Around Latin America

-In the Amazonian lowlands of Peru, illegal gold miners rose up against the government’s efforts to regulate small-scale mining, and the resulting conflict between thousands of miners and riot police left at least one dead, dozens injured, and the government trying to regain control of the city of Puerto Maldonado.

-In a tragic (and truly transnational) story, the Costa Rican suspected of murdering Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral in Guatemala last year has been extradited from Colombia to face charges in the killing. In addition to facing charges for the murder, Fernando Alejandro Jiménez is also wanted for charges of money laundering and drug trafficking in Costa Rica, and he’s suspected of having ties to Mexican cartels; however, it is the murder case that will proceed. Cabral was murdered last July while touring Guatemala. The singer, who was 74 at the time of his death, was popular throughout Latin America, and perhaps best known for his song “No soy de aquí ni soy de allá” (“I’m not from here nor from there”).

-Mexico’s Attorney General is investigating allegations that executives from US firm BizJet offered around $2 million in bribes to Mexican officials in exchange for $25 million in contracts. The company, based in Oklahoma, also paid $11.8 million to settle charges from the US Department of Justice, but it also faces an independent investigation from the Mexico’s counterpart.

-The Colombian ambassador to Peru, facing charges for collaborating with Colombian right-wing paramilitary groups in the mid-2000s, stepped down from his post yesterday.

-In an attempt to continue to appeal to the most extremist and xenophobic elements of the Republican Party, Rick Santorum declared that Puerto Ricans have to speak English if they want to become a state (and to be clear, a majority of Puerto Ricans have consistently voted against statehood). No word yet on whether he wants to expel New Mexico for being a bilingual state.

-The US Congress has threatened to cut fiscal aid to Honduras while questions of human rights violations and the murders of journalists go unresolved. While I may or may not fully agree with Boz’s view of what the US’s role in the region is, I agree with him that a blanket cut doesn’t necessarily automatically solve the problem or lead to a resolution of rights abuses in Honduras. Also, I’d suggest that while it’s good that the US is concerned about this particular element of human rights in the country,it’s not exactly like the US hasn’t had a role in violence and political and social instability in the country in recent history.

-Both Tim’s El Salvador Blog and Voices from El Salvador have some excellent post-election analysis on El Salvador’s elections from last Sunday

-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sat down for an interview, in which he insisted that “I’m not fighting [ex-president Álvaro] Uribe; he’s fighting me.” While the two men had previously been very close, with Santos serving as Uribe’s minister of defense, reports allege a falling-out between the two over Santos’s willingness to acknowledge that there have been victims of state violence during the country’s 47-year Civil War, as well as over Santos’s willingness to prosecute former government officials for corruption.

-Finally, Greg reminds us of the ongoing problems with too many US reports on stories on Latin American politics.

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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, Civil Conflict in the Americas, Colombia, Corruption, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Elections in Latin America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paramilitary Groups, Peru, Protests in Latin America, United States. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Around Latin America

  1. wingeyes says:

    You know there is also so much beauty in Latin america. It’s also sad all the problems that are happening right now

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