 1976 and launched a “Dirty War” that killed upwards of 30,000 Argentine civilians between 1976 and 1983, launched the invasion of the Malvinas Islands (which Argentina claims belongs to it), expecting a quick victory and massive nationalist support for the regime. However, Margaret Thatcher, facing lagging support at home, used the invasion for a similar cause, and the English army rapidly defeated the Argentine army. The Argentine defeat was a major blow to the military’s control, and within two years, civilian rule had returned to Argentina.

-An evangelist mayor in Amazonian Peru is suspected of murdering fourteen indigenous healers in the past twenty months. While complex issues of land, infant mortality rates among indigenous peoples are at play, it appears the evangelicals views of indigenous healers, whose knowledge of the ancestral cultural practices and histories of indigenous peoples are invaluable, as “demonic” is a major factor in the serial killings.

-The environmental impact of the Puyehe volcano in Chile that erupted back in June has done more than disrupt flights. Over a half a million sheep raised in the Argentine region of Patagonia have died from ash inhalation, directly and drastically impacting small farmers in the region.

-China has become an increasingly important trading and diplomatic partner throughout Latin America, a trend that has no sign of slowing down. If you ever wondered how Latin American countries’ media outlets viewe China, well…Margaret Myers over at the excellent (and much-needed) blog China and Latin America has you covered with its new feature, “What is Latin America Saying about China?” The feature condenses the headlines regarding China from different Latin American countries, and is a fascinating glimpse into the different ways China is affecting different parts of Latin America, and how different parts of the region view China.

-Although Brazil claims that deforestation was at its lowest levels in 20 years, it nonetheless increased its estimation for deforestation from 2490 square miles to 2703 square miles in 2010. While the overall decline in deforestation compared to other years is good, it’s not enough, and deforestation and its environmental impact continues to be one of the most severe environmental threats facing not only Brazil, but the entire planet.

-Finally, Boz has thoughts on the Brazilian government’s efforts to exert more control over the internet and how that compares to the other “BRIC” [Brazil, Russia, India, China] countries’ policies.

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About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
This entry was posted in Argentina, Around Latin America, Brazil, Chile, Environmental Issues in the Americas, Evangelicals in Latin America, Human Rights Issues, Immigration, International Relations, Latin America, Police Violence, Religion in Latin America, Rio de Janeiro, The Malvinas War. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Around Latin America

  1. Rio real says:

    Thanks very much for the plug, Colin. Your blog is excellent and covers so much ground!

  2. Pingback: Brazilian Police Go on Strike « Americas South and North

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