Around Latin America

-In an important reminder that dams also have very real environmental consequences, the proposed Belo Monte dam in Brazil threatens the lives and habitats of the Amazon turtle, whose numbers are already reduced in the face of poaching. While the dam has caused opposition from indigenous peoples whose lands would be flooded, it’s important to also remember the environmental impact the dam would have on Brazil’s ecosystems.

-Antonio Bussi, a former Argentine general and one of the major figures in the “Dirty War” that killed upwards of 30,000 civilians in 7 years, has died at 85. Bussi was found guilty of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering a senator in 1976, and oversaw over thirty prisons where torture, murder, and “disappearances” took place between 1976 and 1983. Bussi was also elected governor of the province of Tucumán from 1995-1999, and served in public office until the 2000s, when Nestor Kirchner’s administration finally began prosecuting the military’s crimes during Argentina’s most recent military regime. For more on Bussi, Lillie did an excellent summary of his life a year ago that you can read here.

-Speaking of twentieth-century South American military dictatorships, Chileans protested against a tribute to Miguel Krassnoff, one of the top officials of Augusto Pinochet’s regime and a man who is currently serving a 144-year prison sentence for his role in the abduction, torture, and murder of Chileans during the Pinochet dictatorship.

-An early report suggests that Honduras’s efforts to crack down on drug violence has had some success in reducing violence. Central American countries have seen increased levels of gang warfare and drug violence as the drug trade in Mexico expands into Central America.

-A new report finds that land mines killed or maimed 512 people in Colombia in 2010, making it the second-highest casualty total from land mines in the world after Afghanistan.

-In Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto has officially accepted the nomination for president for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI – Partido Revolucionário Institucional). Although the elections are nearly a year off, Peña Nieto holds an early lead of over 20 points. The PRI was the party that (in various permutations) governed Mexico from the 1920s up until the victory of Vicente Fox in 2000.

-Brazil has suspended Chevron’s drilling rights after an oil spill while drilling in the Frade field off the Brazilian coast.


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.
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