Around Latin America

-In another reminder that the drug war is a hemispheric and global problem, a new report points to the ways that gangs in places like San Antonio, El Paso, and Southern Texas are tied to Mexican drug cartels.

-A Cuban prisoner not included in the recent amnesty of over 2500 prisoners died yesterday while on a hunger strike. Rene Cobas joined roughly 20 more prisoners in the hunger strike in which they protested their exclusion from the amnesty list.

-An undocumented immigrant who became a quadriplegic in a construction accident and who was moved to Mexico against his will has died in Mexico. Quelino Ojeda Jimenez was injured in August 2010, and in February of 2011, the hospital that had been taking care of Jimenez, who could not eat or breath on his own either, decided to deport him.

-The United States is not the only country to deport undocumented immigrants. In the first 11 months of 2011, Mexico deported nearly 50,000 undocumented immigrants back to their home countries in Central America, with nearly half of them returning to (and coming from) Guatemala.

-In news that’s not remotely surprising, indigenous people in Guatemala are treated differently than non-indigenous people, facing prejudice in employment opportunities, lower-than-average wages, inhumane working conditions, and other inequalities.

-Peruvian demonstrators resumed their protests against a planned gold mine in the state of Cajamarca in Northern Peru. Over 2000 people, including the governor of the state, participated in the protest against the $4.8 billion dollar mine over concerns regarding the irreversible environmental damage the mine will cause.

-In a prison in western Venezuela, inmates murdered five prisoners accused of sex crimes.

-Santeria priests in Cuba have said that while 2012 will be a year of “upheaval and change,” the world will not in fact end, joining others who insist the world will not end this year.

-Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff closed her first year as president with the highest rankings in public opinion polls of any Brazilian president. Her 72% approval ratings draw in no small part on her support from the Brazilian middle class and her strong, technocratic leading style.

-On the other side of public opinion, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, who recently faced his lowest approval ratings, finds himself under attack again, this time defending how he has handled the wildfires that broke out in Chile’s world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, even as the fires are spreading and have taken the life of at least one person.

-Venezuela has responded to a recent order that they pay ExxonMobil $900 million for the nationalization of oil projects and equipment, saying it will only pay $255 million in compensation to the multinational company.

-Also in surprising news, 2011 was a good year for immigrant rights in Texas, as 40 anti-immigrant bills failed to get the approval of the state Congress, leading Latino and immigration groups to enter 2012 by focusing on improving Latino rights and increasing Latinos participation in electoral politics.

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, Border Issues, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Disability Rights & Issues, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, Guatemala, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Latin American Economic Relations, Latinos in the U.S., Mexico, National Parks, Peru, Religion in Latin America, United States, Venezuela. Bookmark the permalink.