Around Latin America

-Mexico’s Partido Acción Nacional has nominated Josefina Vazquez Mota to be its candidate against the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto, making Vazquez Mota the first woman presidential candidate for a major party in Mexican history. However, she is not the first woman candidate in Mexico’s history; that distinction belongs to Rosário Ybarra, who in 1982 ran as president for the Partido Revolucionário de los Trabajadores (Revolutionary Workers’ Party), ultimately garnering nearly 2% of the vote.

-Brazil has become the first country to take advantage of Twitter’s new censorship rules, filing an injunction that would allow the country to block accounts and tweets that alert drivers to sobriety checkpoints, speedtraps, and other roadblocks.

-Adam has compiled this remarkable collection of maps that outline suspected air and maritime paths for drug trafficking from South America into Mexico and the Caribbean between 2005 and 2011. Collectively, the maps show how transit routes in the drug trade have changed over time, responding to ongoing efforts from the U.S. and Latin American countries to combat the drug trade.

-Also in drug war news, Mexico’s army chief admitted the military has committed murders and torture in the fight against drug gangs, but insisted that those responsible have been punished for “mistakes.”

-Brazil’s Minister of Cities, Mário Negroponte, resigned this week, becoming the seventh minister to step down amid allegations of corruption. While the number of resignations have ironically made president Dilma Rousseff’s administration look stronger with the appearance that it no longer tolerates corruption in the executive branch, as Boz points out, if this problem continues into 2013, it could have a more damaging impact on Brazil both nationally and internationally as it prepares for the 2014 World Cup.

-In Panama, indigenous peoples’ efforts to protest proposed mining and hydroelectric dams in Panama succeeded, as legislators withdrew a bill that would have allowed construction on indigenous lands.  The week before, Panama’s indigenous peoples blocked parts of the Pan-American highway to protest the bill and publicize the threat they faced.

-Meanwhile, anti-mining protests continue in Peru, with protesters moving from Cajamarca to Lima to protest the environmental degradation and contaminated water that is a result of mining near their communities.

-Mario Randolfo Marques Lopes, a Brazilian journalist who accused local authorities in the state of Rio de Janeiro of corruption, was found murdered this week, alongside his girlfriend. The bodies of the two were found 22 hours after they had been kidnapped, in a case that immediately suggests possible revenge for his charges of corruption among police and court officials. This was not the first attempt on Marques Lopes’s life; a man burst into his office and shot him in the head last year, but Marques Lopes survived and continued his work.

-A Haitian judge has ruled that Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier can stand trial for corruption, but in a setback for human rights, the judge has also ruled that Baby Doc should not face charges of human rights violations for abuses committed during his dictatorship of 1971-1986.

-Colombian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Luis Carlos Restrepo, one of the top officials of former president Álvaro Uribe. Restrepo is wanted for his role in organizing the arrest of “guerrilla leftists” in a highly-publicized 2006 event that was apparently a charade designed to make the Uribe administration government look successful against leftists in the country.

-Last month, the story of Haitians seeking asylum in Brazil made international news. While many Haitians have been admitted, not all are finding the immediate opportunities they’d hoped for, as some 300 Haitians remain in the Peruvian Amazon, awaiting entry into Brazil.

-Mike points us to this excellent introduction to a four-part series on mining in Guatemala, a must-watch for anybody interested in labor or environmental impacts of mining on both people and landscapes in Central America today.

-Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón has been disbarred for eleven years for “abuse of power.” Garzón is well-known in the human rights community for his role in issuing the arrest warrant for Augusto Pinochet, a move that reignited ultimately-successful efforts to prosecute the Chilean ex-dictator,  as well as for investigations into the Basque separatist movement and the Franco regime in a legal process for which he is also currently being investigated.

-In another sign of a strong economy in Brazil, Jaguar Land Rover has agreed to open a factory there, providing more jobs for Brazilians as well as attempting to enter into the South American car market.

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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 "Baby Doc" Duvalier, 2014 World Cup, Around Latin America, Brazil, Corruption, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, Guatemala, Haiti, Human Rights Violations, Immigration, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Police Violence, Technology in the Americas, Torture. Bookmark the permalink.

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