Around Latin America

-Jamaicans are outraged after police killed a 13-year old girl, two elderly men, and three others (though residents say the number of those killed is greater than 6) when they invaded a poor neighborhood. Police allegedly were engaged in a gun-battle with other gunmen. However, the police are facing criticism for their tactics and for a tendency to treat all residents of poor neighborhoods as though they were criminals, criticisms that human rights officials have also leveled against security forces in Brazil and elsewhere.

-Rio de Janeiro’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, declared that the 2016 Olympics to be held there have provided a “fantastic excuse” to transform and reshape the urban landscape of the city. However, as is often the case, the poor are unfairly feeling the brunt of this urban “renovation,” and they understandably are not taking their forced removal lightly, fighting in the courts and the streets to protect their equal rights as citizens.

-Ecuadoran indigenous peoples have launched a protest against a planned Chinese copper mine in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador. The indigenous groups will conduct a two-week march to the capital of Quito, where pro-government supporters launched a rival demonstration in support of President Rafael Correa, who supports the mine.

-In Colombia, thousands of protesters, including hundreds of students, demonstrated against the infrastructural weaknesses of Bogotá’s public transportation system, and about thirty were arrested after the protests intensified.

-Leaked documents remind us just how complex regional politics, local power struggles, and diplomatic intrigue can play out, as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez allegedly allowed Colombia to capture FARC guerrillas in exchange for the extradition of a drug lord whom Venezuelan generals wanted to face trial to Venezuela instead of the United States, where he also faced charges (and the possibility of a lighter sentence).

-In an example of regional economic competition, Brazil has proposed a quota that limits the number of Mexican cars the NAFTA member exports to South America’s largest economy.

-Domestic violence victims in Argentina have a new method to protect themselves, as they will be given an electronic device that immediately alerts the police any time they face harassment or a threat from their former partners.

-On the other hand, women’s rights suffered a blow in Brazil, where the Senate backtracked on a bill that would have fined companies that paid women less than men for the same work.

-A fire in a Peruvian warehouse has destroyed nearly half a million schoolbooks and 60,000 laptop computers, just as students prepare to return to school from the summer holiday. The loss hits primary schoolchildren in rural areas particularly hard, as upwards of 60% of the texts were intended to go to their schools.

-Recent comments from Latin American leaders and US activists have reignited the discussion over legalizing certain types of drugs. With a subtle shift in the rhetoric, Boz has some intriguing suggestions on how the public debate on drug policy, including the recommendation that policy-makers “separate the drug and security debate.”

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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, Brazil, Colombia, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, Ecuador, Education in the Americas, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionárias de Colombia (FARC), Indigenous Peoples, Jamaica, Latin American Economic Relations, Mexico, Peru, Police Violence, Social Movements, Sports in Latin America, United States, Venezuela, Women's Rights. Bookmark the permalink.