–Squatter settlements in Peru are threatening the Nazca lines, geoglyphs from pre-Contact indigenous peoples.
-A few weeks ago, the U.S. Senate blocked the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte of ambassador to El Salvador. The reason that 48 Republicans (and Ben Nelson, D-NE) blocked Aponte’s nomination? In July of this year, she wrote an op-ed in a Salvadoran newspaper, in which she “declared that everyone has a responsibility to “inform our neighbors and friends about what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender” and praised El Salvador for signing—along with the U.S. and 80 other nations—a UN declaration for the elimination of violence against gays and lesbians.”
-Late last week, Indigenous Mexicans and indigenous-rights activists marked the 1997 massacre of 45 people in Southern Mexico. The men and women had taken refuge in a church, hoping to escape the violence of groups who had armed themselves and mobilized against the heavily indigenous Zapatista movement.
-In a couple of victories for Chile’s Mapuche Indian communities last week, a court ruled that Chilean police could not use tear gas against Mapuches in their home communities or when women, children, or elderly people are present. Additionally, After a fifteen-year struggle for recognition, Mapuche communities finally received title and access to over 2500 hectares of land.
-Two squatters in a Brazilian favela in São Paulo were found dead after a fire swept through the neighborhood.
-Chile implemented new electoral reform in which voter registration will be automatic for all Chileans, but voting, which had previously been mandatory for all registered voters, is now voluntary.
-Apparently (and allegedly), as a child, new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un once traveled to Tokyo’s Disneyland with a fake Brazilian passport.
–Nicaragua has sued Costa Rica in the World Court over environmental damage that Nicaragua claims a Costa Rican road near the border is causing.
-Bolivian President Evo Morales believes the UN will recognize the legality of chewing coca leaves, acknowledging its role in indigenous communities and culture in the Andes.
–Thirty-Eight Haitian refugees died after their boat sank off the coast of Cuba, while the U.S. repatriated another 149 refugee Haitians and Cubans over the weekend.