Around Latin America

-In an issue that could shape the presidential election in the US, a new poll suggests that Florida voters overwhelmingly support President Barack Obama’s announced immigration reform policy.

Workers at Brazil’s GM plant went on a 24-hour strike over reduced output and growing fears their jobs are at stake.

-A bill that would repeal bans on sodomy and cross-dressing and would abolish the death penalty is set for debate on the floor of Guyana’s Congress.

-In Uruguay, the private University of Montevideo accepted the resignation of dean Dr. Mercedes Rovira after she made homophobic comments, including describing homosexuals as an “anomaly” and who said the school takes an individual’s sexuality into account when hiring staff.

-Although there are real limits to Brazil’s Truth Commission, it appears it will at least investigate Brazil’s role in the infamous Operation Condor, hopefully shedding light on an oft-overlooked part of the Brazilian military dictatorship.

-Guatemala has released Byron Disrael Lima Estrada, a military officer who assassinated Guatemalan Bishop Juan José Gerardi in 1998. Gerardi, who had been an important figure in fighting for human rights in Guatemala, was beaten to death just two days after he issued a report that cited the military’s constant violation of human rights and use of violence against civilians during the country’s 36-year civil war.

-Will Brazil become the next country to decriminalize drug use?

-In mixed news from Mexico, outgoing President Felipe Calderón has said that, compared to the first half of 2011, drug murders have dropped 15-20% during January to June of 2012, including a drop by 42% in Ciudad Juárez. However, another report shows that violence against women increased by 20% in the state of Mexico, which incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto governed until last fall and which surrounds the Federal District on its north, west, and east.

-Speaking of Peña Nieto, he has vowed to imprison any and all individuals who bought the votes of the Mexican electorate in the recent election. It remains to be seen if he will be sincere in this pledge, though it seems dubious at best, given that it was Peña Nieto himself that benefited from his party’s practice of vote-buying.

-In one last story on the outcomes from Mexico’s election, one-third of the incoming members of Mexico’s Congress will be women.

-Human Rights Watch has issued a new report that suggests that the political contexts have led to increased intimidation and censorship in Venezuela.

-Brazil’s police have begun to arrest and remove illegal gold miners who had illegally begun squatting and mining on the lands of the Yanomani, one of Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

-A few weeks after Chile ruled that General Alberto Bachelet, whose daughter Michelle governed as President from 2006-2010, died under torture during the Pinochet regime, authorities have charged two military officials with his death. After the coup of September 11, Pinochet’s regime purged the military of officers who were loyal to constitutional president Salvador Allende, including Bachelet.

-Over 1 million Brazilian evangelicals gathered in São Paulo in the annual  “March for Jesus” last weekend. Although one million people is a lot of people, the total who showed up fell far short of the six million evangelicals that organizers predicted would attend. Still, the number of evangelicals is only growing, and at least fifteen evangelical ministers are running for public office in the state of São Paulo in another sign of evangelicals’ growing importance not just in society or culture but in politics as well.

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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 Academia, Around Latin America, Augusto Pinochet, Border Issues, Brazil, Brazil's Military Dictatorship, Chile, Civil Conflict in the Americas, Corruption, Drugs and the Drug Trade in the Americas, Guatemala, Guatemala's Civil War, Guyana, Human Rights Violations, Immigration, Indigenous Peoples, Labor in Latin America, Latin American Politics, Latinos in the U.S., LGBT Rights & Issues, Mexico, Protests in Latin America, Strikes, Truth Commissions, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Women's Movements & Issues. Bookmark the permalink.