Around Latin America

-In another example of the simple fact that outlawing abortion does not make it go away and increases the threats to women, a recent study has found that 95% of all abortions in Latin America are “unsafe” in a region where most countries have outlawed abortion in most (if not all) cases.

-When you are responsible for the torture, murder, and even dismemberment of thousands of your citizens the way Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is, I don’t think a “scolding” over violating house arrest is really going to leave much an impression.

-The right-wing government of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has backed down from its attempts to require news media to surrender photographs and images to police forces without a court order, a move that would have extremely restricted freedom of speech and access to information while effectively turning journalists into agents of the various arms of the state security apparatus.

-A second Cuban prisoner has died after a hunger strike that lasted 50 days. Thirty-one year old Wilmar Villar had gone on strike to protest his four-year prison sentence for participating in a demonstration. Villar joins Rene Cobas, who died earlier this month while on a hunger strike protesting his exclusion from a list of 3000 prisoners who received pardon.

-In the face of a Brazilian law that bans the sale of alcoholic drinks in stadiums, FIFA has insisted that beer be sold at all venues hosting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a move that would gain the support of millions of fans but has met the opposition of some Brazilian politicians and health officials. While FIFA’s position is understandable, waves of football violence both in Brazil and the international arena also provide strong arguments against the sales of alcohol in stadiums in what will already be a tense environment.

-In yet another of the ever-growing (and already-significant) evidence of the impact of human behavior on climate change and ecosystems, a new report links carbon dioxide emissions on the brain and nervous system of fish, which could significant impact the ability of fish to survive at a time where the production of fish as food is already having very real negative environmental impacts.

-In Peru, the executive secretary of the Peruvian National Human Rights Coordinator has called on the government to include memory issues in the classrooms, including the Shining Path movement and its impacts/legacies.

-80 peasant families in Uruguay have overtaken a farm in the northern part of the country in an attempt to combat social inequalities in Uruguay and to make more public the plight facing many in the country, employing tactics similar to those employed by the MST (Movimento Sem Terra) in Brazil.

-A contestant on Big Brother Brasil is being investigated for rape after footage from the program showed him crawling into bed with a female contestant who had passed out, though the woman insists nothing had happened and has not pressed charges.

-A TV clown with a children’s program on Mexican television has apologized after joking about a fire that killed more nearly 50 children in 2009. Sergio Verduzco, who plays Platanito the Clown, had commented, ““Do you know why Michael Jackson died? Out of desperation because they torched a nursery up in Sonora…Besides, now there is no nursery. They opened a joint called ‘Kentucky Fried Children’” regarding the day-care fire that ultimately claimed the lives of 49 children.

-Ecuador has destroyed 11 World War II era bombs in the Galapagos Islands. Fishermen in the region found the bombs, which had been left over from a training base in the area, in 2010.

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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 2014 World Cup, Abortion, Alberto Fujimori, Around Latin America, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Human Rights Issues, Latin America, Mexico, Peasant Movements, Peru, Peru's Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), Uruguay, Women's Rights. Bookmark the permalink.