Around Latin America

-Two Central American countries are holding presidential elections today. In Nicaragua, it seems increasingly likely that ex-Sandinista Daniel Ortega will win a third term as president. In Guatemala, projections have conservative candidate and former-general Otto Perez Molina winning, though polls that show him far in the lead may be misleading and covering up a closer race than analysts have suggested thus far. And there is an interesting outsider’s account of the election process from inside Guatemala over at Americas Quarterly.

-In Brazil, students at the University of São Paulo (USP) occupied the rectory after the university signed an agreement with the Military Police to occupy the campus in the name of security. USP originally turned to the police in the wake of the murder of a student on campus in May. The police’s presence has outraged the students, however, who feel that military authority on campus is a violation of university autonomy and who are likely also cognizant of the fact that the military was last on major campuses during Brazil’s military dictatorship. The university administration has now agreed to negotiate with the students, though it also insists it will reject any demands for the retraction of the police-university agreement. Interestingly, earlier this week, students marched with slogans not dissimilar to the complaints and demands students were raising in the 1960s movement, albeit in a very different context.

-Mexican forces yesterday managed to arrest a suspect tied to the arson of a casino that left at least 40 dead in Monterrey. At the same time, the police also claim to have captured the leader of a gang tied to increasing violence in the resort city of Acapulco. Not all was good news for the Mexican armed forces this week, however, as fourteen soldiers were sentenced to prison for their roles in the murder of two women and three children back in 2007.

-In a completely different type of “warfare” in Mexico, Boz has thoughts on the recent reports that hacker group Anonymous is targeting the Zetas drug cartel in Mexico.

-While the number of high-profile arrests of human rights violators from military regimes in both Central and South America has been on the rise in recent years, Tim reminds us that not all war criminals go punished.

-Margaret Myers has another edition of her always-excellent “What Is Latin America Saying About China?” series posted.

-IPS continues its valuable reporting on women’s rights and the challenges facing women daily in Central America in this excellent report from Guatemala.

-Oklahoma and Chile apparently now have at least one thing in common: both were hit by magnitude 5+ earthquakes yesterday.



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 Around Latin America, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, El Salvador's Civil War (1980-1992), Elections in Latin America, Guatemala, Human Rights Violations, Impunity, Mexico, Nicaragua, São Paulo, Social Movements, Student Movements, Women's Movements & Issues, Women's Rights. Bookmark the permalink.