Around Latin America

While last week was a slow week for blogging due to teaching priorities, the news week was not.

-In Mexico, the Secretary of the Interior and opponent to drug gangs Jose Francisco Blake Mora died in a helicopter crash, with the government ruling the crash “an accident.”

-A high-profile Brazilian politician, Marcleo Freixo, has had to flee Brazil after his investigation into right-wing paramilitary militiasL led to Freixo receiving death threats.

-Colombian students continue to protest the increasing privatization of education. Last week, they marched in protest of governmental policy even while government officials claim the strike cost Colombia more than five million dollars a day. At the same time, students in Chile also took to the streets again, continuing their protest of the educational reforms taking place in Chile.

-Signs of an economic turnaround in the US? Perhaps not, but remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean are on the rise after dropping in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in the United States.

-A Colombian paramilitary leader was sentenced to 33 years in a US prison for his role in drug trafficking and terrorism. Carlos Mario Jimenez-Narango had been a leader of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC – United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia). Colombia extradited Jimenez-Narango to the US in 2008.

-Brazilian police recently occupied Rocinha, the largest of Rio’s favelas, in their ongoing effort to root out and “pacify” drug gangs in the city. Many celebrated the fact the police entered without firing a shot, although the police had announced their intentions well in advance, giving drug gang leaders plenty of time to flee. Although the occupation was relatively peaceful, it still had the appearance of a major military occupation.

-Trouble? Chevron has halted drilling off of the coast of Brazil after an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.





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, Chile, Colombia, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, Environmental Issues in the Americas, Favelas, Mexico, Paramilitary Groups, Student Movements. Bookmark the permalink.

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