Around Latin America

-Brazilian truck drivers have gone on strike over restrictions on which roads they can use when, and South America’s largest city is feeling the pinch, as São Paulo has begun to run low on fuel.

-In yet even more incredibly discouraging and depressing environmental news from the region, scientific studies reveal that climate change is drastically damaging the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, the world’s second largest barrier reef system. Rising temperatures are rapidly “bleaching” the reef, leading to its death and pointing to the reef’s future as a marine dessert. As if this wasn’t already depressing enough, Mesoamerican countries like Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala are failing to address the issue adequately, meaning the reef stands a very real chance that it will simply die out, destroying an important marine ecosystem.

-Chilean leaders have spoken out against homophobic violence after the recent beating that has left a 24-year-old gay man in an induced coma.

-Juan Pablo Schiavi, Argentina’s Transportation Secretary, has stepped down from his post in the wake of the horrific train crash in Buenos Aires that killed more than 50 people and injured more than 700 and led to widespread finger-pointing between government officials, rail-safety experts, and the train company responsible for the line.

Four miners are dead and five are missing after an accident in a Colombian coal mine.

-Brazilian beachgoers have made news for their noble acts in aiding a pod of about 20 dolphins who had stranded themselves on a beach in southeastern Rio de Janeiro state.

-In great news for Bolivia’s disabled community, their struggles for equal rights and treatment may be netting real results and improvements. In the wake of protesters journeying over 1000 miles to bring attention to the need for better treatment and equal rights for the disabled in Bolivia, Evo Morales has said he will support a bill that would provide equal rights for the disabled.

-Chilean airline company LAN became the first airline to conduct a commercial flight that was powered by biofuels (in this case, refined vegetable oil).

-Argentine veterans have spoken out in favor of identifying the remains of 123 casualties of the 1982 Malvinas/Falklands war whose identities remain unknown.

-The former head of Haiti’s Central Bank during the 2001-2004 government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide was murdered this week, shortly after his son cut a deal to speak with US Department of Justice officials in Miami regarding charges of bribery between Haitian officials and companies based in Miami.

-Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes went on television earlier this week and tried to explain away El Salvador’s rising murder rate by saying that 90% of the murders were of criminals, and not innocent civilians. Suffice to say, such claims have raised pointed questions and criticisms of the president, and deservedly so.

-On the heels of the FARC promising to end kidnappings last week, another rebel group tied to the FARC, the Ejército de  Liberación Nacional (ELN) has said it would be willing to end attacks against the oil industry if the government reduces the areas where oil exploration can take place and issues a “social tax” on oil production.

-Finally, for those of you who felt there was not enough thrash metal from Brazilian women (or for those of you who felt there were not enough Brazilian women in thrash metal), your prayers have been answered, as Nervosa (“Nervous”), Brazil’s first all-woman thrash metal trio, has hit the scene.

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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 Argentina, Around Latin America, Bolivia, Brazil, Brazilian Music, Buenos Aires, Chile, Colombia, Corruption, Disability Rights & Issues, El Salvador, Environmental Issues in the Americas, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, Haiti, Labor in Latin America, LGBT Rights & Issues, The Malvinas War. Bookmark the permalink.